The first time I saw the bulldog three weeks ago as he peered through our great-room windows, he looked like death eating a cracker, to use a tired old phrase. His tongue was lolled out from thirst, and it was obvious he hadn't eaten in a while because you could count his ribs.
It was unclear those first few days whether he would survive. He'd obviously been mistreated, I knew he had health issues...and he was deaf.
Jilda and I both struggled with the question of whether or not putting him down might be the kinder path. But there was something in his eyes.
When we took him to the vet, they returned with a litany of ailments. The thing was, most of the maladies were treatable. I gave them the go ahead and my debit card.
When I went the next day, he was woozy from the neuter surgery, but he was happy to see me. Getting him in the truck was like trying help a drunk into a bucket seat.
On the ride home, he laid his head in my lap and looked up at me as if to say, "I forgive you, but I will miss the boys."
He's been on antibiotics, heartworm meds, and drops to clear up an ear infection all week. He's gained eight pounds in seven days.
I fretted that he wouldn't fit in with the other two dogs but they act as if they've been lifetime friends.
Sitting outside this afternoon after our walk, Jilda snapped a picture of me and Ol' Hook. I'm glad we decided to keep him.