She should have been spending her time romping with a family and exploring the joys of puppyhood. Instead, at her young age of 7 months, if even that, she was dodging trains and vehicles, scrounging dumpsters for anything to eat, and hunkering down in the dry and brittle field grasses to avoid “capture.” What had happened to her to make her run away?
When I first saw her photo on the Death Row Dogs page, my first thought was that she could be Zhivago’s litter mate. And if so, did she also have that genetic “anomaly” that cost him his life? In the wrong hands she could die a slow, painful death while her symptoms went unnoticed. Whether that was the case or not, I knew she was in trouble. She rarely moved from her position during the 4 days at animal control and had no interest in any visitors. Without the right intervention, she could once again become a “throw away,” or worse.
I rescued her by “adoption” yesterday because she did not need the added stress of being in there one day longer than necessary. To me, any dog is worth the $40 I pay to get them out early . . . stress just sets them up for illness.
As I looked over her incident report, I noticed that her condition was checked as “fair.” Fortunately, the ACO who picked her up, was there and gave me more info. She was not just “picked up” . . . she was chased for several days and always successfully eluded them. What most people don’t know is that the ACO’s do attempt to “capture” stray dogs painlessly. Most carry treats and toys in an effort to get the dog to come to them willingly. This little girl would have none of it. She seemed to care nothing about the human “connection.” Needless to say, the “capture” was not pretty, and he referred to her as “feral” because she wanted nothing to do with humans.
Once again, another dog had to be carried out because she was too frightened to move, let alone walk. There is something quite admirable about a dog who is that frightened and yet will not bite when reached for. We put on her pretty “bling” collar with matching leash, and when he handed her to me, I was a little shocked at how thin she was, so at least she wasn’t too heavy for me to carry to the truck.
I placed her in the passenger seat while talking to her and tied her leash to the safety handle in case she thought of “escaping” while I was getting in or out of the truck.
On our way home, she watched me and as I reached for her, she gently licked my hand. I loosened the leash so that she could get a little closer to me, and she slowly lay down next to my leg. By the time we arrived, she was cautiously giving me kisses and sitting in my lap.
So, who is the real enemy in the plight of this precious girl? The ACO who had to finally capture her in a “non glamorous” manner? Absolutely not. He most likely saved her life because she would have most likely been shot or hit by a vehicle, or slowly starved, judging by her current condition. This dog did not just “wander away.” She was dumped, plain and simple . . . dumped maybe because she outgrew the initial “cuteness”, or because she was actually smarter than the heartless owner.
There would be no need for animal control officers or facilities if owners treated their dogs as members of the family (or as a friend, at least) instead of chained “lawn ornaments” to be tossed out when they become an “inconvenience.” They were designed to be our partners, to live with us in harmony and friendship, and they love us. We owe them a better life than “disposal.”
I’m the lucky one who found this little girl. She is truly a “diamond in the rough.” . . . you can see it in her eyes. So, our task at hand is to find a good, strong name for her . . . Scarlet comes to mind, but there are so many out there already. Or maybe, Mariah, because it’s windy today and she can clearly run like the wind. Besides that, this song keeps going through my head right now: “they called the wind Mariah.” She needs something that epitomizes strength, because she’s a survivor, and a thinker.
Welcome to your new world, little girl . . . you’re in a safe place, and you will be loved for the rest of your life.
If you would like to help “death row” survivors, you can use the DONATE link below or the “send to friends and family” under the paypal address: LIFELONGFRIENDS@EXTRAORDINARYDOGS.COM
EXTRAORDINARY DOGS INC. is a nonprofit organization registered as a 501(c)3 public charity in New Mexico. Please remember that our operation and successful rescue and retraining depends on your generosity. ALL contributions go directly to the care of the resident dogs, and are tax deductible.