Yet another extremely sad telephone call these extremely hot and stifling Dog Days of Summer 2011 from a fellow animal rescuer:
“We really need your help. There’s a homeless little canine living in a huge weed-infested field adjacent to a grocery store parking lot. She’s been there for several weeks now, and she’s extremely skittish. A few kind souls have been putting out some food and water for her, but she’s absolutely terrified of everyone, and we can’t get close enough to help her. Think you might want to trap her?”
Of course, I said: “Yes.” And soon, I was on my way to that field on a brutally hot summer’s morning with my trusty old dog trap. I also brought along a dog trapper’s best friend – plenty of tasty hot dogs, and in this brutal heat, several jugs of ice-cold water.
Two compassionate human beings were already on watch in the grocery store’s parking lot at 6 A.M. when I arrived. “She was spotted here late last night forlornly pacing back and forth in search of food and water. See that tiny hole in the fence; that’s where she usually emerges.”
I quickly set up my dog trap near the fence hole, baited it, and the three of us now began yet another long and hopeful wait for yet another terrified homeless canine.
After about an hour with no sign of her, I decided to head into the field to search for her hiding place. This field was immense, and it was completely overgrown with six-foot tall weeds and tangled crab grass, and I immediately knew that it would be extremely difficult to find this waif, or her hiding place in it.
The heat and the humidity were also now already stifling, and it was only 7:30 in the morning. I found a small clearing in the field, and I sat down for a much needed sip of cool water. That’s when it occurred to me that our homeless little friend might actually now be watching me from her deep dark hiding place in the weeds.
I stood up and I poured out a big pool of ice-water from one of my water jugs. It very quickly evaporated in the dry caked dirt. Then I moved off a bit and did the same thing, again and again, all the way back to my dog trap. And very thankfully, this worked like a charm. Soon, we saw her tiny head peeking out of the hole in the fence, and then we saw her emerge very timidly and very thirstily creeping towards us.
Making sure that she was still watching me, I placed a huge bowl of fresh water inside my dog trap, and then slowly moved away from it. This poor orphan’s thirst was immense; within minutes, she was safely inside the trap.
On the way to the animal hospital, I named her ‘Lily – Lily of The Field.’ And once we were safely inside the veterinarian’s office, I opened the dog trap and coaxed little Lily out of it with some more ice-cold water, which she very gratefully lapped up.
After several minutes of gentle talk and gentle petting, nervous little Lily allowed the vet to examine her, and we quickly discovered that her extremely matted and mangled fur was completely covered with fleas, and ants, and numerous other parasites.
Little Lily now spent the next few days being pampered at the animal hospital, being fed some much needed meals, and, of course, being bathed several times. And, she loved every minute of it. The air-conditioned animal hospital must have seemed like heaven on earth to her after residing in the hellish heat of that weed and insect infested field for the past several weeks.
Today, little Lily is now very happily hanging out at her new foster home with several other former street orphans, and we are all hoping that one day very soon, Little Lily of the Field will be adopted into the permanent loving home that she, like every other homeless canine today, truly deserves.
©The Dog Days of Summer 2011, Mr. Ed