I did not recognize him – this gorgeous hunk of dog. But he seemed to know me. And then – the head tilt.
The telltale sign of a once ruptured ear membrane – and those eyes. It was Tag. Now Max. One of the Korea dogs that came to us two years ago in March.
Rescued from a dog meat market by the Humane Society International, and brought to us with three others by the San Francisco SPCA. While most of the dogs that had been rescued were rehabilitated and adopted, these four were shut down and terrified – refusing to leave the safety of their SPCA kennels for over a month. I wrote about them here.
Tag was the worst of them. Suffering from the ear injury, and hugging the ground for dear life.
We gave them a small, dedicated team to work with them. Gently coaxing them onto the first grass they had ever known and hand washing the caked on filth from their bodies.
It took weeks of work to help them find their courage and come out of their shells a little. We had begun the job. Their adopting families would complete it with kindness, patience and love.
I was not alone in not recognizing Max immediately – so changed is he. But he certainly remembered these two.
Lori and Tatia were part of his team in those first days with us – delivering reassurance and care.
Max is a changed dog in many wonderful ways – and in others, he is still Tag.
Shy at first approach. And those eyes…what horrors have they seen?
But now, they quickly shift from timidity to joy. And the shyness melts to bliss.
Max needs people now. He has found his way home.