Jan 13

Storm's Story....the kindness of strangers

Depending on the Kindness of Strangers

To paraphrase playwright Tennessee Williams, we all depend on the kindness of strangers.

Driving through Farmville on U.S. 460 one cold wet afternoon, I saw a miserable big white dog sitting on the roadside. I stopped the car and he ran to me.

He didn’t know how to get into a car and he lunged back into the traffic lane. Fortunately a state trooper was there, and he stopped his car and flashed the lights, creating a safe space for me to pick up the dripping dog and place him in the backseat.

I stopped at a vet’s office. No collar ID, no microchip. I funded his rabies shot, heartworm test, general worm test and medicine for general worms. We discovered he was a young, intact male, 60 pounds, husky mix, with beautiful blue eyes.

The dog appeared friendly. At home, I took away his food bowl while he devoured what may have been his first meal in days, and he didn’t blink an eye.

I called him Dog, and over the next few days I learned that even when rain poured he wouldn’t enter the doghouse. I put his food bowl in there, and he moved it outside. He jauntily trotted around my backyard.

Calls to determine the dog’s owner proved fruitless. Local rescue groups had no room for him, and I wouldn’t take him to kill shelters. While I fell in love with the affable, handsome behemoth, I couldn’t keep him. My dog Misha curled her lip at him, saying, “Not another one!”

I sent emails out into the universe searching for an adopter or rescue. Two days later, someone I never met from Orange County told me she would foster Dog until the Orange no-kill shelter admitted him.

The next day, I drove two hours to M’s house, Dog quietly looking out the back window. M lived in a tiny house with a mob of border collies and poodles, and she would crate him for hours, a risky proposition for a dog who wouldn’t even use a doghouse.

M soon realized her miscalculation, and moved the newly renamed Storm to her friend’s farm with an indoor/outdoor kennel. The next day, the Orange no-kill shelter took him.

All seemed well until Storm’s neutering. M emailed that after surgery he returned to the shelter fine, and then crashed. Animal Control rushed him to the vet’s office, lights flashing and sirens wailing. The vet determined Storm suffered from a blood clotting disorder, and the shelter director drove him to a Charlottesville clinic specializing in internal medicine. At arrival, Storm was in deep shock and nonresponsive.

The clinic threw platelets and blood transfusions at Storm, and after some hours he raised his head. By morning, Storm wagged his tail. M reports that he’s “an excellent patient.”

As of press time, Storm’s condition was guarded; the clinic believes he’ll make a full recovery. If he does, he’ll need the kindness of one more stranger to offer him a good home.


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