If any should wish to imagine what it must feel like to walk the community for at least three weeks with a jug around the neck, one could ask Archie.
Not that he would answer in any language discernible to humans but, my, Archie has a tale to tell his fellow dogs.
When, that it is, he feels up to it.
Archie, nicknamed at one time the “Jug Dog” in honor, memory or whatever might be appropriate of the JugHead of Archie Comics, a reference likely lost on a fair share of young folks.
In any case, Archie, with jug around head, had been wandering the community for weeks despite the best efforts to catch him, if for no other reason than to get the dadgum jug off his head.
As it would turn out, the jug was an automatic plastic pet feeder which Archie, being a dog, after all, had likely become lodged into while seeking food or water.
Given that the first sighting of Archie was on April 26, Archie had been wearing the jug at least three weeks if not longer, unable to eat or drink.
“He was withering away,” said Caitlin Godwin, SJBHS adoption coordinator.
Staff from the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society made daily searches and they received assistance from the Port St. Joe Police Department, South Gulf Fire and Rescue, Animal Control and enlisted the neighborhood of North Port St. Joe in the search.
No luck; sightings, but not “Jug Dog.”
But based on a tip from Josh Jenkins, who remained to assist humane society personnel last week, Archie, terrified as would be expected, was pulled from beneath an abandoned house.
“The jug did come off during a struggle and did not have to be surgically removed,” Godwin said.
“We cannot express the level of relief we felt after the countless heartbreaks of nearly catching him over and over.”
Godwin added thanks to all those who assisted in the search with a special shout-out to Gulf County Sheriff’s deputy and Port St. Joe code enforcement officer Jesse Burkett.
The dog was wrapped in blankets and transported to the Animal Hospital of Port St. Joe for an exam by Dr. Stephen Collier.
“Archie would drink and eat on his own so we have full faith he will recover,” Godwin said.
However, Archie is receiving treatment at the shelter for several bacterial infections and does have a slight heart murmur that required no treatment at the time, Godwin said.
And, with the dog safely in the shelter, the first order of business was a more appropriate name, hence “Archie” rather than “Jug Dog.”
Archie is about 18 months and a male Catahoula.
“He is very nervous and will need some time to decompress and learn to trust before he can go to foster or be adopted,” Godwin said, adding the shelter is not taking applications at this time.
“It takes a village to take care of the abandoned pets of our community. Thank you to everyone to looked, cared and prayed for Archie,” Godwin said.
For his assistance, Jenkins received half of the $400 reward donated by the community, the rest of the proceeds going to cover Archie’s medical bills.
Additional donations can be made to the shelter at 227-1103 or on Facebook or the humane society’s website www.sjbhumanesociety.org.