Animal Abuse Rescue - Lady's Story
How We Met Lady
It was about ten years ago that we rescued Lady, the miniature schnauzer that has been a part of our family ever since. We first met Lady when a new family moved in behind us caddy corner to our house. My oldest daughter, then about 14, made friends with their daughter, who was about the same age at the time. They owned 2 dogs, one was a Boxer named Darlin. The other was a mini schnauzer named Lady.
Right from the start it was obvious that they were very fond of the Boxer, but not so fond of Lady. I’m not sure why, she was the sweetest, gentlest dog and seemed to be well behaved. My daughter fell instantly in love with this dog and was determined she was going to have her, especially since it became obvious that they really didn’t like, nor want her.
The Abuse Was Heartbreaking
From our back yard we had a pretty good view of their back yard, so we began to witness abusive behavior towards Lady on a pretty regular basis. Most of the abuse was from the girl that my daughter had become friends with, she seemed to like picking on Lady, she liked showing off especially when she had friends over. They owned a trampoline and on several occasions we saw the girl and some of her friends swinging Lady by her feet, throwing her on the trampoline and watching her slide across it into the springs and laughing. Sometimes they would miss the trampoline and she would land on her back on the ground. My daughter said they treated her really mean, kicking her and leaving her outside when they would let the Boxer in the house. My daughter stopped wanting to go over to her house, except she needed to see Lady, so she would go over just to make sure she was still alive. She really bonded with this dog and it was extremely hard on her to see them abusing her.
There were many nights when they would leave Lady outside and go to bed. The dogs were never in the yard where they were supposed to be, they frequently ran around the neighborhood until evening. The problem was that when they would call the two dogs to come home, Darlin, the Boxer would jump the fence and get in right away, but Lady with her short little legs, would have to go around the fence to the a hole in the back and by the time she got there they would lock her out. We watched them do this night after night, I think it was a cruel game to watch her desperately running to get in and never making it.
We live in the mountains of Colorado so it gets really cold in the winter at night. She would come to our door and cry, so we would let her in and she would spend the night. We would let her out in the morning before anyone found out we had her. One night she came to the front window and had ice cycles hanging from her beard. The next morning the woman who owned her showed up at my door and started yelling at me that she knew we had Lady in our house and her daughter saw us let her out our back door. I tried to reason with her that the dog was freezing and they had gone to bed so we let her in to keep her from freezing to death. She was not interested in hearing what I had to say. She was trying to teach the dog a lesson and said Lady was never going to learn, if we kept letting her in the house when she ran off. But then why didn't she lock the Boxer out, she ran off too, she just got back quicker when they called them. She was going to teach Lady not to run so slow when they called her, by letting her freeze to death.
Then she said she would call the police if we let her in our house again. I told her to go ahead and I would tell them why we let her in.
The Police Were Not Helpful
Then one day she actually did call the police. They came to my house and told us that we were not to let her dog in our house again, because we could get in trouble for it. I told them how they continually abused the dog and that the reason we had let her in is because they had left her out in zero degree weather. We were only trying to keep her alive. They said that my neighbor told them that the reason they left her out was because we had her in our house already and they couldn't find her so they went to bed. The police were somewhat understanding but said that since we had no real proof of abuse, it was our word against hers. They warned us that she could file a report against us for stealing her dog if we continued to let her in our house.
From that point on we realized that we weren’t going to get any help saving that poor little dog. It got to the point where she would come to our house and sit at the sliding glass door almost every night. I felt like my neighbor was daring me to let her in. I tried not to let her in, because I didn’t want to get in trouble, but she was so pitiful that we always gave in. We were just more careful that no one saw us let her back out in the morning. I wanted to steal her, but what would we do with her.
Time Was Running Out For Lady
Then one day my daughter came home crying her eyes out. She said that the neighbors were moving and she would never see Lady again. They had told her they were getting rid of Lady before they moved. She asked them if she could have Lady, they said no, that was not a good idea. That was when we offered to buy her from them, but that woman was not having it. She was determined that we were not going to have Lady. It seemed like she was trying to torture that poor dog and of course us as well. I think she enjoyed wielding her power. All we wanted to do is give this sweet little dog, whom no one else wanted, a good loving home. How could someone be so heartless. My daughter was heartbroken and I didn’t know what to do. We had to do something soon though before they got rid of her.
