On Wednesday Reeves went to the vet for a wheel fitting and his first round of vaccinations. He should get his wheels early next week. The vet had a family emergency that pushed back his work.
But, the vaccines and wheels weren't the interesting part of Reeves visit with the vet. Upon seeing him, the doctor said, "So, he's a meat market rescue?"
Guo Peng (the founder of the shelter and our contact) told him that she honestly wasn't sure of his origins and asked him why he thought that. The vet pointed out the scuff scars on Reeves' nose and told her that they are consistent with rope marks from being bound. Then he told her that the type of hindquarter injuries he has are more likely from jumping from a moving vehicle than from being hit by one.
We don't know if Reeves was rescued or if he escaped himself, but it looks like he narrowly escaped a brutal execution on the way to someone's dinner plate.
It makes sense, really. Many dogs that end up in shelters somehow escaped their fates at the butcher. And this vet, who does a lot of work with rescue animals, has seen these injuries many times.
Reeves' docile nature and the fact that he came to us potty trained combined with what we've learned from the vet tell us that his history probably looks something like this:
-he was purchased as a puppy for a pet
-he became a stray (by being let go) or was "stolen" while unsupervised
-he was picked up by dog meat suppliers and "packaged" for sale
-he escaped from a truck, injured himself and was taken to a vet by a good Samaritan
-the vet called the shelter, who contacted us
Reeves' story isn't unusual, except in its end. Dogs in China and South Korea often face violent, untimely ends at the hands of the dog meat industry. Even if you put forward the argument that eating dog is no different than eating a cow or pig, it's important to note that dogs don't legally fall under the "livestock" category here and therefore dog butchers have few to no legislature to obey. In many cases dogs are electrocuted before death or even skinned alive. These practices stem from the belief that adrenaline makes the meat taste better and makes it healthier for you.
You're probably pretty pissed off about those practices now. So, take a second and remember that it was a Chinese person who brought gravely injured Reeves to a vet. And that Guo Peng, the founder of the Jinan Yellow River Shelter and owner of at least one disabled dog, is also a Chinese national. I remind you of these things because we tend to misplace our anger onto entire populations when we're confronted with terrible things happening in far away nations.
Now, that I've ruined your evening, let me cheer you up a bit.
Reeves met his (seemingly) first lady bug last night. Its presence really bothered him. He couldn't think about anything else. He watched it, tried to lick it up and surrendered his bed to it for a few minutes when it came over.
As I was beginning this post this morning, I noticed that the lady bug was still here. It was sitting on Reeves' tennis ball. I think it knew the power it had over him.
Remember! Share Reeves' pictures and story freely. My hope for him is to become an advocate/therapy dog in the States. He'd be wonderful at it. This boy deserves a meaningful life after all that he's been through in his (roughly) 1.5 years.