Meet December. Like Lollie Wonderdog, December is a beautiful, affectionate, gentle dog with a terrible, sad past. And like Lollie Wonderdog was just weeks ago, December is looking for a home.
Her story is still waiting for a happy ending and her journey is far from over, but this sweet girl’s sad beginnings came to a close in late 2009. December was still practically a puppy when she was discovered in a cold, abandoned house in rural Virginia. She was cold. She had no food. No water. She was left in a tiny crate – far too small to stretch out or even move around at all, and abandoned. She had been there, alone, for a long time. When she was found, she was laying still in her own waste, too scared to wag her tail, too weak to even cry for help. She had given up.
When the property’s landlord found her she was rushed to the vet, where she was found to have a critically low body temperature, and in such a state of undernourishment that she weighed just 21 pounds. It took days to stabilize her, and she stayed with the vet far longer before she was able to get her strength back. During her time there, the vet uncovered signs—bad signs. Cigarette burns on her body. Other bad signs.
Once back to health, December returned to the shelter in Radford, VA, where she has lived for more than a year. She has bounced back from her tortured youth and has somehow learned to trust again. She now weighs 43 pounds. She loves all people and other dogs. She is very attentive, staring lovingly into the eyes of anybody who will paying attention, and wags her tail at the slightest hint of kindness. She has a steady temperament and a big heart. The cutest ears you’ve ever seen. Eyes the color of roasted almonds. She is spayed, vaccinated, and heartworm/Lyme disease tested. She has adoring fans at the shelter where she lives. She even has a free ride from the shelter where she lives to her foreverhome– wherever it may be– through Rural Shelter Transport. She has it all – except a family and home of her own.
Unfortunately, the small rural shelter where December lives cannot keep her forever, and cannot provide the enriching, warm environment that an intensely social animal needs to thrive. Recently, December has begun to show signs of kennel stress and depression. This condition is almost inevitable in dogs living in a shelter environment long-term. It tends to vanish quickly once a dog moves into a home, but is next to impossible to treat in a shelter environment. If December isn’t adopted soon, she may not make it out at all. Her fragile little life could be over before it really had a chance to begin.
I am not one to preach to the choir, but without the kindness of strangers, dogs like December have no chance. Looking for your very own special four-legged companion? Consider adopting this dearheart. Know someone who might be a match? Shoot them a quick email. Have a great network online or in the real world? Share December’s story to help her find a home. Thinking about getting into fostering? She might be the perfect dog for you. You may not be able to independently find December’s forever family, but you may be able to play a role. Not every small act can save a life, but a large number of small acts certainly can—and has—time and again.
6/16/11 update: December was adopted!! She now lives with this adorable young couple in the DC area. They love spoiling her and carrying her around like the little baby that she is!