Many of you know and love Gus (aka Irish), our beautiful, sweet, gentle spirit rescue dog. Today is the one year anniversary of his rescue from deep in the valley of South Texas. I asked his foster mom with Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin to write out his story. Following the story, view the pictures of the day he was delivered from the kill shelter and taken to Austin to the vet and then three from today. The very last picture says it all.
Here is the story as told by Becky, his foster mom.
“Gus was found as a stray (or at least that’s what we are told that sometimes people drop off their dogs and say that) down in Hidalgo County. He had thousands of fleas, you could visibly see them all over him and they were jumping on my arms and legs. He had ehrlichia (a type of Lyme disease from ticks) and heartworms and had very poor nutrition. The vet guessed he had been given scraps and not actual dog food. She said she had NEVER seen such a flea infestation and because of his condition, he was in a high kill shelter that was going to put him down and wouldn’t treat him for his ehrlichia.
He was picked up on Sunday to avoid euthanasia and there was only one vet in Austin or San Antonio that would do a Sunday intake and he needed vet care immediately. Rachel, a volunteer from Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin, drove him to San Marcos and we met her there. He was filthy and matted and his ears were infected and it looked like a flea circus on his back, but as soon as we got in the car his tail started wagging.
We took him to the vet in Austin and they decided to shave him down and treat him for fleas immediately. They said he would need a ten day quarantine. You don’t get that many fleas overnight. He had been living with fleas for quite a long time and it had attacked him immune system. I’ve actually seen dogs die after long term flea infestation like this. They just get weaker and weaker. The vet was really worried about his immune system, but he was a strong guy.
I went by a few days later to check on him and they had him up under the receptionist desk on the loose. They said he was so sweet they could not bear to put him in the kennel where he would cry for attention. At night, they locked all the other dogs up and then put him in the area outside the cages with the door closed.
After a week, they said he was doing great and could go home. I had stopped fostering because my mom was ill, but there was nowhere for him to go so we decided to pick him up. We also decided he needed a little time to adjust before going to adoptions.
His rescue name was Irish, because he was picked up from the kill shelter on St. Patrick’s Day.
Irish wanted to follow my husband everywhere. He laid under his desk all day long. He wasn’t housebroken. Most likely had been kept in someone’s backyard, but he learned very quickly and minded well. He slept in his kennel without complaint, but when we would leave home, he would howl. He just wanted to be loved, so we wanted to find a home with someone who was home during the day and not gone all day to an office.
He was just one of those dogs that we rescued from the high kill shelter at the 11th hour. And, without a vet willing to take him on Sunday, there would have been nowhere for him to go. It was dire.”
His picture was posted on the Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin’s Facebook page and that is where his new forever family found him. That story will be posted in April on the anniversary of his going to his new family in Abilene.