Larry E. May
Caper Loves Everyone and Everyone Loves Caper!
By L. E May
From a distance, it looked like a lion in a cage. I immediately thought of the stories my parents told me regarding traveling circuses. Animals in cages, placed on wagons, pulled by horses, from town to town. Men on the yard stopped talking and exercising as the cart approached. Two women guided it towards our building. There was a brown dog inside the sturdy metal cage. Most of us believed he was vicious because of his circumstances. We later found out, he was hit by a car. That is how I first met "Caper." Little did I know, I'd be assigned to care for him along with my two teammates (Jack and Tobias).
The first month we put him through physical therapy exercises. He seemed to know we were helping him and loved the attention. Massaging and stretching his injured hind leg brought us closer! He enjoyed relaxing on my bed after short walks up a slight incline. I often had to tell him to slow down and take it easy. We didn't want him to re-injury his fragile leg. After a few weeks his stitches were removed. We kept a watchful eye on his thigh and tummy to be sure the areas didn't get infected. He had to wear a "cone" around his head during this period. All of us especially Caper, were happy and relieved when those days ended. We made his overnight crate safe, cozy and comfortable. It is a restful and peaceful spot for him to relax for a short or long period of time.
Now that his road to recovery is going well, we have begun his training. He learned sit, down, come and stay in record time! Since he is only six months old, he is a playful puppy. Short five minute training sessions are more productive than one long one. In between, I scratch all his favorite spots and give him loving affection. He does get distracted by people walking by sometimes. He wants attention and rubs.
Our team divides our time with him. We usually share the morning hours together. I look forward to getting up every morning, seven days a week. When he sees me coming at 6:15, I
#2 May hear one of my favorite, daily sounds. His tail "banging" against the plastic crate. It puts a smile on my face, just writing about it! I immediately take him outside. The desert sunrise wakes both of us up. He has a big appetite and enjoys his healthy breakfast. I groom his beautiful fur with a brush. He really likes it!
We enjoy our stroll around the prison yard. When I stop and say "wait," he automatically sits! We walked three laps this past week. He has begun going up and down stairs recently too. Our devotion to his recovery has inspired him to get motivated. He just passed the fifty pound mark. The dog graduation is a month away. I'm not sure if he will be adopted this round or if he will continue to rehab with us longer.
The CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test consists of ten items. Caper knows half of them already! He loves to come to you when called, but hates to stay put. Sit and down are easy for him. He looks forward to his daily brushings. He does get easily distracted by dogs and people walking near him. This will subside as soon as he is well enough to interact with other dogs, in my opinion. He is climbing up on my bunk now, but needs help getting down. His physical achievements are improving daily. I can hardly wait until the day comes when he can chase a ball and return it to me!
He has a wonderful personality and disposition. When he does get adopted, he definitely won't disappoint the family's expectations! He will exceed and excel in all areas. I hope his courageous and astonishing life will not be forgotten. From being wheeled in on a cart and us carrying him outside to go to the bathroom to him leaping up on my comfy bed is quite a thrilling event to witness. Our motto is, "We work hard so our dogs can have a better life." Caper did his part too!
The men on the yard all love Caper. They come from near and far to greet him. He loved them too and I mean everyone. Thus, my title was easy. "Caper loves everyone and everyone loves Caper!"