You’ve never seen two people so excited to see dog poop.
When you adopt a skinny white homeless dog with ribs sticking out, head too big for his body, a projectile puking habit, and a huge lust for life, you name him Iggy Pup. That’s what we did in June of 2012. That sweet soft pup with a half mask of brown on an all white, gracefully fast body, came with a deadly parasite and a lot of love.
After a year of trying to build up his gut health we knew something else was wrong. The entire city of Madison seemed to know it too from the unsolicited comments at the dog park.
“Did you know you’re dog has a protein deficiency?”
“Ummmm, I don’t know how to tell you this, but you’re starving your dog.”
“Hey, what’s the deal? Your dog needs help. I have half a mind to report you to Animal Control!”
The answer became our mantra. “We’re working on it.”
I cannot count how many total body sobs and exasperated breakdowns I had at the local dog food store every time someone said, “Everyone swears by this,” for the umpteenth time. We tried pureed pumpkin, goat’s milk, various tinctures, pills, food sprinkles, frozen raw dog food… Nothing prevented Iggy from shooting liquid out one end or the other with virtually no warning.
It felt like the entire SASY (Starkweather, Atwood, Schenk, Yahara) neighborhood pitched in with advice and offerings to help. Some only to help us figure out his mix, gently placing their hand on his bony back side to proudly announce, “He has Borzoi in him.” I thanked them for thinking my Janesville stray had any exotic roots- it didn’t change the inability to digest any food.
A dog food company donated pounds of expensive raw frozen dog food in hopes they were the cure and we’d have quite the success story. Despite the crossed fingers, dances around the pit fire, and prayers, poor Iggy remained a long-legged 35 pound puking pup.
He tried to tell us his story, but the only thing we could figure out was that he was driven into the country and dumped out of a moving car near a big farm. Every trip we took to visit folks in Door County he begged us not to dump him again anytime we got within eyesight of a farm. Then one day when I was gardening, he dropped down to the ground and shuttered at the sight of my trowel. My stomach dropped. What the hell happened to him in the six months of his life before we adopted him?
…to be continued…