Vincent is our foster dog from the CCRT (Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport) that came to the farm one week after Gizmo was killed. As I watch Vincent progress I can’t but think how much Gizmo would have helped this little guy.
Vincent is one of the last remaining dogs from the Oakville hoarding situation back in April 2011. He was rescued by the Oakville Humane Society in April and spent months in another cage at the Humane Society.
Vincent would sit shaking in his cage terrified of all the people, dogs, cats and noises. When potential families would look at him they would see a disfigured chihuahua that refused to be held, walked or touched. Vincent would freeze or try and run.
Vincent survived the first two years and eight months of his life by running and he still didn’t get away without damage.
While still a puppy Vincent had his ears chewed off. One ear is completely gone and there is only a small piece of the other ear flap remaining. I looked up the article and the dogs were stacked on top of each other in large crates. Several dogs to a crate and they were left intact to breed.
The article reports 33, but the Humane Society says it was 37 chihuahuas that were seized. As of August 2011 there are only three remaining chihuahuas that have not been adopted, and Vincent is one of them.
After several months of being unable to find Vincent a home the Humane Society called the CCRT and asked if they could take Vincent into rescue and see if he’d thrive in a foster home. The CCRT called me.
It was one week since Gizmo was killed and I spoke the the regional coordinator in tears one evening. I suggested that perhaps we wouldn’t be a good home. We’d just lost a Gizmo. She asked if we needed time. I thought, yes and then she told me about Vincent.
I didn’t think my heart could break further at this point, but it did a little for this damaged soul. Gizmo would want us to help this little guy. Gizmo would not hesitate to let Vincent crawl into his heated bed to cuddle. Gizmo would have shown Vincent where we keep the endless supply of kibble. Gizmo would have played with Vincent and shown him how to be a real dog.
I cried as I drove to pick up Vincent. I took Taz and Poco for the ride to Oakville since I couldn’t possibly leave them behind. We walked into the busy building as an elderly man at the counter was making arrangements for cremation for his pet. I cried a little more. He looked so sad.
I waited my turn and took in the bags of dog food, toys and supplies on the floor: donations. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. I kept my tears in check long enough to meet Donna who was cuddling Vincent. She had tears shimmering in her eyes as she passed Vincent over to my arms stating “please take good care of him. He deserves a break.”
We exchanged emails and I promised to keep Donna and the staff at the Oakville Humane Society posted on Vincent’s progress.
I took a video of Vincent’s first day on the farm. He wouldn’t come close to me, but would run over and sniff my hand then then run away. He’s was so afraid and Gizmo would have loved him.
Vincent sat between the seats of my Smart car the whole drive to the farm. I cried and Taz tried to lick my face while I drove. I thought of Gizmo.
Vincent must have been tired because he spent his first week sleeping or hiding. We let him. In his second week he started to cuddle and tried to play with Taz. It’s like a tap dance scene from West Side Story. Who’s the Jet and who’s the Shark?
After three weeks at the farm Vincent barked for the very first time. The progress is incredible. Go give your dog a hug and he’ll hug you back in all sorts of ways.
When Gizmo first came to the farm he slept for months and it was a year before we heard his rough bark. Vincent was more damaged on the outside, but luckily dogs have no idea that appearances matter.
Vincent is a tribute to our Gizmo who still continues to rescue other dogs in need. Thanks little dude for keeping us on the right path and for watching over us from your heated dog bed in heaven. We miss you buddy.