Adopting Misha the Puppy: Helping Someone in Need

Scottie’s death was tragic. Misha is NOT replacing Scottie. Scottie was the best dog I ever had, OK! No one will ever replace him. Helping Misha is seeing a puppy who was not going to have a chance and giving him that chance.

Misha and I met when I visited a different animal shelter. Nameless, he went by a number like a prisoner. The volunteers were outstanding; the no-kill shelter was kind of there to give away the dogs to anyone. The first step was giving the dog a real name. Misha’s name is a form of Michael in Russian! Misha on adoption day, straight out of neutering surgery that morning, came wagging his tail like the grateful little guy he is.

The shelter’s vet exam was very quick and meh. Why didn’t they notice Misha was sick and give him the go ahead for surgery? Misha was adopted in the late afternoon on Wednesday. His first real day at the house went OK-ish. His bathroom mess wasn’t looking good. Maybe it was the surgery? No. On Friday morning, Misha had more bathroom mess and vomited everything. Water. Food. Water again. More water. A scorching hot fever! A quick call to the vet confirmed he needed to come in. Misha tested positive for a bacterial infection caught at the shelter. He was given two injections, one for penicillin and an anti-vomiting shot. Sent home with a medicine pack, he took pills for almost another week.

Coincidentally, Misha and I met a newly adopted puppy from the same animal shelter at Petco. The puppy, like Misha, had gone to the vet, and unlike Misha, with a worse case of illness staying overnight attached to IVs with 24 hour care for several days. Other animal shelters my pets have come from were cleaner, with this time around having the expectation Misha would be ready to go. The shelter seemingly knows about it because on Misha’s adoption day, a volunteer instructed me, “Our vet exams aren’t ‘real’ vet examinations. Take him to the vet right away. Don’t take him to Petco because he can get infected.” The shelter probably pushes the blame onto Petco when animals fall ill.

The other puppy’s owner was surprised the shelter told him his dog was one year old when his big dog breed puppy was tiny with miniature baby teeth. Misha is a puppy I was told “9 to 12 months old” with a stamp on his paperwork he was “1 year old.” Far from it. Misha is still growing and teething, or should I say, alligator snapping all day long onto any toys. His adult teeth from the middle to the back of his mouth, his premolars and molars, are coming in. On adoption day, I saw cute tiny baby teeth back there. One year old!?! Mislabeling ages is common at the shelter. Dogs do not get all of their adult teeth in until 7 to 8 months of age!

Misha is a rat terrier. His final height will be unknown. Rat terriers come in every height and weight. As an adult, he might be a mid sized rattie.

In personality, Misha is what articles call a velcro dog. We’re working on that.

Misha is lucky he didn’t die from his infection. A few days more at the animal center, and he might have been one more casualty freeing up space for another dog.