All of its ribs were showing. A long, unsecured tether stretched out behind it. No human was around.
Brenna got that unpleasant feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you know you're about to do the right thing, and you know it's going to be a pain in the butt.
And maybe never get up.
So she called Sam.
That may sound like cowardice, but the truth is that Sam is the dog person in the family. The idea of rescuing a stray would make Sam's day. And he'd know how to do it. Whereas the idea of rescuing a stray makes that unpleasant feeling in Brenna's gut settle in for the long haul.
With a little bit of food in hand, Sam led it to our backyard. It was emaciated. Its ears were chewed up, probably from flies. Somebody had tied a rope around its neck. The rope had rubbed its skin raw over the white patch on its chest, probably from the dog's effort to escape. It had other wounds, too - a cut here, a scratch there. It had ticks and fleas.
And then, there were those ribs.
This dog is a survivor.
In spite of the obvious neglect, the dog was also very friendly. He didn't cower from Sam in the manner of a dog used to physical violence. If anything, he demonstrated an easy going, "Sure, dude, whatever you say," kinda nature, even when Scamper (aka Little Miss Mayhem) let it be known she didn't like having a strange dog in HER backyard. Indy objected loudly to not being able to greet the new dog properly. (Admittedly said greet would last 5-10 seconds then the dog would be uninteresting...)
After some water and food, the dog followed Sam eagerly enough into the car. It knew how to walk on a leash. It knew how to sit.
Sam drove it to San Jose Animal Care, where he volunteers regularly. While it seemed unlikely anybody would claim the dog (without serious questions about animal neglect, anyway), the dog clearly needed medical attention and more care then we could give it during the week.
Besides, we can't afford to bond with a third dog. Where would we put it? WE CAN'T ADOPT THIS DOG, DAMMIT.
So we called it Dog X. You don't have to worry about bonding with something called Dog X, right?
Over the next week, Sam followed the dog through his contacts at the shelter. The dog was eating. The dog was getting de-flea-ed. The dog was getting medical care. The dog was getting some dental work. The dog was getting its behavioral tests. The dog was getting fixed.
Then, yesterday, it was official. The dog had passed all its tests. The dog was adoptable. Here. Take a look. http://www.petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=SNJS.A842448
They had the nerve to name it Manny. How Dare They.
Then, today, against her better judgment, Brenna joined Sam when he went in for his volunteer shift at the shelter. Against her better judgment, she took some photos of the two of them together.
Then, against her better judgment, she joined Sam in petting the dog,
Can you help us out here, anybody? Anybody want a Real. Good. Dog???
(Here's that link again: http://www.petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=SNJS.A842448.)