Monday, January 11, 2016

RATTY RERUN


If you are like me, you cringe when the Humane Society commercials come on the TV. They are effective however and do get the message across. This is an older post of mine from 2009 that keeps getting hits and is in the same vein as those dreaded commercials.  Sorry but this will help to explain my next post.

Ratty

The dog stopped his plodding on the dirt road and whined at his predicament. The itching was more than he could ignore. Reluctantly, he raised his hind leg to dig at his shoulder. The digging changed his problem from one of intense itching to intense pain. His whine rose to a howl as the itching and pain swirled together in an agonizing frenzy. Blood oozed down his side with the trickle setting off more itching.

He looked down at his feet, his naked feet for there was no hair, just swollen, pink, bloody, skin. The hair had been gone for a while, only a few bristles remained. Each step caused the skin on the misshapen feet to crack and bleed. He licked his foot but that caused pain also, so he quit. Hunger and thirst fought toe to toe for his attention but pain always won.

He remembered how happy he had been that day to go for a ride. The back of the pickup truck was a favorite place. It offered a wonderful mixture of exciting smells in the wind that lifted his ears and caressed his face. Dog would normally bound from side to side of the truck bed in excitement. He didn't that day for his feet hurt. His skin had been itching a lot lately but the thrill of the ride helped take his mind off it. After a very long time, the truck stopped and his two legged keeper lowered the tail gate and motioned for him to get out which was OK for he had to pee.

He searched briefly to find a suitable spot. His leg was hiked when the door slammed and the motor roared to life. He cut his stream short and went to jump back in the truck. The gate was now up and the truck drove quickly off in the opposite direction, throwing dirt in his face. Stunned for only a second, he barked and ran after the truck which slowly became a speck, then it disappeared. Totally confused, he returned back to where they had stopped and waited. It got dark and while he was hungry, he dare not move for fear that when Two Legs came back, he wouldn't find him. So he waited.

Before the second dark approached, Dog thought that maybe Two Legs couldn't find him so he started down the road in the direction the truck had taken. He drank the ditch water to ease his thirst, but hunger was really gnawing at him. His nose tested the air for any trace of food.

Ditch water and the rare road kill kept him alive but each day his skin shrank closer on the now protruding bones and the itching had intensified mightily. Traffic was rare and the few vehicles sped by him unaware or uncaring. None belonged to Two Legs. He saw game but was too slow and unskilled to catch it. Each failed chase wore him down more.


As days passed, the constant heat eventually dried up the ditch water. The skies stayed clear and the sun boiling hot. He wasn't sure how many darks had passed, he lost count. 

He sank in the dust at the edge of the road, wincing as the soft dirt felt like sandpaper to his skin. The blazing sun burned his almost naked body but he was just too weak to go further. His head lay quiet in the dirt, his breath blew little puffs of dust as he thought back to happier times and wondered what he had done wrong. It must have been something really really bad. Turkey Vultures circled with interest from high above. Their supper was coming.
  
That was when I found him. I thought he was dead till I saw a hind leg feebly attempting to scratch. I pulled over and went back to see if my eyes had played tricks. He was alive but was in deplorable shape. I wrapped him in a towel for his skin was oozing and he reeked. He was amazingly light for a medium sized dog. He did not resist nor help my efforts. He could care less what I was doing. Color and breed were not distinguishable.

He spent a week at the vets with IVs, worming, antibiotics, dippings and regular meals. When I picked him up, he was a different dog. His skin was still bare but it was whole and the red of the Demodectic (Red) Mange had faded to gray. Thank goodness for Mitaban which in those days removed the death sentence from Red Mange. He had put on a bit of weight and his almond eyes showed interest. He was still a ratty looking dog but I knew he had turned the corner. He had a long way to go yet , but he had cheated the buzzards.

I called him Ratty due to his appearance but told him that Ratty was short for Radcliffe so he wouldn't get a complex. Several months with diligent care, he morphed into a fine looking, sweet natured, red nose pit bull/cross.


                                             Not my picture but looks just like Ratty.

He and Chris, the teenage boy who worked for me, instantly bonded. When Ratty recovered, Chris became his proud new owner. Chris's family moved out of state a year later and we lost contact, but I know Ratty had the best of homes. He was adored by a caring family.

Sadly Ratty's story is not unusual. Why people do not turn sick or unwanted dogs into the Humane Society or a no kill shelter, I will never understand. Dropping a dog off on the side of the road is the cruelest torture. Domestic dogs can not catch their food. They need a human with a gun or a couple of buddy dogs to catch food on the run. Even a wolf needs a pack. Domestic dogs use to kibble in a dish, have no clue.


Sadly not all dog stories end well. I am grateful this one did. Please support your Humane Society and local shelters.  Think adoption or donation and thank you.


37 comments :

  1. Aww, Patti- ya made me cry. You were his savior!

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    Replies
    1. Terri
      Aww, I am sorry. I just could not drive past him.

      Delete
  2. This is so sad, but also heartwarming because of your love for this creature. I never saw this before, so I'm glad you shared it again. Thank you! :-)

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    1. Djan,
      I re-posted it because most of my followers now were not followers then. Sadly this story gets replayed each day as people dump their unwanted pets.

