Saturday, October 4, 2008

From bad to good

Submitted by EARS volunteer Carol Hedlund of Bainbridge, New York

One of our "bad boys" happened to be a German Shepherd. His coat was horrific and unhealthy, which of course led to skin issues. So he had to be shaved down. The groomers brought in by the Montreal SPCA were amazing -- the pictures tell some of the story.

We have a few black dogs whose breed was a challenge to figure out. It was incredible to watch the transformation of matted fur into true standard poodles. It was frightening to think that dozens of dedicated animal welfare people were unable to figure out what breed they really were because of their condition. Each one, once shaved down, obviously felt better and looked like a poodle.

One of the most moving moments for me was involved one of these standard poodles who was one of our "bad boys." On Wednesday when he first arrived from the second puppy mill seizure, he was terrified and would growl at anyone and anything. It took many pieces of hot dog to coax him slowly out of his crate. Today he came willingly out of his crate (no need for hot dog bribes), put his paw up on my leg and wagged his tail.

The end of a deployment is always an emotional time for everyone. Tonight we all joined together at the temporary shelter for the last time. Lots of food, laughs and tears. We all recognize the week that we've spent here is only the beginning for these dogs. The rest of their lives are guaranteed to be so much better than what they were forced to endure for the first days, months or years that have passed since their birth. Their appalling and gruesome living conditions are history.

It feels really good to know you made a difference and though saying good-bye is hard, I know we are leaving them in good hands to have amazing and happy lives.

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