In a previous post I mentioned that Melvin’s hair started falling out. The poor thing was losing fur at a rapid pace and he had the brightest pink, most inflamed skin I’d ever seen. He looked massively sunburned. I was afraid to touch him for fear I’d cause him pain. He was diagnosed with Mange, something he probably picked up during his days of running wild. It’s pretty much like finding out your child has lice, you worry you’ll be judge on their living conditions. Mange was the salt on the proverbial allergy wound. He itched so much and without fur it was so much easier for him puncture his skin which led to infections. Over the four-month course of treatment Melvin was on various medications and we went to the vet regularly for check-ups and baths. His healing was slow but the vet helped to keep him as comfortable as possible. With the Mange and allergies it was a complicated choreography of how to perfectly balance all the medications. Add to that he got an internal parasite during his treatment and it all just seemed hurtful. At some point in the middle of it all the vet shared something profound with me. She told me with certainty that had Melvin not been rescued by LRR and then by me, someone less committed would have decided to put him down. She knew my conviction, whatever he needed he would get but I suddenly worried that I was torturing him in the process. Her point was not that at all, more so that most would not have committed to the extent he needed. I understood what she was saying. There are some months that Melvin’s medical costs are a third of the monthly household expenses.
There have been plenty of times that I’ve wondered how anyone could ever give him up but those moments are quickly replaced with my eternal gratitude that he is mine now. Melvin’s health issues are a bit of the worst-case-scenario of what someone will face with a rescue. Most of you will do the one to two vet visits a year and all will be easy. Unconditional love for animals comes in many forms, from patience with the language barriers to unexpected health or behavioural issues. In the end we are all perfectly imperfect.