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Friday, June 06, 2014


Our new dog, Apollo, has shown us he is a crafty and intelligent dog.  On Wednesday morning, after trying to jump our gate while on his leash, I took him for a walk with Schaub the Beagle to calm his nerves.  With him having lost so much weight while stressed out at the shelter, I don't want too much exercise while we have him on an anabolic regimen, but it was a short walk because Schaub is very fat and is exercised several times a day for short periods while we build up his stamina.  Apollo is great on the lead and will follow me and does not fight it at all.  He follows and does not lead.  Schaub is a Beagle.  He follows his nose and we're having leash dominance issues and Beagles are stubborn.  They will always follow their noses.  Always.

We got home from the walk and were within 4 feet of the door when Schaub went nose blind in the flower beds in front of the house.  He would not budge towards the door and Apollo, being an intelligent dog, took that opportunity to slip his collar.  He rabbited very quickly, then he did what he does best, he ghosted. My husband and the animal control officer who originally, and very patiently, brought him in, spent two days looking for him.  I immediately began contacting everyone and anyone who might be able to help.  We were very lucky to find out that if you are missing a pet, you can take a picture up to your local post office and the postmaster will send the picture out to all of his delivery people.  They also do it with missing children.  The USPS is awesome in my book.

A landscaper found Apollo this morning and called Ron Ostrum, the Waco Animal Control officer brought him in and he went up to Ron and Ron was then able to carry him to his truck and brought him back to the Shelter, who immediately called me.  I stopped long enough to stop at PetsMart to get a harness and then I was up at the shelter.  I will be honest, I did not hold out much hope of catching this dog a second time.

Since he had just been neutered and was started on a heartworm treatment, I was extremely worried and got him back on his meds the moment we walked back in the house.  Apollo was very subdued, did not pace and frankly, looked depressed.

His feet pads are very tender and we have not yet been able to lift his tail enough to check on his surgery site.  He's just eaten a nice big bowl of food and is back resting in my room.  We did manage to get a good look at his feet and I think rest will do that trick.  He's got to be exhausted from the running he was doing.

I would like to thank everyone who helped get Apollo home.  Each and every one of you have made our family incredibly happy.  We'd only had him about 36 hours but we'd grown to love him very much.  His return is something that we almost didn't dare to hope for.  To Ron Ostrum, we owe you big time.  To the folks at you folks are so great at getting the information out there.  And Stephanie Butts at the Waco-Trib, thanks for getting his story out there.  Someone saw that story, saw the dog and called it in.

At first I did not want to talk to Stephanie.  The notoriety Apollo has had was not really a good thing for him.  He is a shy dog, unused to people.  During the many times I visited him at the shelter before we brought him home, many people would come up to the fence and ask if that was the "dog in the paper" and they would try to push treats through the fence to him.  These people did not want to adopt him and try to integrate him into their homes, they just wanted the famous dog, uncaring of him on any level but whatever backhanded "fame" they could get from having the famous dog.

I realized though, that Apollo's notoriety was the very thing that got him back to us so quickly.  So I spoke with her and told her of his health problems which have an excellent prognosis, and our plans for him.  I explained that it's going to be a hard job and right now this dog does not trust us at all.  We're prepared to work him into our existing pack.  He will find his place there.  Everything he has known in his life is no longer available to him and he's floundering in his new reality.  He's a dog and he will recover. Dogs aren't naturally or even predisposed to depression, they want to be happy.  He'll be happy again, it will just take some behavioral work.

To the people that have been calling me, the dog is found and no, I have no interest in utilizing pet psychics or letting you have him once we have him rehabilitated. Let the dog be and go find your own star to chase.  Reflected fame never gives you what you desire.  I thank you for your concern, but your interest in my dog does not speak well to the state of your mental health.  I suggest yoga.

So thanks to everyone who helped us over this hiccup. We're not going to give up because it wasn't all tea and roses from the very beginning. Owning any pet is hard work if you really care for them.  We care for all of our dogs, Zeus, Sam, our grand-puppies Schaub and Stormie and now Apollo.  We adore our cats, Mika and Gimli.  Of those pets, Zeus, Apollo and Gimli are all rescues.  All came to us abandoned, sick and needing love and a place in the world.  Every domesticated pet deserves love, food and shelter.  We brought them in near our fire and gave them food.  We have a responsibility to care for them.  This is also why we neuter all of our animals, regardless of pedigree.  There are enough animals out there who are discarded like yesterday's meatloaf.

I'll keep you updated on how he's integrating.  Keep me updated on how you're donating to local shelters and animal advocacy groups or adopting and fostering.  I love to hear those stories.  They never get old.


Anonymous said...

Raven Pines Dog Rescue is a great FB site/rescue you might find helpful. I will enjoy following Sev's View. Are you fostering or actually adopting Apollo? Do you take donations? Thank you!

Severine said...

Thank you so much for your comment. We have adopted Apollo and although your donation would be kind, we don't really need it. The reason we don't do more is that we try to not take on anything we don't think we can handle. I got to thinking last night and thought we might be able to do something for Apollo like Benny Corgipants on Facebook. I'm going to look into that.