Part II – I Came from the Deep South

(continued from the previous post) … There were 50 of us puppies altogether.  We were taken to vans and placed in crates with food and water and towels–soft and clean smelling.  I was in a crate with another puppy, a little black fellow with brown fur over his eyes and a hunched back.  The 50 of us were each given the name of one of the states.  I was Delaware, and I shared my crate with Kentucky.

Our ride was days long, and along the way we were let us out of the vans on leashes to stretch our legs, wander around, and greet our fellow travelers.  I knew almost all of them by scent.  I looked around hopefully for my sister, but she was not among them.

We arrrived at a farm, Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs, PA, where there were many dogs and cats and people.  I and nine other puppies were separated from the rest because we were sick.  The following day, the 40 other well puppies were taken to a shelter in Connecticut for adoption.

Those of us who remained were cared for gently and nursed back to health.  Our new home was a kennel with a dog run attached.  Four of us puppies were together in our kennel, and there were several others in the room.  We puppies played together and slept together in a heap.  People cared for us gently, lovingly.  It was noisy, and I grew accustomed to the noise, but Kentucky often tucked his tail between his legs and cowered.  I’d go over to him and nudge him to let him know everything was fine but he didn’t quite believe it.

People came through the kennel area, looking into the faces of each of us for which dog to adopt.  Each time a person came through, some of the dogs in the kennel barked in greeting or jumped up against the door of their kennels.  Others of us sat and looked intently into the eyes of the person, communicating: me, me, choose me.

In the three months that passed many of the puppies, as well as other dogs in the kennel, were adopted.  I wasn’t, and neither was Kentucky.  We were relatively happy though–we had food and water, a soft place to sleep, people who cared for us kindly.  … to be continued    Part I

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Part I – I Came from the Deep South

Most of all, I miss my sister.  She was brindle like me with white blaze dividing her face and ears that headed upward but took a U-turn.  We were one of four puppies born to a tired mother in a shrubby expanse of woodland.  Our mother disappeared one day, and we ventured out, hungry, beyond the flats.

Only my sister and I survived, wandering in the woods and feeding on bugs, drinking from muddy puddles, sleeping entwined to keep warm.  We were so little.

In a clearing in the woods, an old woman stood on the porch of her cabin watching us.  We watched her warily, but she stooped down and extended her hand to us.  We went to her and as she stroked our heads, we closed our eyes.  She put us into the back of her truck and we bumped down the road, careening this way and that.  She handed us over to people to ran a shelter full of barking dogs.  Time passed.

One day the shelter closed; they had run out of money.  They clanged open the doors of the cages, and a hundred dogs were let go.  They wandered off, tentatively, confused, into the Alabama countryside to live, to die.  A woman took another hundred of us to her place where they were hundreds and hundreds of dogs.  We lived with minimal food, never enough water, and squalor and disease.  Many of the dogs died.

One day rescue workers arrived.  They talked fast and in a different, clipped accent than I’d heard before.  They gathered fifty of us puppies, putting leashes around our necks and picking us up, carrying us into waiting vans.  In the confusion, my sister and I were separated.  As a man carried me away, talking to me in a soothing voice, I craned by neck and saw my sister among those who remained.  I whimpered and struggled, trying to get out of the man’s arms and back to my sister, to no avail.  I still remember the look on my sister’s face as she watched me go.  Not one night passes when I do not think of her.Delaware.JPG_medium-younger - Version 2

…TO BE CONTINUED   Part II