Pet Power Part 2
Rescuing a dog is not typically in the playbook of an 18-year-old senior in high school who is soon to be starting college. Truthfully, it was not in mine, as my dog kind of happened to get tossed into my lap at the least opportune time I could have ever imagined.
I was sitting at work, and I get a text from my mom...
“Say hi to your new puppy," it read. There was a picture of a timid, sad looking 6-month-old Beagle. (See actual image below).
At first, I was excited and thrilled! I had no idea what I was in for, though…
As it turns out, the "home" we got her from would either leave her in a room all day by herself or would leave her outside on a chain 24/7. She was not potty trained, did not have any manners, or know any commands at all. The first few weeks with her were the hardest, most sleepless nights I have had in my life thus far – anything a typical dog would do, she did the complete opposite.
Put her in her kennel? She would chew or scratch her way out. If she could not get out, she would somehow push it to the other side of the house.
Leave her out while we were gone? We came home to destroyed curtains and blinds, knocked over wax melts, and makeshift bathrooms all over the house.
Take her for a walk? She would yank our arm off.
The list goes on...
Long story short, we almost had to get rid of her because she could not be alone. Nothing worked – and I mean nothing! Countless hours, dollars, and kennels later we still had no luck with training her to be by herself. In the beginning of 2019, I made the extremely expensive decision to bring my dog to doggy day care (shout out to Circle Kennel Club!) every day while I was at work. This was where I finally saw a change. She learned that I would always come back to pick her up after I got done with work. It taught her that I would always come back, no matter what.
The bond that we built over this difficult time is something that will never be broken now. The time of never-ending training, failures, and super small wins that seemed insignificant but were so huge to me - like the first time I was able to leave her home for 30 minutes without any damage done. I hung on to any glimpse of hope that she was more than just a "dumb, untrainable" dog that nobody could handle.
Over the last 2 years, things have improved tremendously. We have found things that work for us and we have learned a lot about each other. I am so glad that I hung onto the little glimmers of hope because I cannot imagine my life right now without her. I have learned endless lessons about myself while in the process of dealing with her temper, separation anxiety, and hyper tendencies. Oddly, she had become my therapy dog, as she truly saved me in a time where I did not even know I needed saving.
She is my best friend and is way too smart for her own good! All I have to say is that everybody deserves patience, consistency, and love…even a dog that everyone else just gave up on. Sometimes, all you need is that one companion to believe in you no matter what. (See images below for her now! Yes, that is her sleeping on my pillow and snuggled under the blanket.)
As for Honey and me, I am hers and she is mine.