Updated: May 16, 2021
The pandemic in the U.S. was starting to rage. One of the many negatives was that in certain parts of the country people were dumping their dogs at animal shelters. While completely unfounded, they thought their dogs could give them COVID-19. Add to that the fact that shelters rely heavily on volunteers and due to the quarantine a bad situation was made substantially worse. There was a push to get dogs out, if only for two weeks, so that they could decompress.
In the throws of all this, I was in the midst of a pre-planned move across the country to Colorado. Since I was home packing boxes I thought it would be nice to bust one of those pups out of jail for a couple of weeks. I had worked in rescue for years so it wasn't a major decision. I met Jessie. She was an anxiety-ridden, scarred up, wounded, abused, panic-stricken hot mess of a dog. One part of her horrific tale was that she was found as a stray and somebody took barbed wire, wrapped it around her neck, and left her to bleed to death. The police found her and saved her life. From there she was just constantly bounced around. Her paper trail had long been lost and she still had open wounds. Yes, two weeks on the couch would be for her....really, really good for her. Although she had zero training, no socialization, couldn’t walk on a leash, had no boundaries, none of that mattered because there was no place open for us to go anyway. The only thing to do was to sleep. And sleep, she did! She slept as if she never had her entire life. I bundled her in comforters and bedding and with each layer she buried deeper.
Two weeks had passed and the moving van was in the driveway. It was time for her to go back and me to go on. I was informed, matter-of-factly, that “there was no other option” for her. Nobody wanted her. She had been passed around so many times and was never able to find a home. So, the moving van came as planned and I loaded up my car and made a comfy bed in the back. I packed her stuffed bear who she had immediately bonded with and opened the car door. She jumped in so fast, almost instinctively knowing if she didn’t seize the moment, her life would be over. Colorado, here we come!
That was the start of our lives together. The journey was, and is, and continues to be a challenging road. A dog who suffered so much both by humans and other canines has deep PTSD issues that need to be overcome. But she also has an abundance of love. It never ceases to astound me how dogs who were so abused can still find it in themselves to love the species who hurt them the most. I was determined to not let her down.
My intent with this blog is to share with you the road we are on.