What a week it has been for me. Well honestly I have spent the last week and a half on vacation…..a much needed vacation.
While away from my offices multiple things have happened at my apartment communities…….among other things, one of my residents who I adored passed away, another resident stabbed a male visitor in the face with a knife during an argument and our security guard was robbed at gun point of his gun, money and wallet. After all of this happening I have decided to at least carry mace.
I took Sierah to Indy (1.5 hours away) Saturday and on the way I said, “Lets drive past the Shelter in Marion and check out the dogs.” Sierah kind of shrugged her shoulders and said, “Okay.” The shelter in Marion is where all of my housedogs came from and I do rescue work with them. They have a new director and I thought I could just swing by and meet the new director, check out the dogs and return to the highway to deliver my oldest child to her boyfriend’s house.
Umm….lets just say it didn’t work out exactly like that.
I must say I love this shelter and staff and what I am about to say is not to degrade the shelter in any way but it is the cold hard truth. It is a rural shelter that is over populated and under funded. They always have a staff of caring individuals who do the best they can but it is an old building and it is busting out at the seams with animals.
It has always been overwhelming to me to visit the shelter. When there, I feel a huge sense of despair. Not of my own, but of the animals. It is an almost overwhelming feeling to me. I move so slowly past all of those faces and cages that I must appear I have lead in the bottom of my shoes….
The first room Sierah and I entered is a long room that houses a section of the shelter that has kennels for large dogs, each kennel partitioned off by high chain link fence, cement floors and a built in drain that runs along the front of all of the kennels for easy cleaning. The dogs each have a platform bed at the back of the kennel to get off of the ground. This section of kennel housed a bunch of hounds that had all came from the same abuse case. They were beautiful, obviously full blooded but very thin dogs and all of them baying and barking at the same time was almost comical. They were all waiting transport to a hound rescue.
The second room we entered is a make shift kennel where all of the dogs in this area are in crates…..crates on top of crates and in the center of the room were the young dogs and/or puppies. In the very back was a little dog whose face looked just like my little Murphy looking thru those bars at me. (Murphy Moore, who was out in the car with Bear waiting on me to return.) When I started talking to her, she wiggled her entire body pushing herself up against the cage door begging me to take her out of her crate and love on her. ~~ The dog next to her was an adolescent dog whose spirit appeared broken. He looked so sad, and almost didn’t make eye contact with me……I opened his cage and hugged him and kissed him and then his tail finally started to thump.
Sierah was at the opposite end of the room smoozing with another dog and requested I come look at him. He was a full grown pit bull who was happy and smiling at us both. We moved along at a slow pace, talking to the dogs, letting them sniff our hands, walking in and out of endless rooms that almost seemed like a maze of crates and cages. The staff was diligently cleaning and moving about and we did our best to stay out of their way.
Its dark, damp and loud at the shelter…….and the smell….Oh the smell at the shelter is foul, yet it is a familiar one to me. All of my dogs arrived at my house with that same stinky smell and slowly after baths, doggy cologne and living in our house the smell diminishes…. but until it does it is a hurtful reminder of where they came and a smell I will never forget.
I think we went thru the shelter twice and a man said, “If you find one you like let me know and I will get you a leash and you can take it outside.” (He must of missed me when I first came in and announced I was a “Rescue person” from Fort Wayne, I just stopped in to meet the new director and look at the dogs, while on the way to take my daughter back to College. I wasn’t there to actually GET a dog…..Or so I thought.)
When he suggested we walk a dog we were interested in, I was standing back in front of the crate that was holding the little speckled dog that wiggled her whole body when I talked to her and had a little darling face with liquid black eyes just like Murphy’s. I said, “Sure, lets take her out for a walk.”
I actually should of said, “Bring me her shot record and paperwork, she will be coming home with me” …..because about a half hour later she was in a crate borrowed from the shelter, and in the back of my Honda on Highway 37, headed to Indy with Sierah, Bear, Murphy and myself.
On the way home from Indy I decided to stop at a rural truck stop with a large field that I could let “The boys” go potty. I put them back in the Element and got the rescue dog out to go potty alone. She took care of business, wiggled and loved on me and when done marched past the crate and went straight back to the car door……No more crate for her. The boys sniffed her, she sniffed them, everybody curled up and lay down and away we went.
Once back to the house she fit into our household seamlessly and I knew then without question she was going to be a resident dog and not a rescue dog.
The last 4 days, she has been with me non-stop, even riding along in the car with the boys and I when I run errands, etc. She loves to go “bye-bye”, has adjusted to wearing a little purple coat when we go for runs at the park, looks darling in her pink sparkly collar, smells good after two baths and the removal of more dirt on a little dog than you could imagine and has found herself a new home where she will live out her days and will now know what it is like to be a spoiled house dog. She is smart, housetrained and has known love at some point in her life. She already knew good stuff comes from the frig and sits at the site of a treat.
The only ghost that I have found from her past that haunts her is her fear of a broom. I grabbed the broom to sweep the kitchen and she cowered, yelped and ran away. She wouldn’t come near me as long as I was holding the broom. It made me feel horrible but I know that after time that too will diminish just like the smell of the shelter. She will learn that no harm will ever come to her at my house.
In just 5 days she is almost unrecognizable now from how she looked at the shelter…….she is now happy and spews joy with every fiber of her wiggly little body. (New photos of her tomorrow.)
She is happy and I am happy and I simply adore her…….
She now has a new dog Mommy….