When the rescuers noticed Walt and Jesse – they looked like an odd couple. One is a 60-lb FMD mix (Walt) and the other is a 11-lb dachshund. They were walking aimlessly along some rice fields. When Walt noticed he might have blocked the path for Jesse, Walk would hop over to the side or walk down to the ditch next to the field to let Jesse walk without any barriers. This act of Walt had surprised the rescuers.
At first, the rescuers thought that these two were dogs that belonged to the locals who just let them wander during the day. This is quite a common sight in Taiwan, especially in smaller towns. Walt and Jesse saw the rescuers were looking at them, the dogs immediately ran toward them and sought affection from her. Upon closer look, Jesse was covered by ticks and fleas, and showed signs of skin problems. He was dirty and his hair matted very badly. If Jesse had an owner, that person must be quite irresponsible. Walt had some fleas on him too but not as bad as Jesse. The biggest problem facing the rescuers was that these two are both intact male dogs (not fixed yet). We were quite concerned about the impact these two would have for the stray populations. Currently, it is a huge problem in Taiwan – there are countless puppies being abandoned (the entire litter often times). Many of these sad events were caused by intact male dogs, regardless of whether these dogs had owners or not.
We tried to find local residents who lived close to the fields and hoped they could give us answers about Walt and Jesse’s origin. After knocking on the 4th family home, we heard from them that Walt and Jesse had been wandering in that area for a while. Some kind residents nearby had been feeding them and some even tried to take Jesse home since he’s a purebred Dachshund (which is a very popular breed in Taiwan). However, when they saw the condition of Jesse’s skin and the amount of ticks/fleas on him, they changed their minds.
Because both Walt and Jesse are still intact, especially with Jesse’s skin problem, we’ve decided that we had to take them. We did not have the heart to let them both continue to live like this, even if our foundation has been overstretched by the number of dogs we are currently caring for. We saw how much of a guardian Walt is to Jesse, and the bad condition of Jesse’s skin, we could not pick and choose any of them – it is often the fate of some rescue operations. Who to take and who to leave behind due to limited resources. When the locals heard of our decision to take both dogs, they were shocked, because they thought we would only take the purebred as the FMDs are often considered as street dogs , plus Walt’s size, not viewed as desirable. We told them, no matter what, all dogs deserve to be loved.After cleaning up Walt and Jesse, we notice what a sweetheart Walt is! Even though it was likely his first-ever bath, he was nervous but very obedient and calm throughout the process.
Jesse was so happy and relieved after his bath, especially when we were able to take care of his matted hair. It was a huge project – took us 3 hours to shave off the knots as well as removal of all of the fleas and ticks.
Walt and Jesse are a bonded pair, and led us to believe they used to belong to the same family. For whatever reasons, they lost their home (of course, no microchips). We really hope they can continue to stay together in their new forever home. However, we know, it is probably not very likely. As long they each could find a loving forever home, it would be ok if we have to eventually separate them to give them a brand new chapter in life – as long as you can promise to give them a happy and loving home.
Walt is slightly shy in the beginning when meeting new people. He would stay close to his foster family members. But he is open up very quickly! However, once getting to know you, he would take the initiative to come and seek out attention and pets. As long as you come down to his height level, he would come and sniff your hand and opens up to meeting you. Walt gets along with other dogs too, and he loves meeting new dog friends. If he sees other dogs on walk, he has a tendency to get excited and wants to say hi to all the dogs. As you know, for a 60-lb dog, he is very strong! Walt as such a good dog, he calms down quickly when we asked him to stop and sit to calm down. He listens very well. Walt is used to doing his business outside! For his future family, you will need to understand that larger breed dogs has the tendency to have joint problems. At this time, the vet gave Walt a clean bill of health and no issues with his joint. The vet mentioned that for larger breeds, owners need to avoid exercise or activities that put too much stress on their joints. Walt is a mixed breed and we are not sure what kinds of mix. Although he likely will have little health issues, we like to at least share what the vet told us, so that Walt would get the care and support he needs for a long healthy life.
***At this time, we are only opening Walt’s adoption because he passed all his medical check-ups with flying colors. As for Jesse, it will take another 4-6 months in order for us to get his problems back to normal. As we mentioned earlier, we are ok with both of them adopted separately if that means they both will get to go to their forever homes. However, if you don’t want to separate these two best buddies and want to adopt them together, we ask that you to take Walt first and wait for us to get Jesse back to his healthy self, before reuniting him with Walt and the new family (assuming that all the adoption process has been completed).