I want to introduce you to Lola. She's a rescue. We got her while living in Arizona from a no kill shelter.
If you'd like to read Lola's rescue story, click here for the full story. The cliff notes version is this: Lola was found wandering the streets of Phoenix in a remote desert area, her teets hanging to the ground. At just a year and a half, she probably had been used for a little and dumped upon giving birth. No puppies were found with her.
She was originally picked up by the local humane society and contracted distemper before the no kill shelter was able to take her in, just before she was scheduled to be put down. She wasn't eating or drinking. She had no fight left. We were told that the morning of her second scheduled euthanization, she shakily got to her feet and started eating. The vet visit was called off. The no kill shelter organizers were going to give her a chance to fight her way back.
And she did.
We found Lola on petfinder when we were ready to look for a new rottie. Our first, Catherine the Great - known as Cat - had died of lymphoma few months before, and we missed her terribly. There was a puppy we were considering from another rescue, but little Eliana, our daughter, who was all of four years old at the time, wanted nothing to do with a squirmy and hyper ball of Want. She saw Lola's picture and said to me very seriously that Mama, this one has kind eyes. And she was right. So we packed our stuff up for the three hour drive to the middle of nowhere, loaded up our other two dogs, and hit the road. Lola had to be a match for all of us for this to work.
When we arrived, and Eliana hugged Lola around her neck, and Lola and our dogs sniffed and accepted each other, we knew we'd made the right choice. Lola had been beaten and unloved and used and dumped. She had a tick that made her whole body shake with each best of her heart. And she had never been inside of a house. Opening a door scared her. She had no idea what to do with the feeling of tile beneath her feet. But her kind eyes were full of love and thanks and we showed her what it's like to have the love she poured out of her soul returned to her.
Lola is The Husband's dog. Technically, anyway. But I work from home. Eliana homeschools. So it's us she has bonded with the most. And it's when we leave home for conferences and speaking engagements that Lola stops eating and drinking.
We have a dog sitter she loves and who spoils all our pups when she is here. But when she is busy and we only have our neighbor to rely on to stop by to feed them and let them out a few times a day while The Husband is at work, that she shuts down. That's what happened while we were in Ohio at #selfiecon. The Husband said she wouldn't leave her crate and would barely hand feed. We were gone four days.
Lola is weak. It took a few hours after walking in the door for her to perk up and try eating a bit. We are offering water often but in small amounts so as not to overtax her system. I'm grateful it's still so warm in northern Maine. Otherwise, a trip to potty outside would be much harder as she doesn't have the energy to get back inside after the effort it took to get outside and relieve herself.
So I'm sitting on the porch waiting with her.
Lola is going to be just fine. I know she is. She's sensitive and loving and missing us sends her into a depression. I'm not taking her to a vet; we are home now. A little bit of patience and all the love we've got for her is already making a difference. We are spoiling her and nursing her back and she's going to be fine. A vet visit would mean being left behind without us and I know in my heart it would do more harm than good. So home Lola stays.
But I figure that asking for prayers and positive thoughts can't hurt. Right? So I'm doing that, too. This poor girl as been through hell. She's a fighter. And as long as she doesn't give up, we are all going to be okay.
Update: It's been a few hours since I wrote the original post. Lola has eaten and is now drinking water when we bring it to her. She is sleeping peacefully and her distemper tick has lessened considerably. Our girl is going to be good. She's got is home. She saw me unpack the suitcase. And I'm pretty sure that's all she needed to see.