Formerly Abused Pit Bull 'Has A Love That Is Contagious.' Now She Needs A Home

In the last six months, since getting away from the bad treatment that wrecked her skin but not her spirit, Mercy the pit bull has developed a couple of exceedingly charming habits.
"Mercy is always sucking on her bed. It's like a little pacifier for her. She loves to stick her face under the water in the pools," says animal rescuer and photographer Alissa Umberger, who at 16 years old has already cared for a few dozen foster dogs -- including this one, who "loves to have her back scratched, and doesn't mind hugs."
Now healed and happy-go-lucky, Umberger's next labor of love is to find Mercy a permanent home.
Mercy was in rough shape when she arrived at the Rita B. Huff Humane Society and Animal Shelter in Huntsville, Texas, at the beginning of February.
Staff there gave her the name Mercy, because it seemed like that's what the dog most needed.
The details of her previous life might not be known, but the terrible results are.
Her ears appear to have been chopped off with scissors or a knife. She'd been burned -- it's thought by hot grease -- leaving large bald patches over her body.
Mercy was pregnant, and sick with parvo, a sometimes-deadly, highly contagious virus. The treatment made her lose the puppies; she had an emergency spay procedure.
Melissa Caposello heads DFW Canine Rescue & Service Dogs, a 501(c)(3) rescue group that ordinarily trains shelter pets as service dogs. Mercy wasn't in that category, but Caposello was moved to get her out of the shelter anyway, to make sure she'd have a second chance.
"Mercy was a special case. We do sometimes take in special cases like Mercy that most rescues do not take," Caposello says.
Umberger immediately agreed to take care of Mercy, until she was well enough to be ready for a permanent home.
"I wish that people knew how sick she was.That they could have seen me rub her paws when she was so sick she couldn't move. That they could have seen how she flinched when she was having her medicated baths because that side hurt so bad," Umberger said.
Yes, the first few weeks were hard.
Umberger recalls one early day at the vet when she feared the pup was dying.
"She was hooked up on IVs and I sat in the room with her and visited her. She wouldn't even move her head. She was breathing heavy and I just rubbed her paws, and I was bawling. I thought that was it, it was the end," she said.
It wasn't. Gradually, over the ensuing weeks, Mercy got better. Her health improved. The big patches of missing fur on her side grew back.
Mercy began sucking on her bed. She came to enjoy hugs. She learned to romp with Umberger's own troupe of seven dogs. (Well, six of them. Mercy and the Chihuahua don't see eye to eye.)
"She always wants to play. She loves to run around the yard, go on jogs and she has even begun to like swimming," says Umberger.
Umberger's home was always a way station, a place for Mercy to rest and be made whole.
To adopt her, would be to stop future foster animals from getting that same respite.
So it's time for someone else to bring Mercy home, to give her a place where she can stay forever, safe and loved
There are a few restrictions: The home has to be within a couple of hours of Waco, Texas, and shouldn't have any small dogs (the only critters Mercy seems not to get along with).
The pie in the sky vision of this dog's future involves a little more than that.
"I have always pictured Mercy in a family with a big backyard, and a nice warm little bed for her to curl up in," says Umberger. "I imagine her having one or two other dog friends, and some kid siblings, too."
Umberger is sure that someone will take Mercy home. And that they will wind up very glad to have done it. Because whatever hell that she's been subject to, Mercy has come through.
This is a very, very good dog, body and soul.
"She always fills the room with laughter and has a love that is contagious. She is remarkable, and someone will be so lucky to have her," Umberger says. "Mercy will make a great pet. She already is one."
Here is Mercy's adoption listing.
Find out more on the DFW Canine Rescue & Service Dogs Facebook page, or make a donation here.
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