Our April Pet of the Month really lives up to the old adage “April showers bring May flowers”. We’d like to introduce everyone to Mr. Haulie McIntosh and his person, Renee, who has enjoyed the companionship and love of many, many pets throughout her life. So when Renee found herself ready for new furry friends, she planned to adopt two cats, but fate interjected when her co-worker, Debbie, told her about a dog being abused by a group of teenagers who needed a new home. Renee is the type to help those in need, so with sight unseen and no more information than that, she agreed to adopt the dog. Haulie entered Renee’s life like a hurricane.
Renee didn’t realize the trouble she was getting into when Debbie dropped the dog off at her door, hissing and howling. Before she could ask anymore questions, Debbie was running out of the building, jumping in her car, and speeding off. She didn’t even stay for coffee! Renee’s first thought was, “What an ugly dog!” And his behavior wasn’t any prettier. The first week with Haulie was spent with him howling, growling, barking, bearing his teeth, snapping and giving Renee evil menacing looks all day, everyday. And in turn Renee thought, “I have to get rid of this dog,” all day, everyday. It was so bad, the only “good thing” Renee could find about Haulie was that he didn’t have accidents in the house. The bad far outweighed the good and needless to say, Haulie and Renee’s relationship was off to a stormy start.
Renee was also concerned because it seemed Haulie could never find joy in his life. He didn’t like to be petted, held, or combed (which is still true) and he never initiated play. Haulie wouldn’t even take treats out of Renee’s hand. Then something extraordinary happened at about six months. One day, while Renee brushed her teeth, Haulie came into the bathroom with his little blue ball and dropped it. He watched it bounce, grabbed it, and dropped it again. Renee watched him for 5 minutes, with tears in her eyes, while her dog played and experienced joy. It didn’t stop there either. Every few weeks there was another breakthrough in trust and play, but Renee knew if she was going to take on this challenge, she would need help. And that’s when our bright orange “City Pets” awning caught her attention.
Renee agreed to bring in Haulie after Dorie and Paul reassured her Haulie would be welcomed here and we would treat him with care, dignity, and respect. Renee says she still remembers her first conversation with Dr. Weinrick when she suggested Haulie could be helped with medication. Haulie had a history of seizures and was put on medication to help prevent those. Haulie also continued to make great strides in his behavior, but was still anxious and didn’t like when Renee left him. After another discussion, Haulie was put on an anti-anxiety medication and Renee reports this has made a world of difference. Haulie has become more playful, initiating playtime several times a day, and loves digging up and burying rocks. Haulie has developed close relationships with several new people as well and is finally enjoying life because of Renee’s perseverance and a little help from the staff at City Pets Vet Clinic.
Renee sums up Haulie perfectly: “A few days ago, someone asked, ‘Is Haulie a good dog?’ I said, ‘Yes, he is as good as he can possibly be.’ And that is good enough for me!”