Casey, the Rescue Dog!

We think that Casey was born October 23, 1996. At least that is what a note from a vet says. But Casey is the product of a puppy mill. He has no pedigree. He still has his dew claws. And this, "as is" model was sold to some commercial operation as the proverbial slab of beef. There was no qualification of the store that bought him or the private buyers who were to buy him back from the store. So, from the start this fellow was being shuttled around.

After the death of Flying Dutchman's Dream, my stoic and mentally healthy Kees of 14.5 years, we picked up Casey from Dina Zinnes and her Illinois Keeshond Rescue group. At that time, I wanted just about any Kees that I could get my hands on. For my own egocentric goals, for my own mental health, I really needed a Kees. I did not go into this blindly. I knew that Dina looked after the Kees that had been left by death or rejected by families, or otherwise "dumped" on her doorstep. Her doorstep is B I G. She looks for hundreds of miles in all directions from Champaign, IL, for that one Kees that has been dumped.

In Casey's sad case, this beautiful animal had given his all to two families in a row. They both dumped him. Only lame excuses are allowed in such situations, and only lame excuses are given. "It grew bigger than we were told that it was going to grow", "We're divorcing and neither one of us wants this reminder", "We're moving and we can't find a place that takes animals", etc. etc. All of these comments said about someone who thought that he was finally a member of the family, someone who loved children and had obviously helped raise some, someone who thought that he was really loved and could not be parted with… So, we picked up Casey, along with his anxieties, mistrust and frank depression. So, there I was, emotionally crippled due to the loss of my first Kees, adopting an emotionally crippled Kees. Remember, I was looking for someone powerful enough to lean on, someone for those egocentric goals of mine. And Casey, he wanted to find a kennel or at least a fence to hide within. He could give no long term commitment, for he had given all that away previously. Luckily, to help both us, my wife mediated the situation, and gave Casey unquestioned love. He blossomed, turning his apologetic lap hugging into an art of real affection. And then we had the help of the new born JoLyn's Vanilla Spice. She arrived about 4 weeks after Casey came to our house. At seven weeks of age, she brought with her an energy and a massive distraction. Here was something for Casey to contend with, something he had to do. "Vanna", due to her breeding and the input of only positive life experiences, was extremely physically and mentally healthy. Even as the puppy, she became the leader. She mandated that he play, that he forget his earlier worries (at least temporarily) and that he help raise her. And so he did help raise her. He was the most tolerant and loving stepfather that I have ever seen.

And now, as he really always was, he is also one of the sweetest Kees that I have ever seen. He is a real lap dog, who is highly fought over by humans on a cold winter night. Perhaps because of his own traumas, he is extremely sensitive to the health and well-being of the humans who he lives with. He has had to help in several post surgical recoveries of humans within this last year. He will lay softly near, or, if you can tolerate, on the injury and radiate his warm aura. He still nurses his own wounds, with some obsessive compulsive behavior and fears (lightening for one). Yet, Casey has an incredible vocabulary; in fact, we do not know its limits. He shocks us frequently by recognizing words and phrases that we had no part in teaching him. At least, I will send thanks out to those who must have talked to him. Still, he is not healthy, and it may take years of further treatment to get him to where he should be. He is the poster boy that should be used against puppy mill production, as well as against unqualified owners. Of course, all of this treatment of this animal seems quite unimportant, when compared to human child abuse - yet, there is a similarity,…and stopping either the horrible practice of the child abuse or the animal abuse can at least indirectly help the other.