Many of you have been following the story of the Christmas Eve miracle dog and I can't tell you enough how much your support and kind words have meant! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I took Caesar to the vet last Friday for a complete check up. The poor baby has hookworms, heartworms, and some other parasite which I don't remember the name of, that he got from a tick bite. We are treating the hookworms and tick parasite but he is too deconditioned right now for the heartworm treatment which I hear is not without risk. The vet wants me to bring him back Tues. so she can sedate him and do a better set of xrays of his left hind leg than were taken at the emergency vet's on Christmas eve, then we can decide what the best treatment--if any--would be. There is a surgery called femoral head ostectomy that would greatly improve his mobility and reduce his pain. She also gave me some doggie pain pills. And when I say she gave them to me...she really gave them to me! The total charge for the office visit was less than $50.00!! They waived the visit fee, gave us 2 of the meds--he's on 3 right now--for free and, got the SPCA to go halvsies with the lab charges! I did not ask them for this--they were just so moved by Caesar's story!! In addition the SPCA will be picking up 1/3 of the cost of the heartworm treatment and the vet's office is picking another 1/3. I was struggling not to cry the whole time and when I got Caesar out into the parking lot after the visit, I did cry. I never knew people could be so nice!! But the BAD news is...tonight while I was getting ready for work, there was a knock on the door. It was my neighbor from 2 houses down, whom I have never met before. He said he had come to get his dog!!! Apparently, he has knwon for a couple for days that we had him because his "uncle" had seen us with him, and had received the messages from his vet that we found him, but was only just now getting around to doing something about it. As you can imagine, I was devastated. I told him about all the dog's problems as politely as I could---he was aware that the dog had an injured leg but just thought something had "bit" him (!!!!)--and what my DH and I were doing about it. We had already erected a large kennel in our backyard so I took the guy around back to see the dog. Caesar--real name "Rolie"--clearly recognised the guy and seemed happy enough to see him. The guy was also able to accurately describe Caesar's collar (complete with chain ), and we actually already knew the dog's name might be Rolie. So...I said, "well, if he's your dog I guess you can take him...but is there any way...we've grown so attached to him..." trying not to bust out crying in front of this total stranger, you know...and the guy said we could keep him! He said it was clear we were giving him a lot of tender loving care and mentioned several times that he himself has little money (I couldn't help wondering if this was a hint but when I offered to "buy" the dog he refused), and that as long as he could come by to visit once in a while (Caesar, not us, I hope), it was OK with him if the dog stayed with us. I hope he means it!! I hope that, in the traditional Southern redneck way, he doesn't get drunk and belligerent one night and decide to come back over to get his dog. The vet was very perturbed at how thin and uncared-for this dog was. It truly looked as if he'd been living rough for months. This neighbor seemed to have genuine affection for the dog, and the dog for him, but I just think the dog's condition was criminal. I really think Caesar is better off with us. Is this selfish? If worse comes to worst and the guy decides he wants the dog back I am willing to continue to have the dog treated for his various conditions at my expense anyway, just to give the poor animal a fair shot. Wow, this was a long post!! Anyway, please keep those warm-fuzzy thoughts and prayers coming!