From The Plain Dealer:

Dog survives gas chamber with his tail wagging

Jim Suhr
Associated Press

St. Louis- Cast into a city gas chamber to be euthanized with other unwanted or unclaimed dogs, it appeared that the roughly year-old Basenji mix had simply run out of luck - and time.

But this canine had other ideas.

When the death chamber's door swung open Monday, the dog now dubbed Quentin - for California's forbidding San Quentin State Prison - stood very much alive, his tail and tongue wagging amid the carcasses of a half-dozen other dogs.

Animal-con trol supervisor Rosemary Ficken had never seen such a thing and didn't have the nerve to slam the door shut again on the dog and fire up the carbon monoxide.

This 30-pound, orangish ani mal, she be lieved, beat the odds and should live on, doggone it.

"She told me, Please, take him. I don't have the heart to put him back in there and re-gas him,' " said Randy Grim, founder and head of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, the charitable shelter that took in the dog before taking the animal's story public.

Quentin's ordeal was played and replayed yesterday on local television stations, drawing scads of people looking to adopt "such a sweet dog" that showed such dogged resilience.

The center euthanizes dogs nearly every morning - about 3,000 a year.

Quentin's fate appeared grim. Surrendered to the city by an owner no longer wanting the animal, the dog eluded adoption, landing him in the death chamber that he somehow managed to emerge from, groggy from the sedative but otherwise "pretty responsive," if not downright rambunctious.

"There was a reason for this dog not to go down," said Rich Stevson, program manager for the animal center. "Maybe this dog is a special dog of some kind."

The next morning, he said, "it was jumping up and down, wagging its tail."

Grim said yesterday that Quentin was a little malnourished but "in very good condition," being checked for heartworm and other maladies by a veterinarian.

"You can tell he's really digging it," Grim said of the dog. "He has a bed, love, food and water."

And that invaluable second chance.

Nuttin' else can be added to that.
Just... wow.

No comments: