Okay, so about three months ago my roommate takes in this stray dog. She's horrible, and I'm a dog lover, so I don't say that lightly. I say that as heavily as possible. And please don't flag this post for removal, because there is a real dog whose life is at stake here, and although you may disagree with my not writing flowery Ad-Man prose about her, hell, I'm just being honest. This dog sucks.
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When my roommate found her on the streets, she was malnourished and skittish and had heart worms. You know, I've read more and more stories about pets being abandoned lately because of the economy. I recently got back from a gay wedding in California where one of the grooms had just rescued a Papillon he found starving in a ditch. He was neurotic and defensive for like the first few days, but now a week later he has settled in, and is doing great. And the Papillon's doing well, too. But this pendulously mammaried cur - Elzora, my roommate calls her, though you might as well be meowing at her, because she doesn't know the difference - she is not like that. Not. Like. That. At. All. This is not the precious, precocious Papillon someone rescues from a ditch. This is the miserable, ugly bitch (I use the term technically) that you make a little scrunchy-face at while glancing at it askance...before calling fricking Animal Control.
Roomie, who seriously must have a heart the size of the state, felt sorry for her and took her in and he fed her and took her to the vet. Roomie and I are poor, but he treated her heart worms, got her shots, etc., all with the idea that eventually he was going to put her up for adoption here or take her to a no-kill shelter. (Roomie is also, evidently, a dreamer.) But then she's got behavior problems (which I'm getting to...), and is as ugly as a dead frog squashed by a semi (which I'm also getting to...), and has health issues likely stemming from past abuse (which oh boy, I'm getting to...).
Elzora, or "Mama Dog," as she is more frequently called, is supposedly an Australian Kelpie (according to the vet) though she looks to me like she's got some Doberman in her. But ironically, Kelpies are renown for their agility. Mama Dog is supposedly around 2 years old, but is as agile as a drunk granny on crack. (UPDATE: The hive mind consensus is that she is more Dobie than Kelpie.)
If you want to know what she looks like, she's a dead ringer for the Capitoline Wolf. Look it up on Wikipedia while the article is still accurate. So Elzora would be great if you had two infants, for example, that you wanted to abandon in the woods only to have them found Western Civilization. Without the two little baby statues beneath her, though, I have to say that the first thing you notice about Mama Dog is: nipples. Obscenely large nipples. We think she was probably used for breeding or something because there's really no other explanation. I'm not being cruel, I'm just saying. Because there's one nipple in particular that is really disturbing. The rest you could maybe overlook. But she has this one nipple that hangs really low, and it's fat, but then it gets really skinny, and then it gets fat again. It's like it's just barely hanging on, though it's not, and evidently there's nothing 'wrong' with it except how it looks. But man, that nipple is unsettling.
Having been used for breeding might also explain the issue with her hind legs. When she lies down, it's normally with her legs fully extended, off to the side. And she walks funny, like her back legs don't bend that well. The vet didn't say anything about it and she doesn't appear to be in any pain, so it may have come from being raised cramped up in a cage, or from always being lying down, nursing puppies, or maybe from giving birth so many times: who knows. She doesn't really run unless she sees a squirrel, but even then it's kind of limpy-gimpy. She loves to play with tennis balls, but because of the past abuse to her rear legs, she just kind of lamely bats them around in front of herself with her front paws. It's endearing in a sad way. I don't know: maybe she'd make a good pet for someone who wanted to teach their children that life is cruel and unfair and that people sometimes mistreat animals. That's not what I'd want to teach my kids, but who's to judge? Anyhow...Kelpie, yes...but the whole Agile Kelpie thing: Just Not Happening.
Finally, there's her temperament. She's loving and protective of her humans. Maybe a little too protective, as she can growl at strangers. But put her with a dog that's slightly larger than her and she goes nuts. Like, foaming at the frickin' mouth nuts. She probably would not be a good Dog Park dog, though we've never tried it. On the other hand, she would likely provide excellent protection from zombies.
One of my dogs, Chloe, is slightly larger than Elzora and Elzora hounds her constantly. She stares her down, incessantly circles her - she seriously will not leave Chloe alone. Again, maybe due to past abuse or her previous environment, I think Elzora feels like she has to establish herself as alpha dog for reasons of survival. But she's hindered because due to her hips she cannot engage in typical dominance behavior (mounting - yes, even females do it). So she growls and will attempt to corral the dog that intimidates her. If you try to stop her or get her to leave the other dog alone, she will start foaming at the mouth. Seriously. Eventually, Elzora goads the other dog enough that they will fight. She can't win because she's disabled, but she 100% will not listen and will not back down. She doesn't seem to be threatened by smaller dogs...but she would probably be best in a one-dog household.
On the positive side, she does appear to be house trained and gets along well with cats. And again, there's the thing with zombies.
But okay, seriously, if somebody doesn't take her off of Craigslist, then she's going to the pound, where it's guaranteed euthanasia. My roommate wanted to write a "nice" ad for her, but he's out of town, and frankly, he kept putting it off and putting it off because he probably couldn't think of anything nice to say about her either. He gave me the go-ahead to post an ad and if nobody responds, to drop her off at the pound.
PLEASE don't write any sanctimonious responses about all the things we really should do for this dog. My roommate's on disability and I've just moved to town and have yet to find a steady job - I'm doing landscape work currently, and the damn dog's not mine to begin with. But neither of us has the time or money for aggression training or cosmetic nipple surgery or anything else. Simply put, her time here is done and her only hope for a solution now is you. Don't write me with suggestions. Come get her and implement them yourself.
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- Location: Austin
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