It’s been stated throughout time, that a dog is man’s best friend. A friend who is always there for you, that seldom complains, always agrees with you and is willing to lick the wounds whether they be real or emotional.
We acquired our best friend the Spring of ’13. My husband and I were volunteer fosters for a dog rescue group in Arizona. It’s a needed job of fixing up the wounded and outcast and helping them work their way towards their forever homes. When we picked up Smokey she was a mere shell of a dog. A broken spirit with a long list of health issues to yet be diagnosed. She only weighed in at twenty seven pounds. We took her home, allowing her to find her comfort zone. We’d find her each day curled into a tight and compact ball in the furthest corner of the room. Tucked into her bushy tail were two amber eyes that followed my every move. She had no appetite, no desire to interact or to go outside other then when we called her to the door. Since we had no history on this dog, she was to be my mystery girl. She was found as a stray in Pinal County, wandering the dusty roads near the edge of the Rez. No collar or other means of identification. A no man’s dog you could say.
The first order of business with our fosters was always a bath. Being homeless and living on the streets for even a short period of time gives tail tell signs of hard living. Most put up a struggle and finish the process with a vigorous body shaking at least 4 times to rid themselves of the indignity of now being clean. But not this dog. She allowed to be bathed with her head hung low, no complaints, no struggles and no eye contact. I wanted to wrap her in my arms and hold her tight. Telling her life would be better soon. But her eyes told me a different story. I wondered how many times this girl had been let down by humans.
She was seen by a Veterinarian appointed by the rescue group. Blood samples were taken for specific tests, poked and prodded all over. A few x-rays were ordered as well. Yes, the Vet said, she’s thin but I’ve seen worse. Feed her well. Show her love.
Her lab work revealed a host of problems, all treatable but it could be a long while before she would be whole again. Prescriptions in hand we walked to the car, mulling over this news. It would be hard to find the proper fit of a family to adopt a needful dog such as this. I didn’t want to see this sweet thing pass through the turnover of ” didn’t fit in, cost too much, wasn’t what we expected” kind of homes. I would not do that to this dog. We’d see her through to better health and give her the home she never had. She’d have a full belly at the end of each day, a warm dog bed to climb into on cold nights. A home to call her own. We would love her to the day she took her last breath and let her pass with dignity. As we pulled away from the parking lot I gently touched her silky ears as she leaned into my hand. It was at that very moment I realized she was going to be my everything. And I would be her world as well.