Little Stevie came to us, together with Chapo, the 12 year old Chihuahua, from NYC Animmal Control with a really bad kennel cough and dermatitis that left him almost completely naked.
He was so scared that he tried to bite whenever someone would go near. He'd trie to make himself disappear into his bed in the crate.
Only a year old this poor little pup apparently hadn't had it easy. His immune system completely broken down, unbelievably overgrown nails (for only a year old), horrible dermatitis and then he contracted CIRDC (Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex/kennel cough) on top of it all.
Luckily he made it to the rescue ranch just a few days after his admission to the shelter.
There's a 3-3-3 rule in animal rescue: there are important milestone periods of the first 3 days, the first 3 weeks and the first 3 months.
Stevie is no different in that: for 3 days he just needed to be, not be bothered beyond what was necessary. We were incredibly gentle with him for taking his medication and coaxing him out of his crate to take him potty. And he made it very clear he needed the space by showing his teeth when we went too fast.
After the first 3 days he'd readily let us put the collar on him to take him outside no longer putting up those boundaries, he'd even get off his bed when I'd come showing him the collar and leash.
After a bit more than 3 weeks he'd show us little happy spurts on walks and today for the first time he was not only running towards me jumping like a very happy pup but he was also trying to play with the big dogs, very briefly as they still need to learn each other's language.
Steve has really come out of his shell, he loves to say hello to people and he loves going for walks, even more so when we walk on the pavement; when given the choice he still prefers to potty on the road (after all you can take the dog out of the city but you can't take the city out of the dog 😅).
He's even started to ask to be in my lap and then cuddles with me, so it seems he going to be a cuddle bug 🥰.
Considering he was trying to disappear into his dog bed and bite me for three days out of pure terror, he's come such a long way in such a very short time. I'm incredibly proud of him.
On his last vet visit two weeks ago the glands in his neck were still quite angry, Dr. Davis at Valley Veterinary Associates in Unadilla said; the skin being one big organ gets affected by a low immune system and so with little Steve's immune system recovering, we can already see progress in the skin too. On Friday we have a vet follow up and then we can figure out if his dermatitis might be allergy related. His CIRDC has gotten much better although there's still snot coming out of his nose but with his immune system as bad as it was, it just takes time to rebuild and recover.
Steve is a super sweet and adorable guy and I can't wait for him to fully return into and shine as a happy pup that he deserves to be 🤩