Last Monday, I stayed up past midnight creating a slideshow to accompany my final presentation for class the next day. As I finally started to get ready for bed, I noticed that one of the cats was spending a lot of time in the living room window, staring and chirping at something outside. As it was a cold night, I just figured that a possum or raccoon was taking refuge against the side of the house--or that the mice living in my heating ducts were having a party.
At about three in the morning, I was awakened from homework-induced slumber by a bloodcurdling series of grunts and squeals outside the window of my basement apartment. After going outside several times and seeing nothing, I finally just stood by the door and talked coaxingly to my air-conditioning unit. Sure enough, after a minute or two a tiny, scabby, beady-eyed white head nudged round the corner of the unit. He was so dirty and emaciated that for one awful moment I didn't even realize he was a dog.
I pulled him into the bathroom, warmed some milk, spooned out some cat food, and plunked him on my lap to warm him up.
Here is what he looked like when I brought him in:
He was too weak to stand up straight, but in too much pain to lie down. After he had some water and whatever food I could find, he settled for half-draping himself across my lap. Every time I got up, he tried to wobble after me.
In the morning I took him to the vet's, where he was diagnosed with malnutrition, dematectic ("Red") mange and coccidia, an internal parasite. He stayed for three days to be cleaned inside and out.
I also checked the spot where I'd found him (much less scary in the daylight!) to see if there were any other puppies. Instead, I found a nylon dog crate in the street, the inside covered with many days' worth of sick-puppy-filth. This puppy wasn't born to a stray mother, nor did he wander away from his litter and get lost. Someone deliberately dumped him.
Sometimes I hate people.