I brought him home and quarantined him so I could provide him space of his own. He needed so many things and I set to prioritizing them. I started by administering his medications, giving him a snack, taking him for a quick walk and then straight to the bath. Luckily, I had some Maleseb (medicated, antimicrobial shampoo) on hand so I gently brushed what was left of his fur and gave him his first of many baths. All of this activity was a lot for Suki and he spent the rest of Friday quietly napping. He was perky Saturday morning and ate with gusto! Taking him for a walk that next morning, he never stopped wagging his tail, but that’s just how Suki is. He LOVES being outside and his tail is always wagging to prove it. He basically slept the rest of the weekend, getting up to eat and take our twice daily walks, but I could tell he was already feeling better and likely hadn’t been sleeping much due to anxiety and discomfort.
We settled into a routine pretty quickly. He was definitely crate trained and loved the crate someone loaned us. He got along fine with my senior dog, Lucille, and although my cat didn’t quite trust him, they made it work. I stayed in contact with his vet, checking in regularly with updates. By giving him the antibiotics, allergy medication, changing his bedding daily, giving him medicated baths twice a week and treating his ears for 9 days with Zymox Otic Solution, his condition quickly improved. The board member that was first contacted about Suki was able to meet with his owner to get more information. We discovered that Suki had suffered terrible losses over the last 6 months. One of his owners (and his favorite person) was placed in long term care, followed just a month later by his long time canine brother passing away, then his other owner left home to recover from an illness. Suki definitely had every reason to be stressed. Dogs are pack animals and one by one, he had lost his family. I did my best to comfort and reassure him every day and his mood and health continued to improve. Within a week, his skin and ears had shown drastic improvements and some of his fur was even growing back. He started begging to get on the couch and then the bed. He so wanted to be close to humans, but I could tell he was hesitant. He was still learning to trust me and I respected that. By week two, he was my shadow- following me from room to room. Every time I looked down, he was there. My heart broke for this dog, who wanted nothing more than a loving human he could depend on. But it also reminded me of the resilience dogs possess and I was comforted knowing Suki was well on his way to happier days.