Roswell Animal Control was in a state of chaos when they impounded her . . . not unusual since jurisdiction of that facility was placed under the police department. It is they who have chosen to interpret their city ordinance of “humanely disposing of animals” on the eighth day of impoundment as euthanasia, or murder would be the more appropriate term.
A first time visitor and friend of mine who was there at the end of July 2014, reported and photographed that many dogs were doubled up in kennels, with one dog apparently injured and bleeding as he lay on the floor. Gracie herself had a bloody, scraped or skinned back and was placed in a cage in the puppy room. Thankfully, photos of the “inmates” were shared on social media very quickly.
As soon as I saw her photo and learned of her injuries, I decided she needed to come to me as soon as possible, but I couldn’t adopt her until her fourth day there. In my heart I felt that she would suffer if left in there for the full seven days required for her to count as a rescue, and I did not yet have my 501(c)3 to qualify as a rescue per the city government’s requirements. I also knew from past experience that she would be receiving minimal, if any, care for her injuries. So time was of the essence.
With their past history of euthanasias “due to clerical error” and dogs simply “disappearing,” I had several local people physically check on her during the four days there to make sure she was safe, and on August 3, 2014, I “rescued” her through adoption.
She was so skinny that she seemed to be nothing but legs . . . long and thin. Her demeanor was quiet and pensive as she was trying to assess what was happening. Her coat was in such poor shape that she could have passed for a “hairless” breed.
As soon as she checked out with my vet, up to date on shots, we got home and started her on a regimen of healthy nutrition. I have found that if I focus on good food, extra vitamins, healthy environment and play, the dog’s immune system is more able to ward off an actual onset of kennel cough, a virus that runs rampant in that facility.
Today, she has put on enough weight, her back is healed, and her coat is thicker and shinier. She’s a strong and happy girl, and has made friends with EVERY dog here. As a matter of fact, she created a job for herself . . . that of “chief escort”. She’s at my side constantly as I shuffle dogs in and out of the house. It’s with great joy and exuberance that she gallops alongside them on their way out, and when they come back in . . . sometimes riding one of the bigger ones, who have accepted her antics and see it as play. She’s part of the “pixie patrol”, the smallest dogs in the group, who “help” me with my inside chores, my little rainbows on cloudy or stormy days . . . and my little shadows on sunny ones.
I spend a lot of time listening to my dogs, especially when they first come to me because I want to know their story, if they want to share. It was clear that Gracie was neglected and possibly abused. The scrapes on her back were indicative of being either thrown from a vehicle or dragged. Additionally, one of her front legs is “deformed,” and seems to be a broken bone that healed with no veterinary care. . . I cringe at the thought of the pain she had to endure because no one cared to help her. But despite the lousy circumstances of her previous life, this I know for sure . . . she is perceptive and strong-willed with no prejudices or “excuses” about her previous neglect or abuse. She was treated badly, knew there was a better world out there, and simply decided to “walk away.”
She loves everyone and everything with the core of her whole being, and sees joy in the littlest and seemingly insignificant, including drinking from my coffee cup when I’m not looking. She’s kind with the other dogs, never pushy about eating or treats, willingly shares what she has, and if they don’t want to share with her, she waits until they’re ready. I’ll never understand how someone could have thrown her away . . . she is such a precious gift.
Gracie is now strong enough to be spayed, and while she is “under”, she’ll have her leg and shoulder x-rayed to make sure she does not require any surgery and/or if that leg is going to cause her future problems and if something can be corrected without much trauma to her. She seems to have a little stiffness in the back as well, so we’ll have that checked out, too.
Today, we’re going to work on a “new do” . . . she doesn’t like to have her hair messed with, so it’s going to be slow and gentle . . . and trial and error for me to discover which haircut will be best for her. So stay tuned to us for “before and after” photos.
Welcome to our home, you little golden sunbeam . . . thank you for finding your way to us . . . you enrich our lives so much, dear little Gracie!
If you would like to contribute to the care of Gracie and/or other dogs we have rescued from “death row,” please use the paypal button below. We welcome and are so grateful for any amount that you can donate.
EXTRAORDINARY DOGS INC. is a nonprofit organization registered as a public charity in New Mexico, with a 501(c)3 status . Please remember that our operation and successful rescue and retraining depends on your generosity. ALL contributions go directly to the care of the resident dogs, and are tax deductible.
Checks can also be sent to:
- Extraordinary Dogs inc.
- P. O. Box 1165
- Capitan, NM 88316-1165
Please make check payable to Helene Kobelnyk.