Saturday, November 24, 2012
It seems impossible that it was only last June when I was idly clicking through pictures of pups on a site that belongs to a friend who runs a rescue group. I had already adopted a hound puppy from my friend and another from Lab Rescue, as well as two cats and a horse! My ark was full--or so I thought. And then when I accidentally clicked on one of the pictures it somehow magically linked me to Home Free Rescue in Red Bank, NJ and there was Tia. Her name was Peta then, but no matter what you called her she was the spitting image of my first rescue dog, Dancer. It was as if my pit bull/whippet cross Dancer had come back to life. Call me a sentimental fool, but I knew I had to have this pup.
Fast forward to November. This morning I was awakened by a warm little belly pressing against me while a little snout rooted in my face. Like most pit bulls, Tia doesn't have a soft muzzle. No, she has those folds of sandpaper skin the pitties have, and stubby whiskers, so it feels like being kissed by a shark. Little Miss Shark wanted to go out even though it was only 5:30, so up I got and put her in the yard with a stuffed hedgehog I knew would be history in minutes. It was, but she had fun and I saved his squeaker and batting to stitch later into a square of fake fur remnant from my local sewing shop. Tia can't tell the difference between that and a toy, so we recycle to save money since she can shred the expensive ones to bits quicker than you can say, "Bob's yer uncle."
Then it was in to a breakfast of kibble and warm hamburger...oh, and a bite of my whole wheat waffle, of course. Thank goodness she lets me have my own coffee. Then out for a walk on a 20 foot training lead so she could check out every blade of grass, pounce in the leaves for anything that might be underneath and crane her neck at the wild geese flying overhead. They scared her at first, but she's used to them now. Next we'll go for a walk to the local garage where my car is being inspected. She's still afraid of cars, I guess because every time she was in one she was taken and left somewhere...first at a kill shelter by her owner who said they had "too many dogs," then up I-95 from South Carolina to New Jersey and to a rescue, a foster home, a vet and finally to me. Tia isn't too fond of cars, so after she has greeted her friends at the garage I'll take her to Arby's to share a roast beef sandwich. I'm hoping maybe she'll eventually realize that the car always takes her to good places and then home again.
Home isn't much--a small Victorian cottage with well-worn floors and doors scratched by a number of dogs. But it's warm and smells like food and her friends and she seems to realize this is her own forever place where she'll be cared for. She had her first Thanksgiving turkey and I think today I'll get the Christmas tree and she can help me decorate. She helps me do everything, from my first eye-crack of the day to the last puppy sigh at night as she curls up against me and dreams sweet dreams. At least I hope they're sweet now, because she's home and she'll never leave again.
Won't you consider sharing your home? There are so many rescue dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, all of them desperate for a warm place and a dish of food. In return, they'll give you every ounce of joy and devotion in their little cuddly bodies. Please think of them this holiday season and adopt, foster or donate--whatever you can do. Call any local shelter or rescue group or consider a group like Home Free Rescue, Recycled Tails or Middlemutts/Last Chance Rescue. Just check them out on Facebook. Thank you and Happy Holidays.
Miriam and Tia