Animal Rescue of Fresno: Amazon

 by Wendy Hunter

 Amazon: The world’s largest online retailer

Amazon: Disputed longest river in the world

Amazon: A cinnamon-sweetie at ARF  

Well, my friends, it’s official. As I write this article, the first day of summer has poked his fiery head out into the world. He’s been threatening to show up for the past two weeks, as thermometers soar, and we humans try to deal with self-rising tempers. Good golly, the heat makes you cranky doesn’t it? Every year I say the same thing, “Could it GET any hotter?” And each time I’m met with the same answer from Mother Nature, “You bet your life it can! Take THIS!” Ugh, I hate her. The sweatiness of summer, the stickiness, the all-around feeling like a wet washcloth is always too much for me. Bleah. I welcome this season like many people greet Christmas: Bah Humbug. It’s time to face the cold hard truth, and realize that turning sixty this year was more of a milestone than I anticipated. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m old. Old and tired, and channeling Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, “Hey you kids, get off my lawn!” 

I was walking my dog recently, when two little pups came jetting across the street. A young man raced out of the house, scooped them up, and apologized repeatedly, “I am so sorry, I don’t know how they keep getting out.” I watched in utter amazement as he carried them back and through the WROUGHT IRON GATE. Geez, a small pony could fit through that thing. I thought to myself, “Crikey, the youth of today.” Welcome to the Golden Years of judgement, crabbiness, and being right all the time. Harrumph!

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The heat may be MY nemesis, but for the residents of ARF, the cone of shame is their Number One archenemy. Just about every dog at Animal Rescue of Fresno that undergoes major surgery, ends up donning the dreaded cone. Our latest style icon is “Amazon,” a copper-colored terrier mix who required lots of TLC and plenty of stitches. Amazon earned his moniker by being the hapless victim of a hit-and-run accident at our local facility of the same name. He roamed the parking lot for several days, thwarting any attempts at capture, hiding between automobiles and any concealed areas he could find. At some point, Amazon took on a car and the gloves came off. Unfortunately, his four-wheeled opponent won the fight. But Lady Luck was on his side because an Amazon employee (and ARF volunteer) found the injured dog and brought him to our facility. 

Upon his arrival, Amazon was understandably confused, frightened, and in quite a bit of pain. Looking suspiciously at any volunteer who tried to pet him, he bared his tiny teeth as if to say, “Watch the hands, sister, I don’t know you.” Amazon spent his first evening in the ARF office slumbering on a pillow, enjoying the dreamy aftermath of much needed medication. Under the circumstances, I’m thinking it was probably the least stressful night’s sleep he’d had in a very long time. Good night, Moon!

The following morning, Amazon took a trip to see the veterinarian, and several x-rays were taken of his wounded body. The news was not good, but anticipated; both his back left leg and pelvis had been broken. Which, as you can probably guess, was not going to be a quick or inexpensive fix. Any seasoned pet owner can tell you that just walking through the doors of a vet’s office can be a scary thing. The removal of a couple canine teeth alone might set you back a few hundred bucks. Milo’s dental procedure or the cable bill? Sorry guys, you’ll have to wait another month to watch American Horror Story. Luckily, many of the vet offices we use are sympathetic to our cause. After examining Amazon, the vet determined that his surgery could not wait, and an appointment was scheduled immediately. In addition to his other injuries, Amazon also had burnt feet from scampering through the sizzling city streets of Fresno for three weeks. The total cost of Amazon’s surgery was estimated between $969-$1770, which included some scary sounding stuff like bone screws, bone plates, and pins. Shudder. Now to a volunteer-only, nonprofit dog rescue like ARF, this large amount of money might as well be a million. But this wasn’t our first rodeo, and we weren't going down without a fight. So we grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns, dug in our boots, and swallowed our pride; let the begging process begin.

Since ARF doesn’t have a giant vault filled with shiny gold bricks, we decided to put out a plea for the public’s help, to see if we could raise enough funds to cover Amazon’s operation. We couldn’t have imagined the astounding response to our request, and how fast people were to open their hearts and their wallets. For our loyal supporters and total strangers to reach out and help a lonely little dog, well, that’s something special. But to meet that goal in such record time, within just a few hours, was absolutely unbelievable. Amazon’s surgery was a great success, and his stitches and staples have been removed. Unfortunately, the cone of shame has been his constant companion during the healing process. Within a few weeks, he’ll be neutered, and ready to find his forever home. Until then, he’s getting used to the everyday activities at Animal Rescue of Fresno, playing with new friends, and enjoying lots of TLC. While recovering in the office, Amazon was quite vocal whenever people were around. He was thrilled to receive pets on the head, the occasional doggie biscuit, or piece of chicken. With his russet coat and golden eyes, he shouldn’t have much trouble garnering attention from potential adopters. He also happens to be the perfect package, because he’s not too big or too small. As Goldilocks’s Three Bears would say, “Just right.” Indeed.

Amazon on arrival
We have no idea where Amazon came from. He didn’t have a collar, I.D., or microchip. We don’t know if he was abandoned, stolen, or escaped from his yard. We do know that like so many dogs on the streets, he didn’t seem to matter. The fact that someone could hit a small, helpless dog with their car and just leave it to die, shows a depth of cruelty I cannot fathom. Who knows how much suffering he endured before being rescued? 

By the time you read this piece, the 4th of July will already be over. If you are a dog owner, I hope that your pet made it through the fireworks without too much stress and anxiety. I hope you had the TV up loud, the calming music playing, or the CBD oil close at hand. I hope your pet didn’t tunnel under the fence, plow through the screen door, or jump over the gate and into the darkness. If so, I truly hope you are soon reunited with your best friend. The easiest way to make this happen is to get your dog microchipped. If nothing else, at least make sure your dog is wearing a collar with your pertinent information on it. It doesn’t have to be July 4th or New Year’s Eve to keep reminding yourself that dogs are easily spooked by loud explosions made by Roman candles, sparklers, cherry bombs, and firecrackers. This tradition may be a blast for you and your friends, but to your pets, they are just a bunch of noise. I shall now step down from my soapbox.

To everyone who donated to Amazon’s surgery, ARF thanks you for your generosity. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that we ask for your help. Every single time we find ourselves in financial need, we can always count on you to step up to the plate. We are astounded and grateful when, without fail, you knock it out of the park. With your kindness, ARF will continue to provide care for dogs, like Amazon, who have found themselves in dire straits. There is nothing more rewarding than bringing a dog back from the brink, and seeing them with their new family on adoption day. We think of you whenever that lucky dog walks out the door, and into a much better future. “Thanks” seems like such a small word, for the big things you do. We mean it, from our hearts to yours.

Animal Rescue of Fresno
4545 E Dakota Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726

 Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. Learn more about ARF on their website.

Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF for four years. She grew up in Fresno and recently became an Office Assistant with Fresno County. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.