:: Adoption News
June 22, 2003
Did you know that large black dogs are usually the last to be adopted.
Other rescue groups and shelters are listed here so that you may have access to as many of the dogs available for adoption in Arkansas as possible.
Click here to read about what you should expect and how to prepare for adopting a puppy
:: Don't Buy That Puppy in
Ten reasons not to buy your puppy from a pet shop by Cathrine M. Sheeter.
:: Samson's Story
• Brutally shot and left to die.
On 9/28/02, my dogs were very excited about something in the corner of the fence. They did not go crazy barking at the black dog like they normally would a stray dog. I do not know if they sensed something was wrong with him, but I went to investigate thinking it was an injured bird or cat or something. I looked thru the spaces on my privacy fence and saw these 2 big dark eyes. Immediately I thought he was a puppy and went around to get him. When he saw me get close, he stood and I could see an injured leg but could not get close enough to examine it. He got scared and darted off on 3 legs like a thoroughbred, never stopping and looking back until he was safely hidden in the dense woods behind my house.
This was the beginning of a 5-day search for him. I put out canned food and he immediately returned and ate it and laid down for a while. I could see from the ground, it looked like he had made a bed and had been there at least overnight. I felt a great need to get him ASAP due to his leg injury, but I had no idea how severe the injury was. I tried several times to get him Sunday and he wanted to come to me, he just was not ready. The next day was no better and West Tree Service showed up (of all times). Those chain saws, yelling men, slamming doors, scared the injured black dog deeper into the woods. Each morning before work, at my lunch break and after work, I searched the woods knowing he had limited time but still not realizing how serious his injury was. On two occasions, I even took two of my dogs that are great sniffers, thinking they could sniff him out of the woods but with no success. This went on for 4 days and I was growing ever more concerned that he may have died although several neighbors and West Tree employees all reported seeing him trying to go to my house, getting scared and then going back into the woods.
On Wednesday morning, my neighbor brought a package for me that was delivered to her house and dropped it off, rang the bell and left. By the time I got downstairs, she was going up her porch steps. This was a turning moment for the injured black dog. I thought UPS had delivered the package but thought, I did not hear the truck, so I looked around and saw her. We do not speak much because of some complaining about my dogs, but I thought I should mention that I was trying to catch an injured dog in case she had seen him. She said, Oh yeah, he has been under my porch the last two days crying, at first she thought it was my dogs crying, but then found him and had called animal control to have him impounded. I went and saw where he had been laying under her porch a few feet from his spot at my house. Animal Control had set out a trap that was too short in height for him to get in with his inury. I had even called Animal Control to ask about them assisting me which they informed me if they caught the injured black dog, they would have to impound it and I could not take it to my vet. They also told me they could not shoot it with the tranquiller gun as he would run into the woods and they would be unable to retrieve him. As a last resort, I got some tranquilizer and put it in some canned food, concerned about leaving it out but also concerned with the amount of time he had spent in the woods with an injury. I had already spoken with animal control who said they would not let me help the injured black dog even if I had a vet who agreed to take him in. I knew I was running out of time. I put the drugged food out and prayed that he would eat it while I was at work.
That evening, I went out with a flashlight. It was pouring down rain and sure enough, there he was under the porch. He wanted so badly to run from me. He never seemed aggressive, never barked, growled or cried. Just silently laid there as if he were helpless to protect himself from another person he obviously perceived was there to hurt him. It was like he wanted to come to me, but felt I would hurt him. I took off my raincoat and rolled him onto it. He was about 90 pounds and I had to get him a good distance to get him into some light. The flashlight showed the damage more than I would have desired to see. His front left leg bone was protruding from his flesh and was broken off at an angle. You could see the bone marrow inside the bone and the bone for the bottom half of his leg was gone. There was a piece of meat only attaching his paw that was rotting away and the smell was so horrendous I immediately wanted to vomit. I could barely stand it all between the smell, the visible injury and the relief of finally catching him. Between tears and gagging, I took some photos so people could see what this poor dog had been through. I would have thought a gunshot may have caused a bullet hole or something like that. Never understanding the impact of a gunshot injury to an animal and wanted others to see the end result of violence to a living creature. At
that time I had no idea what type of injury it was but knew he was dumped this way and that was part of the reason he did not travel far from my house. I slid him onto my raincoat and I promised him that I would do whatever he needed to get better and I knew that he would survive. I put him in a wheelbarrow, which at the time I did not know would soon become his next home.
