Sunday, July 06, 2008

Cheerio Old Sport

Meet Sport.

I'm not kidding about the "old Sport" business. Sport is OLD - Sixteen years old, to be more specific. The story as I heard it was that Sport's owner (no spring chicken himself) died, and the surviving members of his family didn't seem to have it together when it came to Sport, because this old man wandered off and got picked up by the SPCA as a stray. I have no idea how long he was Littlest Hobo-ing it on the road, but by the looks of him, it must have been about 4 days shy of FOREVER.

Sport is completely emaciated. I'm not talking skinny, I'm talking bones-with-fur. The fact that he can walk never fails to amaze me. The fact that he survived his neuter surgery on Friday is nothing short of miraculous.

He is probably 15 lbs or more underweight. He also has the worst case of flea-bite dermatitis I have ever seen, the world's yeastiest ears, and a tumour on his ass (attractive, no?). Sport is not winning any physicality awards in the near future. I would like to believe that his elderly owner let him deteriorate like this because he was infirm himself and that his surviving family were so overwhelmed with grief that they couldn't care for Sport too. Because I would hate to think anyone would willfully neglect a dog like this.

They (the family) did not retrieve him from the shelter. They felt he should "go to God" and be with his owner. The shelter felt he might be better off "going to TDBCR." And I'm a sucker for an old dog, so guess who got Sport? :)

I feel robbed of the precious years I was to spend with Briggs in his old age. He died much too young. Perhaps I can make up for that with Sport.

Sport is a real sweetie. I gather he was not eating at the shelter, or at his temporary residence in the vet clinic, post surgery. Then his interim foster home, who held him overnight for me, bought him 17 different varieties of canned food and Sport settled on something disgusting called "Lean Cuts" as his meal of choice - if offered on a spoon.

Ah, but Sport is no dummy. My first order of business with all dogs, especially those that are ailing, is to switch 'em to raw. I put down a plate of ground chicken mixed with Lean Cuts and Mr. Sporticus promptly ate all the chicken and politely left the Lean Cuts behind. Mr. Woo thinks Sport is a real idiot.

Anyway, there's my secret - we are Three Woofs and a Woo once again. At least temporarily. Because while I would love to offer Sport a retirement home here at Casa de Food Lady, I also realize that my oldest dog is half Sport's age. And Sport might like to have someone who is around in the day to spend time with, something I can't really offer him (until someone starts subsidizing my life, that is). But for the next while, at least, Sport is here to stay and hopefully improve.


40 comments:

Natalie said...

Oh that poor old guy. He has such sad eyes.

3dogslater said...

I love that you're a sucker for old dogs :) Sport may just worm his way into your home and never leave...

The Border Collies said...

My home really is not the most practical for a really old dog - I live alone and I'm out a lot and we don't take many leisurely walks to accommodate old-dog pace. So it may very well be there are much better options for him out there. But for the moment, we will see how he fares here.

My dogs completely ignore him. It's as though he does not exist! I can't ignore him, he smells very bad. I can't wait until his neuter incision heals and I can bathe him. Blech.

dogzoomies said...

Whether or not he's there to stay... he's definitely in good hands with you. How is the rest of the household with the intro of Sport to the mix?

Yvette said...

aw thanks for taking him in - even if only temporarily.

dogzoomies said...

Ah our comments crossed paths... you answered my question!

That's a cute photo of him with the crossed paws. It will be neat to see his personality come to life as he starts to gain weight and get healthier.

You know, there was a 27+ year old 'vegan' border collie living in Britain set to make the Guiness Book! (This was back in 2005!)

Mafiosos! said...

He crosses his paws; that would slay me in a heartbeat and make me quit my job to stay with him 24/7.

Buzz's Food Lady said...

Those pictures where he is crossing his paws slay me. What a nice old man. Buzz says Sport should try the pork (Buzz digs swine most of all!)

Carp; said...

Sport has beautiful soft eyes like Piper. He is a wise old soul. And you are wise for taking him in.

As an RN, I see families whose coping mechanisms are maxxed out when an older family member sickens and dies. They just don't have the skills to deal with the dynamics of illness and death and family. Unfortunately, old Sports are collateral damage in such situations. But trust me, other family members probably have the emotional and/or health equivalents of yeasty ears. Very sad. I actually like the part of my job that deals with helping them find at least some healthier ways to cope. Someday I might do home health hospice nursing and build better bridges to families' pets' futures.

Maybe the other dogs ignore him because their olfacories are insulted?

Carol

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Thank you, for rescuing Sport. A Border is smart, a senior Border is smart + + + +. He just melts ya with those crossed paws.

Tatyana said...

what a beautiful old boy! Best of luck with him :)

barjor said...

Our last foster was 12 years old, with a similar story (her owner was placed in a Ass't living program and Bonnie was to be donated to the shelter). When she came to our house, she was sad for a month or two, but then she began to feel better. She now lives with my mom, and is the happiest.dog.ever.

Old dogs rule!

Good for you food lady....you rock!

Barbara & the Bedlams Pack

Anonymous said...

Oh Bless you for taking Sport in..he has such hurt and suspicion in his eyes...I just know he'll do so much better and get to settle in with your bunch.

Shihtzu Staff said...

Good for you! Seniors are the best! We are addicted over here.

Riva said...

awwww, he's darling! three cheers to you for taking him in until someone who needs him as much as he needs them comes to light. I don't think he could ask for a much better place to be, a loving Food Lady, a cute but distinctly missing from pictures lately unfolded fold kitty and three amazing dogs to teach him bad habits like barkscreaming!

you RULE!!! (even if you aren't coming to California)

kingsley said...

