Day 45: No one at my secondary school ever had skin THIS bad…
Just a quick note before I describe my little GumTree raid in the next blog.
This poor staffie pup was recently dropped at All Dogs Matter .
He had been found abandoned in East London and was suffering from mange. His skin was so bad that our first reaction was that it was likely untreatable and he would have to be put-down. It also appeared that his tail had been broken: it was stiff and bent like a battered car’s TV arial.
Mange like this can be caused by the over-breeding of the dogs’ mothers or because the young pups are not being given the right treatment early on, both issues associated with the abusive selling of dogs online (see my earlier blog here).
Do I go or do I stay?
The dog provoked a weird reaction in me – I was appalled and sympathetic in equal measure. He had big sweet eyes, but his skin was falling off. I felt pulled in two directions. I hardly felt comfortable cuddling him, just like I didn’t want to kiss the acne ridden face of Tom at my secondary school. But at the same time…i felt for the poor, poor bastard.
What can I do to help you? I asked him silently whilst walking away and scratching my head ( for more than one reason.)
But the push-me-pull-you tension in my heart was shortly resolved.
He wagged his broken tale, he gave us the biggest eyes, he sat patiently waiting to get checked over and let us inspect his terrible skin. The dog performed his little itchy socks off to win us over and persuade us he needed another chance.
‘Go bring out another dog’ said Ira. She wanted to test if this little beast was aggressive to others (a sure sign that they won’t be easy to re-home)
The itchy dog watched as Ira’s big dog came lumbering out. The two dogs looked at each other and Itchy wagged his broken tail. ‘Yes, I like other dogs’ he said to us, ‘what else do you want to test me with?’. Then we bought a cat out to him and again he wagged his tail. ‘Yep,’ he said to us, ‘I’ll get on with a slimy toad if you just give me a bloody chance’. I feel certain we could have given him a dance routine or put him on X-factor and he would have performed for us.
‘We have to take him to the RSPCA right now’ said Ira.
Is Itchy-the-dog saveable?
Itchy looked up at me. I sat next to him and allowed myself to touch him. Ira gave me some gloves but I ran my bare fingers over his dry bumpy skin.
‘He may not be treatable, but we have to see’ she said to me.
A few moments later Itchy and me were driving off to the RSPCA hospital in North London with a plastic bag full of some toys to keep him company including a stuffed South Park Kenny character.
In the entrance a huge collection of people sat waiting with dogs, many of them Staffies or Bull breeds, all of them in various states of distress – both the owners and their pets. The wait was about 4 hours and the mood was silent and heavy. But Ira had given me a contact and soon me and Itchy made it through to the back rooms.
I left him with a girl who assured me he would be well tended to.
Later that evening, realising I had forgotten to drop off his toys, I drove all the way back like a demented dad. I knocked on the after hours door and the guard looked at me suspiciously through the double glass doors.
I waved at him and then mouthed: ‘I”VE GOT A STUFFED KENNY TOY FOR THE ITCHY DOG’.
Eventually, after much resistance, he opened the doors and took the bag off me, probably just to shoo another mad person away into the night.
The great news is that Itchy has now had his tests and found to have a form of mange that is treatable. While the care will be extensive and expensive and VERY LONG he WILL make a full recovery and will be looking for a home. He’s adorable and I’ll be updating his news soon. Stay tuned.
If you are want to read more about him or donate some much needed money for his recovery, PLEASE CLICK ALL DOG’S PAGE HERE
He has now been named ‘Max’ in the expectation that he will very soon no longer be ITCHY.