Shelter Tales…Freckles

***I’m linking up today with http://www.mrsmamadrama.com and http://www.bellycharms.blogspot today for their co-hosted blog hop called “Think of Me Thursday”.  If you’d like to hop along, check out either blog for details on how to link up.

I was going through old photographs the other day, and I found some pictures of “Freckles”.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted a “Shelter Tale”, so it seems like a good day to write one.  Be forewarned though, this one doesn’t have a happy ending. 

Way back in 2004 I was volunteering at our local animal control shelter.  I was adopting LOTS of animals, because I couldn’t stand the thought of those beautiful, innocent, kittens and puppies being destroyed.  I was letting my heart overrule my head…I couldn’t help myself!  More times than not, after doing my Friday afternoon volunteer shift at the shelter, I would end up bringing some kind of an animal home with me. 

I already had several cats and kittens, as well as two adult dogs, and a hound puppy at home–when I went for my usual Friday visit to the shelter and saw “Freckles”!  It was love at first sight!  He was a white, fat, fluffy, little butterball of a puppy!  I knew my husband was probably going to kill me, but I had to have “Freckles”.  

Freckles--just look at that face!

I have no idea what kind of puppy that “Freckles” was, but he reminded me of a “Chow”.  His fur was thick and fluffy, and he was white all over except for his ear.  He had little black spots sprinkled all over his muzzle–hence the name “Freckles”.  “Freckles” also had a hernia, so I took him to the vet to get him checked out. The vet said that it would be fine to let the hernia wait until it was time to have “Freckles” neutered, then he would repair it at the same time he did the neutering.  

About four months later, “Freckles” was neutered and had his hernia repaired without any complications.  He was a happy healthy little puppy.  Our old collie mix “Hobbs” (the first dog that I adopted from the shelter) acted as “mother” and caretaker to “Freckles”, as well as the hound puppy that I adopted a few weeks before “Freckles”.  They were one little happy family. 

Freckles is giving Hobbs a kiss

Then when “Freckles” turned a little over a year old, his troubles began.  He developed the red mange.    He began to scratch a lot, and due to frequent scratching, he began to develop huge sores on his skin. I never did totally understand everything about mange, except that it concerns a dog’s immune system and mites.  There are two types of mange, regular mange, and the red mange.  The red mange is the most difficult type to cure.  80% of all dogs treated will be cured, the other 20% will not.  

The treatment for red mange is a dip prescribed by the vet.  It’s a strong chemical type of medication that is  mixed with water and sponged all over the dog.  You have to wear gloves to protect your skin.  It burns if it gets on your skin.  Judging from the way “Freckles” behaved, it must have burned his skin, too.  Treatment consisted of two treatments given two weeks apart. 

After being dipped, “Freckles” would act really sick for several days.  He was one miserable-looking dog.  After we’d dipped him twice, “Freckles ” still had huge sores.  I took him back to the vet, and they shaved all of his beautiful fur off.  We followed that with two more rounds of that horrible chemical dip.  “Freckles” just got sicker and looked more miserable.  He was no longer active.  He didn’t play with the other dogs anymore.  Instead he laid around licking his large, bloody, weeping wounds.  

Unfortunately, our poor “Freckles” fell into the 20% category of dogs who are unable to recover from red mange.  He could not be cured.  I was forced to make the toughest decision that I’ve ever had to make regarding one of my pets.  I made the choice to have him put to sleep to end his misery.  It was a sad day when my husband and I took “Freckles” to the vet for the final time.  I stood outside the office building on the steps and cried.  It makes me cry to this day to even think about it.  My husband went in and held “Freckles” until he breathed his last breath.  He came out with tears in his eyes, and swore that he would never do anything like that again. 

So that is the story of “Freckles”…a life that didn’t go exactly as we planned, but we gave him the best that we could–we tried.  The Christmas following “Freckles” death, I hung a small ornament of a freckle-faced dog, wearing angel wings on our Christmas tree.  I like to think that he’s still with us in spirit somehow.  At least he’s not alone in “Doggie Heaven” anymore, the old collie “Hobbs” who took on the role of  his”mother” and caretaker, passed away this year at Easter.

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Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 8:43 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. let’s talk negative, lets talk positive you gave this sweet puppy a good life on earth that he might not have had. good memory is better than the other one, i have to admit i started to shed a tear. this week we had to take our oldest baby, missy to the vet. looked like she was dying, antiobotics are amazing. she’s better. thanks for the story. rose

    • Rose, I am so glad that your Missy is getting better! It’s hard to lose our furry friends…

  2. Awww… He was a cute little thing, wasn’t he?

    • Yes, Freckles was a “cutie”. I hate it so bad that he got sick.

  3. Thanks for stopping by Mrs. Mama Drama for Think of Me Thursday. I’m now following you back.

    Rescued animals are the absolute best. I’m so sorry to hear about Freckles. We have a boxer we rescued, and he is the most devoted, loyal, and loving dog we have ever owned.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Erinn @ Mrs. Mama Drama
    http://www.mrsmamadrama.com
    mamadramaboutique.blogspot.com

    • Thanks for the follow, Erinn! I love making new friends. I also love boxers, and yes, rescued pets are the best! Somehow, I think they “know” that you’ve saved them…


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