When a puppy steals your heart!
I haven’t posted in quite some time now. I was going to write a happy post a while back, but then happy turned to devastating and so I decided to wait. So what happened? Alright, here goes…
A little back story. I’ll try to make it quick…
I have the most adorable, kindhearted, angel of a dog named Chester. He’s a unique little Chinese Crested (I’ll eventually do some more posts on the breed). I have had him since he was a wittle baby and he is almost 6 now! I’ve been wanting him to have a sibling for the longest time and now that my husband has also fallen in love with him we decided to look for another one! We wanted to try to adopt and avoid breeders, but wanted to try to stick with the same breed, so we began looking online. We finally decided we were ready when we saw this cute little fellow online named Kanye.
Kanye just looked like the sweetest little guy and was a Chinese Crested and Yorkie mix. So, we contacted the rescue group and applied to adopt him. They were very excited to accept our application, since we have a Chinese Crested already -the neediest of needy breeds-but SO worth it! We were so thrilled! We planned to go meet him and hopefully bring him home! The rescue was on the outskirts of Nashville, about 3 1/2 hrs from where we live. We were told he was a little quirky and shy at first, so we were pretty nervous all the way there, just hoping he would love us. We finally arrived and were greeted by a few pups including Kanye! He was extremely skittish and didn’t really pay much attention to us. However, he wasn’t aggressive whatsoever. He was very focused on his caretaker, but that is normal for the breed. Chester never leaves my side and I have even played jokes on him switching couches and rooms just to see if he will keep following me around, which he does. So, I told my husband it would be okay, that he would just have to get comfortable with us and then he would follow us around like he did his foster mommy. I told him, “If you love him, he will love you! Everything will be okay.” So, we decided to give it a shot! We were so happy bringing him home. He was the sweetest little guy and wanted to lay in our laps and put his little head in our hands. He seemed to be warming up to us. He also didn’t mind Chester and stayed half of the way home in the crate with Chester.
Then it all happened. 😦
Well, you may not know, but I’m a Realtor. I had a couple wanting to look at a house the same weekend we went to get Kanye. So, I planned to take him home and get him settled in and then go show the house. We were worried it would take too long to get home and back and I would be late. So, we decided to stop by the house first to show it and then bring the dogs home, against my better judgement. The house was a foreclosure, so we just went ahead and stopped in the driveway and let the dogs use the potty along the woods. Well, to make a painful, long story short, when the couple arrived the dogs weren’t put back in the car like they were supposed to be. My husband had them on the way to the car and the couple came around the corner and when Kanye saw them he became absolutely terrified and started flopping and pulling at his collar. He broke loose of his collar and as my husband tried grabbing him he slipped loose and tore off into the woods! He followed after him, but Kanye was gone almost instantly. Everything happened so quickly that we couldn’t think or act on it, so frantically I told the couple I had to go after him and I joined in searching for him.
The area and direction Kanye headed in was very rural with a lot of woods and wildlife. So frantically I took Chester and Kanye’s food hoping he would come to us or make a sound and we would see him. All night we tore through the woods. I came up on houses and talked to neighbors who would say, “Aren’t you scared to be out here?” I would just reply, “No, I’m scared for him!” We walked miles and miles without finding any clues or anyone seeing him. I can’t tell you how hard it was to leave that night. We even left once and went back, because we just couldn’t bear it. All I could think was that he was Coyote bait and that everything was all our fault. I also worried that he wouldn’t come to anyone even if they did see him, since he was so skittish. I do have to admit that I struggled with placing blame on my husband since he was the one holding him and didn’t have him in the car yet. But then I would also blame myself, because I knew that my husband isn’t as experienced as I am with little dogs like this, so it was just as much my fault for expecting him to be able to handle him. I also kept feeling guilty that we weren’t more careful and got too comfortable with him too quick.
We contacted the rescue group and explained what had happened and thankfully they had some experience and words of wisdom to guide us in what to do next.
