I pulled Richie by mistake.
You see, I had authorization to pull several dogs for Pets Alive Westchester from New York City’s Animal Care and Control and I was working from a list of possibilities – and working quickly. It was probably the photo that did it. How could you not love him?
After I got my receipts for the animals to be transported I printed some paperwork to bring with me and took a closer look at Richie’s listing. Uh oh. This little guy had some major medical complications. Treatment might be expensive and his transport might need to be high priority. I called Pets Alive Westchester’s Executive Director, Jenessa Taylor, and she never hesitated: of COURSE they would take him! How quickly could I get him there?
So I went and pulled him as soon as I could – we were all very worried because his notes indicated that he may have feces spilling into his internal abdominal cavity. When I arrived, he tottered out to greet me, a matted and dirty little old man who was likely considerably older than his listed 10 years of age.
Richie was so sweet. I carried him out to the car and he was perfectly calm. When I put him down on my front seat, he turned around a few times, gave everything a good sniff, and lay right down to nap for his trip up to Pets Alive Westchester.
We put Richie in front of a medical team immediately. He was gone over by Dr. Christina but he would need some specialist testing and care. From the moment he arrived, dirty and smelly, everyone loved him – he was so sweet and gentle to all of us and gracefully accepted whatever medical handling was necessary. Richie eventually ended up having surgery to correct dual bilateral perianal hernias, a slight ventral defect, an enlarged prostate… oh, and while they were in there a neutering as well. I saw him after his surgery and he looked like his whole butt had been removed and then stapled back into place, but he never complained and healed perfectly; quickly too!
Richie settled into life behind the desk, a calm and dignified older gentleman who was beloved by staff and volunteers. He liked his sleep – oh, did he like his sleep – but he was also very happy in someone’s arms or lap, going for a walk, or just exploring somewhere new. Though his eyes and ears were beginning to fail him he was always upbeat, game for adventure, and enjoyed the company of other dogs and cats. He was always sweet to everyone.
Last week Richie finally got his happy ending, the little old man was adopted into a happy home and I could not be happier for him.
Good luck, Richie. You were a mistake I’m so glad I made.