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If my dogs could talk, I would write a best seller!
Have you ever adopted a dog?
Mom of three dogs.
I'd like to think if my dogs could speak, they would change the world with their voice.
Imagine sitting down next to your dog and suddenly hearing about their life.
Just think about the stories you might hear, coming from an animal that you were kind enough to take in to your home in the first place.
Most humans have a story or two to share about a bad day. Some of us have been on the unfortunate end of a worst-case scenario. When I think about my dogs, I can't personally imagine having to suffer through situations my dogs went through before I knew them. They are resistant. They are encouraging. They deserve praise.
With that being said, here are stories about my dogs and tales they would tell if they could speak.
Brownie is a mixed breed found savagely chained to a tree in the backyard of an abandoned home.
From the moment the animal control officer rescued her and cut the chains embedded in her neck free from the massive tree holding her to a two foot section of earth, Brownie smiled.
After seeing Brownie on an advertisement online with little interest and hours from being terminated, I quickly called the shelter and entered my application to adopt.
While I started seeing political campaigns coming out of the deep south warning people to avoid adopting dogs from shelters, as they are often aggressive, I stopped to think how dogs are often resilient to the suffering they endure at an abuser's hand, but nevertheless treat each care giver with utmost respect and love.
Such is the case with Brownie. I can only imagine what her day would have been like if I hadn't beat the clock and rescued her from her impending doomed fate.
What would she have said to me that she couldn't have said any clearer by the looks she gave me in the car ride home?
If Brownie could talk, I bet she would say something like this:
I was born a mixed breed. My father was chow and my mother was shepherd. Together they protected a flock of sheep at the home farm deep off to the side of the city highways. My father used to play with me. He used to roll me around with his nose, always looking for a way to tickle me. I loved it. His nose was always wet and cold. He licked me to sleep every night. He took great care of me and taught me how to protect myself. One time a woodchuck ran out from the wooded area around from the corner of our dog house and frightened me. My father told me to show it some teeth and with my sharp pearly whites, the woodchuck ran back to it's hole. It never bothered us.
My mother was a nature lover. She loved fresh grass. She loved butterflies and playfully chased them through the grassy hills on the meadow over by the sterling blue stream. There were fish jumping out of the water. My mother was scared of her own reflection though and didn't like to go down to the river too much. She saw a bear once and it scared her so much she didn't stray far from the farm after that.
Together, my parents were inseparable. I loved them and enjoyed being with them all the time. My siblings were special too. We loved to cuddle and play with each other. We often rolled around on the ground and fetched balls for our master.
Then one day, the master and his wife needed to make a little money. The farm was behind on some necessary equipment. So they decided to sell us pups.
An old man bought me for a small fee. He took me to the doctor and I had my first shots. I did not like all that poking and prodding by the staff at the clinic though. I felt it was a little invasive. I also didn't like to be shaved. The old man shaved me because as I grew bigger, my hair would tangle, especially around my ears. He took exceptional care of me though. I had no complaints. He fed me once a day by the back door when he tied me up to the old horse post. I ate like a giant. Stuffing myself full of store brand dry dog food which I didn't find half bad. When you are hungry, you don't much care what it is they feed you, at least you get a meal.
The old man used to put me on a rope and walk me down to the river bed. I cut my feet up on some old clam shells. He said it would toughen up the soft skin on my paws. They bled and hurt when I walked. But I didn't want to complain. I enjoyed the company on our nightly walks.
When the old man started training me to do things his way, he often beat me. It hurt really bad and I winced in pain. The louder I yelped, the harder he would kick me. I guess he was trying to teach me to be quiet. So I would sit down and try not to holler. But sometimes I couldn't help it. That got me punished in an awful way. If I didn't learn my lesson by then, he would find a stick in the yard and beat me with it. I always thought he was playing, so I would try to bite it. I wasn't trying to hurt him. I was trying to bite the stick to play tug-o-war. That was my favorite game. When I was a puppy living back home on the farm with mom and dad, all of my siblings would become rowdy over a good game of tug-o-war. I was only playing. But the old man thought I was trying to be fresh. He kicked me across the yard, almost breaking my leg.
I didn't much want to leave the dog house after that. I was afraid of the old man. When he called to me, I'd run faster than wind. I didn't want to ever endure such painful beatings. But sometimes no matter how much I did to please the old man, he would attack me. One time I was eating my well-deserved dinner after a couple of hours of being tied up by the wood pile where he chopped wood for the winter. He tried to take my food away from me. Being so hungry, I lunged at my bowl. He thought I was lunging after his hand, and he nearly broke my neck.
