I loved Angelo before I even met him  I loved him the moment I looked at this face in this picture.  This photo, this puppy, so poignant.  You can simply tell that life had not been kind to this tiny being, so young to have so much sadness and uncertainty.   Our transport was booked, our foster homes full or eagerly awaiting their new arrivals.  I tried to tell myself he’d be fine, another group would take him and he’d be fine.  Nonetheless, Angelo’s face haunted me, haunted my sleep, and was the first thing I thought of upon waking.  I worried and fretted over this little babe I’d never met, so far away.  He had me captivated and even then, wrapped around a tiny toenail.  I couldn’t help it, I called the shelter, “He should come to Safe Hands, send him on to  me, keep him safe”. 

And so Angelo arrived.  Trumpets and fanfare, skin and bones.  OK, well there may not really have been trumpets and fanfare anywhere but in my head, but I was so relieved to have him here.  I was so shocked to see how tiny he really was.  Weighing not even four pounds, he was skin and bones.

And so of course the worry and fretting began anew.  Unfortunately, this worry and fretting proved to be with merit.  Just two days after he arrived I was at the clinic with Angelo who tested positive for parvo.  He had no reserves to use in the fight, he was so small and so young.  I hoped for the best but tried to prepare for the worst.  I knew his chances were so slight.  I updated the Safe Hands folks who had met him already and we formed a family around him sending prayers and healing energy.  I visited him twice a day and it’s true that there was much darkness before the dawn.

But an odd thing happened.  Two days after Angelo was admitted, when things were really looking down, I was visiting and holding him.  I was thinking about all the people pulling for him, telling him how loved he was and how wanted he was, and all of a sudden I felt a sense of peace.  I knew that Angelo would make it and he would be OK.  I won’t lie, there were moments afterwards when my faith wavered.  But I just felt it, I knew Angelo was a survivor.

Survive Angelo did and a week ago Sunday he came home!  The pic above is his first night home.  He had lost more weight, he’d been through hell, but he came out on the other side, and he was home!!

In the week that’s followed he has been loved, cudled, fussed over and generally spoiled rotten.  He thinks dogs eat 93% fat free black angus hamburger boiled and with rice please – that other stuff – it’s for the…cats??  He is pretty sure puppies belong carried around perched on your shoulder.  Can’t wait until he’s adopted and 30 pounds or so, still expecting his new parents to carry him around on one shoulder!  He loves to play with his toys, snuggle in your neck and give sweet kisses.  He makes the cutest squeaks and cries when he plays and “attacks” stuffed pheasant or Mr. Blue Bear.

He’s such a good boy.  He loves other dogs and is so sweet following the big dogs around and trying to get them to play.  He is not rough and tumble though, he prefers to persuade with his charm and charisma!  He enjoys and appreciates his beds (all four of them – spoiled??  what makes you say that?) and all of his toys.  Pink piggy is his favorite pillow.

Every day Angelo gets bigger and stronger.  The missing hair on his front legs where his IV’s were are the only reminder of his not do far distant ordeal.  He is amazing  Perfect.  Precious. 

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