Hello all. Bear is home safe and sound and is feeling much better. This post is probably going to be a bit somber as it was not the pleasant "Gotcha Day" that we all thought it was going to be. It was traumatic, at best. Hindsight being 20/20, I would never, ever have put an older dog through that. I would have let him be adopted out locally. I felt very guilty for being what I consider to be selfish. I wanted him and I was going to do anything to get him. I did not think of how awful this could possibly be for him. But, the past is the past and he is home now and doing very well.
We left the house at 3:00 am. Here’s a picture of the clock.
As they pulled his crate out of the van, I was in tears seeing that face. You can tell by the look on his face that he is in distress and the fact that he’s holding himself about 2 inches above the crate floor because there is so much filth and he doesn't want to sit in it.
My husband cut the zip ties and let him out and that is when we saw just how sick he had been. I was in complete shock. Long story short, DH and I cleaned him up the best we could. You would think that if Continental is in the business of shipping pets and have a "Pet Safe" program, they would have a bathing station for situations such as this.
I am not going to post the pictures of him at this point. It's too upsetting. It took us about an hour to clean him off and clean his crate out enough to be able to put him in the car for the 2.5 hour drive home. Did I mention that my husband’s Honda Accord is about a week old? *sigh* Bear did try to climb into the trunk because he thought it was an SUV. :) This is Bear in the backseat. He was so accustomed to having a camera pointed at him, he got right in my face to get a good shot.
The ride home was pretty uneventful other than me sobbing the whole way because I felt so bad for him. Bear did not sleep at all on the way home. Just rested. Once we got closer to home, we rolled the window down enough so he could stick his head and smell all the dampness and new smells. I love this picture.
When we got home, he had more diarrhea, fortunately, not in the car. After some Pepto and drinking about 40 oz. of water, Bear settled down next to my DH who had become his hero if for nothing more than letting him out of that hellhole crate. You can tell he is still pretty defeated.
We stayed outside for at least 3 hours to see if he was going to have any more spells. I think at that point, he was pretty much empty. We brought Thea out who immediately was "arrrrooooarrrooooing" at the strange dog in her yard. They went up, sniffed each other and that was it. Not one single issue. I also think she could tell he was upset and sick. She is normally waaaaay more playful than that but she never jumped on him and gave him his space. We then took him upstairs and gave him a bath. He was perfectly well behaved. I don’t have pictures of his bath as we were more concerned with getting him cleaned up and comfortable. Now that he was dry and had been with us for about nine hours, Bear saw DH on the couch and decided that where he wanted to be too. Notice the look on my DH’s face. DH is perfectly head over heels in love with Bear.
Notice the yellow lab colored blankets covering the couch ;-) Bear then wanted to get real close to DH and repositioned himself. This? Made my heart melt.
Of course since this is normally Thea’s spot, she had to get up there too.
We didn’t pull out his new bed until we were sure that he wasn’t going to have any issues so we folded up an old comforter and put in on the floor. He finally was getting some much needed rest.
After a dinner of boiled ground turkey and rice for Bear, we all slept about 11 - 12 hours that night with potty breaks every four hours for Bear. Everyone was exhausted. The next day, things were much brighter. As evidenced by his face.
We pulled out his new fluffy bed and tucked it in a corner. His first foster mom had told us that he didn’t like to sleep out in the open and that’s very true. He looked so comfy that I wanted to crawl in there with him.
We had some friends come over to see the new addition and we played with tennis balls inside the house. There was much more tail wagging and goofiness than the day before. And I finally got what I had been waiting for. The smile and a wet nose. (dry nose means they are sick)
We are loving him very gently so as not to upset him and monitoring his every move, sigh, groan, snore, anything and everything. Good news is after not pooping for 30 hours or so, he had a somewhat firm bowel movement this morning. Right now he’s at home resting and Thea is in her crate.
I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this dog is. A wonderful, trusting disposition. He has a face like no other. He looks at you and his expression is so interesting. He looks as though you and he have been having a conversation and he says to you "And you were saying?"
I will close with something that the Resuce had taped to his crate when she shipped him. My DH saved it for me as he knew I would want it. It says it all.
I also wanted to add, that had it not been for DH, I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through the airport scene. I was a complete basketcase. DH is a ROCK.
ETA: Thank you Carey!