      Delete
  3. I wish all humans were as kind and thoughtful and caring as you. The world would be a different place, and no animals would needlessly suffer. Thank you.

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    1. robin,
      I have never understood how people could drive past a stray with just a "poor dog." I will never understand how anyone thinks a dog will survive on his own.

      Delete
  4. I cannot hit the remote fast enough when those commercials come on--just too much to comprehend. I am so glad there are people like you.

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    1. Olga,
      I know I hate those commercials too and hesitated posting this except it did have a good ending.

      Delete
  5. So sad, but I'm glad things turned out well for your Ratty!!

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    1. Fran,
      The great thing about Arkansas is that I have been here 10 years and have yet to see a stray dog. Phew.

      Delete
  6. I can't handle those commercials. I guess that's why we have six dogs!

    Red Mange used to be a death warrant for sure. Took one to the vet years ago that had contracted the mites somewhere. Vet said, Put it down. Nope, an old timer told me, suphur and used motor oil. I made a thin paste and smeared it on. It did the trick! We saved a good dog.

    Thank you for stopping.

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    1. Gail,
      You have made you place a paradise for dogs. How lucky they are. I never had any luck with used motor oil and sulfur but an so happy it worked for you and that poor dog.

      Delete
  7. Good for YOU....My son works for a big Animal Clinic --and he talks about the conditions that some animals come into the clinic... VERY VERY sad.... Makes me cry.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Betsy,
      It is such a comfort to read the comments and to realize how many of you have children with great hearts. A sure sign of super parenting.

      Delete
  8. I had to skim over the description of Ratty before you rescued him. I'm amazed that he was able to be returned to health, and thankful that you are such a caring person.

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    1. Linda
      Don't blame you at all. That is why I posted an early warning. Sadly, Ratty's case was not the least bit unusual.

      Delete
  9. I'm proud to say that my daughter and her husband did the same thing ...the only change was that they actually saw the dog thrown out of the front seat of a truck ... missing an eye and almost starved.

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    1. Ginnie,
      Be proud Mama. What on earth makes people do such cruel things?

      Delete
  10. I don't recall reading this. You are such a good writer. I'm speechless.

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    Replies
    1. Manzi
      Thank you, that is a wonderful compliment. I just tried to get in the head of poor Ratty and all the others that people dump out.

      Delete
  11. Oh so sad to see how some people treat their animals. I don't understand how they can manage to be so cruel.

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    1. NCMountainwoman,
      It is beyond my scope also and fortunately, beyond the scope of all the people I know.

      Delete
  12. Thank goodness you came along at the right time. Poor Ratty, it just amazes how poorly humans can treat animals (and one another).

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    1. Eileen,
      One can only hope they come back as a dog with an owner like they are.

      Delete
  13. Oh my gosh, it makes me so mad and sad to know that lots of animals have to go through this. I will never understand humans who would even consider dumping their pets somewhere! I'm beyond happy Ratty was rescued and found such an amazing home. Thank you, Patti, for being so wonderful and amazing!
    Have a fabulous day.
    I'm sending lots of love and hugs to you,
    Beate

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Beate,
      Thank you. I am 76 and I still do not understand their thinking. I only hope I never do. I know we are so much better than that.

      Delete
  14. How people can mistreat animals and children is beyond understanding. Also, both are so ready to forgive their tormentors if given the chance. My mother was much like you, Patti. She could never pass up an animal in need - or a child.

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    1. You are so right. Animals and kids forgive and hope each offense was the last. Your Mom sounds like she was a special person with a soft heart.

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  15. I can't understand such obtusity in nowadays society. My team at www.paperwriting.xyz and I always try to help dog shelters. We gather money, food and other.

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    1. Maggie,
      Welcome and thank you for stopping by. What you are doing is what gives those of us who try to help the abused, the encouragement to go on. Thank you.

      Delete
  16. I thought that I had already commented here. Rescuing animals is a huge calling, and it becomes very difficult when you live in the country like I do. So many cats and dogs are simply dumped on our roads. Thankfully my Slim was one and found a home here. She was only six months old and looked like a black dog because she was so covered with dirt and ticks. She is reddish blonde. Rescues are THE BEST and most loyal animals.

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    1. Grannie Annie,
      Slim's luck sure changed for the better when you took her in. I'm sure she thanks you in her way everyday.
      I know what you mean about the ticks and fleas. I've seen dogs that had to have transfusions because of all the blood suckers on them.

      Delete
  17. Indeed. Much cruelty left in this world. But then there are angels too...

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  18. Thank goodness I haven't seen any dogs just left out in the country here. I think our island is just too small. Dogs are really loved here and people really care for their pets. This story is heart wrenching, but with a sweet and happy ending. I do love happy endings.

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  19. Bless you sweet Patti. What a lucky dog Ratty was. Not all of them get found and helped like he was. He was sure a fine looking dog after he recovered.

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  20. Oh, I just noticed the picture was not Ratty, but if he looked anything like that one in the picture he was a fine looking dog.

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