I guess I feel like I want to get this off my chest and since I had let everyone in on Sparkys plight I figured I should go ahead and say what had happened even if it was not exactly the rosey ending I had hoped for. I really worked hard and did what I could and I hope that it had a happy ending, but I am not sure if it is all over or if we will ever really find out what happened to Sparky.
Sparky is a dog that just spent a few minutes in my life, but gosh, he will haunt me forever and has really occupied my mind a lot the last few days wondering how something like this happens. I have always thought that it has to be rough to be a dog and totally dependant on what happens with your owners, and what is happening in their life. You could be the best dog in the world and wake up one morning out in the cold, even if you spent your early years as a very well off, pampered, cherished pet.
Sparky is the little matted, poop encrusted Westie that I found at the shelter. He had a tag with a phone number, although the phone number was from out of this area and disconnected. I went home and was not sure the rescue group would take him because he was a mess and not very adoptable in the condition he was in. He had really dry encrusted eyes, and the matting and the smell and he had little cataracts, but the tag thing haunted me and I worried that someone had lost him on vacation, or he had been taken and what if someone was looking for him, when I saw him it was his last day before he could be euthanized.
I went home and did a lot of searches on the Internet. I found a name that matched the address and phone number. There had been enough info on the tag that I knew it all matched up. Then I searched for more current contact info for people with the name I found that I was sure were Sparkys owners.
I asked the head of the rescue to help and she found an article in the LA Times about the people and their house. It was a HUGE, gorgeous house that I found had sold for millions a couple of years ago. These people own a very profitable chain of stores, so I was really hopefully Sparky was going to be reunited and live the rest of his days taken care of like he should.
The head of the rescue called the corporate headquarters and found the people had moved across the country a few years ago, and a few hours later a man called and said Sparky had been given to him...but he just pretty much let him run around and he did not feel he could go and get Sparky out of the shelter. Sparky was in bad shape and it was obvious he had not been taken care of in a long time.
The original owners called and this had been their baby. The lady took him to work and he stayed in the office with her all day, he had surgery to repair his ACL when he had torn that, he had chronic dry eyes and they had got him the care he needed for that, he was their treasured pet. So how did it happen that she felt it necessary to give him to one of their workers, along with money to take care of him- for his food, vet expenses, etc. She felt it would be best for him to re home him here rather then take him with them. And we found out Sparky was about ten years old.
I had told the shelter we would take Sparky before we had made contact with his owners, so I went on Friday morning to get him, and they told me he had been adopted. I can not imagine he was adopted out. He was a mess and he was not even in a place where the public could see him yet. They told me he was off getting neutered and that is why I could not check on him....well, he was neutered years and years ago....I think I had put the hold on him and looking at his condition and his chances of adoption they put him down and just neglected to note that we had said we would take him. I could be wrong, maybe he really was adopted but it sure did not feel right when I was trying to find out what was going on.
I really actually felt sad for his owner, I did not understand it, but I do know hearing from her that she was devastated by the pictures of what Sparky looked like, and how he had obviously been living. I would hate to have to live with that, and she sounds like she really loved him but probably for what ever reason felt it would be easier to go ahead in her life without Sparky and just trusted it would all work out for him-so she gave him to an employee that used to play with Sparky at work. Can you imagine though what type of adopter would take a dog and then not even change the tag for almost two years, he still had the tag from the previous owner which is how we found them. I guess that would be the kind of owner that would not look for the dog or refuse to go and sign him over or get him out of the shelter when he was missing.
I only wish now that I had been able to find and get ahold of the owners a tiny bit faster because she was totally willing to pay to get Sparky out and get him all the medical attention he needed, and I am not sure if she would want him back, but we had found him a nice adoptive home with an older couple that lost their dog and just wanted a dog to hang with them. I hope I am so wrong and Sparky did get adopted and the shelter just can not keep their dogs straight....if Sparky went to a home I hope they will make his last years better then the last few years have been. Like I said I think it has to be really rough to be a dog some days.