I wheeled him over to my house and I called Kelli to help me. We loaded him up in the rain in the back of my truck in a crate and took him to the ER vet clinic.
The prognosis was very grim. Much conversation about how he had lost so much blood he needed a blood transfusion. He had no protein in his blood and his skin was all sloughing off. He had no albumin in his blood to heal properly. I looked into his eyes and said, this dog did not go into the woods to die, he has such a strong will to live, I have to give him that chance, it is not right for me not to give him that chance. It is one of those experiences that I would never wish on anyone but when you are there, you know what you have to do.
The ER vet said he would have to have 6 weeks of rehabilitation to learn to live on three legs and had a 50/50 chance to live. He strongly believed he was shot and that was what caused the injury. The bone was missing from the bottom half of his leg and the paw was very necrotic (rotted) and he felt he had been in this condition for weeks. He probably was sepsis which is because he had an opne bone injury and all of his systems had an infection.
I decided he needed the chance for life. He was left overnight with a plan for the ER vet to seehim in the am for the amputation. When I went to check on him in the am, the entire clinic smelled of his rotting limb. I had smelled that smell all night and was told by the staff that the molecules had stuck to my nose hairs and that is why I could smell it all night away from him.
The ER clinic wanted $1400 for the amputation on top of the $500 I had already paid for his overnight. In tears I called my vet (who was off that day but had been waiting for me to catch him all week). Pam at PV Vet found another vet to do the surgery. (Another one of those moments that saved his life). I called this vet, Randy Ashley, in tears, telling him I did not have $3000 total for this stray but wanted to give him a chance. He told me, "honey, you bring that dog over here and I will just skip my lunch today and do his surgery". I knew from that point on that things would get better. I loaded the black dog up and took him to Randy Ashley. He performed his surgery with a 50/50 prognosis and amputated the leg. I knew the little black dog would be ok. He told me that this was a gunshot wound and he had never in his career had cut off a more rotted limb from an animal.
We went home, still without a name for the black dog with as much hope and faith for the future as if he had only had a simple surgery. The first 3 days were spent in his new home, the wheelbarrow or his crate. You could tell he was in tremendous pain despite the morphine and other pain drugs he had. But on day 3 in the evening, he decided to start to walk. Each day he made tremendous strides, day 5 he learned how to peepee balancing on 2 legs, climbing stairs on day 5 and he has taken off from there.
When we went back to the vet for a check up, they wanted to know the name for his chart. Hmmmm, what to name a dog like this, who had suffered thru this trauma, hmmmm, no question, his name is Samson. The meaning of the name - superhuman strength and betrayed by some one he trusted.
He still goes to the end of the field at the Blind School and cries for his previous home. He has run away twice, once caught while distracted during a peepee and the second time, he decided to come back to me.
It makes me sad to think about the dogs that are abused as well as the children, even though they are severely tortured and abused, they still long to be with their family of origin. I guess he got just enough love and did not know there was a better life for him. During his recovery, I placed an ad hoping that he had a good home and some one else did this to him while he was on the run.
No response from the ad, but I did notice that there was a female fitting the same description. I called and learned that a man a few blocks from me had found her the next day after I had found my black dog. Six days after his amputation, I took him to visit her where she was boarding and they were very friendly with each other and he was excited until a loud noise occurred in the clinic. He ran and hid under some chairs and I had to carry him out. He was petrified but we truly believe these 2 were dumped together. She desparately needs a foster and permanent home. She is still being boarded until a foster home can be located.
It has been 6 weeks now, he no longer goes to the end of the field and cries to go home. I think that is because he has decided finally he is home. He wags that little nubby tail like there's no tomorrow just for me and he loves to play with my dogs. I want to cry when I watch him play with toys, it's like he has never had that experience before. I think he is learning that there is a whole other world of better people and places than from where he came. He is becoming a different dog, not quit as scared when he sees a stranger and actually excited when he sees other dogs.
What a difference it makes in how a dog acts and the way they are raised and treated, the same as kids. Unfortunately, there are people out there who could care less about this, how their one-sided views are only self-serving and limited. These people are the ones at a loss, never happy in life with the simple joy of sharing their life with a pet. They never will understand. It is not themselves they are damaging, as they are already damaged. They are damaging the lives of others around them. Unable or unwilling to make things better for themselves, they destroy innocent others to make their world acceptable.
And the sad thing is we allow it to happen.