Before we even knew that his foster mom, veterinarian Dr. Lori Seelhoff is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order (laypeople dedicated to following the Franciscan way of care for the earth and each other), meeting Grayson so evoked the memory of a favorite St. Francis story that we told it in our first post about him.
The story: St Francis was riding his horse near Assisi. He saw a very disfigured leper walking toward him. In Francis’ day, there was pretty much nothing scarier than lepers. Francis had once hoped his calling might be to ride a great white steed to serve (like many young people his age) gaining glory in the Crusades. But he knew already he was called to a quieter courage.
He got off his horse, gave the man a coin and kissed his hand.
Immediately getting back on his horse, Francis looked back toward the man and despite there being an open plain all around, there was no one there.
Sometimes courage is quiet. It is an embrace. It is showing love and patience and seeing the beauty in every soul.
If spirituality is “a way of looking at the world,” then Franciscan spirituality is “a way of radical unprotectedness.” Animals live in this state and it may be this trait that contributes to the grace we receive from our interaction with them. They control basically nothing. They live in hope we will be kind, that things will get better, that we will rise to their defense. They come to us with hearts undefended ready to take what we offer.
Grayson lived outside a warehouse in the cold. But when he looked into the eyes of his rescuer, he was immediately willing to live in hope she’d be the answer to how hungry and cold he was. She rose to it.
And when she asked for help, Friends For Life rose to that.
Grayson had an epic case of mange (maybe not the technical term…but whew, epic, y’all.) He also has a rear leg that has been broken—multiple times. The leg was never set and did not heal properly. He got a set of x-rays and we will be packing the boy and his x-rays off to a consult mid-February with an orthopedic specialist to determine whether an amputation is the only way for him to live a pain-free life. Any surgery will not be straightforward as the breaks are high up in the hip area and the surgery will be involved. Grayson is also heartworm positive. Not to worry, we will treat that post surgery.
spirit is as undimmed as our plans to give him a happy, pain-free life.
Grayson has discovered what it is like to hog the bed, have toys and even go to the dog park and swim! He’s on antibiotics and special shampoo for his skin and is growing fur! He has pain meds for his leg and is moving around beautifully.
Now he gets hugs and a snappy new t shirt. Not bad for a ‘leper’ from behind a warehouse.
Watch this space for the evolution of this love story. Grayson when he got his first tshirt to help protect his skin that was ravaged by mange and infection.
He got surgery to amputate the badly broken rear leg and recovered just beautifully. This is our boy on one of his first trips out and about after surgery. He got to take lots of practice walks and we took it at his pace.
He has completed his heartworm treatment and sailed through that with flying colors. But he did not love all the cage rest part. He is thrilled to be back out and about! He is just great on a leash and loves interacting!
This guy who has barely survived living behind a warehouse got to get out of “survival mode” and into full “toy mode!” It is a beautiful thing to see a dog who has had to think of nothing but the pain of his injuries and trying not to starve finally able to focus on more important things–like finding a squeaker! Sometimes mid-play they just look up at us like, “Really? I get to just do this? Cool.”
You will never convince any of us at Friends For Life that souls like Grayson are anything but precious and irreplaceable. We believe it is the sacred duty of any group calling themselves animal advocates to work to save these animals, not exterminate them. Grayson would have been taken into a euthanasia room and killed at the Houston spca because of his breed. We believe he is “living proof” that shelters like the hspca are wrong to write dogs like Grayson off as unworthy of their care or of a home.
We will never write dogs like Grayson off. That’s No Kill. That’s what you should expect from a shelter.
Grayson met his new family and has completed the journey from outcast to beloved. We thank his family for choosing to support the shelter model that is the future.
If you are reading this and want to know how you can help here’s the deal: the model you support is the model that thrives.
Adopt No Kill. Donate No Kill. Volunteer No Kill.
Have a great life, buddy.