Thursday, June 11, 2009


Briefly while I worked for the power company, my job was as a collector. Fortunately this was just stop gap in my 19 year career with them. I was the nasty person who cut your power off if you couldn't pay your bill. Being a Susie soft heart, this was not my job of choice. I would always try to work with people to keep the power on, stretching company policy beyond the limits.

Sometimes the people had moved out and I would just turn off the power. I would have welcomed those times for I wasn't exposed to sad human stories. However, they often left their pets behind, Once I actually found 3 preschool aged children abandoned. That deserves its own post. When I wasn't leaving people in the dark, I had to observe the gross desertion of responsibilities way too often. I was not in my element.

When I drove up to the house, I knew they were gone but went through the motions of knocking on the door. With no answer, I wrote out the cut off notice and went around back to cut off the power. This is what I found.

This dog had no will to live. The picture is old and not very good as it was taken with a company camera, but you can see the total dejection. He was starved, no water, wormy, ate up with mange and blood ran from cracks in his feet and around his face. His skin was very fragile. Just touching him could cause bleeding and seepage.His smell was disgusting but I knew I couldn't leave him nor could I notify Animal Control for they would just euthanize him.

I asked the neighbors what the story was and they said that the family had been gone for several days. They figured the dog would die as he had been sick for quite a while. I asked what his name was and they said,"Savage." He sure didn't match his name. He just didn't care. He was completely done with this world but I had to try.

Savage became my second dog rescue after Dutchess. I had previously found two "left behind" cats. I dropped him off at the vet's and finished my work day. When I went to pick him up that afternoon, I got the bad news. Savage was under a year which was good but he had severe Demodectic Mange, often called Red Mange. This is often a death sentence for dogs if untreated and at that time there was no really good treatment. The only cure the vets offered was a topical mixture they concocted that was so toxic you could only treat 1/3 of the dog at a time. If the whole dog were treated at one time, it would kill him.

So I gathered up the poison, antibiotics, worm meds and a really stinking dog. I divided him into thirds and started treatment. It took two months of constant treatment but finally he turned the corner. Hair grew back as did his personality. He became slavishly devoted to me though I had done nothing but hurt him for months with the treatments. But amazingly, he got better

This was an almost cured Savage with his best friend(also a left behind pet). He just had a touch of mange left on his belly and legs.

I am so tempted to give this story a happy ending. I thought a little lie won't hurt. No one will know but me and it would make a better post. But that wasn't what happened. This is what did. Savage was eventually totally cured and moved with me when I left West Palm for Okeechobee. At this stage of my career, my rescues were also my pets. The number was manageable. Eight was enough plus Jesse and Prince.

I had fenced my property at my new home and had been living there for many months. One day my mail man Frank ,who was a new friend, came to the office to give me the bad news. Savage had evidently dug out under the fence and found his way to the busy highway not far from my property.

Frank had found Savage on the highway where he had been hit by a car and he was dead. I couldn't believe it. Besides the pain of the loss I also thought of all that time and work, the misery he had gone through, and he was now gone. It was not fair for he only had about one good year in his sad young life.

Why had I even bothered?? I guess I bothered because I couldn't not bother. And he did have that one good year.


  1. One good year can be a lifetime for some dogs, like Savage. The transition from top photo to bottom shows how good a year can be. He was a beautiful dog. I'm glad he had one good year, better than none, patti.

  2. I agree one good year for a dog that size is = to 7-10 human years. But of course, it's sad.

    My best friend has 4 cats, all rescues with a story. One is from the Humane Society, but that equates to rescue.

    I am even more perturbed at 3 children abandoned. Oh the inhumanity some of us have to each other. I cannot imagine a family so devoid of love and compassion.

  3. robin,
    Often I felt like I was tilting at windmills but like you said, there was almost always a plus side. Guess that one year was the plus for Savage.

    Bless your friend and for you who take in rescues. They really do make the best pets.
    Tomorrow I wlll tell about the children.
    The news and personal experience can boggle the mind about the inhumanity of man. Fortunately I do believe there are more of us then them.

  4. You could do nothing but that, Patti, you of the biggest heart! He had a good time and learned love with you, and you shouldn't feel guilty at all.

  5. Thanks kenju
    It was just too brief a time and he had suffered so much. I am glad that I was able to buy him that one year.

  6. You did the right thing, Patti, even when the end result was tragic and emotionally painful. What a sad, sad, story! Abandoned children make me angry, angry, angry, but our laws and systems will (usually) take care of them, at least physically. I won't even try to go to the emotional damage done. Abandoned and mistreated animals make me both angry and sad, and except for a few "humane" communities, nothing is done for them except by individuals such as yourself who "come to the rescue." God bless you!

  7. Hi Patti, You did give Savage one good year--and he died knowing that he was loved.

    What a sad story. I get so upset when people don't take care of their pets. It's just so unfair.

    My son and family recently were uprooted from Texas (Hurricane Ike) to Vegas. They had their sweet little dog with them when they moved. Their new home has a fenced-in backyard. The doggie dug out---and has never been seen again. It broke their heart. They searched and searched for him for weeks and weeks. Sad, huh?


  8. That was a captivating store, and photographs too. It's your ticket to heaven. And also shows your humanity! I can't believe the neighbors didn't do better.

  9. Pat,
    You are so rignt about the agencies to help children. Todays post is about that. However you ae also right about the long term damage to kids. I'd say 98% of my dogs recovered mentally but a few didn't. Do children ever recover?

    How dreadful for your son and his family. In their case, the not knowing is so much worse than even the worst case senerio. You can only hope some one found him and is caring for him and he is loved.

    The absolutely frightening thing about neighbors, is that once I bought a terribly emaciated dog from a guy who had 4 other very healthy dogs. When someone else checked his house a few months later, they found the 4 dogs still in chains, dead. The house was empty. The neighbors on either side of him let it happen, Some people I can not understand.