Wait, let's back up. Did you read that? Found. In. Their. Backyard.
I still shake my head at this today. I asked Hops if he would mind if we fostered a dog for the weekend. He went along with it because it was something I really, really wanted to do. I met up with Jen, who was transporting "Demi" in Chapel Hill. She handed me a tiny, bald little dog that was shaking from the cold.
I placed a dog bed on the floor of the passenger side of the car. She was having none of that. After struggling to keep her on the floor for 5 minutes of the trip, I gave up. She crawled into my lap and was so small, she fit on my lap under the steering wheel.
She had no fur, other than a patch of white on her neck.
Her body was sticky to the touch, pink and horribly itchy.
We're not sure how long she was outside, looking for ...her home? A better home?
With no fur.
A comparison between normal Boston and no-hair Boston.
Turned out, the reason she was bald was because she had demodex mange. Thankfully it's not a contagious mange. It is a disease that stays in the system all through the animal's life, though. If the dog's immune system becomes compromised again, it could possibly resurface. We took her to the vet and she let us know that she was, other than the mange, otherwise healthy. She just needed someone to give her the many medications, keep her warm and give her lots and lots of love.
A few days after she had been home with us, we couldn't let go. I asked Roberta if she would let us foster "Demi." She agreed, Dawn thankfully agreed, as well. We just couldn't get over the fact that someone let her get in this shape - and then let her disappear from their lives! She was obviously young when she came home with us, her ears were still floppy and she hadn't had her first heat yet. We're guessing six months. It's just so painful to think about what a horrible condition she was in at such young of age. Some people really suck. That is all I have to say on that topic.
We took her to numerous vet appointments, bathed her three times a week (that was no fun because she hates baths) and tried to get some weight back on her. When she came into our lives, her weight was 9lbs. It's really difficult to get a standing still picture of a spunky Boston Terrier puppy. I feel like it's important to show just how bad things were when she arrived at our house.
For five months we fed her medicine, lots and lots of food and bathed her in medicated shampoo. We got help getting her house and crate trained, we learned that all she wanted to do was please us and she learned how to play. Yep, when she came to our house, she didn't know how to play. We would show her a toy, play with Clover and play with Raven (the cat). It took her some time but she finally figured out how to play. She started by trying to play with Raven. He would pounce at her and use his paws in play. She would do the same in return, banging her paws on the ground. She took that and did it to both Clover and us, to get us to play with her. Thus, after we were approved to go from "foster" to "adopted" parents, she got her name Thumper.
It's long, I didn't get around to editing it down.
By June, Thumper had a new name (we had been calling her by it for some time) and she was all ours. The mange did not affect her personality or her attitude. She has always been a super friendly, lovable, high energy dog. 4 years later, not much has changed. She's still a spit fire. She loves it when new people come to the house, wanting to lick their faces off. She gets so excited when Hops or I get home from work, she demands immediate attention. She's a big fat princess when it's raining or when the grass is wet. If it's raining, she won't go outside unless she's under an umbrella. Well, unless she really has to go. If the grass is wet, she'll strain against the leash, miserably walking through wet grass to do her business.
She loves nylabones and any toy you show her. She is tough on those toys, too. We have tried the toughest toys out there - Tuffy's. She has been through the turtle, the small octopus and now she is working on the Jr. 3-Way Tug. She finds the soft spot and digs in. When she has pulled every bit of stuffing out of the main section of the toy, then she goes after the seams.
Her health? Well, ever since she healed from the mange she had in 2007, she has not had a flare up. She's up to 18lbs - her goal weight. DOUBLE the weight she was when she was found. She's been one healthy and happy girl. We couldn't imagine our lives without her.
Yeah, this really happened. It's love.