Tess was rescued by the courageous people at HALO one year ago today. I’ve tried to imagine how she would describe her world….
“I was dirty, smelly, matted, hungry, my skin itched all the time, and bugs crawled on me and bit me. I had delivered more puppies than I could remember. It was freezing cold in the winter and unbearably hot in the summer. The other dogs and I stayed in cages, all of the time. I saw Humans sometimes but they weren’t very nice. I could see their hearts and they were cold …. they didn’t care about me or my friends. We didn’t trust Humans. Every day was the same dreary, hopeless existence as the day before. I didn’t think it would ever be different.
Then, a year ago today, the Human Keeper decided I wasn’t of any use to her anymore. I didn’t know what I’d done wrong but she took me from all of my friends and put me on a table in a place where other Humans had old furniture, books, clothes….junk. She told strangers walking by that she would trade whatever they had for me. I felt so bad.
So at this time last year, three Rescuers took me from the Keeper. They said I didn’t have to have puppies any more and they would find me a nice “home”. I couldn’t imagine what they meant. I lived with 2 Fosters for a while. I don’t remember much about those places. I was so scared and confused. I remember I tried to run away from the first place, but I didn’t know where I’d go, so I went back. I know the Fosters were nice and took good care of me but I was afraid to trust them. What if the Keeper came back to get me?
I was just starting to feel safe in my 2nd Foster home when a Human came and took me away. This Human said she was going to be my “mom” and that she was taking me “home” to live forever. She said I was starting a new life so I needed a new name and she was going to call me “Tess”. She promised I’d always have lots of good things to eat, warm beds to sleep in, toys, a yard to play in and a “brother” to keep me company. She said she understood if I was scared, she’d be patient and always take care of me and always love me. I didn’t understand what she meant and she looked like the Keeper so I knew I couldn’t trust her. I was so scared it made me sick to my stomach – so I threw up on this “Mom”.
Since then, it’s been really hard. But good hard. I’ve had to learn about everything like I was a new puppy. Mom says that’s okay, I can take my time. She said I have “issues” (where does she find these words?) because of my past. She says I’m like a flower blossoming. I don’t know what she’s talking about, I’m a dog, not a flower, but maybe you’ll understand.
Mom asked me if there were things I liked about this new life....
None of these things came easily, but every day I learn something new and good.
* I think my favorite thing is when we first wake up in the morning and I snuggle up real close to Mom and go back to sleep. She scratches my back, behind my ears, and my belly. I LOVE CUDDLING!
* No, my favorite thing is getting fed. Every day! Twice a day!! It’s amazing, Mom never forgets. All she ever asks is that we “sit” first and wait for her to say it’s okay. If I’d known that’s all it took… I LOVE MEALTIME!
* Maybe my favorite thing is to follow Mom around the house. She does some silly things, but that’s okay. She talks to me all the time and she’ll even stop to pet me sometimes. I LOVE FOLLOWING MOM AROUND!
* Oh, my really favorite thing is our daily walks. We get to walk the same path every morning so Cody & I can check all of the pee-mails and leave our own messages. Then after dinner, we go to different places for our walks. It’s so much fun. Sometimes we go in the car to a park or new neighborhood. I LOVE GOING IN THE CAR! I LOVE OUR WALKS!
* When Mom leaves in the morning Cody and I get special treats. We race around the house finding all the treats Mom left. I get more treats than Cody most of the time because I’m smarter. I run to say “Bye” to mom but then I hurry back to grab treats. I LOVE WHEN MOM GOES TO WORK!
* Cody & I spend our days relaxing. We sleep wherever we want, we play some and we watch out the big window and bark at everyone who goes by. I LOVE BARKING!
* I know when Mom is supposed to arrive home, so I watch out the window. When she opens the door, I give her kisses and she tells me how happy she is to see me, asks about my day, and scratches me all over. It feels so good. I LOVE WHEN MOM COMES HOME!
* Sometimes we visit with other Humans and other dogs. To start with the dogs scared me and the people scared me even more. But if any of the dogs get too rough with me, Cody steps in and protects me. If I ask, Mom picks me up and holds me. And the Humans really aren’t so bad. They’re hearts are all good. They want to pet me and hold me and they tell me I’m beautiful and they want a dog just like me. Can you imagine! Sometimes we roll in dead worms. That’s really my favorite thing. I LOVE DEAD WORMS!
* In the evenings Mom brushes me. To start with I’d run & hide. Now, it feels good and I like looking pretty. I LOVE BEING BRUSHED!
* I love lying on the warm patio stones in the sun. I love sleeping on a huge pile of soft blankets. I love bully sticks! I love snuggling with Mom or Cody in the evening. Sometime I even love teasing Cody and running as fast as I can through the house. I LOVE MAKING MOM LAUGH!
A year ago nobody cared about me. Now I have this Mom who feeds me, brushes me, talks to me, protects me, takes me on adventures, and follows me around to pick up my poop. Imagine! She says I’m a “Princess.” She tells me that enjoying the little things in life are what makes us happy. I’m beginning to believe her!
Sometimes I think about that old life and wonder if the other dogs were able to get away. They deserve it too. But I have to admit, sometimes I just think...
Oh, if my friends could see me now!”