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Miss August 2017 - Scout
Adventurer, survivor, and loyal companion

cout and Gavin appeared in Oriental a few months ago to renovate the yellow house on Hodges St. Then they appeared on TownDock.net when Gavin was bitten. Not by a dog, but by a human.

Scout, operating on three legs instead of the usual four, has been through tougher situations. Scout can often be found at The Bean, resting on the couch or in a chair while Gavin serves up coffee.

For her ability to make it through harrowing scenarios, TownDock.net names Scout, Miss August.

Miss August 2017
Scout relaxing at The Bean.

Scout came into Gavin’s life around six weeks old. “It’s really cliche, but she’s a breakup dog.” Gavin had just come out of a long term relationship and was floundering. A professor thought a dog would help.

Her heritage is unknown. She looks nothing like her siblings who sport floppy ears, dark coats, and big tails. Scout has none of that. Her spotted red coat, very distinctive ears, and short tail have some guessing her lineage as a Red Heeler or Basenji mix. Gavin has only a passing curiosity about her parentage; it’s her companionship and not her blood that makes Scout important.

As a puppy, Scout attended classes along with Gavin. He never left her behind. “I would put her in my book-bag and take her to class with me in college. She’d just sleep under the table when I was in Physics, just all day.” It wasn’t just college; Gavin took her everywhere he went. A well traveled dog, the pair regularly visit state and national parks across the southeast. Scout was with him with he visited the Great Lakes and Detroit, and when he won his truck in a card game in Mississippi. She loves the outdoors and nature. It was on one of these trips that Scout would lose her leg.

Miss August 2017
Scout before Hungry Mother

In March of this year, Gavin took Scout hiking in Hungry Mother State Park, Virginia. They were on the trails and Scout was off her leash, several yards ahead of him. “It was just the two of us… and I hear her up ahead of me. She, like, screams or yelps and I run up to her and her foot is already starting to swell up. She’s got maybe four puncture wounds in her foot and she’s not happy.” Gavin didn’t see what kind of snake bit her. He arrived in time to hear it moving off through the brush, but not quick enough to see what kind of snake struck.

Gavin says he knew any extra movement on Scout’s part would cause the venom to move through her system quickly. He picked her up, placing her over his shoulders where he could keep watch on her foot, and headed for the nearest ranger’s station. They were far out on the trail and it took the better part of a day to find help. “She was looking…pretty mushy by then. And I’m asking this guy, this ranger, can you do anything? What can we do? What’s going on?” The ranger said he knew a vet who happened to be in the area that day working on horses.

The vet arrived at the station and immediately ruled out anti-venin; without knowing the type of snake, they couldn’t be sure of the correct type or dose of medication. He didn’t have general anesthesia with him, only local. Placing Scout on the table at the ranger station, they gave her the local anesthesia.

“And we did it. We did it right there. We held her down and we did it right there, in the ranger station.” Gavin says. “And uh, she eventually passed out ‘cause there wasn’t any time” for the anesthesia to work.

The vet took her leg from the shoulder.

Miss August 2017
Therapy at Virginia Beach.

Scout was stapled closed and Gavin rushed her to the nearest vet hospital for antibiotics. They took her in and kept her overnight. Gavin slept in his truck in the parking lot. About 5 in the morning, Scout woke up and began howling. About an hour later, unable to calm her, the vet techs went to the parking lot to wake Gavin so he could take her home.

“Right after she lost the leg, you know, we’re home for the first night and she’s trying to … she keeps forgetting that she’s lost a leg. Didn’t even correlate … and she just kept, BAM [falling over], but she didn’t care. She was so happy.” Some people have therapy dogs. Scout has a therapy human.

Miss August 2017
Adapting to her new life as a boat dog.

Gavin put weights on her back, teaching her how to shift her weight and carry it on one side. Scout learned to walk and then run on three legs as well as she had on four.

In April, Scout and Gavin moved to Oriental to begin renovations at the yellow house on Hodges St. Like many, they were charmed by the town and decided to stay. Gavin bought a boat and is teaching Scout a few new tricks. Mostly, they’re focusing on how to navigate the decks without slipping into the water. He’s only had to fish her out twice so far. Scout seems to be adapting to her new home very well, unafraid to jump aboard.

Miss August 2017
Scout keeps a lookout.

She moves with a little more caution these days. She wants to chase the rabbits that populate Oriental, but won’t stray too far from Gavin’s side. Scout has been through a lot in her five years and has come out the other side a leg short, but no worse for wear. Her ability to make it through tough times and retain her lovable temperament in the face of adverse circumstances makes Scout the August Pet of the Month.

Miss August 2017
Scout, Gavin, and their Mississippi winnings.

Celebrity most resembles: Surfer Bethany Hamilton

Favorite Item of Clothing: A blue bandana
Likes: Snacks, state parks, and higher education
Dislikes: Biting snakes and biting humans
Best Known For: Doing as well on three legs as on four
Personal Ambition: To gain her sea legs and stay out of the water
Dream destination: Anywhere she can chase rabbits

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Know a pet that is a standout? Send in some details and a photo to pet@towndock.net. Tell why that pet deserves the coveted TownDock.net Pet of the Month Prize Package --- accolades, a pat on the head (snakes excluded) and a box of Milk Bones ( or snack suitable for the species).

We regret that we cannot offer a college scholarship to Pet Of The Month winners.

Animals caught near the HarborCam attempting to suck up to the judges will be disqualified.