April 23rd 2009 9:17 am
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it was a long time ago... My previous owner left me my cat sister Emerald alone one day. She said that she was going on something called a holiday? (or a vacation as its called in the US!). At first, we were glad to see her gone. No more cigarette burns, no more shouting, no more beatings... It was nice, at first. It was also a little scary, and we were getting so hungry. As the days passed we felt so weak from hungry and thirst. It became so bad that I forced my way into the bathroom and drank from the toilet. That is what kept me and Emerald alive.
The flea's made us itch. We both had an allergy to them; it caused my fur to fall out (of course, a different skin condition didn't help) . It became cracked and sore, but there was no relief. The burns on my body became infected because of the filth that we were living in. Two weeks passed like this and we were giving up hope.. After all, all we had ever received was abuse. It was what we knew, what we expected.
Then one day there was noise at the door. I started to woof weakly... But they couldn't get in. In the end, our rescuers broke the door down to save us. Me and Emerald put up a fight... What if they hurt us, like our last owner? We were too weak to make too much fuss though and they managed to get us and take me and Emerald to their van. The humans were both crying. Were we that bad? Me and Emmie were separated in the van. It was so scary. I didn't know what to expect; I had never been in a van before, and had never been away from Emerald. After a while we arrived at a place. There were lots of dogs barking, and cats meowing. This place wasn't nice. As I was taken out of the van a woman came to take me from the rescuer, and I willingly went with her. For some reason I could tell that she was going to help me.
They cleaned me up and gave me flea treatment. They also gave me things for my skin and spent the next month or two nursing Emerald and I back to health. It was a bad time for the rescue- There was a lot of disease around, and humans had to wash their shoes off in a cleaning solution, and wash their hands a lot. Funds were low, and they had trouble. They still cares for us as well as ever, and even took me to see Emerald (who had to be kept in the cat cages). Although we were separated at this place, the kind woman who I trusted promised me that when we were adopted we would be together again.
One day after we had been at the rescue for a month and a half, some people came with these big flashing things and took pictures of me and Emerald with our kind rescuers. My kind woman said that we were going to be in the newspaper. I wasn't sure what that meant, but it sounded good! Lots of people came to see us, but once they found out that we were going to have to stay at the rescue place for a while and would need money spent on us, and how much hard work we may be, they walked away. Again, I began to give up hope. Then one day, that all changed. One day, a man and woman came to visit Emerald and I. I knew that these people were the ones I wanted.
The people who worked at the rescue took these humans away from me, and asked them a lot of questions. They then told them everything they knew about me and Emerald... And they stayed! They didn't give up and walk away. They signed the adoption forms right there and then. My rescuers showed them some pictures of me after I had been there about a month; they wouldn't show my new parents the pictures from when I first arrived there. They said they were too graphic. My new parents spoke to the man who rescued me from the apartment though and he said that in all of his years (over 10) of doing that job, he had never seen a case as bad as mine and Emerald's. Just telling our story brought him to tears.
My new humans continued to visit us every few days for a month or so. They often brought a little girl with them and also brought a young boy a few times too. Me and the little girl became firm friends.
One day they came to see us again.. But something was different! Did they change their minds? But no.. The male had Emerald in a cat basket and the woman clipped a leash onto me. "Its time", they said. We were going home! I adored my family, my family adored me. The little girl and I were the best of friends- I was her heart dog I think.
What does adoption mean to me? Adoption to me means food, water, walks, care... But most of all, it means love. I only had 11 months in my new home, but it was enough. Enough for me to learn that some people DO care.
The little girl is now nearly 16 years old. 11 years have passed since I crossed over to the bridge, but she remembers me like it was yesterday... She will never forget me. She says I live on in her heart. In fact, I will let her talk now.
(yes, human talking now) If my grandparents wouldn't have adopted, I never would have met Leo. Some people live their whole life before finding the dog that leaves it's paw print deeper in your heart than any other. For me, it was the first dog I ever loved. Leo's story might make you think, why adopt if you are going to have your heart broken? But that is every reason to adopt... To be able to have a dog like Leo that has come from a terrible, terrible situation, and to be able to give it the happiness and love that it deserves is an amazing thing. I only knew Leo for less than a year, but I will never forget how much I loved him. It was so long ago now, yet talking about him still makes my heart ache, and tears come to my eyes. He had a big effect on my life... On the lives of anyone who met him.
Edited, to add: My grandma used to be afraid of dogs. Yet it was her who decided that they had to take Leo. "If we DO get a dog, it has to be this one", she said. From day one she was never afraid of Leo. He melted her fear of dogs.
July 27th 2008 9:02 am
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I'm still missing you. I had a dream about you last night Leo... I dreamt of you and your daddy... You were playing in a big field. You both looked so happy :).
I love you Leo... I hope you and my grandpa ARE happy. We miss you both so much.
May 28th 2008 4:07 pm
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Its been nearly 10 years now Leo. 10 years. Wow. I can still remember the first time we met. My grandma and Grandpa told me they were getting a cat and dog... Told me that you were called Leo. They took me to meet you... It was love at first sight, wasn't it? I felt so sorry for you- Your fur still hadn't grown back and you were so thin! We spent that hour cuddling. I didn't want to leave you when it was time to go, I wanted to stay with you forever and keep you safe. I think we were the best of friends from then onwards. You slept on my bed- Insisted on it, even when you couldn't climb up there anymore! your daddy had to build you your own stairs, didn't he!! And then there was your walks it the park... You wouldn't give them up eaither, would you! Your dady had to build more special stairs, so you could get into the car... then when we got to the park, you weren't happy unless I was the one holding the leash!! I remember my grandma telling me how excited you would get on a friday. You knew, didn't you, that that was the day your mummy and daddy came to pick me up from (nursury?) school, the day I stayed over at your house. When I was there there was never a moment when we were appart. You followed me from room to room, stayed by my side at all times...
I miss you Leo, I really do. My heart is still broken into pieces. Sometimes, I lie awake at night, with tears flowning down my face when I think about you and my grandpa. It comforts me slightly, knowing you two are both together... But I miss you both so much.
When you died I think part of me died with you. I will never forget you, and I will see you again one day, a long time from now!
I love you Leo xxxx