Joey !!

This is Joey at about 6 months old when he was picked up from the vet's office after having spent three WEEKS there recovering after he was found in a field starving and completely hairless.  If he looked like that after three weeks of care, can you imagine how close he was to death when they found him???  Poor baby! 

Just look at the bones sticking out on the poor boy's body -- after three weeks of good food and vet care!  Can you imagine what he must have looked like at the time he was found??  I want to cry every time I look at that picture. 

He must have been particularly bad when they got him because the rescue group used some "before" and "after" photos of him on a sign for a while.
He looks not only thin, but terrified of people as well in that bottom photo, doesn't he.  Poor little guy.

But here's our boy when we adopted him at just over a year old -- is he gorgeous or what!
The photo above  was taken in August 2010, two months after we adopted him.  He was brought over from Houston while we were having Mark's 62nd birthday party!  (He didn't exactly consider him an appropriate "present," though.  LOL.)

Had a great picture that I can't find at the moment that was taken after everyone left the party that day.  Mark and Joey are both sound asleep on the sofa with the other two dogs asleep on the floor right under them.  I'll have to keep looking.  ;-D

The pictures below were taken while Joey was still in rescue in Houston.  (The little boy is the grandson of the person who took the pictures for the rescue group, I think.)  I LOVE this picture of the two of them both smiling at the camera, don't you?!

Love it -- a sweet boy who at least LOOKS protective.

Isn't he gorgeous??

I fell in love with that face the moment I saw it.   He is just SO adorable.

I figured if he didn't get upset when a guy chewed on his leg, he MUST have a nice disposition. 

He just looked so sweet.  I couldn't wait to meet him.

Aaaaaw . . . tired puppy.  This is how he still likes to sleep.  No matter where he is when you go to sleep, when you wake up, he will be curled up with his head against you.

Two gorgeous guys.

Of course now that we've adopted Joey, we are beginning to remember just how challenging raising a young dog can be!  And Joey is a MAJOR chewer!  So far? . . . two sofa cushions that were NOT off our sofa, but rather discards from a furniture store, one sofa pillow that WAS off our actual sofa, one TV remote, SEVERAL comforters, one shoe destroyed completely, several shoes rescued in time but with teeth marks, and three theoretically indestructible dog chew toys (Kongs, etc.) . . . completely annihilated.  Whew! 

BUT -- on the other hand, whenever I laid down on the bed, he immediately jumped up and curled up next to me, usually laying his head on my shoulder.  If I was ever really upset with him, I was over it in no time!  I absolutely adore the boy!

2013 UPDATE:  As I mentioned earlier, we adopted Joey back in 2010.  That was just after he had hip repair surgery there in Houston.  Torri, who's a horse anesthetist at LSU vet school, was there at our place at Mark's birthday gathering when they brought Joey over to us from Houston, and when she heard about his surgery and saw that he was walking stiffly, she called her friend Jennifer, who's a physical therapist at the LSU vet school, and arranged for Joey to have physical therapy three days a week to get that hip back in shape.  And she did a FINE job!  After his initial treatments, he mostly walked/ran on a water treadmill, eventually for about half an hour -- and he LOVED it!  

Here he is early on before he got used to it.  Before long, he would jump in there and run all by himself!  (Note that this picture was taken during one of his skin outbreak conditions.)

Jennifer Laborde Bridges - the LSU Vet School Physical Therapist.

He was about done after a year, but then his knee on that same leg gave out and he had to have another surgery for THAT!   So he was back to physical therapy for another year.  Jennifer is an absolute saint!

We ordered him a "large" crate because he was supposed to be preventing from climbing up onto anything, and he was in the habit of jumping up onto the bed or onto the window seat (we've since had that window seat removed altogether).  When the crate arrived we were pretty surprised at just HOW large the package WAS!!!  We knew the crate was going to be 4 feet wide by 5 feet long by just under 4 feet high, but reading that is definitely different from actually SEEING it!

But it worked really well - he could get up and walk around in there without the option of jumping up onto anything.  And he got to the point where he came to really like it in there. 

We always feed him in there now because he eats small amounts incredibly quickly.  He's not supposed to gain weight - it would disturb his leg - so he doesn't get too much food.  So if he's not closed in he goes and eats Rocky's food too!  (Rocky doesn't believe in objecting to that so Joey needs to be confined.)

So when he thinks it's time to eat, he races over and gets inside the crate and just sits there staring at me until I bring him something to eat.    ;-D
Anyway, after all that physical therapy, he was just fine.  Well . . . his leg was anyway.  But not long after he had that surgery he developed a horrendous skin condition that the dermatologists at LSU tried (unsuccessfully) to get rid of for almost a year! 

The poor little guy was COVERED in what appeared to be red ant bites (they weren't -- that's just how they looked).

And anywhere where there weren't rashes, he skin was red as could be.

They tried all kinds of meds - surface stuff and pills and injections.  Nothing worked for any length of time.  Finally we put him on non-allergic prescription food (almost $100 a bag!) and ultimately Craig Alberty at AVS said "Let's try giving him thyroid meds, even though his blood tests show his thyroid level to be at the high end of normal."  So we did.  And his skin cleared up AND his behavior improved dramatically!  So ever since he's been getting small amounts of non-allergic NON-prescription food (not cheap but thankfully less than $100 a bag!) and thyroid meds twice a day.  And it's definitely been worth it!  He's been fine ever since. 

And he is the perfect dog for Louisiana --- he LOVES hot weather! 
In hot weather, Rocky and Boo stay inside while I'm at work,
but Joey likes to stay outside in the heat and sleep on my bed on the sleeping porch.
Since the house is air conditioned, if I make him sleep inside he insists upon being covered with a blanket -- any time of year!    

So I just put it over him . . .

and he relaxes and lays down . . .

and starts to go to sleep . . .

here he is yawning . . .

and he goes right to sleep . . .

And by the time I come back into the bedroom to get into bed myself, he has generally covered himself up completely to where you wouldn't even know he was there if you weren't familiar with the way he sleeps!

All in all, Joey is more than average in a lot of ways.  He has an amazing sense of smell -- not something we expected.  He might as well have been a blood hound!  If I have anything whatsoever new, whether it's in my pockets or my purse or a grocery bag, he realizes it instantly and insists upon heavy sniffing.  I worried about that for a while, but he never actually does anything like chew it up -- he just wants to check it out.  Same with company.  We generally keep him away from guests because he insists on sniffing them to death!

And I guess his hearing is pretty darned unusual, too, come to think of it.  The dogs can be outside 30 or more feet away the house with all the doors and windows closed, and if I pour dog food into a bowl he immediately races up to the door and starts to bark to say he wants in!  None of the other dogs ever manage to hear that!

Too bad he doesn't have a real job for the police or someone because he'd be darned good at it!

So, all things considered, he has turned into a fine fine boy. 

And he's once again GORGEOUS!
This is my favorite pic at the moment --