In these difficult times it is important to remember how all the helping hands make a tremendous difference in the lives of each dog we touch.
This story is an example of just that!
Thank you so much Robin for sharing your touching journey of Max coming home.
It really does take a village of big hearts, working together towards a common goal to improve the life of each dog that passes our way.
Thank you everyone for all you do to help the dogs.
The Story of Max
by Robin James
“I didn’t sleep a wink. I kept watching him all night to see if he was still breathing”.
That’s how it was for Rita the first four nights, and then for Randy and I after Christmas.
Max arrived at the kennel on November 30th, 2019 along with Safa, Sabna and Tamara rescued from the desert in the United Arab Emirates. The following 23 days would slowly reveal that he was either very ill, or very depressed, or both.
Max didn’t eat
The kennel updates were always the same: “Max didn’t eat.” “Max only ate ½ his dinner even after goodies”. “Max didn’t have a good appetite tonight”. “Max did not finish his left down dinner and only picked at his breakfast”. And so on……
Shut down, disengaged, and losing ground
The veterinarians could not confirm that anything terrible was going on with him, yet he was shut down, disengaged and losing ground.
The information we got about him was that he had been with a family (we do not know how long, or how old he is for that matter). When the family moved out of the country, they chose not to buy a ticket for Max and left him at a shelter.
A 24/7 vigil of watching, worrying
On December 22nd, 2019 when Rita sent me a photo of Max in his run and said, “He needs us”……My answer was, “bring him home tonight”.
So began a 24/7 vigil of watching, worrying, loving, petting, and trying anything to get him to eat, or even getting him to look us in the eye.
After days of pitching out cooked chicken, boiled eggs, liver, cubed cheddar, numerous canned foods, cottage cheese and “you name it we tried it”, he started to take bits of chicken by hand.
Generous and caring GPI volunteers gave gift cards, made donations and even bought him a new bowl.
He started gaining weight
When I could get him to eat, it was only human food, or very cheap canned dog food and only then by hand. He would not touch kibble or any good quality dog food. But that was OK – we went with it, as long as he ate. He started gaining weight.
The vets started him on a new medicine even though they had not diagnosed him with anything conclusive.
He slowly started to come back alive. The first time he actually got up from his bed, and came into the kitchen while I was fixing their food, I knew he was beginning to re-connect with memories. He started to make brief eye contact when we spoke to him, instead of staring blankly off into the distance. Then an amazing thing happened. One afternoon I was talking to him, and he started to very slowly wag his tail! Then the next day Rita came over to visit him and she got a wag too!!!
A few days later, he started picking at his food actually out of his new white ceramic bowl, instead of waiting for me to hand feed him.
I started worrying less about him dying, and looked forward to the next heartwarming sign that he’s going to be OK.
Bright, happy, twirling and eating
So today…….February 17th, 2020, he’s amazing!
He’s bright, happy, twirling and eating everything in sight! (He’s even a sneaky counter-surfer)!
And…..when he gazes into my eyes, I can see in his sweet face that whatever bad memories, or demons were taking him away from us are now fading away………