Okay, actually I had very little to do with this one, but the Sewanee Airport and Unwanted Pet Drop-off Point has successfully placed another pet into a loving permanent home.
On Tuesday, I arrived at the Airport to be greeted with "Have you seen the dog?" I hadn't seen the dog. I was told it was in one of the hangars, so I went to go have a look-see. The hangar was open, and though I looked in all the corners, I saw no dog. On my way out, though, I was greeted by what appeared at first glance to be a full-fledged Timber Wolf weighing in at about 140 pounds.
After re-swallowing my heart, I approached the dog, who was walking with an arthritic gait, bending his back legs very slowly and carefully with each step. Despite being in obvious ill-health, I was still aware that he could remove any one body part of mine that he chose before I would even have a chance to scream about it.
On a second glance, the dog's belly was obviously out of whack. He almost looked pregnant, with a distended belly flopping around with each step. I wondered whether he was a Siberian Husky, or an Alaskan Malamute, and how to tell the difference, and popped inside to the computer to do a little research on the matter. The internet was surprisingly unhelpful in this regard. Every attribute listed for one breed could be applied to the other. (According to the vet we eventually got him to, he is a Malamute, though at 130 lbs., an unusually large one.)
Over the course of the next few days, several great people chipped in to get this doggy into a better place. I myself did almost nothing to help. I hate to say it, but I was not sure the dog was capable of being helped, or worth it. It seemed odd, given the fact that I am a total sucker for dogs and all other manner of four-legged furry things, that I was the only one who seemed to be fully and totally aware of the fact that interacting with an unknown, possibly injured, carnivore that weighs nearly as much as you do is something to be handled with EXTREME caution, if at all. Maybe It was the fact that my new 5.6 pound cat, also an airport castoff, had put a hole in me just earlier that day. If an animal that I could throw over my house could do that kind of damage to me, I shuddered to think what would happen if I accidentally found out which one of White Fang's ribs was the broken one.
(That being said, there were plenty of indications that he is quite a big softie. The Airport is permanent home to two cats, and when one of these little 8-pounders arched her back and hissed at Cujo from about 6 feet away, This Mike Tyson-sized dog took a couple of steps back!)
Anyhow, with a lot of TLC from my wife, Becca, as well as her aviation colleague, Catherine, and her employee, Geoff, the big guy has been to see a veterinarian, where he was diagnosed with, in addition to a number of parasitic problems which are to be expected with any stray, a Kidney infection. This is what was producing the painful belly-gas, which was causing him to do the funny walk. (Think about it, if you have really painfully bad gas, do you really want to go jogging?) It is unknown at this time whether the pooch's kidney problem is going to go away with treatment or turn out to be chronic, but he is getting it looked at, and is in the care of a loving couple of people whose pet Husky recently ran away, and who are ready to take care of this big guy.