Until a couple of years ago my parents had lived their entire married life never having owned a dog. Both of them liked dogs, but never really had any desire to own one.
Three years ago, I was volunteering at my local Humane Society when I came across a case that broke my heart. This grey mess of a dog was brought in so horribly matted and overgrown she barely even resembled a dog. She had been found wandering the streets and had obviously just given birth to puppies. But it was her eyes that melted my heart.
The shelter had to shave her down, she was covered in scabs, infested with fleas, and looked terrible. And, she was the most terrified animal I had ever seen.
The Humane Society named her Sweetie. She was placed in a room with a little bed and some small stuffed animals. She lay there shaking profusely, licking her little stuffed animals like they were her babies. If anyone touched one of her “babies”, she would begin to shriek. I would go in her room and sit with her on the floor, and the only way she would stop shaking was when I wrapped my arms around her.
After being there a while, with no one interested in her, the vet at the shelter explained she didn’t think they could keep her around much longer because she was beginning to shut down. Already being at the animal limit at my home, I was desperately trying to find her a home with no luck — you see I did something I know I shouldn’t have … without telling Topher. After a few trips back to visit Sweetie, and seeing visitor after visitor pass by without a second glance, I placed myself on the “No PTS List” to adopt Sweetie instead of euthanization.
I was venting the story to my mom, and she surprised me when she asked “should I come see her?” My mom came and saw her, and she fell in love.
My parents decided to adopt her (and decided to keep her name — which suited her), and honestly … I was worried. My mom is completely OCD about her house. When a hero adopts a dog (especially one found on the streets), you have no idea how they will behave in your home. I was envisioning her chewing up all of mom’s antiques and ruining her carpet, and I wasn’t entirely sure this was the best idea.
When you get a dog that is 2 years old and isn’t potty trained, it is extremely hard to teach them — especially one with apparent emotional issues. Sweetie was completely terrified on the car ride home.
After being in the house for a whole five minutes, she was laying on her back wanting her belly rubbed, and the shaking completely stopped. She just knew … this was her home.
Over the next few months, she completely transformed from an abandoned, frightened, shell of a dog to a happy, healthy, thriving pet. My parents wanted to talk to everyone about her.
My dad would buy her every new dog gadget and toy under the sun. I would come over to their house, and my dad Sweetie would be sitting in the recliner together, reading the paper, or my mom would have her out on her second walk of the day.
Never once did she have an accident in the house. They were a perfect match.
The only issue Sweetie had was when my parents went to work, she struggled severe separation anxiety. Six months after they had her, they adopted her a brother, Bob. To be continued….
Here is my newest project my client brought to me today. She got this vintage desk at a resale shop and I will be painting this, along with an armoire, and an endtable for her guest bedroom. I will keep you posted on the results.