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Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...

By Immydog

It's a cool Saturday afternoon, and my cell phone rings.  I see the caller ID on my cell phone, and I admit, I panicked just a little.  The phone call was from Amy of HEART Rescue.  When Amy is calling me, rather than using facebook, either someone is terribly sick, or someone needs to be taken into my rescue NOW!  I hesitantly answer the phone..
"Hey, I just received a phone call from a lady near Iowa Falls.  Someone found a little Shih Tzu mix looking thing in a field.  Do you have room to take it in?  It's supposed to be pretty small."
"Ya, I guess we have room for another small one." 
"Thanks, I will try to get him to you on Monday."
Just like that the phone call was over.  Well that was relatively painless.  I didn't have to rush to the clinic to save someone in dire need. That is always a plus.  Questions, I can handle!  My family and I were getting ready to go to an Anniversary Party.  Life is much simpler when emergencies happen when there is nothing else going on... Wait.  When in my life as a mother, wife, veterinarian, and animal rescuer is there nothing else going on?! 
My family and I attended the party.  They had fruit bowls, and meat and cheese dishes, lemonade, and of course, cake.  I helped the kids pile food up on their plates, and got them seated.  I got a few snacks for myself after greeting the celebrating couple who have survived 50 years of marriage, and sat at the table. 
Suddenly my cell phone starts ringing, and it is Amy... again.
"Lisa, this dog is in really bad shape.  I mean really bad shape.  He cannot wait.  Are you busy?" 
"Okay, Amy, how far are you?"
"About 40 minutes away." 
Sweet, I get to finish my snack before meeting her at the clinic.  That is a positive, as I was hungry.  But the essence of this rescue is now different.  We were no longer taking in a petite little dog who needed a little TLC and a new home.  Now, I was meeting a dog that was in serious condition. 
There are many thoughts that go through my head prior to meeting any emergency.  They are thoughts of dread, nervousness, and insecurity.  "What if I cannot help this animal?  What if I cannot fix it?  What if I cannot figure out what the problem is?  What if...What if... What if..."  Even after fifteen years of practice, emergencies are not taken casually or with any false sense of confidence.
I was able to spend ample time at the party pending the arrival of the emergency.  When the time came, I pulled up to the clinic door.  Next to me sat a car with two women obviously awaiting my arrival. 
The appearance of my vehicle, stirred the ladies like a bear reaching into a hornet's nest.  The car doors flew open, their chattering voices were heard, and out of the car with them came... something.
I have seen some severely neglected animals in my rescue work, but this one made me stop in my tracks. Out of that car came this...
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...His face was heavily matted with thick and unusually heavy mudballs.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...He was matted all over his body.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...After several minutes in the exam room, he felt comfortable enough to sit down.  Suddenly, his butt stood straight up again.  Within the matts on his hind end were burrs.  There were lots of them painfully interwoven in the tangles of his own hair.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...The burrs were everywhere, and lots of them.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...We gave him water.  He was very thirsty.  The water was instantly the color of mud as his mudballs dissolved in the water as he tried to quench his thirst.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...We had to search for his eyes.  We finally found this one.  We never did find the other.  This poor little one eyed dog, how long had he been fending for himself like this?
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...When this poor boy walked, he stumbled.  No straight lines.  No normal gait.  He walked like a dog that had spent too long at the bar. Is there something neurologically wrong with him?
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...Is there any conceivable way this poor dog can see through those matts?
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...His feet were matted with fur, mud, and burrs.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...Each foot was tangled.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...His toe nails were terribly long.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...The matted fur could be shaved off in one large sheet.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...Even beneath the fur, the burrs were embedded and irritating his skin.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...There were several areas of severe irritation and infection.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...The fur on his feet was shaved off like a thick sock, one matt entangled into another.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...His belly and underside were just covered in matted mudballs.  His penis was tangled into a matt that physically pulled it off center pointing to one side of his body.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...His teeth were just horrific.  The brown on his teeth is severe tartar buildup.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...His gums were receded and severely infected.  Once the tartar was removed, the the majority of the teeth needed to be removed.  There was nothing left holding them in place.  All but three were gently removed.
Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...Turns out this "thing" was a dog.  He is a poodle.  He has two eyes.   He weighed in around 10 lbs.  His hair once removed weighed in at 1.7 lbs.  Imagine, if you weigh 140 lbs, wearing a 28 pound coat as you struggled to stay alive.Clean Cut, Senior, White Male Seeks ...He is in a foster home for HEART Rescue now.  His walk is good, appetite is good.  Adoption potential?  Not so great for any old dog.  But his quality of life is now GREAT!
The funny thing is, Amy's phone rang several days later.  Another small matted dog was discovered in similar condition near Iowa Falls.  

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