Late last week I got a phone call from Homeward Pet, a Seattle area pet shelter. They wanted to know if I could foster a dog named Mellow, a 7 year old lab mix with a sad story. I have two small boys with severe allergies and we had tried this once before unsuccessfully but something tipped the little scale in my head and I heard myself say ‘yes.’
Mellow had been surrendered to the shelter as his owner was on active duty and had to leave the country. Subsequently, Mellow had come down with kennel cough (I had no idea what this was at the time). He had to be fostered until he got better, which could be up to 2 weeks. I thought I can do this – we will keep him out of the boys’ room and all will be OK – naive no?
I went and picked up Mellow and I must tell you I have never seen a sadder dog. He coughed and wheezed non-stop and even when I got to his cage he did not get up. When he saw his leash however, he was up…a garbage bag half filled with some dry and canned food, a supply of antibiotics and we were off to home. The drive back was one of the longest trips that I had taken. Bad traffic, Mellow’s constant cough made me get off the highway and it took me over an hour to get back. By the time we got back to Seattle Mellow had exhausted himself with nervous energy and constant cough.
This is a photo of Mellow on his first night at our home. He would not eat, take his meds, or move much but he had his head up by my leg so I could pet him. He would wheeze, cough and then nudge my leg to remind me that he was there and I should be petting him. That night I did not get much sleep as he decided he was going to come up stairs with me and check every half an hour to make sure I was still in my bed. And he coughed and wheezed through the whole night.
For the next three days Mellow did not eat anything, he refused all treats and his meds. No matter how sick however, he went every where I went and I mean every where! His eyes sunk in and he became lathergic – I made multiple frantic calls to the shelter and finally decided Mellow was going to go to a vet at my neck of the woods. Monday right around noon Mellow ate his first bit of food and decided life was worth eating for after all.
We have been to the docs and learned that Mellow has more problems than just the cough but he seems to be getting better every hour, every day. My sons have not reacted to him at all and my older one thinks he is the coolest dog ever.
My cursor blinks as this is not yarn related and I am not quite sure why I felt the need to share Mellow with you. I don’t think I have ever met a nicer dog and I have known a few. I am not sure how long he will be in our lives but I must tell you that Mellow is the best dog I have ever met. He loves his people, tolerates my 2.5 year old son’s high-pitch squeals, he listens to ‘no,’ shows no interest in yarn balls left all over my house, and he is attached to me by the hip.
To his previous human, while he is with us we promise to take care of him very well; we will pet him, play with him, feed him, occasionally spoil him and often let him know what a good dog he is. To the great dog-karma, thank you for introducing Mellow into our lives.
Hope you are all well and knitting with a smile.
Mellow’s foster mama – Fulay