Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Topanga's story starts in the Clarendon County area of South Carolina. One day, not terribly long ago, the shelter employees had noticed a white pit bull type dog hanging around in the woods on the property of the shelter. It appeared that she may have had a litter at one point in time and had a fairly significant gash on the upper portion of her neck. The employees couldn't get close enough to catch her.

After about two weeks or so, one of the neighbors to the shelter was able to befriend her and took her in until a kennel opened up at the shelter. Topanga's wound had mostly healed and it was quite clear that she was a very soft dog. Topanga buried her head in the chest of one of the shelter employees during her wellness exam. She held her head low and was non-confrontational in all interactions.

On one chilly day in January, we took the ride up to the shelter to temperament test her to see if she was a candidate for rescue. Topanga looked as though she were waiting for the world to fall in on her. She seemed to be thinking that nothing good was coming her way and wouldn't dare show an ounce of excitement for anything. She passed her temperament test quite well and it was recommended that she go to a home to be rehabilitated to gain more confidence and to help her learn how to relax.

Let me tell you guys, during her food aggression test, her response was one of the oddest we've ever seen! When a hand was placed near her bowl, her reaction was to stop eating and just stand there. Normally, we see things like body stiffness/tension, a dog that continues eating, wags its tail gleefully, etc. Topanga just stood there. It was almost as though she was waiting for a kick :( She just stood there like, "Take it already, it's yours anyway. I don't deserve it." Her reaction was absolutely heartbreaking.

The shelter employees began working with her more and she began coming out of her shell ever so slightly and wanting to interact more with people. How could we say no to that!? We found a wonderful foster home for this pretty lady and we're working towards her rehabilitation now.

One last major step we need to make is having her treated for heartworms. Yes folks, this "broken" girl was cared so little about that her previous owners allowed her to become infested with a deadly parasite. :( After all this girl has been through and her great demeanor, we owe it to her to make her life better from this point forward. She was seen by our primary veterinarian today and it will be a 4 month process to clear her of the worms. When she begins treatment, she will be given one injection and will stay the day for observations. One month later, she will go back in for two injections back to back. She will have to stay overnight for this portion for observation. One month after that, she will go back in for an oral dose of the Ivermectin and stay for the day. One final month later, she will go in to be tested for heartworms to make sure she is rid of them.

As one can imagine, this is a pricey procedure but one of the safest and quickest ones available. Each injection alone will cost us $105. This does not include office visit fees, overnight fees, other medications, etc.

If any of our readers can find it in their hearts to donate towards her care, it would be greatly appreciated. We will be discussing options later on about specific dates and will get her scheduled in as soon as possible for her treatment. Keep your eyes peeled!