Saturday, February 20, 2016

Déjà vu

This is the photo of the "found dog" we had received
in an email a couple weeks ago.
I was up in Culpeper on Friday, having just met Commando's new person.  It's just a mile or two away from the Culpeper County shelter and Debbie had asked me to go evaluate a white shepherd there.
Submissive and scared in her run at the
shelter. It's a good shelter, but not a good
environment for most dogs and she was
unsocialized and was shutting down.

As I was walking in, I remembered an email from a couple weeks before.  A friend of a friend had found a stray white shepherd and finally managed to catch her after a couple weeks.  We had advised him to take her to the shelter so an owner would have an opportunity to find her.  We had also promised to keep an eye on her and possibly pull her when her stray hold period was up.  That's the only way I know for a rescue group to be certain of getting "good title" to a found dog.  I sent Debbie a text and sure enough, that was the dog I was going to meet.

The people at the shelter were kind
and helpful, giving us time and
space to get acquainted.
Her stray hold was up several days ago but she wasn't up for adoption by the public because she was a terrified little dog who cowered and pissed herself when anyone approached.  When I saw her I knew she wasn't going to be adopted from the shelter and that rescue was probably her only hope.  I was also struck by a flood of déjà vu.  Three years ago at about this time, this was Maya's situation - abandoned by her family, scared and alone in a shelter, and shutting down fast.  The die was cast, as they say, and I knew the outcome of this "evaluation" would be this little girl coming home with me.

I went into her run and managed to get a slip lead over her head although she did the submissive urination thing in the process.  I had to pretty much pull her by the leash over the slick floor and they ushered me into an empty office where I could sit with her.  Eventually I pulled her over and onto my lap and we sat for a while with me stroking her and taking selfies.  Her heart was beating fast and hard, but eventually she calmed down a bit.
She has a pretty face.

An ACO (Animal Control Officer) came in to check on us and I asked if the dog had any prospects there.  "No" was the obvious answer and I said that I would take her home.  "Were you wanting to take her today?" was the next question and all I could do was nod affirmatively.  She was signed out to Promises Animal Rescue and we left the building.  The dog walked about halfway to my van but then stopped and began fighting the leash.  I had a death grip on the leash and I wasn't about to lose her, but I didn't want to drag her so I picked her up to carry her to the van.  She urinated on me in the process but we made it to the van and I got her into a crate next to Maya, who had come along for the ride.
The selfie series

I sang Maya's lullaby to both girls on the way home as I cried for this little girl, lost in a world so frightening and foul.

When we got home she met Maya and she met Trooper.  Maya didn't do much of the fur up strut that she usually does with new dogs, she knew this girl was scared to death already.  Trooper was his usual calm, reassuring self.  Trooper stock has never fallen but it went up several more points as he met the new girl.
Sitting on my lap on the floor,
that's almost a smile.

I got her settled into a crate with a comfy blanket but took her out to the A/C yard several times in the course of the evening to give her a chance to pee, which she never did till morning.  She ate all her breakfast the next morning, which surprised me a bit because I had been told that her eating at the shelter was intermittent at best.

Welcome to your new life, Harper.

Maya pretty much gave her a pass, maybe she
recognized her former self in this scared little girl.

She liked Trooper, of course, and he helped calm her down.
Notice the three leashes I have on her?

I don't know exactly what it is or how he does it, but Trooper's
touch is calming, reassuring.  What he lacks in people skills
he more than makes up for in dog-on-dog relations.

Harper on the first day of her new life.
Can you see why I brought her home?

Maya, on her first day, three years ago this month.

Oh what unhappy twist of fate
has brought you homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood 
to beg for shelter, warmth, and food.
For on that day I ceased to be 
the master of my destiny.
She with velvet fur and paw 
became within my house the law.
She chewed and shed, 
she claimed the middle of my bed.
She ruled in arrogance and pride 
and broke my heart the day she died.
So, if you really think that
I'd willingly relive all that,
just because you look forlorn and thin,
"Well, don't just stand there, come on in."*

*author unknown, from the internet, with alterations


hammer1924 said...

I look forward to seeing Harper flourish in your home, Brent. Things turned around for her the minute you saw her.

Anonymous said...

Soon she will realize how lucky she is, and will settle in just as Maya did.

Anonymous said...

What a lucky, lucky girl to have found you....Dog bless you both!

Byron's mom said...

I got weepy looking at the first pic of her. She just looked so scared. What a lucky girl to have you! There is something special about her. You can just tell that from looking at her.