Thanks to Mel at Stirrup Queensfor hosting the Show and Tell. I am a Show and Tell first timer, so I hope I've done everything correctly :)
This is my big dog, Big John McCarthy. We just celebrated a year of having him in our home, so it's a wonderful time to tell his story.
One Saturday, just over a year ago, a client of the vet clinic I work at called, frantic, and said she had just picked up a stray and wanted to have him checked out. At the time, the Des Moines area was literally under water. The rivers were out of control. She had been on one of the bridges, watching the water rise, when she noticed a dog running from person to person, unleashed and uncollared. A group of men took an interest in the dog, so she (being the dog lover she is) went over to ask if he belonged to one of them, and why he was unleashed. She noticed that they were quite inebriated, and belligerent. They told her that no, he didn't belong to any of them, and that they could take care of him by tossing him into the raging river.
The client, who is a tiny little unassuming lady, told them where to go and then led the dog to her car and promptly to our clinic. I was working that day, and he immediately stole my heart with his beautiful eyes and serious face. His initial health check was fine, and the client took him home until she could get him neutered and find him a permanent place, since she had too many dogs to consider keeping him. I immediately went to work on Hubby, who wasn't sure that it was the right time to add another pooch to our family.
Fast forward to the scheduled day of his neuter: we ran all of his pre-anesthetic testing, and discovered that he was infected with heartworms. The neuter was cancelled, we were all devastated, but I knew then that I had to keep him. A fan of the underdog, I am. Hubby came to see him that day, and melted. We took him home and began his treatment shortly thereafter.
Treatment for heartworm disease is excruciatingly painful for the dog. Our hearts broke as we watched him writhe and moan in pain. It was clear that he had belonged to someone, as he knew basic commands, which made us so angry - heartworm preventative is cheap! There is no reason not to have your dog on heartworm meds - after all, if you can't afford the vet, you can't afford the pet.
He is a wonderful dog - naughty and mischievous, but sweet as can be. He is a mama's boy, and wakes me up with a cold nose to the ear every morning. He keeps us on our toes, and keeps our other dog entertained. Big John has taught us so much about unconditional love, and we are so grateful to have him in our lives. I love him so very much, it's scary.
Not surprisingly, he hates the rain. As you can see from the picture, though, he loves snow. Which is great, considering where we live.ETA: While I was writing this post, he got into a trash bag Hubby left on the deck and had a feast. It's a good thing he's cute (that goes for both Hubby and Big John!)
Oh, and I obviously can't read, as I posted my name and not my blog name on the Show and Tell page. Sorry.