Despite my greatest efforts, I was unable to resist temptation. I gave in. I failed miserably….well, to be honest, I actually failed joyfully.
Yesterday our local animal shelter posted at Facebook that they would be open for adoptions from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. I couldn’t help it, I asked them if they had any medium- to large-sized dogs. They personally invited me to come visit.
So we did.
I took along a leash–you know, just in case.
The shelter had three dogs that had all been rescued from the same place. They had been abused. They had been kept chained outside all the time and were starving. The shelter was keeping one of the three before putting her up for adoption because she was so starved that they needed to get her healthier before letting her go. When we walked back to where the dogs were, a man was calling his wife to see if she was agreeable to adopting the second dog. Like us, his previous dog recently died of cancer. In fact, his dog had the same vet we took Danny to. The man also really missed having a dog.
The third dog….well, we fell in love with the third dog.
She growled at EJ when he approached her cage. The shelter woman said that it’s probable that the dog was scared of men. We weren’t sure if she would accept EJ, but the shelter woman took the dog out of her cage, and EJ sweet talked her, and it wasn’t long before she was giving him lovings. So, of course, we adopted her. Unlike many shelters we’ve looked at–with adoption fees of $150-$200–the fees at the shelter were reasonable: $45 with a refund of $25 when we get her fixed. The shelter will microchip her, but they had run out of chips so they will call us when they get more.
The dog’s face is scarred and she was starved. She is so thin that we can see her ribs. We have to give her a special nutritional dog food for a while that we can only get from the vet. The shelter called the local vet to tell him that we and the guy adopting the other dog would be there for the dog food so he wouldn’t close before we got there. Even though our dog is starving, we can only give her a cup of food several times a day because if she eats too much, she could become bloated and die. It’s very heart-wrenching because she is totally focused on food. She constantly indicates that she wants food and tries to grab some if she can. She even ate a nut shell that fell to the floor and tried eating the seed that had fallen from the bird feeders when we took her outside. Poor thing. I tell her that it won’t be long until she can have more food.
The shelter people didn’t know how she would react to cats so that was a concern, but the dog had such a gentle face that we decided to risk it. We know it can take a while to introduce new animals so when we got our dog home, we kept her on the leash until we saw that she was ok with cats. The dog didn’t lunge at the cats and they seemed quite unafraid of her. Only Luke has hissed and swatted at her, and she is so scared of him that she jumped into my lap for protection.
We told the shelter people that we always rename our new pets. They thought that was a good idea. “She’s had a really rough life,” they said, “and she needs a new name so she can put her past behind her.” After much discussion and trying a few names, we decided to call her Hannah Joy. It seems to fit her.
Hannah Joy is about two years old (the shelter thinks). She’s a pitbull. Pitbulls have a bad reputation, but I remember when I was young and everyone was scared of German Shepherds…and then Doberman’s. There’s always one breed or another that people are scared of. I don’t think any breed is naturally mean. Our Hannah Joy has a gentle face. She is very sweet and loving. She rode on my lap almost all the way home, and keeps jumping into our laps at home. She seems to be quite obedient and makes her wishes clearly known.
We already love her.
No dog can ever replace Danny. Hannah Joy is making her own place in our hearts.