To surrender any animal for the animal’s wellbeing takes an act of courage, compassion, and strength. But to do so when the animal is a days-old puppy – and injured – takes on a different level of pet owner.
So begins the life of one Sacramento American pit bull terrier puppy.
Just three days old, he arrives at the practice of one vet with a diagonal gash across most of his tiny body. The owner was unable to pay the bill and surrendered the puppy over to the care of the vet.
Two days later, the vet contacted longtime rescue volunteer and foster “mom” Suzi Stevenson Johnston and related the situation, including how the former owner described the puppy’s mother’s extra-long dew claw and her stepping on her litter as causing his injury.
According to Johnston, the vet reported that the gash cut nearly to the puppy’s lung, so this explanation isn’t completely accepted.
But as the conversation stalled, Johnston asked the loaded question.
“I asked if she wanted me to come get the puppy to which she said, ‘Please!’” Johnston said via email. “So, I did.”
Taking the pup to her home at 5 days young, Johnston contacted Dawn Capp, founder of Chako Pit Bull Rescue, which began in College Station, Texas, in 1997.
“I ‘advised’ her that Chako had a new puppy that I was fostering for them.” laughed Johnston, who has volunteered with animal rescue groups in Northern California for more than 15 years.
As she, Capp and others involved in rescue attended an event the next night, she related the story as well as her search for the suitable name for this survivor pup. She shared the somewhat implausible story of his injury.
“Another friend, Wanda, said, ‘how about Dewey?’ BINGO!” Johnston said.
Dewey healed, ate, played, socialized with Smiley and Jilly, and even greeted a new round of foster puppies at Johnston’s. And then finally he was ready: he met his forever family. Dena and Dave drove from Reno to meet Dewey. He is a perfect fit for the family. If Facebook photos are any indication, he falls asleep, with his paws intertwined with other family canines and just last weekend, he was learning how to “captain” a speed boat on Pyramid Lake.
“He is SUCH a spoiled boy!” Johnston writes. “We couldn’t have asked for a better family for our little Dewey.”
For information on Chako Pit Bull Advocacy and available dogs to foster or adopt, follow the link.
For more information on being a foster parent (call 916-764-6862) or volunteering at Front Street Sacramento City Shelter , call 916.264.5011. For Sacramento County, see the home page.