Story submitted 2011-06-29
Hope was in an Atlanta area shelter and when she was taken out she was so weak she couldn't walk under her own power. It took several weeks of intensive care to bring her back literally from the brink of death with a combination of traditional vet care and holistic methods. The transformation is amazing. She has all of her hair back and she runs! This is a dog that surely would have been put down. This email was written by David Fairley in February of 1999 to DRNA President, Jill Blasdel. David had just adopted Hope. I've had her about 6 months now, and I have to say that I would never give her up at this point. She has turned out to be the best, friendliest dog (my first one), and a real handful.
My vet says that she is at least 10 years old, has been well cared for most of her life until she was out on the streets before she came to the shelter, and is obviously paper and crate trained. She is at her ideal weight of 11 1/2 pounds, her fur has grown back, and she looks in general a completely different dog fron the one I took in. While her exact age can't be told accurately, she has a tremendous amount of energy, and demands constant attention. She is a LOUD barker, too much sometimes, but she does well when I am home enough. She has her own room to stay in while I am at work, my study, but loves to explore the house when I let her out. She tries all the time to go down the stairs, so I have had to put a gate there to prevent her, since I have looked for here more than once upstairs, and looked downstairs to see a little red flash go by! Hope has taken over the house. I already had two cats. Maggie has always been very good with dogs, and is a very calm cat. When she sees Hope, she will just try to give her a wide berth, since Hope will try to play with her by snapping at her tail! In fun, of course. Buster my cat who is very good and outweighs Hope by at least 8 pounds, will avoid her by staying out of a room she is in, or staying on a tall piece of furniture.
Overall, they get along well enough, though I have noticed that while she does very well with people, she will try to snap at most other dogs she comes in contact with, which includes Trish's Barney and Thelma Lou. I don't think she is being nasty, but she wants to be the dominant one. Other things about her include the fact that she has had puppies, has been fixed, but has only 3 nipples, not as a result of surgery as far as we have been able to tell. If she lies on her back, her front legs start to vibrate very fast. She is truly obnoxious and aggressive about begging for food, so I just have to make sure she is in another room when I eat, but she does get leftovers. She walks with a stiff gait in her back legs, but can she run! As I said, she knows what the newspaper is for, but I'm grateful I have wood floors. Overall she is healthy. There is a lump behind her right front leg the vet is keeping an eye on, but it has not changed, and he says it may just be a fatty deposit. There are a couple of minor things which are results of age, but nothing she cannot live perfectly well with. She is still eating the seameal when she gets canned food. I believe that that stuff has made a huge difference (what's in it, amphetamines?), and I want to get her started on that glucosamine stuff a lot of people use for their pet's joints.
Hope has turned out to be really neat little dog, and everybody who has seen her says the same. I feel like she has been with me for a longer time than she has, and look forward to living with her for years.