Injured, alone, foraging the streets for food; a greyhound in need. Before you despair however, this greyhound has a name, food, and a loving forever home.
The greyhound now named Baker, in remembrance of his start on the streets of Bakersfield, California, had a rather dismal start.
It is not known how long Baker had been wandering the streets, but no one was looking for him or took the time to reach out and help him. At one point, a teacher at one of the schools in Bakersfield called the Animal Shelter on him when she saw him begging for food from some of the school children. In March of 2015, Baker was picked up by the Kern County Animal Shelter where he was on a 10-day hold. FastFriends.org in La Habra, California stepped in and accepted custody of him.
A cursory examination revealed an infected broken jaw, an untreated self-healed break of his front leg, thickened dirty yellowed matted hair and he was an unneutered male. The tattoos in his ears were so faded that no information could be gleaned as to any racing history. They did discover he was a 10-year old senior.
After being placed in a foster home, Baker was wary of the love and attention being shown to him. He would walk out of the house and lay in the backyard, not realizing that he was allowed to stay indoors and be comfortable. His foster Mom continually lavished attention and tried to undo all the distress he encountered while on the streets.
In anticipation of future adoption, Baker was given a more comprehensive examination and more trauma was discovered that made everyone’s heart ache even more for him. A canine tooth had pierced his nasal cavity in conjunction with the broken jaw. The tooth was removed, along with eleven other unhealthy teeth, and his nasal cavity stitched up. Due to the high cost of treating this particular injury, approximately $3500, a funding plea went out to assist with covering the cost of the extensive surgery. Greyhound and animal lovers came to the rescue and raised over that amount to help Baker. A medical decision was made not to re-break his hock so he will walk with a permanent limp but is not in pain from it.
All through this, FastFriends.org had been updating his story on their website. Greyhounds released to FastFriends undergo a comprehensive medical examination, necessary vaccinations, treatment for broken hocks, spay/neuter services, and many more services before they are placed in a foster home prior to adoption consideration. Through their website you can see their pictures and read about their personalities as discovered through the foster parents or the many volunteers who assist the group. Baker was a favorite of many people as they followed his progress.
One couple who had been closely following Baker’s story “knew that he was meant to be with them.” A long-time adopter of senior greyhounds, his heartrending past and medical history were no deterrent to Sharon Haugen. Where others saw Baker as a greyhound with long-term issues, she looked past the physical and saw into his heart. Sharon and her husband Bart Rowe have always opened their hearts and home to senior dogs, knowing that the time they have with them might be short but the satisfaction of knowing they were in a loving home when they finally passed is reward enough. Sharon and Bart have worked tirelessly to place greyhounds in loving homes as placement representatives for Nevada Greyhounds Unlimited in Northern Nevada.
Sharon and Bart worked with FastFriends to get Baker to his new home in Reno, Nevada. But his ordeal was not over yet. Shortly after getting him to Reno, Baker started sneezing and was taken to a trusted veterinarian. Baker’s nasal cavity suture had reopened and he had to have surgery to repair it again. Resting comfortably after his surgery, he has learned the meaning of love and a comfy bed to call his own.
Baker has blossomed in the year since he was adopted. He has been embraced by his sister Lola, an afghan hound and loves his rescue cat siblings Pumpkin and Rusty. Mariah, a retired greyhound, spent some time showing her new brother the ropes until she passed in late 2015 at 14.5 years old.
Baker went from having to forage and steal food to stealing shoes to take to his living room. His cold days and nights are replaced with a warm sofa and his favorite chair. His loneliness is replaced with family, both the four-footed and two-footed variety.
He will be celebrating his first “gotcha day” in April 2016 and for those who followed and donated to Baker, this is the outcome that every greyhound lover hopes for.
Author adopted her ex-racing Greyhound from www.FastFriends.org.
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