My husband took off work the next day and we went searching again and spoke to every neighbor we could find. We took flyers and put them in every mailbox in sight and posted them on the street. We called all the veterinarian offices and human society and took flyers by. We posted on social media. The rescue group even used a facebook thing that sends out the lost dog ad on facebook that went out to thousands of people. They used websites I wasn’t aware of and listed him on craigslist for us too! This went on for days with no luck. 😦
Many people we met were so kind and concerned. There was a house we found through the woods that ust seemed like the area he would have ended up in if he continued the way he took off. So, I stopped at the house the day he ran off and spoke with the woman who owned it. Over the next few days this woman opened her home to us. When we looked like tattered survivors on “The Walking Dead,” she just simply said “Do you want to come in?” She asked her nephew, Patrick, who lived up the hill from her if he would want to walk around with us. So, he took us all over the mountain and showed us some places he thought Kanye may go. Homes that had small dogs, a home that fosters dogs, the river that ran along the property, etc. Him and his fiance, Kali, walked with us every day we came by and never acted like we were troubling them. He also encouraged me every time I said, “There’s just no hope!” He would say, “There’s always hope! Someone is going to find that little dog.”
We looked for days and days and the last day I looked on the mountain I went by myself and just had some quiet time there. There were wild blackberries that grew all over the place and they were so sweet! I just kept thinking if God can create these blackberries and they flourish with no help from man, then he can help Kanye. I finally just threw my hands up to God and said, “If he’s alive and safe, you will take care of him.” I knew that I couldn’t possibly do a better job than God, so I finally had peace and left it to him.
A couple nights later (I’m not sure how many everything is a blur) my husband and I were sitting down to dinner and were talking about it. We both just wished that if he was okay that we would know. We just wanted to know he was alive and okay. While we were saying those exact words the phone rang. He said, “Its a local number.” I was like, “Answer it! Answer it! It could be about him!” So, he answered the phone and it was a kind man my husband had met while searching. He said he had been driving up and down the road a couple times every night looking for the dog and he said, “I saw your dog! I know it was him!” So, I about jumped out of my seat and squealed almost bursting into tears. I think I scared our waiter. LOL We grabbed the check and bolted out the door. On the way, the man called back and said he knew it was Kanye, but he was unable to catch him. Once he turned his vehicle around he was gone. So, we went to the area he saw him and drove up and down the street until we couldn’t see straight. Finally, we went home and I decided I would go back at daybreak.
So, the next day I took a ton of more flyers! Instead of trying to hit ever mailbox I took them and posted them on every single street corner in the area he was seen and took them to some more local stores in case he wandered further down the street. I drove and drove looking for him and posting flyers like mad. I got a little discouraged though, because I saw a small Yorkie nearby and thought the man might have mistaken it for Kanye. 😦 But, I kept posting and I also posted the sighting on social media and then left it to God. I would drive back over some and look, but I knew I wasn’t going to be the one to find him. I figured he was probably staying under someone’s porch or in a barn or something. I was just glad that we could finally have hope that he was alive and okay.
As the days went by we began to try to move on, but it was awful. Sometimes I would just burst out crying because of the guilt and worry that he had died at our hands. Some nights we would just hold Chester and be thankful we had him, but I always thought, “You were supposed to have a little brother with you right now.” I struggled a lot with the guilt and trying to not blame my husband and then feeling guilty if I lashed out at him.
Time goes by…
So, to give a little perspective, we got him on a Sunday and he was supposed to be somewhat of a birthday present for my husband who’s bday was not the next Wednesday, but one week from then. So we had went 11 days without seeing Kanye by the day it was his bday. Every day that went by I worried his little body couldn’t take it. He’s only ten lbs and it was 90+ degrees outside and there were also days that it thunder stormed. We had just about given up hope. It was so sad holding Chester that night of my husband’s bday and thinking he could still be out there, but we just didn’t have any way of knowing. The next morning I got up and pulled myself together and forced myself to go run. We’ve been trying to get in shape and run, so I thought maybe I could get out some of my feelings through running. While running I got a phone call, but I was too out of breath to try to answer it. So, I waited until I was finished and started to check my phone.
