The Story of Carlos

by Carlos’ Foster Mom Sharon B.

    At the beginning of July 2019, Julie G. called me and asked if I would be willing to foster an older Cairn (estimated to be 14+ yrs old) that had been pulled from a shelter. The dog had multiple medical issues and she explained he might only have weeks or a few months to live.  Col. Potter wanted him to have a home and know love in his final days and Julie had immediately thought of me.

     Of course I said “yes”, now we just had to get him to me. It was a holiday weekend coming up but the never fail transport team put together a plan. A group of wonderful volunteers stepped up to drive a leg to help this little guy who had been named Carlos go 600 miles from Ohio to Connecticut. I drove the final leg and when the crate was put in my car, I got my first glimpse (and smell) of him. It had been raining while I was waiting for him and as we pulled onto the highway a rainbow suddenly appeared in front of us. I turned to his crate and told Carlos “he had found his pot of gold when Col. Potter took him in”. His response was to cry, itch and scratch all the way home.

   Julie wrote a wonderful intake announcement for Carlos, part of which I have included here:

   “Little Carlos was found tied to a post at a gas station in a southern city.

His tether was so short that he had no room to move out of the hot sun, so

he just lay down where he was. When he was found, his skin was inflamed and

reddened by the constant exposure to the sun. Animal control took him to the

local humane society where they did all they could for the little dog. But

they needed help. When they were faced with over-crowding over the Fourth of

July holiday, they contacted Col. Potter to see if we could help Carlos.

We took Carlos into our protection and brought him to our vet hospital. At

the hospital, in addition to his horribly inflamed skin and painful dry eye,

the vet staff discovered that Carlos was also suffering from lymphoma.”

      Once home I opened the crate and finally got a good look at Carlos. He was missing a lot of hair (a real lot!), his skin was red and raw from being in the sun & scratching, and he smelled terrible. But his tail was wagging! He came out jumping up looking for attention and a treat. That was it, I was in love. He ate, got a quick bath, did his business outside and settled down for a peaceful night’s sleep on a comfy doggy bed.

      The next several weeks focused on getting Carlos to his optimal health. Bobbie B. gave me advice on a healthy diet and caring for his severe skin and hair loss issues. Kathleen L. made him belly bands, which he has now passed on to his new foster brother. A trip to the vet revealed he had a recurrent ear infection in addition to all his other issues and he visited an ophthalmologist for his dry eyes.

     Carlos had daily medicated baths, ear drops, 2 eye drops twice a day, antibiotics for his skin infection and low dose steroids for his lymphoma, yet he maintained his spunkiness and good natured temperament throughout all of this. A fundraiser was set up and many wonderful people donated to help with his medical bills.

     Weeks and then months passed and Carlos showed no signs of declining health. His fur slowly started to grow back, he gained much needed weight and his personality charmed everyone he met. At repeat visits to the vets, everyone was amazed at how well he was doing and how good he looked. He enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with his very own stocking made by Pauline T. and he even made several trips to see Santa. He had his DNA done, which showed he is 62.5% cairn, 25% Westie and 12.5% mixed breeds. A true CP pup!

     Carlos has become a nonstop talker and has an opinion about everything. If his meal is not being prepared fast enough or a seat next to me on the couch isn’t available, he complains loudly. He wrestles with his brother, NobleRalphie, and has made it clear he finds his new foster puppy brother annoying. He’s gained a little too much weight, although he prefers to refer to himself as “portly”. He has claimed his spot on the bed next to me and he has that terrier stubborn streak if he doesn’t want to do something, such as turn back towards home after going on a long walk.

     Carlos truly has become an ambassador for Col. Potter and a testament to what love and proper care did for a dog that some felt should have been euthanized. He has been with me a little over eight months and is still on all his meds, but he is going strong. I don’t know how long he has, but again I want to quote from Julie’s writeup introducing Carlos:

  “And so, we thank our own Sharon B. for welcoming this little man into her life and into her home with the promise of love and tenderness for the rest of his days, however many there may be. And, for the greatest gift of all, promising to be there with Carlos, holding his paw, whenever he would need her.”

     And that is a promise I intend to keep to my beloved Carlos, knowing that the entire Col. Potter family will be there to support me when that sad day does come. He will cross the Rainbow Bridge knowing he was a member of the Col. Potter family, and that he was loved by many and will never be forgotten.

Sharon B., Shorty Long, Ross, NobleRalphie, Raquel and Carlos in Stratford, CT