One of my dogs is a true love soul. I don't ever know how to describe her and this is probably the only time you will ever hear me use the very American term of "She's a blessing".
She is all love. All affection. All pleasing you, all the time. She loves to be with her humans, loves attention and cuddles but gives love as much as she receives. She has needy days, but she also knows when you need her. She will do anything for food, loves eating crap that people threw on the sidewalk and thinks it's awesome that we live across the street from a chip and kebab shop, because, come on, lots of drunk people drop things on Friday night, making the Saturday morning walk a real opportunity. She
She was a rescue dog and when I first saw her little picture on a rescue site, I thought to myself that I might be able to give her a home.
She had lived on the streets of New Orleans, had been beaten and burned with cigarettes, was extremely afraid and shy and was almost killed in a kill shelter, because, yeah, well, she was extremely afraid and shy and everyone walked by her little soul.
The first time I saw her she was in the back of a car in a big crate, cowering as far away from me as possible and my only question to the rescue group was to ask whether she was aggressive. Living in a neighborhood full of kids, I couldn't afford an aggressive dog, but I knew I could deal with a scared dog.
She wasn't aggressive, so we gave it a try and what a great time it has been.
I didn't know that part of the tremendous award of getting a rescue dog was watching them gain confidence and change and blossom. She went from a dog who was petrified to even walk by a man on the street, who would hide under my bed when I had friends over, who you could not approach with any long object for fear of beatings (well, she still is afraid of that), to a dog who now confidently walks the sidewalks. She still is cautious, she still measures people from a great distance, but she will allow people to touch her and give her love, something that was unthinkable 4 years ago. I would say that 80% of her change happened in the first year and the rest has been gradual over the last 5 years. She is still changing and getting confidence all the time.
After I had her 4 months, I took her to the beach. She was terrified of the water and waves and we had to go back to the boardwalk. Another 5 months later, we went back and here she was first just standing at the beach looking at the waves and then she ran into the water and started biting the waves. Tail up, head high. It was a moment that made me cry and thinking about it still makes me smile big time.
One of my neighbors at the time said it best. She said "You know, when you brought her home, we all told you to your face that that was great, but behind your back we all said she is one messed up dog and you made a huge mistake - now? Now we tell EVERYONE to get a rescue dog."
Right now my rescue dog is laying in he transport crate that we pulled out of the storage because she busted her knee chasing rabbits. She properly rupture her entire ACL in her hind leg and let me tell you, watching her all night and giving her pain meds and listening to her cry knowing I can't give her more until 10am is killing me.
When I took my blond love in I told her she would never have to be afraid again or be in pain. I know one cannot control busted knees, but knowing she is suffering just about breaks my heart.
2 more hours until I can give her another pain kil