The circle of life

Published 6:48pm Thursday, December 6, 2012

To all those who have expressed concern as to what my new direction will be since my retirement, fear not, for my goal toward helping my kids is as strong as ever.

My new direction simply has to do with how I will handle my expenses. Besides other things, I visit the shelter just about every day, I’d hate for my kids to ever think that I’ve abandoned them.

One of my favorite stops is to visit Tyrion, a 2 ½ year old pointer mix who reminds me of Buck (now Bandit), the sweet boy who was struck by a car and found under a tree. The look and demeanor of these two boys are so strikingly similar I’d like to believe they might be twins from the same litter.

Tyrion arrived at the shelter in late June as a stray turn in with wounds on his neck. He was also high heartworm positive. His wounds have healed and he has been on medication for heartworm since his arrival.

Tyrion is doing wonderfully and has become the star of our shelter.  He loves people of all sorts and is great with other dogs, but not with cats.  He’s also an escape artist, just like Buck/Bandit, but doesn’t run away, I think he does it just because he can.  Debbie O’Donnell, who has been working with his training, recently said to me, “he is so beautiful and smart, I can’t believe he hasn’t found a home yet.”

Come visit this magnificent boy and if you agree that he is all I say he is and wish to add him to your family, I will personally purchase an invisible fence (which he needs) and have it installed.

On Nov. 7, I made my usual visit to Foothills Humane Society to check on Tyrion and all the other kids. After checking the adoption board, then seeing who was fostered or at the vet, I went in to visit Lani who handles our meds to learn if anyone was in trouble.

“Go down and see Muffin, Lennie,” Lani said, “she’s having pups and one of them didn’t make it. Be careful, she’s very frightened and will nail you.”

Lani knows me well and is aware that I have a tendency to be fearless and reckless at times. I smiled at her and said, “I’ll be good.” Before going down, I learned she was a stray that came in the night before. After giving all the other dogs treats, I went to Muffin’s cage. I stood there frozen, unable to move, as tears unashamedly ran down my cheeks.

She was so thin and her skin was bad, most likely from neglect, but it was something else that moved me right down to my bones. Muffin was frantically licking and nudging her dead baby, this primeval instinct to preserve life was more than I could bear.

Muffin and her puppies.

“Dear Lord,” I prayed, “help us to help this poor creature.”  I left and on the way out I told Lani, “I’ll see her tomorrow.”

The next day I learned that Muffin was brought upstairs to the first run with her pups. I grabbed a few treats and went to visit, I was determined to interact and win her trust.  When I got to the cage door I noticed she was nursing four pups. I rushed back to see Lani, “did that baby make it?”

“No Lennie, we took that one away, she had two more after you left.”  I laughed, “I guess the good Lord gave her two more to make up for the one she lost.”

I went back and opened her cage door and went in.  I handed her a treat, which she devoured greedily and spoke to her softly to gain her confidence. She took the treat and two more without any attempt to bite, though she watched me warily.

In the subsequent two weeks, Muffin began coming to the cage door when she heard my voice. She’s allowed me to sit in with her and touch her as I give her treats.  I excitedly went out and told Ashley (Cutie) my progress.

“Yes, Lennie, she’s come a long way and even if she bites, she won’t bite down, just a warning to be careful.”

I like Cutie a lot, she’s a smart girl with a big heart who gets it.

I’ll never truly know what’s in store for Muffin and her pups, Tyrion and all the rest. We can only do what we can leave that to a higher power and to all of you.

Thanks for listening.

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