Your newly adopted dog isn’t perfect?
This morning is like every morning. My humans came outside to see if I had water and off they went for the day. Maybe they would remember to feed me when they get home tonight.
Oh yes I had water but did they see the dark green slime in the bottom of the bucket? It must be OK to drink the water; the slime is always in there. Did they not see the empty food dish?
I wonder what it looks like inside the house now. When everyone is in there I peek inside the window. Mom yells at me to get off the glass so I try to remember not to look in.
I remember when I first came to live here I got to explore the house and at night I stayed in the laundry room, sometimes slept in the bed with the boys too. They didn’t care if my nose touched the glass back then; they thought it was so cute.
Back then I think I even had a name. Maybe it was Precious or Pookie or something like that. That changed too and I became “The Dog.”
As I grew my humans decided that I was better off living in the yard. I’m not sure why because I really liked it in the house.
The house was so warm and cozy in the winter. Not only that but I got to play with the kids. We had a great time.
If I wouldn’t have grown so big maybe I would still be in there and be able to see the kids. Now they never come out to play with me.
When it’s time to feed me I get so excited. I jump all over them and try to play, but all they ever say to is to get back or get down.
Maybe it’s because they said I was so cute when I was little and now I’m not so little. In fact I’m a big girl now.
Living outside is not fun at all. I have a dog house with a dirt floor but it gets really cold in there sometimes. The wind and rain also blows right through the front door.
I know that winter is coming again; the mornings and nights are getting chilly. While everyone is gone today I am going to see if I can find a warmer place to stay.
It took me a while, but I dug a hole under the fence. Looked pretty good out here, I saw all kinds of people and animals.
The first place I saw was a little store on the corner. Sitting there got me lots of pats on the head and even a few treats. This is a pretty awesome place to be. I just needed to watch out for cars.
As I sat there enjoying my new found freedom I noticed a truck pull up. A nice lady got out and called me over to her.
She scared me a little because she had a leash in her hand. She saw me avoiding her so she went back to the truck. Thank heavens she gave up. I didn’t want to go on a leash.
Well, she didn’t leave she came back with a dog biscuit. She acts like she knows me for some reason. She’s trying to remember my name too; she’s calling me all kinds of names.
I missed getting fed this morning, so that biscuit was looking pretty good. Maybe I’d sit with her just for a couple of minutes and eat the treat. What could that hurt? After all I didn’t see the leash anymore.
The pretty lady gave me the biscuit and talked so nice to me. She even scratched behind my ears. I decided I really liked her even if she couldn’t figure out that my name was “The Dog.” She must not care that I am big now, she likes me too.
I guess I have to change my mind about the nice lady with the biscuit. She did have the leash in her pocket and now I had to give up my freedom.
That did it. I’m not trusting anyone anymore. I growled at her but it didn’t scare her. She was putting me in that big truck no matter how much I growled.
We rode around for a while and I looked out as we passed through the town. We made another stop and she picked up another dog.
She really knew this one. She called him “Sam” and he got right in the truck. He wasn’t real smart, he missed out on the biscuit.
Arriving at another new place came next. We waited in the truck while the lady went inside. She came back to get us one at a time.
Sam went first. He seemed to like this place. Not me! I am going to wait in the very back of the truck and growl even more when she tries to get me out.
Growling didn’t stop her one bit. She got a long stick with a noose on the end and got me out. I fought too. I didn’t want to go in that building.
Needless to say, the lady won. I was now sitting in some type of a cage. I could go outside if I wanted or stay inside where it was kind of warm. The bad part was that I was locked in.
The next thing I knew I had a bowl full of food and a bucket of clean water with no green slime in the bottom. The lady came back to see me assuring me that everything was going to be fine.
I even had something to keep me off the concrete floor with a clean blanket to keep me warm.
I saw Sam across from me but his cage looks different.
My cage has screen all over it, so it makes it a little harder to see out. Sam could see just fine, he didn’t have a screen.
It was beginning to get dark and I knew there was no way I could dig out. I might as well go to sleep for the night and maybe I could break out and explore some more tomorrow.
Morning came and I could hear keys in the door and people talking and laughing. They came in to see all of us.
I found out they all knew Sam and he was very excited to see them. Later I found out that I was called possibly aggressive, so I was placed in a quarantine cage.
