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A little ‘Hope’; a lot of TLC

Tim Croft
tcroft@starfl.com
The Star

Everybody could use a little hope.

Hope used the kind touch of many to remain alive.

Hope is the name of a dog, strictly a mutt, who today looks like it was decapitated and put back together, ala Frankenstein or some similar, and more recent, monster of horror.

Hope is also draining fluid, infection in effect that needs to come out, from her neck and wears a cone across her haunches to prevent her back claws from getting near that neck.

However, that she was roaming around the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society at all, sniffing everything, tail wagging, feeding and loving is a testament to people who “took the time.”

Such as the resident who pointed Hope out to a police officer; Hope was chained on a porch in the alphabet avenues and was in evident distress.

As it would turn out, in not getting to extreme detail, the renter of the property was in jail, the owner of the property elderly and unaware of how the dog was living and there are criminal animal neglect charges floating in the system.

In any case, the first collar, removing by the police officer to get a better look at the wound in Hope’s neck, was the easy part.

What was discovered during surgery, by Dr. Stephen Collier of Port St. Joe, was that deep, under tissue, tendons and muscle, was the collar that was likely placed on Hope as a pup of six or eight weeks, said Kylie Skoda.

The collar was literally choking the dog to death.

More than 50 stitches were needed to close her neck wound while leaving in a drainage tube for the infection to depart.

But, also working in Hope’s favor was the humane society and its recent achievement in becoming a no-kill shelter.

“I have no doubt if this was another shelter and they saw the condition she was in they would have euthanized her,” said Shelter Director Amanda Lucas.

“We will do what it takes.”

Thus far, the shelter has raised $1,500 off a Facebook page to help defray Hope’s medical expenses; in one week her drainage tube comes out and in two weeks out come her sutures.

There is at least one person already interested in fostering or adopting Hope.

“We want to thank the community for their support,” Lucas said, adding Collier to that list.

All of which was completely lost on Hope as she jetted around the humane society waiting area, eating a bit but mostly just enjoying being a dog.

“She is the nicest dog,” said Natasha Davis of the shelter staff. “I don’t understand how a dog could be so trusting after what she has been through.”

Maybe a little Hope.

And in Hope’s case an observant resident.

“If you see something, say something,” said Skoda.

MJ