The Solution to Our Dilemma
Then the perfect solution presented itself. A couple of weeks before our neighbors were suppose to move, they went away for a weekend. Per their usual, instead of getting someone to attend to their dogs, they just left them blocked on their back deck. They stood an old broken hot tub up on end and shoved it against the gate to the deck.
After they left my 2 daughter’s went over to check on the dogs and apparently their drinking water had frozen, they had spilled their food dish and all the food had gone down in the cracks of the deck. It was freezing that weekend, so I didn’t know if they would survive the weekend. I called the local dog control, sure that they would help us. They actually told us there was nothing they could do because the owners weren’t home and the deck was blocked, so they would be trespassing if they went in their yard to get the dogs. That doesn’t seem right to me, what good is animal control if they have to ask permission from the owners to intervene.
Finally Someone Helped Us
I knew we had to get them inside before it got dark or they would freeze to death. But I didn’t want to keep them at my house because I knew my neighbor would make us pay for it. Luckily we also have an animal shelter, so I gave them a call and told them what was going on. She said if we could get the dogs and bring them in, they would take them and tell the owners that they found the dogs out running around the neighborhood.
In the mean time, my daughters had gone over to try to break the ice on the dog’s water and give them some of our dogs food through the holes in the fencing around the deck. When they turned and started to walk back to our house, the Boxer jumped over the deck trying to follow them home. I was amazed she didn’t get hurt, it was a long way down, she should have broken a leg or something. Now we had to rescue Lady, she had no one to keep her warm. There was one part of the deck fencing that had a piece of wood missing, so we managed to shimmy her through the hole and brought her home.
We had to get them to the shelter before the owners found out it was us that took them. They had closed, but they have a 24hr number, in case of emergency. They met us at the shelter and took the dogs in. They said they would not involve us at all, due to the circumstances. We told them if the owners failed to pick them up to please call us, as we would come and take them.
The day our neighbors returned home, they of course came to our house inquiring about the whereabouts of their dogs. We told them that we had seen them running around the neighborhood the day before and that they should call animal control, or the shelter to see if maybe they had them.
Later that day the shelter called us and said that the owners had come and picked up Darlin, the Boxer. When asked about Lady, they told them that they didn’t know who she belonged to, but that they had seen that dog around our neighborhood and she is always coming around getting Darlin to run off with her.
When the shelter checked Lady's tags, she was apparently still registered to her former owner, so the shelter contacted her. The woman was extremely upset to find out that Lady had been treated so badly. She was unable to care for Lady and had given her to our neighbors, thinking that she was getting a good home. The shelter got her permission to let us adopt her, so now we were free to adopt Lady and that was exactly what we did.
When we had Lady home safe, my daughter called her former friend and asked her if they ever found their dogs. The girl told her that they had found them and that they were both home safe. My daughter told her that she should come over and see her new dog, because she looks just like Lady. She came right over and was so embarrassed when she realized it WAS Lady. Needless to say her mother was livid when she found out that after all of her lying and threatening us, we still ended up with Lady. But it was all legal and there was nothing she could do about it.
A Happy Ending
We were all very happy the day the neighbors finally moved. We could stop worrying that they would somehow get ahold of Lady. The woman was psycho, and I didn't put anything past her.
I wish we could have helped Lady sooner and spared her some of the abuse she endured, but the legal system was not on her side. I thank God the shelter was there for Lady and things worked out the way they did, so that in the end we were able to give her a good, loving safe home. My daughter and Lady have been best friends ever since. Our dog died about 2 months after we adopted Lady, it was sad but it seemed like that is why we ended up with Lady. She needed us, and she was about to fill a void in our lives that we weren't yet aware of.
Lady lives with my daughter who is an adult now and we have since adopted 2 male mini schnauzers. When Lady comes to visit, she is still the boss and they know it.