After that, he drove me in a plastic bag to a nearby road and dumped me off to the side.
I woke up confused with a head ache days later to realize there was something pecking at the bag. A few dozen birds had come to enjoy the garbage that was thrown out of the back of the truck along side me, and they pecked the bag open. I was once again free.
I tried to go back and find the old man. I was worried about him. I didn't want him to think I had been too hurt to return to help him. But when I got back, I saw he had a new puppy tied to a rope out by the wood pile. I left thinking he must have felt I had worn out my stay. I will miss that old man.
On my way through the wilderness, I learned how to hunt. I started chasing squirrels and became proficient at it. I also enjoyed chasing chipmunks. We had a little game going. They would hide under clusters of freshly fallen leaves. I would stomp my feet and they would run away. It was so much fun.
Then one day some stranger found me in the woods. They put me in the back of an old pick-up truck. I was so excited thinking I finally found a new home.
There I was once again. But this time, I found myself chained to a tree with about two feet of space to myself. Just barely enough to turn around in. It was unbearable to live that way. Shortly after bringing me there, the stranger left and was never seen again. He left me there with no food or water. I became overburdened with grief.
First I was taken from my mom and dad. Then I was replaced. Now I found myself abandoned and alone. I was truly afraid. At least in the city, there weren't other animals around that I was too afraid of. It would have been impossible to fend for myself with little room to move and no chance of escape.
Neighbors felt so sorry for me, they were kind enough to throw food on me every day. I began to really stink up the place. I was covered in filth from head to toe. I couldn't scratch myself or roll around because the chain had sunk down in to my flesh. It was painful to do anything but stay in one position. All the while people were throwing food on me, and it was getting in to my wounds. Especially the salty French fries. They tasted really good. The ones I could reach anyway. But they burned really bad when they hit my wounds.
Children were not nice to me. Some even tried beating me with sticks and threw rocks at me. I loved them anyway. They didn't know what they were doing. No one had taught them to be kind to animals. I felt more sorry for them. I just hoped no animal would ever attack them.
As for me, my final days were numbered. I figured I'd lay down and make the best of the sunshine. It was finally sunny and I had the chance to enjoy the warm sun on my sore body.
That's when the nice lady from the animal shelter found me. Neighbors had called saying that there was a nuisance dog in the neighborhood. I don't remember every bothering any one. I didn't even bark. I had barked for help but no one came. I thought they couldn't hear me. Then when that chain dug in deeper, I lost my ability to bark. My voice could no longer be heard.
The lady had bolt cutters. She cut that chain off of my neck. I was ever so grateful to her. Then she took me to an indoor dog house. There were lots of other dogs there. Some were very ill. There was a rumor going around that some dogs were sickly and had to be evacuated to a new dog facility to await their fate.
I heard that we only had ten days to live there. If we didn't find a new home, we'd be gone forever. I didn't have to pay for anything while I was there, although I was thankful for every pat on the head and every morsel of food I received during my stay.
Then, thanks to the nice lady who saved my life, she found a new home for me hours before my doomed destiny. I couldn't believe it! I was so happy when a little girl walked up to me. I sat right down to show her how much I wanted to go home with her. I even tried to shake her hand with my paw. To my surprise, she knew exactly what that meant. I could communicate with her without ever saying a word.
I saw tears in the little girl's mother's eyes. I knew I had appealed my case and won. This fine family would soon have me out of that temporary shelter. But there was a couple day delay. Paperwork had to be done. The family would return in a few days.
The nice lady at the shelter helped me with some personal hygiene issues. She wasn't allowed to bathe me, but she trimmed the hair that had grown so long, it tangled around the side of my face. It was so much better to be able to see without hair matted around my eyes.
When the family came back to bring me home, they even brought me a new toy. I was too old to play with toys at that point as years had gone by from my puppy hood. But it was such a tremendous relief. I knew right away this family would love me and care for me like I always dreamed. I would prove to be the best friend to them a family could ever want.
When my new family brought me home, my new mom bathed me twice! I was so stinky. It felt so good to get a bath. I had skin problems, and she took me to the doctor. Once again I was poked where I wish they didn't need to go, but I knew it was for my own good.