Thank dogness for you!!!

I can't wait to see his happy face on your blog.

Janet said...

What a soulful face. You're my hero for helping this old guy.

riosmom said...

Is Old Sport your "secret"? If so, what a wonderful secret. The pictures of him with his paws crossed and his sad eyes tore at my heart. He may not care about leisurely walks - at least for a while - if he has a full belly (on a good diet) and a soft place to put his old body. You have earned some major brownie points with this one. Looking forward to pics of him as he gets his health back.

riosmom said...

Just re-read your post and realized you did say Sport was your secret. I apologize for my sloppy reading the first time.

dp said...

That's kind of the opposite of getting a puppy. He is SUPER cute.

ACB said...

So glad that you took in the old guy. I was raised by my grandfather so I have a soft spot for old fogies, human, dog, and otherwise. I do hope he starts feeling better soon.

On a side note, has Tweed ever done any modeling for Outward Hound? I could swear I saw him on their website in a santa suit and a reindeer outfit as well. Hmmmm...maybe it's his good twin?? lol

Jean said...

Woooohooooo! Another senior finds a safe haven!! Charley, Belle and Sadie send you tons of senior doggy kisses for giving Sport a home where he can get healthy again.
(oh, and I put my hand over their eyes so they wouldn't see the comment about eating swine......the piggies here wouldn't like that one little bit!)

Anonymous said...

hurray for Sport... if we could disguise him as a cat... bring him to Seattle on the 12th and we'll just slide him into my house here.... hubby need never know.

Are you bringing your dogs down for the photo shoots too?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for helping Sport. I'd hate to think that ANYONE would be cruel enough to knowingly allow him to get so emaciated, too.

MalaysianFan said...

Old Sport may vie with Mr. Woo as the most photogenic pooch in your pack. Especially the crossed-paws photo, as your other fans have pointed out -- I can almost picture him in the library, wearing a smoking jacket, recounting his days as a young pup at Yale...

Ray said...

I can't wait to see photos of him smiling - which I'm sure will soon appear now that he is in such good hands.

jane said...

Bless you, RDM.

Mo said...

He's very handsome and cute!

Becky said...

Old dogs are awesome. Lucky Sport, and lucky Food Lady.

As far as leisurely walks go, our 14-year-old probably-a-BC enjoys going to the dog park and just kinda wandering around -- sniff this, pee on that, bark at the young ones if they get too rambunctious too close by, play for a minute or two and then lie in the shade. So once Sport gets some weight back on him, he might well enjoy park outings.

And as for Sport's previous owner's family, they are a perfect illustration of why it's important for elderly pet owners to assume that, on their demise, their relatives will suddenly turn into complete and utter asshats. Making prior arrangements for pets may be difficult, but it's doable. (Personally, I'd much sooner take in an acquaintance's 16-year-old dog than his 16-year-old kid.)

dana wyzard said...

I was asked on my blog what I would do with a million dollars. My answer was to build a Survivor home for dogs left behind due to their human dying. I worry about my 16 year old boy, because it seems to be a race to see which one of us is going to be left standing....or, as in our case, limping.

CharlieDog said...

Oh my god. I wish I was closer to you, or could get Sport here, because I'd take him in a heartbeat!

MahnaMahna said...

as others have said, i can't wait to see photos of him smiling... what a dear old man.

insanedogowner said...

I can subsidize your life if you move here. I have a guest house, a swimming pool and all you have to do is stay home, take care of LOTS of dogs and take LotS of pictures.

Bless you for Sport.

timtim said...

how wonderful you are. Thanks for sharing this touching story that is your real life!

citydog said...

Aww. Like you, I'm a sucker for the oldies, although I keep ending up fostering puppies/young dogs (including an 8 mos old BC girl who would *really* like to go to a sport home! Anyone in New England?)

Looking forward to hearing Sport's porked up and landed in a home-all-the-time-to-dote-on-the-old-man-dog home. :)

Katie said...

Maybe I'd think otherwise if I could smell him, but he's lovely. I have a major soft spot for the old dogs.

Sumsio said...

Food Lady you rock. :) Sounds like he's got some good munchies coming his way (and he's no fool about it!)and he'll start putting on the pounds in that easy healthy way. Maybe Old Dog Haven here in WA could refer? If not, I'll pass your note around the NWAussie world. You just never know who bites... ;)

Finnegan Dowling said...

It's always so frickin' easy when your beloved relatives bite it to pawn their poor pets off on 'god'. Fuckers.

Unless you're god, which I've always suspected. Just cuz you rule so much.

Tristan - I'm a Heavenly King said...

Hey Food Lady!
Cheerios to you! I'm so happy to hear that Sport is with you! I can't be better assured that he is in good hands. :)

Just dropping by to let you know I've been reading your blog. How I wish I could come check out grandpa Sport. He does look friendly (According to Mommy, you make him look friendly. Or rather, YOU can make all dogs look friendly-or whatever you like :))

I stay real far away (like the other side of the world?) otherwise I'm sure to pester Mommy to get my pics taken by you!

Please keep Sport's update coming and coming! Sigh. I wish we were near.. really.. cause I know Mommy wants another one just like me! (She's already been smitten by my BC charm!) but we are really rare where I'm from, and also she'd rather get it from the rescue anytime than to get from a shop or whatever.

I heard you run a BC resuce outfit. That's so awwwwesooome!!! :)

mips said...

I love Sport, you can see right to his soul through his eyes.