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Chewie, Chewie…He’s Good

Just over a week ago, I blogged about the current “State of the Pack”, promising I’d blog about some of the newer dogs individually. Well, I don’t have time even today, but a promise is a promise :)

Today, I want to talk about one of the puppy mill dogs that we received from up in Cache County (as opposed to the Missouri puppy mill dogs). The particular Sheltie discussed in this blog is Chewie. Chewie was released to us at the tender age of 14 years! For his entire life, he’d been used solely for breeding – and, no insult intended to Chewie, he’s not exactly a stellar example of the breed standard! We were told that he’d sired a litter of puppies no more than six months before he came to us. And then his (alleged) “people” decided that it was time to dump him.

To their credit, they at least were willing to release him, along with a 13-year old female (Bit O’ Honey, or “Hon”, about whom I also wrote a few days ago) and a seven-year old female (Misty), to rescue instead of dropping him off at the pound or dumping him on a lonely country road. But that’s all the credit they get, or deserve.

Against all odds, against all of our experience, against all expectations, Chewie has this incredible, cheery, enthusiastic attitude about him. He’s old and has been neglected (if not actually mistreated), and yet he throws his entire body into showing how happy he is to be petted or cuddled. Even though him mouth has got to hurt (we haven’t been able to afford to give him a dental yet) and his breath is awfully foul, he just loves giving kisses.

Chewie was not neutered, of course, and has one undescended testicle (mmmm hmmmm, let’s breed this dog and maybe we’ll get whole litters of dogs succeptible to testicular cancer!). We haven’t neutered him, and may not, because the anesthesia itself might kill him at age 14! But yet he’s got to have that dental, and as long as he’s under… But removal of that undescended testicle will require a rather longish recovery and we’re not sure that he needs to be put through that if he’s only got a few months to live anyway.

But, here are the worst parts. Chewie’s left front paw has obviously been traumatized. It looks to me like it was run over by a car or something. It’s flat and considerably larger in diameter than his other paws. And two of the toes on that paw (the little piggy who went to market and the little piggy who stayed home) are fused together. It seems highly likely that the paw was badly damaged at one time and never treated by a vet.

But it gets worse still! His right rear paw is, ummm, mangled. It’s hard to even say exactly what it looks like. One toe is missing entirely, there were enormous, gaping, oozing wounds all over the paw. They clearly bothered Chewie enormously, because he spent a lot of time chewing on his foot. Even today, after being here about a month, he still wants to chew at it. He’s either worn an Elizabethan collar or had that paw wrapped up securely with a bootie over it (or both) for the whole month. We’ve treated it with topical antibiotics and healing agents, and most of the wounds have sort of healed, but we neglected to put his collar back on after dinner on Saturday and, within an hour, he had re-opened one of the deeper wounds. Right now, we’re still in the mode of hoping we can save the paw; otherwise, he’ll have to have it amputated, which will be extremely difficult on a dog of his age.

We don’t know how long we’ll have Chewie, but he’ll undoubtedly stay with us until the natural end of his life (who would adopt a 14-year old dog who might need an amputation?). As long as he’s happy and reasonably healthy, that’s all we care about. We absolutely adore him and his relentlessly cheerful attitude.

If only his breath weren’t so bad ;)

(We really are experiencing difficulties paying for all of the medical care the rescues have been requiring lately, and our current vet bill, including what we’ve put onto a credit card, is well over $10,000 and growing. If you have any ability to donate, we would be immensely grateful for any amount at all. Please consider donating to help cover the medical expenses of all of these dogs. You can make a donation directly to Cottonwood Animal Clinic by phoning them at (801)278-0505 and saying that you’d like your donation to be applied to Sheltie Rescue of Utah’s bill. Or, if you prefer, you can donate directly to Sheltie Rescue of Utah through PayPal – even if you don’t have a PayPal account – by clicking here:


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3 comments to Chewie, Chewie…He’s Good

  • What kind of people will treat their dog like that and then even use him for breeding? They ought to be taken out back and shot dead!! Damn…

  • A quick update on Chewie: Barbara had him at the vet’s this afternoon, and he’s spending the night tonight and tomorrow night. The reason is that he’s going to have an early start tomorrow morning for (a)a dental, (b)being neutered (including removing that undescended testicle), and (c)a thorough checkup on that right rear paw to see what we might do to save it.

    Barbara discovered yesterday by removing the bandages with which we’d covered his paw that a spot about ½” × 1″ on his pastern had somehow gotten rubbed raw :( I hate to say it, but it might have been my fault for putting his bandage on improperly. That didn’t help – his urge to chew on his damaged paw was only increased by having yet another problem to worry.

    We’ll keep you all posted…

  • Another update on Chewie…

    His breath is much, much better :) , but his paw is obviously still bothering him quite a lot. He really wants to get at it, so the vets put a soft cast on his entire right rear leg that he would love to remove — so he gets to wear a hat, too (well, an Elizabethan collar). Poor guy!

    But he’s doing great and seems his usual happy self. Barbara did tell me last night (I’m traveling on business right now) that Chewie seemed to have some sort of a minor seizure or something, so that’s worrisome.

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