I got medicines, a fingernail trim, and mom groomed me. I never felt fresher.
Soon I got an official license! I was so proud of myself. I had come a long way.
Now I live with my canine siblings and have made friends with cats even. Once upon a time, I wouldn't have ever imagined playing jingle balls with cats running through a house. This is more than a house to me. It's my forever home.
Richie the day we brought him home. No aggression at all.
My first experience as a soccer mom was when I adopted a dog that loved to play soccer.
Richie is a pitbull mix. He was found by animal control tied to a fence post at a church in a city. By city ordinance, Richie would have been put down the following day had I not claimed him as my own.
I'd like to think this is the tale Richie would tell if he were able to speak:
I was only a pup when I was taken from my mom. She was a brave dog. My dad was a pitbull and mom was a Labrador. She was a hunting dog. She got loose from the yard one day and played with dad who ran with a tight pack. When her owner found her, he forbid her to ever leave the yard again. He put up a tall fence that she could neither climb over or dig under.
I had a few siblings. We got along really well. But mom's owner was mortified that we were part pitbull. She didn't know what the neighbors would think. She sent us away to a pound. Someone came along and wanted to train me to fight. They rescued me from the pound, not telling the truth about their motives. I proved to be a wimp. I didn't want to fight. It hurt to watch other dogs get bitten and have to have stitches. I didn't want that to happen to me. So I didn't fight the other dogs. I just played. One time someone hit me really hard with a whip. I turned on them and bit them. They tried to torture me by hurting my toes, poking me with sharp objects, and starving me. Eventually, when they got bored with me, they brought me and another dog to a local church. Their mother said someone would have a heart for our poor soul. They tied us up with no food or water and no chance of escape.
Luckily everyone was really terrified of us. If that hadn't been so, they wouldn't have called animal control. The nice lady came from the shelter and brought us back to her indoor dog house. It was a large kennel. Big enough to run around in. I even had a little door to run through when I needed fresh air. I got food every day. I would bring my bowl to her so she knew I was hungry. One time the workers forgot to feed a couple of us pit bulls. We started barking. We were really hungry. The nice lady scolded them. She said that we were like her children. And they better not forget to feed us again or she would fire them. It terrified me to think they would be fired. I didn't know what that meant. But it didn't sound good at all. The nice lady was so mad at them, she came by my kennel and played ball with me. She even made a video to share online so that everyone could see how much charm and cuteness one little puppy dog could contain.
I got word that my time was up. Other dogs had already begun the adoption process. My forever home was out there some where. I never stopped hoping.
Then one day a nice family came by the shelter. I heard the shelter lady say I was going home. I got so excited, I jumped on my new mom and almost knocked her over. But I licked her face to make her feel better. She loved me from the moment she saw me. She said I had a lot of energy and to let's run it off! We went running for the first time through the back fenced-in portion of the shelter. What a great day! It was the best day ever. I even got an instant sibling Brownie. What a love she is. We hit it off. I think us shelter dogs have a thing for each other. We understand what's it like. We often come from the same type of place and endure the same suffering. We can see it in each other's eyes even when we can't speak it with words.
Mom brought me in the new home and I was so excited. She had made a new toy basket just for me because she knew I was a puppy and would love a lot of toys. There were toys three-feet high. All kinds of them. Of course, I shredded most of them right away. I didn't want to waste any time. I loved my new house. I even got a new bed! It was actually the first bed I ever owned. It took a little used to sharing my space with cats. But mom explained that they were homeless once too. That made it all the better. We rub noses, but don't tell anyone. I don't want to lose my reputation as a vicious pitbull or anything.
Georgia was a stray down south. I first saw her on Facebook and inquired with the shelter about adopting her from another state. They told me that they would not adopt a dog to someone living in another state. It took almost a full day, but with word-of-mouth, a rescue group stepped forward and claimed Georgia from the shelter.
If Georgia could talk, I'd like to think her story would go something like this:
I was on my own from when my mom first had me. We were homeless, living in vacant fields, fending for ourselves. Before a year old, I got separated from my family. I got lost. Aimlessly trying to find my way and frantic I would never see mom again, another dog found me and loved me for a short time. The dog already had other commitments and left me when I was sleeping on the cement foundation of an old house one sunny afternoon. When I awoke, I was alone again.
