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Red Dog Blog – What A Story

February 28, 2009

Katrina in profile

Katrina intently stares down a squirrel she treed.

I have a confession to make. . . I had sad stories. I could never watch The Wizard of Oz, or Charlotte’s Web or Old Yeller (Boy does that look funny to write). My soul was just to sensitive – I’d cry endlessly.

So here I was considering adopting a dog who had been left homeless by one of the most massive natural disasters. While sometimes I wish she could talk and tell me what she knew, perhaps it’s best all I have is a paper trail.

Here’s what we know – based on the papers and written accounts of Jane from Illinois Humane, who is a tremendous advocate (and Katrina’s #1 fan beside her “new” family.)

The dog was originally sent to Illinois Humane from Fort Worth in very early in September 2005.  The only information about her was  “Louisiana displaced” – no microchip and apparently no collar or tags.  As very attractive dog of medium size with a great temperament she was considered “highly adoptable”.  As such she became the “spokes dog” for Illinois Humane’s Gulf Coast effort.  All of the dogs that came up from the South were given names relevant to either the crisis or New Orleans.  This dog bore the name of the star of the whole show, the hurricane itself.  She was named “Katrina”.

According to Jane, the animals were stars in their own right in Springfield – complete with press coverage and generous support from the community.  Crowds arrived the first day they became available for adoption. Excellent applications were received immediately on many of the dogs, Katrina being among the first animals to be placed so quickly.

However the application for Katrina was approved with conditions.  The stress of the hurricane, the close quarters, the transport meant many animals were thin and ailing. Katrina was thin, suffered from an upper respiratory condition known as “kennel cough” and was heart worm positive.  All of her ailments were curable, but she would be retained by Illinois Humane until we could transfer her in good health.

At the conclusion of Katrina’s treatment for heart worm, she appeared to be putting on weight –  a good sign. But then she kept putting on weight.  One last trip to the vet before being transferred to her new adoptive home, just to make sure this weight gain didn’t mean something else. Katrina looked like she might be pregnant.

Katrina’s treatment for  heart worm, delayed her spaying.  She could not undergo surgery while being treated for heart worm.  Spaying was part of the placement arrangement with the adoptive home, once the veterinarians granted medical clearance to do so.

The vet declared, “No, not pregnant.”  If anything, it was a false pregnancy.  But, no, the dog was not pregnant and so Katrina was transferred to her adoptive home.  The adoptive mom couldn’t have been more excited to finally bring Katrina home and the foster mom stayed in touch, just to make sure all went well during the transition.

About a week later, foster mom received a call.  That morning Katrina was missing.  She was discovered under a table complete with seven puppies.

The foster and adoptive moms teamed up to get the pups raised and adopted through Illinois Humane. Very fortunately the pups attracted  incredible sympathy and empathy from the local community and the financial support rolled in as did adoption applications for the pups.

But once again this pretty dog with the sweet disposition was about to suffer a blow.

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