Wednesday, 24 July 2013 17:22
Written by Lee Sullivan
Sam is already right at home in his favorite spot on the couch between Nelson King and Rosalee Allen. Lee Sullivan Community rescue dog has new owners, newfound health and a new leash on life.
DAVIDSON, N.C. -- Sam still has some issues, but now they are much more enjoyable.
Just a few months ago, the Jack Russell Terrier was hampered by devastating physical injuries and awash in the sad confusion of being neglected and abandoned at an apartment complex in Cornelius. Now — because of the dedication of the staff at Main Street Veterinary Hospital (MSVH), an outpouring of community support and the pet-friendly open arms of a local couple — the only problem related to his new life in a new home is deciding which lap suits him best throughout the day.
The sad start to Sam's tale began in April when Cornelius resident Kathy Stallard found him tied to a doorknob in her apartment complex. Stallard, already with pets of her own, took Sam to MSVH in Cornelius where Drs. Lori Hoe and Amanda Goodwin and the Main Street staff took him in. Sam had several health problems, but the most serious was a complete break of the tibia and fibula in his right hind leg. Sam required expensive, detailed surgery to save his leg and the pet-loving Lake Norman community — informed through social media outlets, a Citizen article, the MSVH family and by friends telling friends — responded by donating and eventually contributing enough to cover Sam's procedures and start an emergency care fund at the hospital.
Sam underwent surgery in Hickory in May and, while he was under close supervision and receiving post-operative care back at MSVH, the search began for families interested in adopting him.
Rosalee Allen heard about Sam through her Seekers group at Davidson United Methodist Church. She and Nelson King dropped in for a quick visit and that's all it took.
Sam moved into their Davidson home before his cast came off. He's learned his way around, adjusted to the fact that the stairs are off limits, and made friends with Ziva and Gibbs, two rescued cats already part of the Allen-King household.
"We're just pet people," King says. "I don't know any other way to put it."
Sam now spends his time on or very close to his new parents.
"He just likes being with us," Allen says while Sam stretches out in her lap and enjoys steady strokes across his back. "He likes the laps, but he also lays by Nelson's desk in the office and he really likes sitting between us on the couch."
Sam — a Jack Russell after all — still likes to dart around the house, but now his hind quarters move more like a jackrabbit when he runs to the door to greet visitors.
"He's had some problems, but it doesn't stop him," King says, adding that Sam has learned to wait to be picked up before trying to go up or down the stairs. And actually, Allen admits while still petting Sam, he doesn't ever go too long without behind held.
Sam still has regular check-ups to determine how the leg is healing, and there are some dental issues that also must be addressed in the near future. For now, the wayward teeth on the left side of Sam's mouth sometimes make it seem that he's flashing a little grin. With the way things have turned out, maybe he is.