Nigel

Nigel, a two year old Labrador red Doberman mix was found wandering around a West Bank parking lot and was brought into the shelter.  The person who brought him in had placed a ‘hold’ on him, with the intentions of adopting him once he cleared his medical and behavioral evaluations.  Nigel tested positive for heart worm and achieved a perfect score on his behavioral test.  Most everyone who met Nigel immediately was drawn to his personality or perhaps it was his golden eyes, which seemed to say ‘Hey, I know more about you than you know about yourself, but I would be very happy to tag-along side you as your friend and companion, as I too am in need of a companion.'  The person that originally found/rescued Nigel failed to return and Nigel began his days of waiting for his forever home. These proved to be very difficult days for Nigel, who liked to be close to people and did not like to be put into his kennel, demonstrating early symptoms of separation anxiety. 

Nigel was very popular dog and had several potential adoptees including a four child one dog family that had been looking for months for an additional dog.  Unfortunately, the family was too late as Nigel was pending adoption, with other adoptees in the wings.  Nigel found a home.  While at his new home his caregiver crated Nigel and left him alone.  Nigel, still suffering from separation anxiety liberated himself from his crate and proceeded to play (terrorize) with his cat siblings.  He was returned to the shelter the following day. 

He was then taken to an offsite adoption event where he was introduced to a young man who had been frequenting the shelter looking for a companion, Nigel found his companion.  At his new home he apparently had a large fenced yard, in which his new caregiver would leave Nigel to reign during the day, while his companion went to work.  It did not take long for Nigel to free himself of these boundaries and wonder off in search of companionship.  Rumor has it he wandered to the local Wal-Mart and spent some time at the neighbor’s house.  Nigel again returned to the shelter.  Having been returned twice Nigel’s outlook was bleak and euthanasia was looming on his horizon. 

At this point a volunteers intervened to come to Nigel’s aid.  He was quickly moved into a temporary foster home while being medicated with an anti-depressant.  There was a lot of concern for Nigel’s future, which was still very uncertain.  Nigel moved one more time into a foster home of a volunteer that works from their home.  Nigel worked very hard at his foster home to learn how to be a calmer dog; however, he still did not like to be alone and wanted the constant and continued companionship of his caregiver.  After a month Nigel’s confidence began to grow and he was becoming more comfortable in his surroundings; he continued on his anti-depressants and through the sponsorship of his first foster-caregiver he began heartworm treatment, which proved to be a painful process for this loyal companion.

After receiving his first, in a series of two injections, he returned home and cried loudly because of the discomfort.  He continued to cry for hours before he was given a sedative to relax him.  For the next eight weeks he was to have limited physical activity, a difficult arrangement for a dog that requires stimulation and exercise. Learning from the first injection, Nigel received his second injection after being dosed with a sedative to relax him.  During this process the core volunteers that came to Nigel’s aid deliberated often on his future.  One Saturday, 10-weeks after coming to the LA/SPCA Nigel’s foster caregiver was at the shelter volunteering when the four child one dog family came to look at potential dogs.  While outside in the runs the oldest girl inquired about Nigel, and asked where he was.  Hours later the paper work was done and Nigel finally found his forever home with four children, one other dog, a fenced yard, and lots of love.   

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