Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm gonna make you love me

Meet Simone. She's one of the eight puppy mill dogs I picked up last weekend. We knew that, in getting puppy mill dogs, we were probably going to be getting some dogs who had some emotional problems on top of the many health issues they might have. It's just a fact of life that if you take a dog, stick it in a cage with no human interaction and breed it for years, that dog probably isn't going to have a really happy-go-lucky personality. It's okay. In doing dog rescue, I've come across a lot of dogs who, for one reason or another, haven't had the best experiences with humans. So, they're (for lack of a better term): f***ed up.

Some dogs have been stuck in a back yard 24/7, so they're crazy for attention and have no house manners. Some have not been fixed, so they hump everything that moves. Other dogs have been yelled at so much--or even hit so much--that they cower when you go to pet them. Still others have been too spoiled, so that they don't know their place in the pecking order of Life and try to bite you if you take their toys away. Some are picky about food. Some hate men. Some just hate kids. For the most part, as long as they don't chomp down on anyone, we can work with them. We give them time, love and attention and it all comes out okay.

But Simone is a special case. This little girl has obviously never been outside a cage. When I brought her home, there were 7 other dogs. I opened everone's crate in the back yard and let them come outside in their own time, so they could sniff everything and check the place out. Simone? She just stayed in her crate... For six hours. After a while, I pulled her out of her crate and placed her in the middle of the yard. She flattened herself completely on the ground, shivered, and then darted to the farthest corner she could find. When it was time to put everyone in for the night, I fetched her from the corner and put her back in the crate. She kept her head bowed the whole time.

I thought, surely, she'll be okay in the morning. The next day, we tried again. I opened her crate to let her out and she wouldn't move. I picked her up and put her in the back yard. Again, she ran to the corner and stayed there til I picked her up and put her back in the crate.

This has gone on for 3 days. Every morning, noon and night, I take her out of her open crate and try to get her to move to no avail. Simone won't look at you. She won't eat in your presence. (I'm not even sure that she is eating) Every day, she sits as still as she can, going to the bathroom where she stands, not making a sound or any sudden moves. As if she can just disappear if she's quiet and motionless enough.

It's breaking my heart.

I've decided that Simone is my challenge. She's been taught by life not to feel, to want contact or love. To be okay with total neglect. I'm going to make her into a DOG. I'm going to try to make her trust again. I want her to know what it's like to feel a kind human touch. To, hopefully, lose that desperate look of hers that screams that she wants to be anywhere but here. I want to see her tail wag. Is that so much to ask?

1 comment:

kate said...

It's not nice to make your sister cry with stories like this!Good luck with Simone and don't be offended if I light a candle for her at church-what can it hurt?