Found his forever home November 5 , 2005

"Do you have any huskies or husky mixes?" The call was the standard one made by the rescue volunteer to the shelter every week, but the answer was anything but standard and broke the volunteer's heart. The shelter had a one-year-old male stray husky mix, but he had only five days before being euthanized. There was no hope. The dog was injured, filthy dirty, matted, flea infested, and who knew what else. The shelter had no vet, little time or resources, and no intention of cleaning the dog up or putting him up for adoption after the time required of them to hold a stray. He was simply "unadoptable."

The volunteer quickly sent a plea up the chain of command and out to the rescue membership. A plan started to form. One volunteer offered to go visit the shelter, test the dog's temperament and pull him from the shelter if he was not aggressive. Another volunteer offered to take him to see a vet, and another home offered to foster the sweet little boy. His name would be Dante. After all, the poor dog had been through an inferno in his young life.

A visit to the shelter confirmed that Dante was scared and certainly hurting, but sweet. His back leg was indeed badly injured, and he did not use it. Combined with his filthy, matted coat, he looked a sorry sight indeed, but certainly worth saving. The volunteer pulled the little boy from the shelter and passed him off to another volunteer who took him to a vet who offered to see the dog at a reduced fee. The news at the vet was mixed. The leg was not broken, but the wound was ulcerated. Dante had three kinds of worms, was underweight, dehydrated, infested with fleas, and had parasites. Life on the streets had not been kind to little Dante. The staff at the vet's office was won over by Dante's sweet spirit despite his troubles. They treated him and sent him off with good food, medicine samples, and their best wishes. Another trip was scheduled to get Dante to his new foster home.

Dante now spends his days playing with his foster brothers and slowly regaining his health. The fleas and parasites are gone, he is gaining weight, and the wound in his leg is healing. He is re-learning to use his leg like a normal puppy should and he loves to rough-house with his foster brothers. Dante's foster parents often call him "Wonder Puppy." It is truly amazing, they say, how happy he is. His tail wags so hard when his foster family comes home that he has trouble standing. In fact, his tail always seems to be wagging. He follows his foster mom and dad all over the house, and adores the care and positive attention he receives. His journey back to health will be a long one, but he is on his way.

Message from Dante's foster (now forever) mom:

Dante will be staying at our house forever. When he was finally well and neutered and available for adoption, it was time to "put up or shut up." We decided that we could not bear to let him go to someone else's house, even though it would be a good one. Leo has known almost since Dante came here that he would not be leaving, but I was unwilling to face having four personal dogs with all that entails. But when it came time to face taking him on adoptions and coming home without him, I knew I couldn't do it. There is just something very special about the little guy, and it's not just his goofy Ewok ears. He is always so happy and appreciative of every little thing, and enjoys life to its absolute fullest. Our guys really like him, seek him out, and let him get away with things they have never let any other foster dog away with.

I just wanted to thank again those who had a part in getting him here and making our little pack complete. Sharon who evaluated him at the shelter and pulled him, and Kerry and Eric (Dante's new Godparents) who took him to the vet, kept him for a while, and brought him to me somewhere in Maryland that I will never be able to find again. Thank you.

Deb and Leo
Bandit ("You know, he's actually pretty cool, but don't tell him I said that.")
Lobo ("See, I told you the little guy was special. I don't share the water bowl with just any dog.")
Nero ("Finally, a permanent playmate that can keep up with me and help take on some of those crazy fosters!")