My husband and I, and our pets, have a wonderful little stray dog staying with us, and we’re looking for a good home for her. She’s going to require some medical care (more on that below), but she’s very loving and smart and well-behaved, and is sure to be a rewarding pet to whomever adopts her.
The dog is a young adult (vet estimates 3 years old), 19-pound female jack russell, or possibly a jack russell/beagle mix. I met her on January 23rd at a crossroads gas station in a rural part of Marion County, South Carolina. She was presumably abandoned at the gas station — I don’t know what’s wrong with people who would dump a dog out on the highway in January (or any other time), but she’d been living outside the store for at least a week, through this awful cold weather. I visited three times that day, and each time, the dog was trying desperately to make friends with everyone who stopped for gas, and when I petted her she followed me to my car and tried to get in. The third time I visited it was nightfall and incredibly cold, and she was still there, so she came home to Durham with me.
She is a GREAT dog. She’s extremely affectionate and eager to please, and she seems to be very smart. For a jack russell she’s also really calm. Maybe it’s just that she’s in a new and confusing environment, but she has only barked once, and hasn’t had any of those jack russell running rampages yet. She and our dog (an 8-year-old golden retriever) like each other and have been playing nicely. She gets along okay with our cats too (she tries to play with them, an idea that they quickly squash). The gas station owner said that her children loved the dog, so it sounds like she’s good with kids.
Here’s the jackpot: she’s house-trained. She has not had any accidents in the house or car. (We will let potential adopters know if any of her behavior takes a turn for the worse, but so far so good!) She wags her tail constantly, and does endearingly silly things like falling over backwards when trying to kiss someone sitting behind her.
Now here’s the complicated bit. She had a checkup with our vet, and we learned that she has heartworms. I guess that’s not surprising for a dog who’s been living outside in a swampy part of South Carolina. It’s treatable, but will require careful attention. Our vet is going to give us an estimate of what full treatment is likely to cost, and we’ll let potential adopters know. She’s getting started on antibiotics today which will boost her immune system in preparation for heartworm treatment. When she starts the actual course of anti-worm medicine, she’s going to have to be kept calm for about eight weeks, with no exercise. One of our cats was successfully treated for heartworms more than a decade ago, and she’s now 17 and healthy; but it’s going to be an expense and a project that this dog’s future owner will need to consider.
She is probably not spayed yet; the vet didn’t feel a scar that would indicate having had surgery. We’re currently treating her for intestinal worms, which should be knocked out with the first dosage, though we’ll have her retreated to make sure. She had a full slate of vaccines this week, and will need a booster shot again in three weeks.
So far, that is what we know of this dog’s story. She is as sweet as can be, and is going to be a first-rate pet and companion.
We have of course had her scanned for a microchip (none), been in touch with the shelter in the county where I found her, and scoured online boards in case anyone had reported her missing.
We live in a very small house, with a large older dog, and two very old (17- and 18-year-old) cats. About once a year I come across a lost dog and bring him/her home, and if we kept them all we’d pretty quickly be beyond our means to take good care of them. So far I’ve always been able to place them in good permanent homes (with people I know personally and will continue to be in regular touch with). I’m of course trying all the same routes to place this dog as well, but because of her special medical needs am trying to spread the word a little farther.
We will gladly deliver her to a new home anywhere within about a day’s drive of North Carolina; and if for any reason it doesn’t work out, we will come back to get her, guaranteed. If you are interested in adopting her, please provide references, ideally including a veterinarian who has treated your pets. Please understand that I don’t make this request out of any distrust of you personally — simply that I want to ensure that this dog goes to a home where she will be safe and loved.
If you are interested in this little girl, or know someone who might be, send me an email (click on my name in the right-hand column) and I’ll put you in touch with SarahB. If you’re worried about the cost of heartworm treatment, of course we can set up a fund here to help out with that!