A short while later, I gave birth to puppies. They were the sweetest puppies I ever saw in my life. I'm not partial or anything, I just have good taste.
Mom was such a good mother to me, I knew instantly how to care for my own, even though I was so young.
My puppies were the tiniest of babies, but we got by on very little.
One day, before my puppies stopped nursing, a stranger found us in the woods. We weren't hurting anyone. We were just doing our own thing. Living life and loving being free.
The stranger put my puppies in a garbage bag. Through their whimpering, I tried to bite the man who took them from me. He put a think metal collar around my neck and pulled it so tight I could barely breathe. I never saw my puppies again. Through rumors at the strange cement home I awoke in, I heard the puppies were taken to the chamber. I didn't know what that meant, but I was so sad.
The shelter took my picture and said that if no one claimed me, they'd have to send me to the chamber as well.
I was terrified. Until a nice lady came and took me home. I was free again. But I was skiddish of humans after that.
The nice lady did everything she could to help me adjust to living with humans. It was very difficult to trust anyone after what I went through. I often stayed in the corner by myself. I wasn't very social with others.
As soon as I started coming out of my shell, I heard that I had a worm living in my heart and needed medicines. Then they caged me for a long time. They said they had no choice but to keep me still. If the worms had become dislodged, something worse could have happened.
After months of treatment, the doctor cleared me to travel to a new home. I would be taking a tour bus. My first guided tour of the countryside! I wished for a window seat.
Hours later, when the tour was finally over, I was very nervous. I was in a new place and didn't know what to expect next. My short puppy life hadn't been so great.
My new mom greeted me as I walked off the tour bus. She made me homemade treats. She even bought me a donut. I hear those are really bad for dogs, so I declined because I wanted to watch my girlish figure.
She brought me new toys, a new blanket, and even a soft vest to wear in the car for my own safety. She first walked me around the parking lot and we bonded somewhat. I was still scared, but who could pass up a new home with freshly baked goodies? I am a dog, after all!
We went for a really long car ride, but my new mom was so considerate. She stopped to let me stretch my legs. I got fresh water to drink and treats.
We finally ended up close to home and mom took me to the beach! Woo hoo! I'm a water dog and love the ocean. I jumped right in. I knew then that my new mom was someone who really loved me. I trusted her right away. In fact, when mom tried to eat her sandwich while we were resting at a picnic table, I showed her how much I trust her by jumping right up and sharing it with her. I don't mind her germs. Then I licked her face to say thanks.
When I got home, it was a little intimidating. I wasn't used to living behind walls. I was always one to live out in the wild outdoors. But I had instant friends. One of the cats was my first friend. She is still my best friend. Brownie and I didn't hit it off right away because she thought I was staring her down. I really wasn't. She had something on the side of her fur. As I tried to look at it, Brownie told me that it was rude to stare. But since then we have been just fine together.
And Richie, he is my soul mate. I heard what people had to say about him. But when I met him for myself, I knew they were all wrong. He is the biggest love. For being a pitbull, he doesn't live up to that reputation they have. In fact, one day while mom was walking me in the meadow, someone saw me and said they were so glad mom didn't adopt a pitbull. (Richie wasn't with us.) I barked to let them know how inappropriate that was to say to my mom. Richie is the sweetest dog I ever have known, and mom didn't deserve that comment. She has worked really hard to help Richie feel loved just like me.
Read with Caution!
I am a strong advocate for adopting animals. However, always proceed with caution, care and truthfulness. You owe it to yourself to be cautious, especially if you have small children in your home. You also need to care for any adopted animal. You don't know where they come from or what their background is like. They needs lots of praise and love. Most often times, that's all they want besides food. If you aren't truthful to yourself about wanting the animal, it will have consquences. Be sure you are ready for this commitment before pursuing it.
Ideas for caring for an adopted animal.
Milkbone dog biscuits.
Teach your dog how to stay in your yard.
Homemade dog biscuits.
Teach a dog how to play fetch.
Raw carrots and brocolli.
Teach your dog how to socialize.
Visit me here
- Adopting a dog from another state and hiring a trans...
What you need to know about before and after you adopt a dog from an animal shelter and transporting it to your state! My personal rescue mission of a dog in a shelter in a southern state.
These stories were based on real events.
Adopting a dog is a big step. Some aren't trained at all when you invite them in to your home. We were fortunate to have saved the lives of three dogs that were decent dogs, just not ready to be cared for by someone else.