Enabled, disabled or one strong character?
Fancy was a breeder-reject. Given to my Ex for free, she was probably sterile and not performing well in the ring either.
When she came to me, you couldn't get her to walk pass you through the door. You called her name and she would crouch flat on the ground. When you called her, she low-crawled. You didn't need a leash; she didn't dare to walk too far away from you.
A vet pulled 15 or 17 of her teeth. She had doubles of pretty much everything. Her jars didn't align; probably from being kicked in the mouth. I couldn't believe what I was hearing!
Her ribs showed marks from being broken before and her legs did too. I think I cried. We are talking about a 12-14lbs gently soul with a heart of a tiger; in the body of a Mini-Sheltie!
While she was frightened to death of humans, she was the Alpha in my house! The food-aggressive Pit-Bull would see the raised lip and back away from her bowl. Liam would have bitten every other dog over her food, but Fancy backed her away!
Fancy was everywhere I was. She always napped within a few feet of me. While the vets gave her months since her tenth birthday, she just smiled at them. She was going blind, a little hard in hearing, couldn't move that fast anymore. But that little bit of Mastiff in the body of a elegant and gently Sheltie kept going. I thought I would have her forever!
Since I felt I couldn't just leave her to a neighbor feeding her, I took her with me when I went house-hunting. I slept in the car for ten days, since no hotel would take her and the Bassett I had picked off of the busy highway going North. The Bassett later moved in with my property management's mother in law. His name became Jerry and the stray from the highway now owns a couch in a penthouse.
When we moved for what will be the last time in my life, she drove with us every where we went. Nobody was ever good enough to watch her for me. And maybe I knew....
The last time we drove to our new home, she fell asleep on my youngest daughter's lap. I cried so hard I had to stop the car. I think we stood there for hours on the side of a lost-in-the-woods road, crying.
I am glad she got to walk the grass at the new house once or twice. I am heartbroken because she left me. She lived until just months away from her 18th birthday; much longer than predicted by every vet; not long enough.
Nobody can prepare you for the lost of a loved one. And some dogs, no matter how much you loved them all, are just special. It's been almost two years that I lost her, but the pain is just the same.
This tiny little lion, unwanted, rejected, kicked around, became the hero in my life! If there is one soul to teach you gentleness despite how people treat you, she did! At least she tried. Having seen how this gentle soul had been treated will make the nicest person bitter.
Yet another thing: Take pictures of those you love! I have a docent or more, but there will never be enough pictures of your babies, especially if your computers go down like mine did!
Pictures are not the real thing, but they are the last thing you will have besides memories! And no matter how well you treat them, life has the tendency to take them away from you eventually.
We were picking up dogs for a transport run when we were walking through the kennels of a vet office that also rescues a little on the side. They had several dogs for adoption and the fees were really good for the medical care that had been provided.
I noticed that one card had the fees scratched out over and over again! A shy little creature was sitting in a blue barrel used as dog house and then later in a corner by the gate. "Bridget" it read on the card. "Terrier Mix". A few more minor things. She was fully vetted and had an x-ray done.
We found the dogs we were looking for and I had kept wandering around between the cage with the adoptable cats and the kennels. I kept looking at her. "Free". I couldn't see anything wrong with her! So why was she free?
Right before we left I looked at my friend and shook my head. "She's coming home with me!" Bridget rode home on my lap; her little head on my shoulder!
It took me three hours to really see that she had a 'crippled' hip. She was wagging so fast that you couldn't tell she wasn't walking right. She adored my children, loved the cats, bossed the dogs around a little. She was perfect!
Bridget panics when she feels thunderstorms coming. She became my official and never failing weather forecast! The first time we cut her nails she pee'ed and poo'ed herself in fear! I honestly feel that her disability is from cruelty. She is still scared of people messing with her rear and legs. Why would somebody hurt this totally gentle creature with the heart of an Angel?
