Written by Jodi Shadle of California
On a cold March evening, my family and I were driving home from a family get-together, when I saw something moving in the gutter. It almost looked like it was being blown, but then I could see that it was moving with purpose.
I asked my husband, “What is that in the gutter?”
He looked over and exclaimed, “Oh my God, that’s a puppy!”
We were at the corner, so he turned and pulled over. I grabbed my coat and got out. The puppy was terrified, and not moving normally. I kept talking until I could reach it, but it tried to bite. I tossed my coat over it, scooped it up and got back in the car.
It was a little girl, and once we were in the car, she snuggled right down and fell asleep in my lap.
She was very thin, and all her fur was matted together in one piece over her whole body. The reason her movement was strange was that her hind leg was matted to her side.
I offered her food, but she could only eat about 2 tablespoons at a time. I gave her multiple feedings a day, but she was so empty that she didn’t have a bowel movement for three days. After a few days to stabilize her, I took her to the vet. They shaved her and found over 100 ticks on her 8 pound body, so she had to be dipped.
She is a honey-colored Shih Tzu, and very sweet, so we call her Honey. She is fiercely protective of our family, and sleeps curled in a ball on, or by, my side of the bed. Because of this, and where we found her, my husband and kids tease me about my ‘Gutterball’ (I am a very poor bowler, so it’s not my first one!)
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