April 17th 2008 9:01 pm
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Nobody ever goes to the pound for enjoyment. Fulfillment maybe, but not enjoyment. There's something so tragic about the place. It's like a jail where everyone is innocent. No dog deserves to be there. But then they didn't deserve to be abandoned or abused either. So maybe the pound is better than living the harder life of "stray" or "forgotten pet". At least there's shelter, food and water there. Along with the occasional human affection. So it's no wonder that the fateful day I went to the local SPCA shelter in Tyler, Texas I was faced with many pairs of mournful eyes. And every dog barking at the top of its lungs: PICK ME! PICK ME! As I toured the line, two dogs caught my eye. They were the only smaller dogs, and they were the only ones not barking at me. Naturally, they stood out because of the latter. One was a beagle pup, and the other a brownish dachshund-oid dog with yellow eyes of all things.
I've never been one of those people to deliberate much. I just make up my mind. So I went to the lady up front, and asked about the brown dog knowing even at the moment that she was the one. She brought "Sunny" out to meet me and explained that they'd had her for two weeks, that she was a stray, that she was kinda quiet. As soon as she was out of her kennel and on the leash, she started barking ferociously at the other dogs and people. Scary, I thought! Not at all a good thing to see in a dog, but still...I knew she was the one. I'd work through the other issues. So I took this skinny, dirty, angry dachshund mix home and named her Pansy.
And sure enough Pansy had issues. She couldn't stand other dogs or people intruding on her territory. I suppose as a stray that had to fight for these things in her past, it's not surprising that she felt a certain amount of threat at all times. After researching both the corgi and the dachshund breeds, it was determined that all the bad traits came out in Pansy. She was a heel biter, an aggressive protector of her territory, a constant barker and a rash little dog with great wanderlust. Of course, I could counter that I inherited much of the bad stuff from my parents as well. Eating disorders, depression, anxiety, ocd, etc. Yikes! Pansy and I made quite the pair.
Yet at a time when I trusted no one and Pansy trusted no one, fate brought us two loners together. And we taught eachother to take a chance. Neither Pansy nor I was very trusting of others for a long time, but we learned. Pansy couldn't tolerate other dogs or people for a long time, but she came to adore my parents and their akita and their beagle mix. Likewise, I had terrible social anxiety, yet now I find myself with a desire to work with people. Odd how healing our relationship could be.
Sadly, Pansy and I had a short albeit lasting relationship. She proved to be definitely dachshund, and her wanderlust took her away from me. Sometimes I think I'll come across her someday when I least expect it. What a joyous day that would be for us! Prior to Pansy I had liked dogs ok but wasn't the crazy dog person I am today. However, my partner in learning to trust left me with an adoration for dogs that I have carried to this day. If it weren't for the void that she left in my life, I certainly wouldn't have gone on to get Lily, Lucy and Glady, and I certainly wouldn't be volunteering with an animal rescue. I'd still view the pound as a cold, cruel place. A place that I wouldn't think twice about. I might still view dogs as nice accessories for families to have. And I probably wouldn't have found a way out of my solitude but for an angry, little, brownish dog with yellow eyes.
February 20th 2008 9:33 pm
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Mom's been thinking about me a lot lately, and she wants to make a plea in my memory. You see my story is not like those pups who ended up angels because of an long-fought illness. Instead, I was a victim of neglect by mom's own mother. Not all that surprising because mom didn't exactly have it easy either growing up, but here's my story. You see I'm a dog with wanderlust, and I'm also a rescue that grew very attached to people who cared. There was a time when mom couldn't properly care for me though, so grandmom was keeping me. I just couldn't go outside without supervision or a leash. Well, grandmom just never got that concept. Her other dogs would go outside off the leash and be fine. So one day she let me outside before she left to go somewhere, but she didn't let me back in. So all I saw was her leaving me outside and then driving off. Needless to say I felt she was abandoning me even if I was in her yard. So I tried to follow, and I got lost. Grandmom was upset I guess, but mom was devastated and periodically feels that devastation still. Not to mention fury at her mother for doing something so heartless. So please moms and dads don't leave your pup unsupervised in an area that doesn't have a fence. It's asking for something to happen. And please do all you can to keep your beloved dog from feeling you're abandoning him or her. Dogs are pack animals, and they need their pack to survive. I'm long gone, and mom feels like I probably didn't survive this wanderlust unless some loving person picked me up along my way. But no dog wants to be homeless or lost. So please do what you can to prevent that from happening.
June 21st 2006 2:26 pm
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Pansy, you were probably the meanest dog I ever experienced. But God knows I love you. You and I are survivors, and that keeps us from being endearing to anyone. You didn't trust people; you didn't trust dogs; and I bet you didn't even trust the many other creatures of this world. But we had a connection. Despite the criticism, the dislike and the mistrust of those around us, we knew eachother to be ok. Damaged goods, but ok even so. Of course, now I have Lily who is undoubtably the most friendly and sweetest dog ever whereas you caused me plenty of heartache with your aggressive way of dealing with the world. But you had worth just like anybody else. I knew this. My mom knew this. Even my dad knew this. Certainly, Beau and Buddy knew this. And those two brutes could keep you in line. And it's true; few dogs will mess with an akita like Beau. And Buddy was just as damaged as you were...not to mention tolerant. Of course, you couldn't be tamed. You just couldn't learn to trust. And so you ran away. But wherever you are these days, I hope you remember me. And know that you are both loved and dearly missed.
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