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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Moose Needs a Home

Three weeks ago, my photograher colleague, Donna Planas, got a call from her husband, Carlos, who'd spotted a black dog under a van in the parking lot of the Miami church where he works. Donna grabbed me and we went to check him out.

Poor little guy was obviously sick, scared, starving, and hurt. He looked at us with sad, velvety-brown eyes as Carlos reached for him and gently pulled him from under the van. I kid you not that when he realized he was safe, he let out an audible sigh of relief. His left rear leg had a terrible scar, probably from being hit. We believe he's been on the street most of his life.

We drove him right to a neighborhood vet, where tests revealed he had a belly full of worms (no surprise) and was heartworm positive. Our hearts sank, but we resolved then and there to save his life. After all, he's probably only 18 months old.

Two days later, I drove him up to my longtime vet, Dr. Ron Tapper, at Emerald Hills Animal Hospital in Hollywood. There he stayed for two weeks, emerging last week in tip-top shape, and neutered. Ron - bless him - worked with me on the cost of the heartworm treatment, which can run into the mid-hundreds.

For a couple of days, I had him at my house by himself, parking the other guys with my boyfriend, so he could get used to being inside. At first he was wary and tentative, but quickly grew more comfortable.

By this past weekend when he met all the other dogs, he was transformed. He acquired the name Moose, and integrated seamlessly into the pack. He figured out the dog door in less than an hour, and hasn't had a single accident in the house.

So here's the hard part: With five dogs between us, my boyfriend and I can't manage another (and Donna and Carlos have five cats!) Under any other circumstances, we'd keep him in a heartbeat. This dog was BORN obedient. He's cheerful, kissy, and lots of fun. He's 44 pounds now and probably will top out around 48-50. He'll probably always limp a little, but that doesn't stop him from playing and chasing around the yard.

He needs a wonderful home with someone who will love and cherish him as we do. If you're interested, please e-mail me at I thank you, and Moose thanks you.


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