RESCUE – Moesha, blue/tan n/d female

This year, I thought I would share what I can of those people who are reaching out to save Dobies. You may or may not know this, but there are far too few good Dobie rescuers and far too many homeless Dobies and far too few good Dobie homes. There always exist a Dobie or two or three that needs help immediately due to the fact that a shelter has a 72-hour mandatory hold period and has other dogs coming in that need the space, or someone is moving tomorrow and suddenly realizes their Dobie can’t come, or someone finds a Dobie, or so many things. Most of use don’t have unlimited space, funds, time to take in another orphan, and it breaks our hearts. We send e-mails out to each other to find out if anyone else has space or an adopter looking for a specific friend.

Which brings me to potential adopters out there who may be waiting for a specific Dobie, please fill out our application so we will have it ready to go if we get that call from someone who says, “Take my Dobie now or else (fill in the blank).” And that Dobie is the friend you are looking for.

This e-mail is the first of two that was in my e-mail box this morning. I will post the other one as well.


Hi Helen –

I was driving down the road today and this poor dog appeared on the side of the road, hobbling along and seemingly disoriented. I pulled over immediately but when I got out she ran back in the bush and I couldn’t find her. I didn’t want to scare her into running too far so I called our animal control guy and asked him to bring a trap.

We left the trap set and he went back a few minutes later, she was already in it so he called me to find out what to do with her.

I think I’ve lost my mind as normally this would be an almost immediate euthanasia. Instead I said take her to the vet and stop at the shelter to get a HW test to take with you. I met him over there. Our animal control guy was able to pull her out of the trap with a lead, no nipping or growling, she was just terrified, he is really good with scared dogs. We muzzled her for the exam just to be safe but had no trouble getting the muzzle on her.

Sweet Moesha muzzled for the first part of her exam

I could not believe it but she is negative for both heartworm and ehrlichia (tick fever). If she’d been pos for HW or both it wouldn’t have been as difficult a decision. So I said ok let’s do a skin scraping. He could not find any mites, either sarcoptic or demodectic, despite doing three different scrapings. However he said the sarcoptic mites can be hard to see. I personally think this might just be a severe flea dermatitis/allergy thing and he says that could certainly be part or all of it. She did have some fleas despite having almost no hair for them to hide in.

Moesha’s balding neglected body

So then I said ok let’s do a fecal, that’s the only thing I don’t know the result of yet but any parasites are easily treated. Then we took her temp, it was 104.2. I had thought her left front leg was broken when I first saw her as she was not putting weight on it then, but she did at the clinic. While the vet tech was stroking her head she noticed a small wound on her foot and went to touch it, the dog really flinched. So Doc looked at the foot more closely and the bottom of it is really inflamed and some of the pad appears to have been burned off somehow.

Moesha’s traumatized paw pad

It is infected which might account for the high temp. The rest of her feet look ok.

He listened to her heart and it sounds normal. Her ears are yucky, inside and out, but again not an insurmountable issue.

During all of this both me and the vet tech were talking to her and stroking her. I watched her go from terrified to resigned to cautiously hopeful, I swear I could see those transitions in her eyes. By that time there was no question in my mind of euthanasia and our vet now
knows me well enough to not even bring it up at that point.

Moesha’s angel face

So, she is spending the weekend at the vet’s – I don’t have enough weekend staff to do baths and stuff and it was too late today to bathe her, plus I wanted her monitored better over the weekend. I went back to the shelter and got some sulfur dip (we’re finding it’s great stuff for all kinds of things and doesn’t irritate them like the harsher chemical ones) and ivomec (just in case it is mange) and dewormer and took it back to the vet’s. They will bathe her tomorrow in a mild shampoo and then put the dip on. I also took them a capstar for the fleas and advantix to put on after her bath and dip. She also got penicillin and dexamethazone injections. I’m not a big fan of either, but in her case, at this time, maybe it’s needed.

She is underweight and her head may just look bigger and thicker since the rest of her is so thin. Her tail is docked. No idea as to her age, we didn’t try to look at her teeth yet. However, her nipples are “used” and elongated so I would guess she’s had at least three litters maybe more in her lifetime.

The strangest thing is her being HW/ehr neg despite being in such poor condition…When we see dogs in this kind of state they are always positive for one or both. The control part of the test worked so the test was not deficient. Makes me think someone abandoned or dumped her because of the skin problem but up to that time had perhaps taken fairly good care of her. She certainly did not exhibit any behavior typical of a “bush dog” or feral dog. She was terrified yes, but the lead around her neck did not freak her out at all. She has some tiny oozing wounds on her torso which could be from the skin issue but could also be from people or kids throwing rocks at her, that happens a lot here, especially to stray dogs, especially to ones in such poor condition.

I let the vet tech name her, so her name is now Moesha. 🙂 I’m nuts I’m sure, but I have the hardest time with dogs who have suffered so much. I can’t stand putting them down and having their last memory of humans be bad ones. She needs to be loved by people and learn again how to love and trust us.


As a post script, Moesha is a very lucky girl to have her life spared and someone who is able to help her back to health especially in the shape she is in. Moesha will need a home that will cherish her when she is ready for adoption. If you are a Dobie person who appreciates what Moesha has gone through and has the tenderness and love she deserves and needs from her forever parent, please consider her and fill out an application. We will process applications while she is healing and when she’s ready to go, we hope her home will be ready, too! Moesha’s a special sweetie.



About Helen

I’m a Southern California living in South Florida. I’ve been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I’m a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don’t understand. So I’m an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.

This entry was posted in Rescues. Bookmark the permalink.