2012 December 06, Thursday
Georgetown, TX to southern California
Little Squee was supposed to be a big healthy ball of fur kept warm and happy by her mom and fellow New Foundland pups. But it didn’t work out that way for her. She found herself alone, hungry, and eventually so malnourished that her fur started to fall out and her skin hurt terribly. You’ll know what poor little Squee felt like If you’ve ever had a painful rash like poison oak, where your skin felt dry and stiff and sensitive, and then imagine feeling that over your entire body and being all alone in the world, too.
Some rescuers in Texas found her back in October and knew just what she needed, and they didn’t waste a moment giving it to her. The treatment for mange is not fun, not for the dog and not for the people giving the treatment. But these wonderful folks knew what they were doing, and even though Squee didn’t look cuddly or cute, she soon learned how good it feels to be held and cuddled and loved, and the healing began. By the end of November, Squee’s own beautiful black fur had started to grow again, thick and luxuriant. Her little body was growing plump, her eyes were starting to sparkle, and she was indeed looking like the big dog her paws promised she would be.
Now, it was likely to be easy to find people in Texas who would love to adopt Squee, especially people who lived on a ranch or out in the country and wanted a big dog. But Squee's rescuers were looking for a very special family for her, one that wanted her very, very much and who would give her all of the love and affection and education that she had missed during her first important months of life. A family who would be committed to her for life, as she would be to them. And they found just exactly that perfect family! -- except that they were in California. So when word spread through the grapevine that On Wings Of Care was making a rescue transport flight from California to Dallas and Georgetown, TX and had room for animals on our way back to California, it was all of their wish for Squee come true!
Thursday morning December 6th in Georgetown, Texas did not exactly dawn bright for the flight, however. From before sunrise until late morning, that part of Texas was blanketed in fog so dense we could hardly see 200 yards in front of us, and the ceiling of fog was barely 300 feet above our heads. We couldn’t take off or fly out in that fog, so Lisa, one of Squee’s most dedicated fosters and rescuers, packed Squee into her car and made the dangerous drive north to Georgetown from the San Antonio area. By the time she arrived, the fog was just beginning to lift, and about an hour later, we headed off to California.
Squee was a wonderful little passenger. It was tempting to want to hold her on our laps the whole way -- in fact, she was such a lovable ball of fur and puppy kisses we could hardly put her down. But with weather as it was, we dared not set ourselves up for any distraction from flying, so she sat right behind us in her carrier, atop layers and layers of soft cotton towels and bedding. There was no question about how much this pup had been loved and cared for her by these rescuers -- even if you judged only by the size and weight of the baggage that came with her! Every kind of treat and toy and supplement you could imagine came with this little girl. It touched us to see the tremendous care these rescuers had given her.
When we arrived in California early that evening, Squee’s eager new family was already there and waiting. They had been watching our gps SPOT tracker to know when we would arrive, and the Dad of the family was waiting there at the airport for Squee. I drove Squee from the airplane hangar out to meet him. I had Squee snuggled in my lap and was feeling protective of her, eager to feel reassured that her new daddy would fall in love with her. Well, I couldn’t have felt more reassured. He was there with his own bag of stuff for Squee, including an enormous crate in the back of his SUV -- I guessed it had to be an XXL size, appropriate for the New Foundland she would grow to be someday! But looking at it and then back at little Squee in my arms, I just laughed, and asked him -- “Do you want to just hold her on your lap?”
Once he picked her up and I saw her cradled in his arms, there was not a worry in my mind. And while he told me about how he and his wife were getting this dog for their two sons, I was watching daddy’s heart melt as little Squee pushed herself against his chest and looked up at him. “Hmmm,” I told him, “I think I see the makings of a daddy’s girl here!” Two days later, when he sent us photos of Squee -- now named “Lelo” -- with her new family, the love and happiness among them were unmistakable.
This little pup came from the very bottom of health and loneliness to a life where she is now the focus of all the warmth, affection, and care that make the human-dog relationship one of the grand treasures of life. Squee -- I mean, Lelo -- has found her home and family, thanks to a few kind humans in Texas who saw through the fear and sickness and took it on themselves to make this little life right. Thank Goodness for rescuers!
Enjoy the photos below -- first Squee when she was first found, hungry and covered with mange; then with us as we took her onto our airplane in Georgetown, TX and as I carried her to her new daddy; then with her new family in her fur-ever home in California.