Andy (formerly Shiraz) came to me Feb. 10, 2013. He, and some other dogs, had been rescued from a chicken coop in Southern Oregon in 2012. He was one distressed middle-aged dog. He had worked his way through two other foster homes and I might have been his last chance. Andy was a runner, afraid of people and confinement and very afraid of men. However, he seemed to take comfort from the presence of other dogs.
Andy “escaped” a few times the first year or so that he lived here, but I was always able to get him back again. Was scary, though, because I live on a very busy street. As the first few weeks went by, I saw steady improvement in Andy’s behavior. He didn’t cower nor did he continue to need to eat under the shelter of my dining room table. He seemed happy here so I adopted him.
As time went on, escape attempts decreased and Andy became comfortable with humans as well as dogs. In fact, on our daily walks Andy eventually began to approach people. He seemed to like to say hello though he didn’t really want to be petted. He learned to accept and even sometimes appreciate visitors to my house. He’d come up to them, a little cautious, but smiling all the same.
Andy did develop some health issues, notably a kidney problem and recurring skin lesions. Proper food, weekly baths with medicated shampoo and medication helped. Andy’s life seemed happy enough. He liked the foster dogs that passed through my house or came to stay permanently. He was such a good, quiet, sweet boy with very long-haired ears and very little tail hair.
Andy made a number of trips to the beach during the 4 years that he lived with me, but he was no beach bum. Sand? OK, but don’t let that water touch my toes! To him, baths were much more civilized.
He could take or leave toys, but an occasional piece of paper to chew, a book to partially ingest, that was more his style. He just loved to hunker down with a good book!
Early one morning, Andy’s behavior changed remarkably – not bad just very different. A trip to the vet revealed that Andy was bleeding internally, probably from a ruptured tumor. Four years and one and one-half months after arriving at my home, Andy trotted off to the rainbow bridge.