A DRIVE-THRU. That is how McDo came to my life. No, he's not a hamburger.
He's a homeless dog.
It was early January when I first drove past this dog as he was precariously parked on the side of a busy road next to a construction site.
With eyes closed, his head sagged from his frail body that swayed from side to side. It looked like he would collapse anytime, but was making a last-ditch effort to be noticed by trying to sit upright. He looked very sick, famished and tired.
My first thought was to feed him. McDonald's was the nearest food source so I made a drive-through for a piece of chicken with rice and a cup with cold water.
I traveled the same road the next day and found the dog in the same spot where I left him. After that, I have made special trips to bring him food and water. The dog got to know me and welcomed the sight of my car.
The dog wore a ratty collar which means he once had an owner. But the security guard from the construction site said he didn't know how the dog got there but several passersby had been feeding it as well. I asked him to keep an eye on the dog and promised to rescue it for good if nobody would.
After all, I already had a name for him. McDo.
At home, I was able to examine closer my “take-out” dog. McDo was scraggly in all aspects, but he had a kind and pretty face. I didn't realize that he was really skin-and-bones until I gave him a warm bath the next day. It surprised me to feel bones in areas where I typically would not find in my “well-rounded” dogs.
His bad physique told me something about his past. His nails were very long, a sign that his movement had been constricted before. Walking and running could naturally trim a dog's nails, but McDo was probably caged or tied on a leash—which would explain how his nails grew so long. Because of this, McDo's gait was unnatural. His long nails prevented his paws from being completely flat on the floor.
McDo's tail was also almost hairless. It looked like a stick.
While resting, McDo's head bobbed involuntarily, while his tongue darted in and out in a weird way when he sees food.
McDo's ribs and spine were all I could feel when I touched him, and his shoulder bones seemed they would break in a bad fall.
Poor McDo was also covered in ticks. But the worse was his stomach. It grumbled and produced nasty results.
McDo seemed to have no concept of play or toys. He knew not a single command word.
But after weeks of getting regular meals, treats, rest and recreation, bath and some medication, McDo started to get better and fatter.
He had befriended a cat who was a rescue like him. McDo loves his food but he no longer greets it with weird tongue movements. His tummy has been pacified.
McDo's ticks left him, his nails trimmed and cut and his coat grew thick. Although he still experiences sudden falls, his legs are much sturdier now.
I am very happy with his tail as it is now fat and fluffy. He has also completely embraced his name and immediately comes when called. He understands some words now and has learned to play with other pets and toys.
He doesn't like getting wet, but stays calm and patient during baths. He was also such a good boy during his first visit to the vet that the doctor remarked about his nice looks and good behavior. As if he understood, McDo wagged his tail. He is now a 15-kilo dog that knows how to love back.
Not bad for a dog who cheated death in the fast (food) lane just a few months ago.