London Humane Society employees never know exactly what to expect when they show up for work, and one morning last August staff members arrived to the sound of quiet distressed whimpering outside the shelter.
They followed the sound and were surprised to find a large female dog, alone and abandoned standing expectantly at the gate of a dog run, waiting for someone to come for her.
Touched by her great size and earnest eyes, staff immediately brought her into the shelter. They named her McPhee, after the magical fantasy character Nanny McPhee.
McPhee bore resemblance to the Newfoundland breed. She was gentle, but she was also nervous, and obviously suffering emotional distress after either a long, frightening night in a strange place or watching her owner disappear in the dawn light. No matter when she was abandoned, McPhee’s devotion to her family had been betrayed, and since she didn’t arrive with any health records or history, her treatment and adoption could be complicated.
A veterinarian’s examination revealed that while McPhee had a poor diet, she did not have any underlying health problems or cause for further medical investigation. She was given all of her vaccinations, and with encouragement from staff, began to show her very loving nature.
Still, her refusal to eat gave away McPhee’s continued dismay.
McPhee was mourning the loss of her family and home. After she was found trembling in her cage, she was moved into the office so she could be closer to people and feel safer. Within days, she developed kennel cough, which is similar to a human cold. Stressed animals have a compromised immune system, as humans do, and her traumatic abandonment had made her susceptible to this common canine ailment. The kennel cough tightened its grip on McPhee and brought on a severe sinus infection that affected her nasal passages and eyes, and made her alarmingly lethargic. A supersized dog bed became her favourite spot in the office.
McPhee was a good patient when it came to receiving special care for her eyes and nose, although she liked to test our ability to deliver her multiple medications. Eventually she started to get better, but she maintained a strong stance on what she would or would not eat.
Thankfully, she is now back to her regular diet, and her energy has returned – her wagging tail is a warm greeting for visitors to the shelter!
McPhee is a big girl with an even bigger heart. Despite what happened to her, she has a lot of love left to give, and we’re confident that she’ll soon find a forever home where she will get the attention and affection she deserves.
McPhee was adopted not long after this story was written, but we have many cats, dogs, and other wonderful pets looking for new families.