Growing Family Gallery — we proudly introduce Cokey — RESCUE #7

The "dogboy" count goes up one more!

Mornings for an ESRA Coordinator often begin with frantic incoming calls and emails about a Springer at risk in a high-kill shelter. September 15, 2013, was one of those days — not one, but two male Springers in the Wilkesboro NC shelter with an urgent plea for ESRA to rescue them. I set off to make the 200 mile round trip journey to Wilkesboro and back home again with two smelly dogs in tow. One of them was smellier than usual, having had a close encounter with a skunk shortly before he was dumped at the shelter by his owner because he had killed a chicken! Luckily the weather was beautiful that day so windows fully opened all the way home was the only way the trip could be endured.

First order of business for Cokey, the skunk boy, was a series of sudsy baths, using every remedy known to man to eliminate the skunk odor. Cokey seemed very grateful to be going through the process! Over the next few days as he settled in to the King House routine, it became apparent that he really didn't feel well. Turned out he had a mild case of pneumonia and some serious issues with bladder stones. ESRA made him a "Special Needs" dog and financial support rolled in to get him healthy and rid him of his internal discomfort! He was a champ through it all. And with every passing day, the bond between Cokey and his sappy foster mom grew stronger, so yes, you guessed it, Cokey's last name became King with an official ESRA adoption in short order! (In truth, due to his long-ignored bladder stones, Cokey is incontinent. Makes the list of potential new homes a little shorter and the decision to make him an official King Boy a lot easier.)

With so many dogs always in my house — with multiple fosters at any given time, I've had up to 14 at once — I use a system of baby gates as a major management tool. Early on after Cokey joined us, for a short while one day he was expected to stay in the dining room behind a baby gate that led to the kitchen. You can tell by the photo that he misunderstood the plan — it took him only 30 seconds to make himself a handy opening so he could join the rest of us. Other than the required and necessary disemboweling of the occasional stuffed toy, this was his only feat that measured up to actual damage. Well, actually he did recently also "read" an ESRA adoption agreement and check that came in the mail. He found it very tasty and the understanding new adopter willingly replaced the delicious paperwork.

Cokey is a sturdy muscular Springer and, having lived his first ten years as what most of us would refer to as "a junkyard dog," it might be easy to be a little wary of him. But in truth, Cokey is a teddy bear! He has no idea that he is way too big to be a lap dog, but he insists on being one. And every visitor to the house gets to know Cokey very well very quickly. He's not obnoxious about his wanting to sit on everyone's lap — you can say "no thank you" and he'll be OK not invading your personal space, but he does hope you'll at least let him sit very near you!

Cokey is a joy to have around! Is he my new favorite now that Blake is gone? I'll never tell!



Actual birthdate: 12/16/2003