Timmy’s Story

Nothing Short of a Miracle

timmy the bulldog
Timmy came to us from a shelter in Salinas where he had come in as a stray. The rescue volunteer explained that they had no information on him other than what was noted at his intake vet exam. The usual signs of neglect were present, skin abrasions, likely from sleeping on hard surfaces, and badly infected ears. Nothing there that some medications won’t fix. The bad news was that he has some “undiagnosed neurological issues” which affects his balance and his gait. They did not consider him a placeable dog through the shelter.

I contacted Diane and Chris Gordon who agreed to drive to the shelter, pick him up, house him until we could meet for a transfer. When I put him in a crate in my van, he looked fearful and began a high pitched, non-stop wailing bark that I had only heard before from another deaf bulldog that we had in our program several years ago. My heart sank. He has trouble walking, and is deaf?? This was going to be a very, very tough placement, if he was placeable at all. Dr. Sweet, our wonderful vet at Blue Ravine Animal Hospital, examined him and her opinion was that he might be placeable if someone just wanted a “dog to take care of”. It was almost Christmas and I named him Timmy after the physically challenged boy in “Scrooge, A Christmas Story.”

Observing him over several weeks, he was a contradiction in abilities: he used the dog door immediately, he never had a potty accident inside, yet he lost his balance easily and would then struggle to regain control of his legs to get up again. It seemed his issues bothered me much more to watch that it bothered him to experience. He had lived this way his entire life and didn’t think there was anything wrong with him!! He enjoyed the company of other dogs but would easily get knocked over with any slight bump. He loved his meals and seemed to be totally deaf since he could not be awakened by sound when deeply asleep. Weeks later his kennel mate found a new home He seemed to have relied on her for his “ears” and learned to react when she reacted. He began to sleep most of the time. He needed to be placed with another dog who could be his ears.

The skin issues and ear infections had totally cleared and the time had come for some difficult decisions. I had serious doubts if anyone would come forward to adopt this sweet but rather delicate little guy since we had many dog available who did not have his challenges. I estimated his age at about 3-4 years, he had a long life ahead if there was someone who wanted a dog who was not sick, just a little bit broken. So after watching him for almost 2 months, I decided to post him for adoption.

It took less than 2 weeks until an adoption came to me expressing an interest in Timmy. It was from a stay-at-home mom whose kids were now all grown up and she was home all day and wanted “something else to take care of.” With her husband working long hours she needed a project. She had a 10 year old gentle rescued English Mastiff female who sleeps with her several cats and who is well socialized with other dogs.
After carefully explaining all of his negatives, as well as his many abilities there was no hesitation in her response.
Her husband was equally excited and was eager to finish the adoption as soon as possible.

So Timmy found his spot and now is happily residing with a motherly big dog who cleans him as her puppy and has several cats to cuddle with. He reminded me that miracles do happen. Maybe, just maybe, there is a spot for all of them.

P.S. Tim’s new grandmother teaches sign language, so he is now learning sign signals quickly. Who believes in miracles now?

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