Hattie is a hard dog for me to write about, talk about or even think about although I do very often. She was only with us for a few weeks but the situation around her arrival speaks volumes about the problems with animal welfare in this country. I live in Texas and I think it is especially bad here. We have taken in many dogs that just literally ripped my heart out. Hattie was one of them.

I was asked to transport Hattie to a new home in Houston. I was meeting the women that were taking her in Waco. When the transporter arrived we discussed that she was in terrible shape. Her little body was very thin and she had lost a lot of fur. She looked like she had never been cared for. She probably wasn’t. As it turns out, Hattie had a chip but the “owners” never bothered to return the calls on Dallas Animal Services to reclaim her. In all likelihood they had put her out when she became old as often happens here. She was very weak, listless and just seemed to have given up. Elizabeth (@springblizzard) said she was sleeping on a hard concrete floor at the shelter with only a thin blanket and nasty food on a paper plate. When the adopters learned that she needed medical attention they decided that they were not able to take her. So, I had the choice to take her back to the shelter (a certain death) or bring her home. I chose the latter.

Hattie went to the vet first thing the following morning. She got a body score of one out of five, her teeth were so rotten they were encased in plaque, her sodium level was very low and her white and red blood cell counts were way off. They treated her for an infection (she had a badly abscessed tooth) with the plan that we would clear up the infection and then get her strong enough to have a dental. Some times that can change everything quickly. She was also tested for Addison’s Disease due to the low sodium. As the medication began to take affect Hattie started getting up and walking! She even went out in the back yard by herself and walked around! Then she laid in the sun. This happened for several days. She ate very good and we started to notice that she was putting on a little weight! We did notice that she had Dementia. This is evident when a dog walks in circles but does not have Vestibular Syndrome. We didn’t care! If she could get healthy and have some quality to her life we could live with Dementia. We have several others who also have it so she was in good company.

I don’t think Hattie ever had any love in her life. When she first came she tried to get away from us when we held her and tried to cuddle her. The concept seemed very foreign to her. It only took a few days for her to decide that she liked it and we held her often and told her how glad we were to have her with us. I hope she heard us. She was so tiny and she looked like a newborn baby lamb. Somewhere along the way her nose had been broken. She would lay in my lap and I would pet her little broken nose and wonder how it happened. Broken noses often happen due to rotting teeth. The infection from those teeth can cause other bones in the face to decay. This is what happened to Nochi. I hope it didn’t happen because someone hurt her.

Last Thursday I can home and found Hattie laying on the floor rather than on her bed. When I went to pick her up she was very cold. Her heart was barely beating. I knew it was too late to do anything. I wrapped her in a soft blanket and we held her until she took her last breathe. Even though she had only been here  a short time it broke my heart and I have cried for days. Hattie was failed by everyone. Her owners should have been found and arrested but that will never happen because all they have to say is that they gave her away or she got out. The people who saw her throughout her life and never reported the neglect or tried to help her. And, the shelter should be held accountable for leaving a dog that sick and frail laying on a concrete floor with a thin blanket. We tried to help but it was too late. Too much damage had been done to her tiny body. If you ever wonder where your donations go, this is a great example. Our vet bills for Hattie alone were over $1,200. We didn’t win this time but I would try all over again. 

Hattie deserved better and so do so many others. I will continue to try to change these lives in memory of all of the Hatties that have come through our home. We love you all.

This was Hattie the day she was picked up from the shelter. Her face was so matted we didn’t even notice the hole in her head from her untreated abscessed teeth.
This is the hole on the side of her face from the infection….
Here is my sweet little lamb-like girl the day after she went to the groomer and got feeling fresh and clean.
This is Hattie moments before she left us. Finally at peace. Finally loved. And she knew it.

Published by Adrienne Wyse

I rescue hospice and special needs dogs on my travels all around the country!

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