Monday, September 6, 2010
Diamond (Sept. 4, 2010)
I became a foster home for wayward collies in June 2009. Last Friday I picked up my eighth foster dog in St. Peter, Minn. He came from a farm in Iowa. This farm has been breeding collies for a long time. Last winter they surrendered 14 puppies from two litters that were 22 puppies in all, all about the same age. Their father, Diamond, is now my foster dog. This poor dog was hit by a car about a year ago. They didn’t take him to a vet. He laid on the ground for two weeks and then got up. He’d never been in a car or on a leash. I had to carry him into my house and up the stairs. I got him out to my deck and brushed him for two hours. He’s better but nowhere near being done. I cut mats behind his ears that were as big as my hand.
He’s a gorgeous dog. A tricolor 2-year-old. His back end is sun bleached to a brown. He’s extremely thin and terribly shy. I had to carry him outside and push him back in. He tried to bolt on the leash and has kept me on my toes making sure he doesn’t get loose.
I set him up in the basement with blankets, food and water. He’s free to come upstairs if he wants to. I think he will eventually. He’s already made huge strides in 24 hours. This morning I had to pull him up the steps to take him outside. Shove him back inside. I took him out several times, bringing Thor, too. Each time we walked farther. He tends to trip me and keeps pushing his nose into my hand as we walk. He’s now walking a lot better on the leash, goes up the steps on his own, and comes back inside on his own! He then goes back downstairs, preferring to be down there, but so far hasn’t gone potty in the house.
We have to be careful what we say on the website about him, as I think there are more dogs still on the farm, that we want. I know two are leaving next week for foster homes. Apparently the daughter of the couple is keeping one because she feels someone else can’t take as good of care of her. If that dog is in the same condition Diamond is, wow, this daughter is deluded. I think Diamond may have been at the bottom of the totem pole. He won’t eat from my hand, and waits for me to leave before he eats. If I come back he stops eating. I think they fed the dogs when they felt like it and Diamond got whatever was left over. I don’t know this, but he’s as thin as Baron was and Baron was a stray.
Tomorrow, we’ll walk all the way around the park, maybe go to the dog park. I’m going to start encouraging him to come upstairs. Keep pushing his boundaries.