Silas grinned up at me from the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue website and I grinned back at him. About 15 children had a hand on his mottled black and grey coat and he looked absolutely blissful. Although his image convinced me that he was perfect, I wasn't sure if I could handle a big, hairy blind dog that I knew nothing about other than that his owners dumped him at a local shelter in the bay area. He was so matted, the shelter staff identified him as a female until they shaved his dirty coat and found his man parts. Surprise!
Why was I looking for a dog? I had just lost my 7-year old Golden Retriever, Tucker, to cancer that April. It was only 4 months later, but I felt empty without a dog. They take up so much room in a person's heart that it doesn't beat quite as rhythmically when they go. Also, his death was so sudden I didn't even have time to prepare myself for the inevitable. Dogs are supposed to live 12-13 years, right? Not a paltry 7. Another surprise. So, I drove out to San Francisco to meet the old man I was sure would help my heart find its beat again.
When I met Silas, I could tell he had been to the 7th layer of hell and back. Most of his teeth were gone, his eyes gave him a freakish zombie stare, and he had a walk that made him look like he'd hit the bottle with a bunch of Irishmen. The life he led and the aftermath have aged him much more than his 11 years. But I still called out, "Wrap him up!" and too him home.
Oye. That poor dog coughed until his throat swelled and he pooped what looked a lot like raspberry jam. I will never eat raspberry jam again. Ever. After a huge vet bill and a possible euthanasia scare, Silas was somewhat stable. He learned how to navigate the house and use a doggy door within the first few days of his new life. Silas made instant friends with my cats, especially George, who he bathes regularly.
The problem (one of many) with an formerly abused and traumatized dog is digestion. I just couldn't find a food that would settle his angry tummy. So I took him to an energy reader. She put him on supplements, performed a few magic spells, and recommended Honest Kitchen food. I scoffed at first, but after another few months of belly battles, I relented and bought a box of Verve. Best decision ever! Silas is now a happy boy who found some pep in his step and poops regular, stinky dog poo. It's beautiful!
Silas is now looking forward to being a feature dog in the 2015 Sacramento SPCA Calendar, confidently walks around the block knowing where all the best smells are, gladly shares his meals with George, and regularly listens to Dog with a Blog on the Disney Channel while I'm at work. Life couldn't be better!