Friday, May 30, 2008

There was a lady had a dog...

And Banjo was his name-o.



When I brought Banjo home a couple days ago, I discovered what a mess he truly is. The slightest thing makes him shake so hard his whole world must turn blurry. He was terrified of the floor, the kids, the air, everything. He peed and pooped indiscriminately, and spent most of the time with his snout buried in my cleavage. (Ah, who wouldn't enjoy that?)

I've learned more about where he came from. A man in Ft. Garland was breeding chihuahuas and had 130 chihuahuas in tiny carriers in a small camper on his land. Banjo and the others never once received any kind human contact, never set foot on the ground, never smelled fresh air, never went for a walk, never had room to jump, never played, never loved, never lived. Of the 130 dogs, 127 were immediately euthanized due to severe health problems. This, my friends, is the truth about puppy mills.

Only 3 of the 130 remain. 2 are terribly aggressive, and bite and bark almost constantly. Nobody has succeeded in picking them up without ending up bleeding.

Then there's Banjo.

Because I'll be leaving town for 5 days at the end of June and won't be able to take him with me, I want him to get accustomed to both home and the shelter. So he'll be spending some nights at the shelter since I don't want him to be traumatized when he has to stay at the shelter during my trip. He slept there last night.

Today I picked him up for a field trip, and he accompanied us to the bank, Sonic, and the park. He enjoys riding in the car now and looks around interestedly from his perch in the sling on my chest, sniffing the wind without trembling in fear. He ate a few specks of grilled cheese sandwich from my fingers. He watched the kids and let them touch him. But the two biggest milestones today were these: (1) He licked my fingers and my chest, and (2) He stood up and walked around. Yep. Nobody had ever seen him stand up to his full height and actually walk. After a couple minutes his legs started shaking, not from fear, but from lack of use.

He clearly enjoyed basking in the sun and eating some grass, and he pottied outside of the sling this time. I was mistaken in my weight estimate, not realizing how big his frame was. He weighs closer to 7 pounds, but as you can see here, he is severely underweight.

I cannot wait to see his tail up and wagging. It will be a long road, but I'm up for it I think. He's at the shelter again tonight, but tomorrow morning I'll pick him up and keep him until Monday at least. More updates to come.

Learning about love:


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