***Some of the photos in this post may be disturbing to sensitive pup lovers***
Coco came into a Texas shelter earlier this month with her ear nearly ripped off and her tail wagging. Lou Robinson, Coco's foster mom says:
She was in horrible pain. But still wanted only to be held. She was a happy girl that winced a lot in between smiles.
Lou is a foster, and board member, with the Texas Animal Society
-- a rescue group based outside Houston, that takes in animals, some very sick or injured, from local shelters.
Animals like Coco, who, on top of her many other problems, also had a severe infection and a filthy coat covered in fleas.
She was prescribed some antibiotics and ointments, and lots of baths -- which were not always a lot
of fun fun to give, Lou admits -- while getting well enough for what veterinarians assumed would be an ear amputation operation.
The initial assessment is she would lose her ear and part of some skin on the side of her head.
Lou took Coco home. Tried to keep her resting, as there'd been specific instructions from the vet not to let the dog get too exuberant.
There were lots of tranquil moments of sitting on the couch or going for a drive.
But staying perfectly calm all the time could be challenging, since there are five other dogs at home to keep Coco company, and encourage high-spiritedness -- which Robinson had to tamp down so as not to ruin all the veterinarians' hard work.
(Robinson penned some hilarious letters from Coco to her friends on the outside, detailing the injustices of convalescence
: "I am busting out of this joint the first chance I get," she writes. "I could have been gone already if it was not for the enormous dish attached to my head.")
In the end, even with the other dogs sometimes being a bad influence, and the somewhat grim original prognosis, Coco rather miraculously got all better, and got to keep her ear.
It's been reattached by the vet, at a rather jaunty new angle.
And despite a lot of pain, amplified with the humiliation and inconvenience of a cone of shame, Coco's also kept her spirits. Lou says:
She is out of her shell and wanting to go go go.
In the last week, Coco was released from her plastic clown collar! And now it's time for this girl to make her way to a permanent family. She's going up for adoption.
Yes, that will be hard for Lou, who has of course fallen hard for Coco.
But there will be another foster dog who needs her -- and she knows there's a perfect someone out there, who will appreciate Coco's resilience and spark, plus the way that one ear tilts just so.
The day will come when Coco’s adopter will step forward and learn she is a joy to behold and happiness follows her wherever she leads. Her forever person is out there, and we will match her with someone that will love her as much as we have loved her.
Reach out to the Texas Animal Society if you'd like to find out more about adopting Coco. The group will adopt out of state, to the right home.
TAS relies on donations -- here's where you can contribute.
All photos via Lou Robinson.