As you all know, I lost my beloved heart dog, Katie a while back. The aching hole she left behind in my heart and my household and my dog pack of four, was awful.
But, as time passed and my heart healed a little, the hole remained. No other dog could ever replace Katie or fill the void. However, another dog might, just might start making its own space in the house, pack and hearts of those Katie left behind. Maybe it would make a enough space, that the hole where Katie was wouldn’t seem so big.
So, little by little, we started looking. We wanted another Australian Shepherd. We looked at ads for puppies and talking about it. Nothing really reached out and grabbed us. None of the pics of pups really pulled at our hearts, none of those faces begged to be the dog to shrink the void.
On a whim, I clicked on the website of a neighboring county’s website (we don’t have a regular humane society in my county). As I cruised through the available dogs, searching for an Aussie or Aussie mix, I came across this pic.
And something about her face made me stop. She was an eighteen month old German Shepherd mix, not at all the breed I was searching for. Still, I couldn’t stop looking at her. Even my husband, who was the most reluctant to start a new dog search, found himself sitting next to me looking through her pictures.
I went back to this picture repeatedly. Something in her eyes reached through the picture on my computer screen and begged me to give her a chance to be the dog we needed.
As we read more about her, we found that there had been a story on her with one of the local news stations. This dog, staring out at me from the picture had not had a good life so far. For most of her young life, this was her home.
She was chained to the pole in the picture without food, without water, without shelter. When the people keeping her that way got wind of a news station coming because of the numerous urgings of lots of concerned people, he loaded her and two other dogs into his truck and left with them. When he came back, there were no dogs with him.
She was finally located, emaciated and in horrible condition almost a full month later, 30 miles from the pole she’d been tied to.
Keep in mind, this was all through the cold winter we had here and the some of the worst winter storms this year.
Sadly, the other two dogs have yet to be found. They’ve been spotted a few times, but are much to skittish to let anyone catch them.
So, this dog that was found was turned over to the humane society. Her owners were arrested and charged with animal cruelty. They have a court date in June.
And now, this eighteen month old, large breed dog faced the daunting task of getting adopted. As most everyone knows, this rarely happens for them. And so there she sat, for two months. Not that it was a horrible. The humane society where she was at is a good one, the small staff of people very caring. She had a run in a climate controlled area and lots of love.
But it wasn’t a home and a forever family.
Then we saw her picture and we read about her. I called about her the next morning and that afternoon we drove to meet her. I was surprised at how calm she was. I expected lots of jumping and exuberant behavior from a dog that age, but she didn’t display any of that. I was little worried because although she was quite attentive to the shelter staff, she didn’t spend a lot of time acknowledging me.
But I knew what she’d been through and I knew she had no reason to trust or care much about random strange humans.
We filled out the adoption form and brought her home.
Her calm demeanor remained intact when she arrived here. She met the other dogs and settled seamlessly into the household. She came with the name Sally from the humane society, but it didn’t fit her. In fact she largely ignored any attempt to get her attention with the name. So we set about to find a new name for her.
A follower on my FB author page suggested Roxie. It was perfect, it was fitting and best of all, less than 24 hours later, she was responding to it.
Roxie will know no chains here. She will never know being left out in the elements or hunger, or thirst ever again. Roxie has already made good use of the couch as a napping place. She slept like a rock all night on my bed. She has already learned a couple of commands and finally after a day here, she is coming to terms with the idea that she has 1/3 of an acre to run on. That she can go anywhere she wants in the yard, whenever she wants. She is getting used to the idea that she gets to come inside. And Roxie is becoming my shadow. She seems to have attached herself to me. Maybe in her doggie way, she understands that I need her as much as she needed me.
Already she has staked her claim on a piece of my heart.