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This morning, I drove up to Athens, GA to pick up Wilbur. I had agreed to pick up Wilbur when they opened at 8am today, so I got an early start. I got to the shelter before they opened - can you say anxious and excited? The shelter really put the fear of G-d in me with the amount of space they had available and I felt bizarrely worried that if I got there late, I'd be too late (I know that would be unlikey, but I had the angst nonetheless!).

Once the shelter opened, they let me go back with them to get Wilbur. I had a shiny new collar and leash ready for him (bright blue, so it would show nicely in his fur). He was all the way in the back, in the last pen on the left. I could barely stand to look at the other dogs - I feel an overwhelming guilt at just taking one, when they easily had two dozen, all in the same precarious situation. Deep breath. Focus.

Now on to Wilbur. He was so scared in his pen. Y'all were correct on the previous post - Wilbur did come into the shelter with his brother, Orville. A local pet rescue came in and took Orville but thought that Wilbur was too "shy" for them. The original plan was for me to go and take both of them. Shy really isn't the right word for him. He's SCARED. Once we led him out into the main office, he was a bit less scared. The leash didn't seem totally foreign to him and for that I am very grateful! I sat down on the floor and talked to him, giving him small pats. He's absolutely filthy. His hair cannot be described as "matted" - he has full-on 7"-8" dreadlocks. I found two ticks on his head, so G-d only knows what he has under all that fur. A few minutes in, he moved closer when I stopped petting him and he wagged his tail. Just two or three hesitant little wags. I started to gently stroke his ears again. He leaned in and gave me a tiny doodle kiss, right on my nose. That told me everything I need to know about this guy - and it all was good.

He was angel on the ride back to Atlanta. I didn't even put him in the crate - he just curled up on the seat and went to sleep. We went straight to the vet so that he can get fully checked and tested. He will be spending the night at the vet (at IDOG's request) and is going to my groomer in the morning (he's a very, very stinky dood - the kind of stench that makes your eyes water). Then, he will get to meet Callie and that will start a whole new adventure!

Here is what I've taken away at this point...Wilbur is a SWEET boy. You can train a dog to listen to you and you can train a dog to go to the bathroom outside, but you can't train him to be sweet. And he is sweet- the rest, we'll work on (asking lots and lots of advice from our DK friends!). I think he will end up making a wonderful pet, and will hopefully be able to find him his perfect home!

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Comment by Valarie on March 11, 2010 at 9:25am
Please give us an update on Wilbur when you have time!!
Comment by Linda, Webber and Seda on March 10, 2010 at 8:50pm
I will so be looking forward to hearing the vet report and more about Wilbur as he settles in with you. It is a wonderful thing you are doing. I wish I could help.
Comment by Linda and Murphy on March 10, 2010 at 8:33pm
Sweet. Thanks. Now that I'm crying I'll go to bed.
Comment by Nancie & Gracie Doodle on March 10, 2010 at 8:29pm
Oh what a wonderful thing you are doing for poor Wilbur. You can tell he is saying thank you over and over. What I want to know is, how can you go through all of this and then have to give him up? I think that would be the hardest thing in the world. It takes a special kind of person to be able to do such wonderful things and then let go. I don't think I could do it. I would end up with an entire house full of Doodles for sure!!!! You are very kind and special to take care of Wilbur.
Comment by Ann Kendig on March 10, 2010 at 8:10pm
Tears in my eyes and lump in my throat. What a wonderful thing you're doing! Hope all goes well at the vet!
Comment by Nancy, Ned, Clancy, and Charlie on March 10, 2010 at 8:08pm
I am saddened that a rescue would take one and not the other. Didn't they both deserve a chance at a wonderful forever home?????
Thank you for taking Wilber and giving him a chance. I am heartened by his sweet doodle kiss and little tail wags. I can't wait for your next post about him.
Comment by Debbie and Thomas on March 10, 2010 at 5:09pm
Well, now that I am crying too after reading your story I just want to say thank you for picking up this SWEET boy. When you wrote that he licked your nose I knew what you meant...SWEET BOY and you are right when you say that you can't train them to be like this. Poor baby. You have changed his life. Thank you.
Comment by Valarie on March 10, 2010 at 2:36pm
Thanks for sharing this. I know exactly what you mean about SWEET. I felt the same way about Sophie when I met her. I will be praying that it is an easy transition for Wilbur, you and Callie. You're so lucky to have this opportunity and Wilbur is so lucky that you found him. Hope the vet visit goes well, it must be so hard to leave him just after you got him. I also know exactly what you mean about the stench. Same with Sophie. Best wishes!!
Comment by Anna and Achilles on March 10, 2010 at 1:54pm
It sounds like he has a gentle soul. Good Luck to all of you!
Comment by Laurie, Fudge, and Vern on March 10, 2010 at 1:47pm
Well, I logged on for just a minute to check current posts and now I am crying. You did a wonderful thing for Wilbur!

 

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