Mama, who lives next door, saw him coming up through the garden the middle of last week with his chin and tail dragging the ground. She happened to be feeding her cats and dog at the time, so that's where he went first. He was so starved that he could barely walk and his head and ears were covered in big ticks. She felt sorry for him and fed him and picked some of the ticks off, but her dog, Auger (another stray in bad shape that found a home), who has been around a long time, let him know quickly that he wasn't welcome there.
This is not an uncommon occurrance. We live in a rural area out in the country, so dropped/stray animals are always showing up. Over the years a number of them have become pets. Others just pass through and keep going.
Neither of us wanted another dog. I haven't wanted another one since I had to have the last one euthanized, eleven years ago. I still haven't gotten over that one.
The next day he followed her to my house, barely able to walk, his eyes very dull and lifeless. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but his sides were sunk in as far as they could sink, his backbone and ribs were sticking out. None of us thought he would live through the night.
I have never been fond of any kind of hound, and, as I said, I didn't want a dog of any kind. I have cats and cows. I sure didn't want another house dog. But there was something about this pup and those eyes that just melted me, and I was a goner. Jim and mama too.
I gave him a bowl of warm milk and fixed him a warm bed on the back porch. He was never afraid of us or the cats, though if he got too close to the older ones he would get slapped and made to yelp. Needless to say, I had to stay with him to keep the cats back. They like milk too, but they're not starving.
He lapped up the milk and crawled right into the bed. For a couple of days he only got out of bed if I went out, to eat, or take a bathroom break. He looked like a Sammie to me, so that became his name.
Due to malnutrition he had no winter coat or fat on his body, and one day it was cool and damp. He shook a lot, some from cold or shock, even with cover, and some from nerves. This day I happened to remember that I still had my last dog's (a Pekingese) sweater, so I put that on him. He didn't mind a bit. You would have thought he'd worn one his whole life. Maybe he had. I don't know. No idea where he came from.
Anyway he has continually gained strength and is now literally bouncing around like a rubber ball, tripping all over himself and any cat or person that happens to be near. He gallops now instead of weaving when he walks. His eyes are bright and sparkly. He and the cats get along good. He has a great personality, is very smart, and he's really funny, and expressive, if he is a little undisciplined.
Of course Jim is working so it's up to me to train him. At least he's old enough that he's not going to tear up everything...I think.
Yesterday when I went on the four-wheeler to check the cows I got him to follow me part of the way, but either he didn't understand what I was asking him to do, or he wanted to ride. I saw it as a way for him to work off some energy. He decided not and came back to the house. When I got back I walked him and the cats around our acre yard a couple of times. They loved it. Sammie-Dog had his nose to the ground trailing everything, including the cats. Wore me out.
Sammie-Dog was still bouncing. I have been needing to start exercising. Maybe he is the prod I needed to get started.
The grey and white spotted kitten, whose name is Spotty-Butt, and who carries her fuzzy tail laying flat on her back, has taken to Sammie-Dog too and rubs on him and sits with him or by his bed. He, for the most part, ignores her. I keep expecting to find her in bed with him one morning. She's a character too, but that's another story.
He's a great little dog, at least I hope he's about grown. I prefer small dogs. I noticed this morning that his fur is getting thicker and you can hardly see his ribs now that he's getting some fat on his bones. He doesn't care for dog food much though since he's not starving now. He apparently had been used to table scraps. That's what he prefers, but we don't have many, so he's going to have to get used to dog food.
I catch him standing in the driveway sometimes looking back over his shoulder like he wants to stay, but feels he should go. Maybe he's remembering his other family. Maybe they lost him and are looking for him too. Meanwhile we'll try to nourish him with food and attention. See the the pink dog food all over his chin.
I had a very hard time getting these pictures. Either Sammie-Dog would sit down right under the camera and pose, smiling, or he was against the back of my legs. I turned around so many times trying to catch him still long enough to snap the picture that I nearly got dizzy. He's an energetic goofball. Maybe it'll rub off on the rest of us. :)
Mama and Jim say I'll have him in the house before long. I don't think so, but we'll see. Will keep you posted.