Friday, January 13, 2012

The Chow's Story

She brought me a red chow with the explanation that she had to move out of the house and couldn't find a place that would allow the dog. It's an often given reason to surrender a dog. However, she loved him, called him "angel baby doll", and wanted him back. My boss told me to take the dog but she had to come out to the kennel every day to exercise and clean and feed him. It was obvious the dog had some aggression issues, but nothing was said or offered. The owner had been sobbing, was obviously depressed.

As time went on, the dog did well for me when she wasn't there, but when she was, he would be wary. I would walk along with her, pieces of hot dog in my pocket, working on socializing him. I have had many chows of my own in the past and I like the breed and wanted to do what I could to help him in case she couldn't take him back. In the process she told me she had had an excellent job, good pay, good benefits, but when the auto industry fell apart, she got laid off and couldn't find anything that paid as well. She had lost her home, was in danger of losing her vehicle, and was so depressed. Her eyes were always puffy and her hair was always a mess - very unkept. I would walk along and one day told her about how my husband, kids, and I had lived around race tracks without a decent income, and many times we were down to our last few dollars. I told her that she had to have faith, but she also needed to get up and find something that would give her a pay check, even if it wasn't what she was used to, until something better came along.

About six weeks after "angel baby doll" came to me, we were exercising him and sat down on a step to talk. She had gotten a call from someone who wanted her to work at a convenience store. Not a great wage, but a job. She was worried that she wouldn't be able to come take care of "ABD" if she was working days. "ABD" was improving, still better when she wasn't there, and as if he knew, came over to me and wanted a back rub. He did this twice. However, the second time, the owner was overcome with emotion because the dog was accepting me, and reached over me to pet him. He immediately tore into me in nothing short of a vicious attack. When she reached to grab him, he started to turn on her, and when I blocked it, he got my other arm. Fortunately, he didn't try to grab my face or throat. She told me she didn't know what to do, and I told her to grab his collar and pull him away, then put him away, and come to the house to help me dress my arms and talk.

While she helped me with a sanitary pad pressure dressing (I have since learned to keep first aid supplies on hand at all times), she told me that she had lived with at least two men who were abusive, and "ABD" had protected her. As a matter of fact, the last one had been attacked the day before she came to me, and that's why she had to move out. I wish she had told me up front about that! She said she was taking the job, would be working days, and she wanted the dog euthanized so he wouldn't hurt anyone else.

I saw her again at the convenience store, and she was doing better, and understood that the lesser job was the right thing to do. A year later I met her in Walmart. She looked radiant, hair shiny and beautiful, no puffy eyes, smile on her face, makeup, dressed nicely. She told me that she had stayed at the convenience store till "something better came along". She had her own apartment, a good job, managed to keep her vehicle, and was very happy. She apologized for what had happened, but said she was grateful that we met when we did.

So. "Angel Baby Doll" in his own way saved a human.

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