These people were nice, but no one touched me like they did Sam. They cleaned my cage really well just like all of the other kennels and we all got the same food, water, clean blankets and everything else.
Next came in some people that walked most all of the dogs but me. I decided to just sit there and growl in the back of my cage.
Staying in this cage is not my idea of fun and I would rather live in my yard. At least I know the people there. Are my humans looking for me? I hope so, I want out of here.
Days passed and it was the same routine daily. Everyone was nice, but no one would ever pet me. They talked to me but they couldn’t figure out my name either. I’m not going near them.
Finally one morning I heard them say to another lady that I had never seen before something about “The Dog” in kennel 24. They knew my name; my humans must be here to get me!
The lady came in my kennel after she talked to me for a while. I ran outside and just watched her.
She obviously didn’t know my name because she kept calling me all sorts of names. I saw what she had. It was another one of those trick biscuits. I decided to keep growling and to take it a step further; I was going to show my teeth.
My teeth and growling didn’t scare her one bit. She just kept talking and finally gently tossed me the biscuit. She didn’t move and I didn’t move. I did sniff the biscuit, it was too hard to resist.
All of a sudden I heard her say that tomorrow “The Dog” in kennel 24 was going to be moved to her office. She said she didn’t believe that I was aggressive, only scared.
This could be bad. Sam said he didn’t even know where her office was. He said he never had to go anywhere but the cage and on walks. Maybe I shouldn’t have growled and shown my teeth.
The sun came in and so did the crew. One of the workers named Mike came to get me. I growled and showed my teeth and he went to get the pole with the noose on it.
I was escorted to the building next door. I was then placed in the lady’s office. I just hid in the corner since I had no idea what was going to happen to me.
The lady I saw yesterday came into the office. She spoke softly to me but left me alone. She made sure that I had food, fresh water and a clean blanket but she didn’t lock me up.
She even offered me a treat. I wasn’t falling for that, I just sniffed it and left it. She’d go away.
The lady kept talking to me and she finally said I had to have a real name. She decided to call me “Angel.” What a pretty name I had now.
The next day I went in her office again. Same routine but this time she sat on the floor with me. I didn’t go near her. She just kept talking to me and passed me what looked like a piece of bacon.
All I could think was that she was really nice and didn’t put me on a leash. I decided to smell her for a few minutes.
She was working away as I slowly got near her. She kept working, not even knowing I was at her feet. She smelled pretty good and I was glad she didn’t see me. I just kept sniffing.
The sun was pouring in through her window so I decided since she didn’t know I was close to her I would just rest by her feet.
I napped and she worked. It all went fine for hours. I woke up to see her smiling down at me. What would it hurt if I let her pet me just one time? She knew that I would let her.
Her stroke was so comforting, someone finally touched me and called me a real name. My name, my very own name, Angel.
We became best friends in that office. I finally let the lady walk me and brush me. I never again growled at her or showed my teeth to her.
She very slowly introduced me to people that she promised wouldn’t hurt me. She taught me that I didn’t have to growl anymore, I was going to find a new home. A “forever home.”
I wish Sam got to see what going to her office meant. I didn’t see Sam again, his humans came and got him. Mine never did.
Soon the dog walkers were allowed to take me for walks and I had a grand time meeting everyone. We had such fun.
One day in the office I was introduced to a very special lady named Julie. I was hesitant upon meeting her. I didn’t know her and I didn’t want to go in that truck or cage ever again. I liked the office.
Julie visited me for a few days and then we went for a walk. I really liked her. She talked about taking me home with her.
Yes, but I am very comfy in the office. My new friend explained that I couldn’t live in the office and that I needed a real home with people all around me.
I needed people to love, not just during work hours. After hearing all the explanations of why I couldn’t just go home with the lady in the office I decided to give Julie a chance.
We went for walks, we sat on a blanket. She brought me treats and she called me Angel, never “The Dog.”
The very next day Julie came in and adopted me. The lady in the office cried as I left for the vet. Not tears of sadness, she was so happy for me.
The reason I wrote this story today is to tell you that animals in shelters everywhere can act differently if you just give them a chance.
So many people walk in and expect the perfect dog or cat. Sometimes it doesn’t work like that. Please give the animals you see more than just a few minutes of your time.
Come back, over and over. Reassure a scared animal. Love and you will receive love.
Not all animals wind up with such a happy ending. Angel is one of the lucky ones. Adopt shelter animals!