Yikes - where did I go? Sorry, didn't mean for such a long break between posts!
Happy 2010! Wow, we hope to move in 14 months. Ghesh, we have a lot to do.
Here's the dog update. He continued to live in our backyard. His living quarters were upgraded from:
1. Laying in the dirt next to the garage
2. A rug that I laid down for him on the ground
3. A cardboard box
4. A bigger cardboard box
5. A large plastic pot that large trees/shrubs are grown in - we turned it upside down, cut an entry-door in it and screwed a large rubbermaid bin top on the top. It jutted out over the door - we joked that he now had a 'carport'
6. A small doghouse with a heater in it
7. Same doghouse with heater with blankets/rugs piled on top to help keep the heat in
8. Same doghouse with heater and a huge, heavy moving blanket over the top
It was getting really cold out. He wasn't getting nicer to me like I had hoped. I upped the ante and after we made a bunch of chicken stock from the carcases and innards in our freezer last week, I started feeding him chicken hearts. He loved them but still didn't warm up to me. It had been almost 3 weeks. He had put on weight and was looking less deathly but it was cold and despite his nice house (#8 above) it was cold out. We decided to take him to a shelter.
Here's the rub - and I learned something. None of the no-kill shelters in Chicago will take strays. But I guess after thinking about it - it makes sense. If you lose a pet - really, do you want to have to contact the myriad of shelters that are in the Chicago area? No. So all of the shelters direct strays to the City Animal Care & Control facility so that owners that have lost their pets have only one place to go to look for their pet - which also hopefully increases the chances that they will find their lost pet. And realistically, I don't know if this little guy is 'pet material'. He was pretty aggressive and snarley. He didn't warm up to me - even with chicken hearts. So we made what is hopefully the right choice and took him to the shelter where they will hold him, see if anyone claims him, and then evaluate him health and temperament-wise and then probably put him down.
I'm trying to become more realistic about this - but it is hard. Scarce resources shouldn't be used on an animal that has little to no hope to ever be a companion animal.
I gave him food and a home (well, at least a dry bed) for the last few weeks. He's not on the streets anymore. But, I do miss the little guy running around the backyard.
Oh, and yeah, I had named him. Pablo.