So no frantic owner turned up for Mystery Dog.
On Wednesday I took him to the vet to see if it was safe to let the dogs get together. I’d been keeping him in the guest bedroom and then R’s room, but that meant he was alone a lot and I felt bad for him. But if he was going to stay, I wanted to be sure he wasn’t sick.
Her conclusions were much, much sadder than mine. He has a bare patch on his back: flea allergy, she said. His eyes were goopy: dry eye, a chronic condition for which he should be taking medication every day for the rest of his life. He hasn’t been neutered, which I hadn’t noticed, but became more apparent at the vet’s, where he was marking every corner he could get his leg on. I managed to stop him a few times but he got the wall a couple. He’s fat–which I thought meant spoiled–but the vet says he’s been being fed table food instead of real dog food. And the slowness is the worst. She thinks he’s probably heartworm positive.
In other words, his owners suck. And since all my signs and all my neighborly conversations turned up no sign of anyone who had ever seen him before, they probably dumped him. I live on a corner, and the side where he would have come over the fence doesn’t have any windows that face onto it. It might have looked like a place where they wouldn’t be noticed.
I’ve been trying to find sympathy in my heart for them. I can usually make up a story that justifies almost any behavior. Someone cuts me off in traffic and I write them an elaborate scenario where they’re desperate to get to work on time because they’ll get fired and the sick child at home needs the health insurance. Repeat ad nauseum. But these people, not so much. I am angry at them. Really truly angry. I hope they get reincarnated into dogs that get abandoned themselves and get to see what it feels like. Well, no, I don’t really because abandoning dogs is just a horrible thing to do. But I do think that they’ve earned themselves some serious negative karma points.
Anyway, the vet was pretty pessimistic about poor Mystery Dog. She said that he will be a very expensive dog to own. The tech gave me a bunch of print-outs for rescue groups and told me that he has no chance in a shelter here. They’ll put him to sleep immediately. I checked out a couple of the websites for the groups, sent one an email, but they’re overloaded. Too many dogs, not enough homes to go around.
I was really sad about it for about twenty-four hours. I need a job, not a dog. I don’t have the money to own an expensive dog. And I already own a dog, one who gets jealous of my affection. It would be entirely impractical for me to keep Mystery Dog.
And then I said, the hell with it, he’s mine now, and started feeling much happier. This morning I ripped down the signs I posted. Later today, I’ll go buy him his collar and leash.
But now I really need to find a job (or write a bestseller) because I have an expensive dog counting on me to provide heartworm treatment and eye drops. Also dog food (he has grudgingly accepted that kibble is edible), vaccinations, neutering, and lots and lots of snuggles.
Oh! Name poll! Suggestions so far:
1) Mystery Dog
3) Link (to go with Zelda from the Legend of Zelda video games)
4) RJ (for R Junior — probably a joke, but eh, it’s kind of cute, IMO)
5) Louis (entirely random as far as I can know, my dad just thought he looked like a Louis)
6) Other ideas?
I’ve been calling him Mystery Dog for a week and he comes when I call him, so…Mystery Dog it might be, by way of acclimation. But if I get lots of votes for something else, I’ll try it out on him and see how it works!