At that moment I got another call and it was a local number I didn’t recognize. So, I answered it and this sweet voice on the other end said, “Hello, I’m Amy with West Rome Animal Clinic. Are you still looking for your little Chinese Crested Yorkie mix?” I sighed and slumped, because I had gotten a couple calls like this just wanting to know if they could take down the flyer. So, I said, “Yes we are still looking. We haven’t found him.” She said, “I have him here! Now, I don’t want to get your hopes up too much, but I’m almost positive its him.” I was stunned. I said, “Are you serious? How did you find him? Its a miracle!” She went on to tell me that the humane society had caught him and brought him in thinking he had something terribly wrong with him because of his skin and lack of hair (that’s a Chinese Crested for you lol). She said as soon as they brought him in she recognized him and told them that she had seen him on the facebook posts and we had spoken about him. She said she knew she could find the owner and asked if they would leave him with her. So, she asked me if I would want to come get him soon, since they closed at noon. I said, “I’ll come right now!” I cleaned myself up just a little and hopped in the car with a collar, leash, kennel and some food and headed over. I didn’t tell my husband, just in case it wasn’t him and because I hoped to surprise him. However, when I arrived he called the vets office because she had called him while trying to get in touch with us. So, she told him what was going on. He couldn’t believe it!
When they brought him out I couldn’t believe my eyes. There he was! Just perfect as could be! Of course, he had ticks on him and was disheveled, but luckily the ticks were dead from a treatment he had before we got him and he hadn’t lost much weight! It was an absolute miracle. 12 days he had been on his own. (12 is also my family’s favorite number!) I took him home and gave him four baths and picked all the ticks off and just babied him. I was in such shock that he was home. When my husband came home he was also in shock and thrilled! We were just so thankful and praised the Lord he was alive and well and now finally home!
We decided to name him Chewie! Since his little adventure he has adjusted very well. He never leaves my side. He is also becoming more comfortable on his leash and with strangers. We met one of my neighbors and he went right up to her and wanted her to pet him. (I think he likes the ladies!) He is still pretty skittish, but mostly with men. In the mornings he seems to forget who my husband is and barks, but I think some of it has to do with the fact that its dark. He’s a little scared of the dark. He also had a lot of puppy nightmares when he first came home and now he doesn’t have them at all. He is happy and loves to run with me in the backyard and hop after his tennis ball. He loves flopping like a fish to scratch his back on the grass. He is just the sweetest little angel. He has a lot of cat tendencies which is a Chinese Crested thing, but I think he has more than Chester does. He will come up and lick my leg or hand, but its just really sweet. He tries to get on things like the coffee table or my desk too, which is pretty funny. Its like the coffee table is just convenient to walk on from one side of the sectional to the other. So funny! We are trying to break him of that though. He tries to eat bugs too, but I have been trying to get him off that. He thinks they are a feast. We think maybe that’s how he dined in the wilderness on his own.
At first we were apprehensive about getting another dog. Would it change Chester? Would it be too much to handle? We finally decided to take the plunge and through everything I can say it was worth it and I can’t imagine not having our new little addition. Chewie has been such a blessing and Chester is beginning to enjoy his company, even though he does get pretty jealous at times. They are such goofballs and we just love them so much!
God Is Great!
The rescue group we got Chewie from is called, Freetown Farm Animal Sanctuary. They were amazing and so supportive through this. We were afraid they would be upset with us, but they just tried to keep us motivated the whole time. http://freetownsanctuary.com/
Special thanks to Amy at West Rome Animal Clinic for helping in his rescue and being knowledgeable about different breeds. She recognized him and knew what he was immediately!
Special thanks to all of those we met along the way including the man who rode around searching and called us and Patrick Wedgeworth, Cali May and Patrick’s Aunt for helping us search for Chewie and being so kind and opening their homes to us.
If you are currently looking for your lost pup do not give up hope! If Chewie can survive and make it home, I truly believe there is hope for all dogs! I tried to fit everything in, but of course I left out some details. If you have any questions please comment below.
Thanks for reading!