After a while she stopped bolting across the house when thunderstorm are coming or going on. She just sits besides one of us, shaking, hyperventilating a little. She is used to getting her nails done and getting bathed. She sleeps within an inch of us and especially my girls love this gentle little princess.
I can't imagine life without our Midget Bridget in it! No matter how much humans may have hurt her, she remains the gentle creature she was when she came to us. She talks a lot and always seems to want to have the last word. But when this 'crippled' and once unwanted pup runs across the snow like a ball of fire, tail wagging and happily barking, I know I did the right thing following my heart that day!
While for some she may have been an unwanted cripple, for my family she is a part of our world!
The first time I saw Emma and her 'sister' Esmeralda, it was on a pair of yellow looking pictures from a Animal Control Shelter. They looked pathetic, but were posted as 'Shelter Favorites'.
A bonded pair it was said that they had to go together, but had been there for so long that despite chances over chances their time was up.
They had been adopted and returned. No reason given. I drove the long trip, met another rescuer, picked them up. Emma was constantly in my lap and on my shoulder. Esmeralda viewed me from a safe distance. Esmeralda was skin and bones. Apparently nobody had noticed that she won't eat dry food EVER. Not sure if she can't or won't but she doesn't.
Emma jumped out of my car and took the entire 2.5 acres in like a paradise on Earth. She loved to run and jump and roll in the grass. She was limping and it seems that she was either born with a crippled hip or had an accident at one point or time. Other than that, she is this always happy little creature that loves to sing for you! Her favorite thing is to sing for my Oldest; who never fails to get her excited and barking!
The two 'sisters' are totally different. Emma is happy go lucky and always in the midds of things. Esmeralda, slowly gaining weight is a shy and quiet princess and prefers to enjoy my and only my company. She freaks out in happiness when I get up in the morning or come back from work. She loves to lay all over my and become a second skin.
Emma picked my Oldest and sleeps at his feet every night. His couch will never be the same, since she tends to scratch things around until they are the way she deems it comfortable. She once stole his entire blanket and pulled it on the ground. All you could see was an ear and a tail sticking out of it. He was cold, but she was comfortable.
It's funny how this constantly barking thing can cause such affection and patience in my Oldest. He isn't usually one for the 'annoying' type. But they make a good team. And he doesn't seem to see anything wrong with the dog that 'walks a little funny'.
He was this pathetically cute looking youngster in a kill shelter. Eventually he finally came home after spending some time with a friend.
He was nippy, ate a lot of computer stuff and shoes, is about as stubborn as a German brick, and has a few other habits. But the worst surprise, as much as I love him, was his hip.
Shortly after he came to me, they were playing in my 2.5 acre front yard. They were running towards me when he got hit by a 60lbs freight train in the body of a jet-black Hound/Lab Mix. .....She mowed him right over!
Next thing I know I see him tumble and role and a yelp. The vet confirmed a dislocated hip and gave me a $800+ bill. I about had a heart-attack. So I called in favors and information, talked to a second vet; the price was the same.
Coming to find out that it may have happened before and that it was prone to happen again. The big old teddy took it all in stride. And while I searched for help to pay this gigantic bill, he seemed to enjoy his life just like he had done before.
Surprisingly it popped back in! It was confirmed and you can't tell it happened. I didn't do anything special and it had been a while since the 'incident', so it came totally unexpected.
But when you see this teddy race my Oldest on his bike across the yard, you will believe it! He is fast, his stride clear and healthy and strong!
Yes, it will probably happen again! I've been told that he will probably have hip issues when he gets older! But why should that keep me from loving him.
While I wish he wouldn't have eaten 3 keyboards, 4 mice, 2 hard-drives and a ton of cables he somehow always seemed to find no matter how hidden, I can't love him any more than I do. He is the sweetest thing with his teddy face; maybe a bit Shar-Pei? Maybe a bit Shepherd? Maybe a bit Akita? Who cares!? He is the teddy bear we all learned to love! Even if he may limp again some day!