Sunday, March 27, 2011

Southampton: If they could see her now.

I was thinking yesterday that it has been almost two years since I adopted my former mess of a dog. I looked back in my e mails to try and pinpoint the exact date, and discovered that today was the day that she was dumped at the shelter in Baldwin Park, CA. a pound known as "high kill"  --- meaning: depending on the population of the shelter the animals can have a temporary home for few weeks until they are rescued, or more often, euthanasia.

I adopted her from a rescue group who pull animals for adoption fairs every weekend, but return them to the shelter at the end of the day when they have not found homes.

My friend picked her out at the adoption fair.  This is the same friend that can dine out with Satan, and return from the dinner in hell and tell you how "edgy" he was , and that the red outfit really is becoming and the horns are just fabulous. Oh, and the heat? did wonders for her skin. She's that kind of person. She sprinkles white fairy dust wherever she goes.

So, today was a day of celebration of sorts. A day to celebrate her liberation from her former life. A day to celebrate, indeed.

Here is her audition video: (which I didn't see until after the adoption.)

And a footnote: the name Lucky in the shelter world is as common as Kitty is in the Cat world.

  If you listen to what the volunteer is saying about her, NONE of it was true. Honest mistake with an inexperienced volunteer. They do the best they can. C'est la vie.

Her head shot wasn't that much better:


When I first adopted her, it became clear that her exposure to the world was limited at best.  She was frightened by her reflection, the TV, the phone ringing, stairs, sudden noises, a cabinet opening --  she was so unaccustomed to being outside and interacting with the world, that she actually tried to chase a military helicopter.
The instincts were there, just off base.
Way off.

When she saw another dog, she usually got on her hind legs and yelped like a hyena. Just sheer hysteria. I had more than one person yell at me from across a busy street: "You should call Cesar!"

I couldn't call Cesar, and I certainly did not want to be on his TV show, so we did the next best thing: enrolled in obedience class.

My dog listening intently in class:
We were asked to leave on more than one occasion. 
My dog wanted to kill the other dogs. 
Okay, maybe not kill, but body slamming and charging
 other dogs does not make for a nice classmate. 

It was apparent that her life consisted of living in a crate, only to be let out to use the bathroom and then back in. She was a page one re-write.

And there were days that I cried. What am I going to do with this dog? One day after an extremely challenging hike I was weeping when we got back home, and I just looked at her and said in frustration: WHO DID THIS TO YOU?! WHO? 

I wanted to find them. Them - rather they - were some people who thought doing some good ole' fashion backyard breeding to make some quick cash. They dumped about 30 different dogs at the shelter that they couldn't sell.  My dog was one of them.

We've both come along way; She loves stairs (They're fun!) TV, if it's good, and she admires herself when presented with her reflection; the phone means Mom can't play with me, I might as well rest; other dogs for the most part are okay and even fun. Cats are more fun to chase than birds could ever be. She's more annoyed by the sound of a helicopter than intrigued by them.

Today, on the beach in Southampton, NY 03/27/11

Her relationship with the beach here in Southampton has grown apace. In her first few forays to the beach, she would stay on the side with the homes until one day she decided to prance down to the water and run along side of it. 

Soon enough, I would toss the ball into the edge of the water - it was only a few inches deep, and she went happily in to retrieve her beloved ball. This was a dog who would not get near the water, nor the pool in  Los Angeles. Uh-uh. She wanted nothing to do with anything wet. Bath time was an ordeal leaving me and the bathroom soaked. 

I started throwing the ball further in - always making sure the water was never more than a foot deep. And a funny thing started to happen: when we would arrive at the beach she would start nudging her ball into the water to retrieve it.

Today was a good day in her world - she got a stranger to throw the ball for her for a good 10 minutes.

Later, I threw the ball in a small bay of water  not realizing how deep it went --  she had no choice but to swim. It was that deep. Oops.

Oh no, I thought, she's going to be trumatized. She wasn't. She went back in again, and again.

And I thought what a beautiful sight to see this dog so happy and so free, and so at one with nature. Just being a dog. I swear she was smiling. Soaking wet and 42 degrees out, but she was happy.  

She has experienced canyons, deserts, sagebrush filled hills, a ranch with cattle (and a lot of kitty cats) the sights of D.C., the urban pulse of NYC and the dog parks they call dog runs, and the dogs who rule them; the piles and piles of that white fluffy stuff they call snow which she at first wasn't too sure of, but then realized how much fun it really REALLY was. She discovered riding alongside a bicycle, she learned to respect the deer, and stare at them in awe right along with me. She learned how much fun playing soccer at the beach is, and to run free in the water and the sand.  She learned to accept affection from humans and other dogs. She learned to play. To be a dog. To just be.

Smiling on the beach in Southampton, 03/27/11

So, on behalf of her I say to those people that dumped her: Fuck you, Fuckers. Who's laughing now?

She is.  Happy Liberation Day.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful my daughter, beautiful.