I’m officially a dog mom!!!
After years of patiently waiting for the right situation in my life to line up & several months of intense searching, on June 27th, 2012 a one-eyed Australian Cattle Dog named Chapin joined my little family (which consists of a very temperamental Calico cat named Sundae).
After working & studying for several years in the animal & veterinary field, I knew adoption was the only route I wanted to follow when purchasing my first dog (and after going through the process I have even more passion, support & respect for animal rescue groups & the staff/volunteers that give so much). Just prior to adopting Chapin I had 2 failed adoption attempts. The first one was a Brittney Spaniel that seemed to have all the qualities I was looking for, but once the meet & greet took place, my heart just told me it wasn’t the right fit. The 2nd was a Catahoula Leopard dog that I fell in love with. Again, he had all the qualities I was looking for, but after the 2nd no-call, no-show appointment by the foster mom occurred…well…let’s just say I sent a not-so-polite email to the rescue group’s director “suggesting” they get better organized. *I did get a return email about 3weeks later full of apologies & stated some internal changes were occurring. By that point I was no longer interested, but was glad to see my email was acknowledged*. After that disaster I figured God was trying to tell me to chill out about adoption…so I did. I quit obsessively browsing the internet for rescue groups, I quit spending hours emailing/calling about dogs on Pet finder. I just stopped & changed my mentality to, “it’ll happen when it happens. God will send him to me when the time is right.”
And he did…
I know, to some, it seems weird to pray for a dog. But I didn’t want just any dog, I wanted a good “match”. I wanted a dog that does awesome on hiking trails, that prefers the company of the outdoors than being cooped up inside all day. A dog that hates to be leashed, but will tolerate one nicely. A dog that will let kids lay all over him & smother him with kisses, but will defend his home if need be. A dog that needs some work, but loves to learn. And he had to, at least tolerate, horses & cats (the cat thing we’re working on!). Australian Cattle Dog’s have always been my favorite breed, but really I wasn’t to picky on the breed thing. Not to much to ask, right? I knew with going through a rescue group the history on my potential dog would be sketchy, so I just prayed that God kept him safe until it was my time to take over. I knew it would happen when the time was right, and in retrospect, I really didn’t have to wait long. While I was busy bitching & complaining about the failed adoption’s, God was already lining up the course of events that would bring my little (big) guy home.
I received an email from Barb, from Canine Lifeline, on June 19th. Her & I had talked previously about another dog I was interested in, that dog wasn’t the right fit, but she now had a dog that she thought might work. She described to me what information she had on him, stated he was a “special needs” & she really didn’t know how he would do for what I was looking for. She said she just felt like this was the right match-up. She sent me his link on Pet finder, & I was hooked…I just knew that this was MY dog! (I even got pissy when I saw another person had commented on his page wanting to set up a time to meet him). After several emails & phone calls we finally scheduled a meet & greet session at a PetCo in Macedonia, OH. She had brought 2 dogs for me to meet, but in my heart I knew that Chapin was the right one. When she opened the kennel door & he came right up to me & placed his head on my shoulder…well, it wasn’t a big surprise to anyone that he came home with me a few hours later. I even started crying when I signed the adoption papers, even while Luke (my brother who went with me) was rolling his eyes & calling me a, “dork”.
Chapin didn’t look like a “Chapin”, to me, the name sounded to “soft”. He was a rough looking, rowdy, rugged Cowboy-looking guy that needed an outlaw, old-west-type name. I had a list made up of potential names (no lie, it really was a handwritten list) that Luke & I tossed around on our car ride home. Waylon & Moonshine were the top 2 contenders…so it became Waylon Moonshine (just sounds like a rowdy, gunslinger, cowboy name…with a soft side Maybe I’ve been reading to many western romances!). He’s got a face only a mother could love, has zero manners, & is mostly skin & bones…but I’m convinced he’s the greatest dog on the planet!
I’m a sucker for a good story. I love to hear of long-lost loves reuniting after years of being separated, adopted kids finding their birth parents, pet’s that travel hundreds of miles to make it home…those stories always make me teary-eyed. And I knew Waylon had a story, he had one-eye for crying out loud! There’s a story there! And I made it my personal mission to find out what his was. From the little information I had, I knew he came from Bowling Green (I assumed Ohio, but turns out it was Kentucky). What unfolded before me was a story that brought me to tears & made me realize what a survivor Waylon was…the dog that welcomed me into dog-mom world by having explosive diarrhea on our first night together, that resulted in me having to re-paint my freshly painted foyer walls. The dog that learned how to sit & shake within 2weeks of our time, but hid behind & tree, shaking for 15min’s (until I could calm him down enough to come to me) when I picked up a stick in an attempt to teach him fetch (my guess is his experience with sticks hasn’t been so positive in the past). The same dog that has let my nieces crawl all over him & love on him like he’s a giant pillow.
