Nelson is a 3-4 year old schnauzer who arrived on Sunday from Michigan, making him our first American foster. I don't know if they have snow in Michigan or not, but Nelson really seems to like the white stuff. He's not afraid to bury his head into a snow bank in search of some elusive smell.
He's undeniably sweet but pretty timid. He spent most of Sunday sleeping by the back door, having no interest in mingling with the humans or the two furry beasts. After spending two days on the road traveling from city to city, I can't say I blame Nelson for his lack of interest. The transport took a lot out of him.
Nelson was found as a stray in Michigan but I'm pretty sure he was dumped off somewhere. He had a large mass on his head that required surgery so my guess is that whoever had him didn't feel like dealing with that unpleasantness. Unfortunately while in temporary foster care, Nelson managed to pull out some of the stitches by rubbing at his little noggin so the head wound is a bit raw right now. On the second day of his transport, a vet tech even had to re-stitch part of his wound. Nelson has been wearing the cone of shame since Sunday evening when he tried to scratch at it, and let me tell you -- if there was a medal for saddest looking schnauzer, he would win by a long shot.
But it's more than just the lumps and bumps. Nelson has some trouble walking because he struggles with his balance. Initially I thought it might be due to fact that he's hard of hearing (yeah, there's that too) but the more I watch him, the more I'm leaning towards a neurological issue. He can't do stairs (he'll fall down) and he needs someone to guide him to where he needs to go. If he follows you to a room and you leave that room before he has a chance to watch you, then Nelson will stand in one spot until you go back to get him. So the thought of him being a stray -- leaving his home to run off with the schnauzer circus -- is laughable.
On the other hand, the thought of Nelson being dumped off somewhere, only to have him stand there waiting to be found, is almost too much to bear.
Nelson will be visiting the vet on Tuesday and hopefully they can take out the stitches and apply some magical serum like they have in The Hunger Games. Probably not, but hey, a schnauzer can dream. They'll also assess to see if he has any neurological issues, and we'll go from there.
Normally one of the first things we do when we get a new foster is give them a good bath but we haven't been able to do this yet with Nelson. Partially because of his stitches, but also because of him being so timid -- the last thing I wanted to was throw him in the bathtub after such a stressful weekend and have him be even more afraid of us. Nelson hopes the ladies at the vet's office see past his disheveled appearance and love him anyway. I think they will.