UPDATE – See bottom of post.
Driving home from work today I noticed a critter stumbling across the road. I couldn’t tell if it was a coyote pup or what but I missed the little fella. I got down the road about a mile and re-ran what I saw in my brain. I paused the cerebral DVR and zoomed in. It appears it was a Chihuahua (OMG I can’t believe I spelled that right on the first try – no red underline on the spell-check!). I pulled a u-turn and headed back down the road. This road is particularly busy with heavy traffic this time of day. Lots of school buses on routes and semi and dump trucks heading to or from the nearby industrial site. I parked on the shoulder of the road near where I spotted the helpless little dog. I could see him hunkered down in the nearby tall grass. He was shivering when I approached but he was in no condition to scamper away. He was in BAD shape. Both hind legs were completely emaciated and his nails were so long on each paw that he could barely shuffle along. How he had avoided getting hit on the busy road, coyotes, and red-tailed hawks nearby I do not know. I spoke to him softly and reassuringly. Probably the first such words he has heard in a long long time. I grabbed a box I had in the back of my car and my work gloves and coaxed him in to climbing into the box. I ran a search on my phone for the nearest humane society and I was in luck that there was an open location about 15-minutes away. I drove carefully to the shelter while chatting to this Chihuahua I named “Buster.” He was pretty excited to be in a car with someone that seemed “OK.” The whole way to the shelter he rubbed on my gloved hand. I was concerned he would hurt himself because I could feel just how week and brittle he was. Got him to the shelter and checked in. Emptied my wallet for a donation I only wish could be more and then I headed home. I’m not sure if he is going to make it (they said he was in pretty rough shape and about 12+ years old) but at least he has a warm place tonight and some soft food. I was writing about an hour earlier about a dog in my current writing project. The dog in the story was very very sick. Strange that I would come across a similar situation not a mile from work.
UPDATED 5/10/14 – I called to check on the little guy yesterday. The Burlington Humane Society tells me that he is much much better. His feet and nails have been worked on and he is getting a couple hours of walks and play time a day now. One of his hind legs (both were emaciated) sustained an injury before I found him so he’s not as spry as he may have once been but he’s moving better as he gains weight and strength. Someone should look at giving him a nice home so he can live with folks that will love, feed, play with, and protect him. I would take him in (and I still REALLY want to) but my lease only allows two dogs and the inn is full. Here is where you can go if you are interested in contacting for an adoption or if you want to make a donation to help him and others like him.
Link: Burlington, WA Humane Society