Backtracking through my records from Canine Lifeline (where he was received on 6/18), I learned that he came to that rescue via the Macedonia Veterinary Clinic, in Ohio, (who has a network of rescues that they work with) where he was neutered, received his vaccines, de-wormed & had his stitches removed from his recent eye surgery. Prior to MVC, that’s where my records end, fortunately the referral vet at MVC kept meticulous records & was more than happy to relay her contact information from Waylon’s previous step. I contacted the Bowling-Green Warren County Animal Hospital where Waylon had his eye-removal surgery (local rescues couldn’t accept a dog with Waylon’s immediate health problems, a quick Google search led them to MVC who was more than happy to meet halfway to bring Waylon up this way!). The veterinarian & receptionist both personally emailed me & told me he came to them via the Coffee County Humane Society, & had been transported to their facility on 5/27 by the Coffee County Sherriff’s Dept. (out of Tennessee—ends up that Waylon was a perfect choice of a name for the very rural, completely mountainous county in the suburbs of Nashville he hailed from). He had a fishhook that had been removed from his eye at the Coffee Co. Humane Society after he was rescued from an animal hoarding situation on 5/22. The Coffee Co. Humane Society was going to euthanize him after seeing the severity of his eye (the clinic did not have the surgical equipment to perform such an extensive surgery), however, a technician working at CCHS had a friend that worked as a technician at the BGWC Animal Hospital (the CCHS technician’s brother was a deputy sheriff that worked for Coffee County & also had been involved in Waylon’s rescue, volunteered to drive him to Bowling Green). Waylon’s eye was so infected & had been left untreated for so long, that the nerves & scar tissue had started to re-grow over the fishhook. The veterinarian said gangrene had already set in & it was a miracle tetanus hadn’t either; he predicted the fishhook had been in his eye for at least 6-8weeks. He was in surgery for 4hours & had to have his complete eye socket removed & cleaned out from all the dead scar & diseased tissue. It was so infected that the swelling had extended into his nasal cavity. He said what amazed him the most was that despite the pain Waylon was in, he was so happy. His time there he met & loved on everybody that came through the door & the staff fell in love with him. The technician at BGWC (the friend) called me the next day & gave me the contact information for her friend at Coffee Co. Humane Society.
Amanda, the technician at CCHS, returned my email immediately & said Waylon came into their facility after the Coffee County Human Society, Throw me a Bone Dog Rescue, & the Coffee County Sherriff’s Dept. rescued him (along with 65 other animals; dogs, cats, horses, cattle, & avian’s) on 5/22. The property was (as she describes it) a junkyard. 30 of the animals had to be euthanized due to health, behavior (many of the animals were feral), or age. Waylon had, in deed, had a fishhook completely imbedded into his left eye, the “hook” part was behind the actual eye with the ends sticking through the pupil. When the vet removed the fishhook, the whole eye just fell out with it (she described it like a tender piece of meat, it just fell apart). She said it was so dead & diseased that it didn’t even bleed. That was when the vet decided to euthanize Waylon, knowing they didn’t have the surgical equipment to do such an extensive surgery. Amanda then contacted her friend at BGWC Animal Hospital & made plans for his surgery to happen by the end of the week.
The last part of Waylon’s beginning was talking to Amanda’s brother, the police officer who helped rescue Waylon & ended up driving him to BG. He said the property was owned by a widow & her grandson. Years ago, the husband used to own a scrapyard & when he died the property just got away from her. She was in her early 80’s & in failing health. He specifically remembered Waylon because of his eye, he said (honestly) it was “fucking disguising”, but he couldn’t believe how friendly this mud & feces soaked dog that smelled like urine & was nothing but bones, that had one eye hanging out of his skull with a fishhook piercing it, was. He said the other animals were running all over the place, but Waylon jumped right into their cargo van & seemed to fall asleep (they weighed him in at 35#’s…healthy weight for his size should be around 60#’s). All the animals were living in over 3feet of their own filth, were starving, & they even found dead cat bones buried underneath piles of trash in the house. The property & house ended up being condemned & is scheduled for demolition on 8/21.
My veterinarian, as well as, the records I have on Waylon estimate his age to be between 2-3yrs. I think back to where my life was 2yrs go & all the changes that have occurred. I’ve said this a million times & I believe it with all my heart: “There is no such think as coincidence. Everything, every small inconsequential thing, is pre-planned by God.”…the good & the bad…it’s all part of something bigger that gets you where you need to be. The situation’s in my life that I was going through, & the situation in Waylon’s…they’re different, but in some ways, they’re the same. For me, he’s proof, of how far you can come in just 2 (short) years, as long as you put your faith in God & let him be your guide. Every single person I talked to about Waylon commented on how sweet & happy he was, despite the obvious pain he had to be in…he kept his happy.
2 years ago God was working in my life in ways that I can’t even begin to describe…2 years ago Waylon was born into a life that should’ve ended him, broken his spirit.
Through a series of events beyond my control Waylon has come into my life. He’s a good lesson on survival & being positive despite where you’re at in life.
He’s a good lesson on where you start out doesn’t have to be where you end up.
Above all, he’s a lesson on how much God loves ALL things & if you’re patient, & don’t’ fight him…he’ll get you where you need to be.
That includes one-eyed mangy looking dogs.
-My cup runneth over with thankfulness & gratitude to all the hearts that brought my guy to his fur-ever home…-