Blue wasn't born with wings.
The basset hound-mix puppy just had floppy ears and Clydesdale-sized feet and those droopy eyes, none of which served him well on April 28 when he was unceremoniously tossed over a 6-foot-tall fence.
Consequently, he landed with a thud, and probably a crunch, in the concrete yard of the Carson City Animal Shelter.
"A kennel attendant just found him lying there. He didn't want to use his leg at all," said shelter Supervisor Pat Wiggins.
No one could blame the soon-to-be-christened Old School Blue for favoring his hind leg. The tossing broke three bones and bruised his ribs.
And all this trouble from an event that probably happened after 8 a.m. when the shelter was open for business, Wiggins said.
"Someone didn't care enough to bring him into the office. They just tossed him over the fence and took off," Wiggins said. "It was such an ignorant act. It warrants prosecution for having no concern for a puppy's welfare."
To look at Blue's 45-pound, oblong frame, you'd almost mistake him for an adult dog. That is until the 5-month-old gallops toward you, dragging a leg with a green and white striped bandage, and slapping his heavy feet in the characteristic gait of a puppy.
His condition, although pitiful, doesn't prevent the radiant canine from occasionally bounding toward Smokey, the shelter's ever-present and sometimes ornery office cat. Nor does it stop Blue from happily following behind whichever legs pass by him.
"He has such a great disposition for being dumped," said Wiggins.
When Blue was discovered, the broken hound was taken to Lone Mountain Veterinary Clinic where they put his leg into the colorful cast. If it doesn't set properly, amputation is the next step, Wiggins said.
Not able to leave a dog who needed nursing at the shelter, Wiggins took Blue home to recuperate, but once there, he dragged his rump into the Wiggins' daughter's bed. Everyone agrees that's where he'll stay. His name is Old School Blue Wiggins, now.
He will be the shelter's new education dog, Wiggins said, tasked with visiting schools to teach the children about animal safety and how dogs talk to people with their body language.
Lying comfortably on the shelter's countertop Thursday, Blue rolled onto his back, and exposed a furry belly in search of a rub. Wiggins never took his hands off him, offering him the love and understanding he probably didn't get from wherever he came from. The pup soaked up the attention, rolling gleefully back and forth and letting out a periodic sigh. Occasionally he'd glance at whomever entered the door, all the while keeping one eye on Smokey sitting in an in-box.
If dogs talk through their body language, Blue was telling a story - he's home now.
- Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.
You can help
A $500 reward is being offered by Carson City Animal Services for the prosecution of the person responsible for breaking Blue's leg when he was tossed over a 6-foot-tall fence. Anyone with information is asked to call 887-2171.