“Addie’s story should be short. She is, after all, not even eight months old. But her life started out, well, complicated. Now, simply, she is a joy.
We are cat people. OK. That is on the table. However, raising children with a yard and a fence begs for a dog. We did that. Seventeen years later, the kids are grown and have left the nest. Our sweet pooch was tired and she left too. We knocked around the house that was simply not right in spite of having our beloved kitties. Finally, we agreed, we NEEDED a dog.
What to do? How to choose? For us, only a shelter pet was an option. I called every local shelter, even the one from whom we had adopted our dog and several cats, refused to consider us as a candidate because of the number of cats in the house.
We found our girl on-line. Fell in love with the puppy with the goofy expression and the liquid brown eyes that had seen too much for a puppy of her tender age. She was eight weeks old when those pictures were taken. Her problem? She was a tiny pitbull mix in a southern state that does not have the animal rights laws of the northern states. She was rescued by an organization that tries to get these dogs north. We took a huge chance. We never met her. We knew that her likely fate was grim and could not get her eyes out of our heads. We arranged for a puppy transport and one very early morning, met our girl in the parking lot of a hotel an hour from our home.
We were delighted to accept this little bundle. A few minutes later, we were horrified when we set her down to pee to realize she could not stand. We resolutely took her home and hoped for the best.
Addie could not walk. She could not stand. She was bow-legged and weak and had the most deformed growth plates our vet had ever seen. She had apparently been confined in a too-small crate for far too much of her short life.
We still hoped for the best. And, the best is our Addie. Her determination, her grit, her happiness at every new toy, every opportunity to strengthen her body, her sweet, sweet face! In only a few short weeks, she was on her feet, and getting better every day. We were to realize later that her grit, her determination and her independence made her a challenge when it came to training.
When she was physically able, we took her to Kathy Santo’s Training School because we wanted her to be the best citizen she can be. We have had a couple of incidents (too numerous to mention) when people would see our petite pit, now only 40 or so pounds, and “see” 180 lbs of muscle and teeth. Frustrating and heartbreaking. Kathy and her staff have been there for us to listen and to help.
At about five months old, Addie developed fears. Her fears were people she doesn’t know; tall men and especially those with caps. If a person she doesn’t know has a dog, she is fine. We started her in a confidence building class and it has made a huge difference. Not only have WE learned how to make life less stressful for her, she has gained confidence and is so much better.
Addie loves getting in the car. She knows it probably means going to school. She has learned how to meet a new friend. This was so important for her because her original plan was to simply “body slam” any potential playmate without regard to size or age. She has learned so much and now has many friends.
Addie had “fixed” our house. Our morning routine is to open her crate door and watch her as she yawns, stretches, plays with her toys and eventually crawls into my lap for morning hugs and kisses. We go out in the yard and she runs around like a maniac, stretching all those muscles that never worked when she was a baby. We go in and she goes to her “place” and has breakfast. We do have one cat whose mission it is to make Addie’s life miserable, but for the others, they are happy to co-exist. Addie would love to play but seems to understand when they want to play or be left alone.
Her wiggly butt, her big head, her awesome brindle coat with four tiny white socks and the small white tip of her tail, and most of all, her liquid brown eyes are all of our Addie. Addie is our joy and every reason why everyone should seriously consider taking a chance on a rescue. Simply put, the rewards exceed the effort.”
Sheri and Addie
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