Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Because of you......

my eyes were opened and my life forever changed.
A tribute to my Lucky Girl

It wasn't my intention, I didn't plan for my life to change after my encounter w/ a stray black dog. But it did, and profoundly.
She was just a stray black dog, I had seen this countless times in my life before, but this time was different. I had seen this dog walking w/ people along the busy streets just outside of Detroit, and at first I thought to myself "How neat that you can walk your dog w/ no leash on a busy street like this". Then I saw her again, a few days later, same scenerio, same dog, different people.
This time she chose a lady w/ her small children. She looked as if she belonged to them, and I think she wanted to, but she didn't. This time, I had to ask......even though I didn't want to b/c I think I knew the answer, and my thoughts were right. As I circled around again, I noticed the stray black dog drinking out of the mud puddle, and I poked my head out of my car window to ask "Is that your dog?", the young mother said "No, she's just following us". I sighed heavily, b/c I just knew my hope was too good to be true, I knew this dog did not belong to anyone, only desired to. I knew I couldn't just turn away and leave her.
She agreed to take the dog home, as she said her husband had been wanting one, she said. I told her thank you, and I gave her my address and number and told her to call me if she decided not to keep the dog, and I would come get her. I sure didn't know what I would do w/ her, as I already have two of my own at that time.
Well.....a couple of days later, I went by, and they said they could not keep her, she was a sweet dog, the husband would say, and he were certain that she must have been beaten, as she cowered so often. They told me how their little 2 year old girl would carry food around in her hand and the dog never tried to take it from her, she was a good good dog, but she kept going potty in the house, and the young mother had her hands full w/ her own small children. No time to devote to this young stray, and I understood completely.

I went and got my crate, and returned to pick her up. It seemed as if she knew me forever. I had intentions of taking her to the Michigan Humane Society, but instead brought her home to give myself time to think it out. I decided I would take her to my Vet to be sure no worms, and to get her shots.
It was love at first sight, and I don't use the term loosely. I named her...her name would be Lucky, b/c she was. I was going to keep her.
She was such a scared girl, the man was right, someone had mistreated this girl, and left her to fend for herself on the streets. She clung to me, and went everyhere I went. She was easy to potty train, she was one smart dog. But, she was scared, scared outside when she would hear a noise. It made me realize what she must have went through and how scared and lonely she must have been wandering those streets searching for refuge, just wanting to belong somewhere. I knew I had to keep her, I loved her, and I don't mean maybe. She worshiped me, and I knew she knew I had saved her life.
I have never seen more gratitude, it was clear and evident, this dog was thankful for me.

As time went on, I noticed her becoming more and more protective and posessive of me. My hub could not even kiss me goodbye w/out her doing a slight lunge at him. Nothing drastic, but certainly some red flags. All of a sudden out of the blue, Lucky and my Mia began to fight viciously, and I got in the middle of it, and was bit on my thigh. It was horrible. It happened again, this next time w/ my sweet Nelly who was scared of her own shadow. Lucky lunged at her and started to fight. I couldn't have this, it wasn't fair to Nelly and Mia, and my nerves were shot, but I loved her so. How could this creature who was so very gentle w/ a baby be so mean w/ another dog? It made no sense to me. I was forced to contact a rescue. I had never done anything like this before. All I could do was cry, and cry and cry. My love was so strong for this dog, but I could not keep her. I took her to Petsmart for the Adoption Fair, and she was adopted that same day. I wasn't prepared to say goodbye so soon, but I had to. I'll never forget that day, the day I handed the leash to the new owner, and walked away. Lucky's eyes followed me all the way as I walked out of that store as if to say "Where are you going", I knew she didn't understand why I was leaving her, b/c she thought I loved her, and if so, then why was I leaving. Oh, it took me so long to get over her, and my feelings of abandoning her. I would call her new owners, and they would ask me if she had tried to jump the fence at my house, and no, she had not, not once. I knew then she was trying to come back to me. It was heartbreaking for me, and I would wake up in the middle of the night worried about her. No one understood, they tried, but they just could not understand how I could hurt so over a dog.
Like any heartache, time was the only thing that eased my pain. I kept having to remind myself that she would get used to her new home, and she would adapt. And while she may not be treated as good as what I treated her, it was still better, better than what she had before our paths crossed, and my life was forever changed. Better than her wandering the streets wanting to belong. I couldn't give her the beautiful life I felt she deserved, but she certainly was better off.

I still see her occasionally, and she has adapted, and no longer tries to follow me out to my car when I visit. Even her eyes have stopped following me. It's bittersweet, but I am greatful. She has made the transition, she has adapted.
It's been 5 years now, and I have had to put it behind me, and move forward, forward to help others in her situation, looking to just belong.

I am so thankful for our chance encounter. Lucky is responsible for saving so many. Because through her, I have realized the need, the need for me to stop what I am doing and take the time to help. And while I can't save them all (as my Vet tells me), I know that to the ones I can, it makes all the difference.

I'll be sharing more of my foster stories in the future.

I love you Lucky girl!


cconz said...

i love your story. i've seen some sorry little dogs in my day, and have saved some also, all my dogs will be rescues from now on. cathie

Debra said...

Oh Patty! I know how hard it was for you to give her away and am so glad this siory has a happy ending! It sure brought tears to my eyes!

~GoldieLoo Woodworks~ said...

Patty, Thank you for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes because I know what its like. I have been there before. My story is just a tad bit differant.I too get to see the dog that I once "belonged to".Like Ken Foster says...They find us....and I really believe they do.

Jennifer B. said...

Patty~Thank you for sharing your story. Because i am someone like you, someone who just cant "drive by" your story touched my heart deeply... I feel your heartache and sorrow. God bless you and what you do...

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you for sharing your story.... She is a "Lucky" gal to have met you.... Their paw prints stay on your heart for always... Hugs, Mo

Lorraine said...

Oh wow, Patty!! What a moving story!! You are definitely an angel on Earth..I'm glad Lucky has a great family!!!
hugs to ya!!:o)

Dogpatch Primitives said...

Thank you Cathie, and also for stopping by my blog!

Debra, I know you know!

Pam, I think you're right, they do find us, dont they? Thank you for always being so sweet to the doggies.

Jennifer, thank you for all you do!

Mo, thank you for stopping by!

Hi Lorraine, I'm so happy you stopped by! Can I put your blog link on mine?

Thank you all for allowing me to share my story, and for caring enough to leave a comment.

Lisa said...

ohhh, my heart just melted...

craftswithcare said...

Oh Patty, Lucky's story touched my heart deeply and has brought tears to my eyes. I really feel for those stray dogs who have nowhere to go and nobody cares for them. I am glad to know that Lucky lives in a nice home now and is well loved. It was all made possible only because of you.
Patty, you are doing such good work for our 4-legged Angels.


~Tonya said...

Patty, My heart goes out to you. I am so glad that Lucky found a home and adapted. I am sure she is loved.

It is very hard. I have been in similar situations...and animals, well they are like kids. they can not help themselves.

So, we must...if only one at a time, help them. We are forever changed and so are they. They are touched and they do show it.

Thanks for sharing your story.