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posted 1/8/2011 12:45:21 PM |
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This is a blog about a tiny, private area of my life. I hope you all enjoy reading it.

As most of you know, I am an animal lover.
I have 5 cats, 4 dogs, and one large "yard dog" that most people refer to as a horse.
All of them are rescue. I am attached to each and every one, but for different reasons.

Danni came to me, not as a rescue, but as a stray.
I live way out in the sticks, and it isn't unusual for animals to show up from time to
time. Most of them are owned by neighbors, or just "passing through".
But every now and then, one comes along that needs help, so I round them up, get
them checked by a vet, and take them to the shelter so they can find a good home.
Our local shelter knows me well, and has a standing "no euthanasia" rule regarding any animals I bring in.

I keep a large pan (it holds about 5 gallons) of fresh water out so all wandering
critters can have a nice drink, and rest in the shade before going on their way.
So I wasn't too suprised when I walked out one day to see a tan and white dog lying under an oak tree close to the water. As I began walking toward her (yeah, I found out later, didn't really know at the time) she instantly went "on alert".

Not wanting to trigger her "Fight or Flight" response, I immediately squatted down
and averted my gaze out over the hay fields, keeping her in the corner of my eye just in case she might be super aggressive. As she began to relax, I was able to look directly at her and began to notice just how bad her condition was.

First thing, she was a Pit Bull, not exactly a good start in the adoptability
department. Then I noticed the scars....MY GOD!, she was marked up badly. Obviously she had been in more than just a few fights in her life. And SKINNY!...her ribs and backbone stood out as though there was nothing there but skin and bone. Even at that distance from her, I could see she was loaded with fleas and ticks.

I stood up slowly, and turned away, walking over to my shed, where I kept my feed.
I filled an old pan with food and turned to find her standing about 5 feet from me.
Holding the pan in one hand I took one step toward her stretching the other hand
out, palm down. She shied away a few steps and stopped, Staring cautiously at me.
She had the most beautiful eyes, the pale icy blue ones that seem to see deep down into your soul. I sat the pan down and moved away about 10 feet or so.

After a few minutes, she cautiously approached the food, keeping one eye on me,
just in case. She finished the whole pan, then slowly walked back to her spot under the tree. "Well", I thought, "I've done all I can for today", so I stood up and
continued with my chores of feeding the other animals, putting things away, and
making sure the sheds were closed up for the night, all under the watchful eye of
Danni .

The next few days, we settled into a regular routine. I'd come out and Danni would
rise from her spot under that oak tree and follow me wherever I went, never getting
any closer than 10 feet or so, and never taking her eyes off me. I continued feeding
her in the same spot as the first time, each day reducing the distance I would move away. She seemed perfectly ok with this, and began getting closer and closer to me as she waited on her food.

Finally, she came close enough, and I decided to risk it all and pet her.
As I reached out my hand and gently toucked the top of her head, she froze.
I pulled my hand back and sat on the ground next to her food pan and
after a couple of seconds, she continued to eat. When she had finished, instead of
returning to her oak tree, she layed down next to me and placed her head on my leg.

As I sat there stroking her, I knew she had a home, and a place in my heart. As time passed we became inseparable. She followed me everywhere, and always placed herself between me and any stranger. She always had to be "first" when we would go into a new area, and after snuffling around she'd look at me as if to say "OK, it's safe".

It wasn't long before she had gained her weight back, and was as bouncy and playful as a pup. She constantly brought me stuff, like rocks, sticks, pine cones, and such, but she would never play "fetch". If I took an item and threw it, she'd give me a long look and wander off to find me something else.

We were only together for a few short months. One morning I came out and Danni
was lying under her oak tree, as usual. I walked over to my shed, expecting to feel
her nose bumping my leg, but she wasn't there with me. I turned, and saw her still
lying in her spot.

She had passed away, peacefully, in her sleep, for reasons unknown.
I buried her, there under her oak tree, in the spot she had chosen as her own.
I can only surmise as to the kind of life she had before, but I do know in her last
few months she was happy...........and loved.

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post a comment!


Jan 8 @ 1:35PM  
Beautiful story, beautifully written and heartfelt. You are a beautiful person.

Jan 8 @ 1:38PM  
That is touching, kudo for you, not only for the heart warming post but for who you are for our four legged friends.

She constantly brought me stuff, like rocks, sticks, pine cones, and such, but she would never play "fetch".

We have had two pits here. One would watch as you threw something then give you a look as if to say, "You threw it, you want it, you get it." The other one would never tire of playing "dog ball". That is all she would want to do even in 100 degree heat. She would run herself to death from heat stroke chasing her ball if you didn't stop.

One amusing anecdote: I have double fencing, wooden on the outer perimeter for privacy, chain link inside to keep my puppy pals in and the neighbors' dogs out (they have chewed through or busted out wooden slats leading to nasty dog fights). Anyway, the chain link has vines interlacing it. Once I threw her tennis ball for her and it took a high bounce and went into the vines. The ball got stuck in them. This was not unusual, but usually the ball was at a low level. She was tenacious and would not give up looking for her ball, ever, going in between the vines and the fence.

In this case, she located it and then climbed up through the vines and got her ball. But she got tangled up in the vines and couldn't get out. I started hearing the weirdest yelping for help. She needed assistance and cried out, but refused to let go of her ball in doing so.

Jan 8 @ 2:16PM  
...thankyou for sharing your story about Danni. Of course I just cried. Sweet baby had a friend towards the end. I love you for taking care of this sweet pup.

Jan 8 @ 2:20PM  
Your a man with a big heart, nice story

Jan 8 @ 3:20PM  
I have had a couple of pit rescues. What I loved about your account was that she was finally able at the end of her life, to enjoy it with a loving master that loved her. Yes, it choked me up. All she wanted was to give love and get love. Her curse is the curse of her breed. Many of the people attracted to her breed bring them on and are incapable of love. The dog is nothing more than a symbol of shallow ego tripping

Jan 8 @ 4:02PM  
Glad you gave her a nice and loving home and cared for her towards the end of her days. Very touching story.

I'm also with WoW; In my case, I've seen a good deal of "people" in my culture that acquire pits for the sake of status who teach them to be aggressive and mean. It makes me sick.

Jan 8 @ 4:23PM  
Heart felt & moving story. The world is a better place with dog lovers in it!

Jan 8 @ 5:55PM  
a great story she had someone to love her at the end. Has a friend who resues Pit bull everyone once she will call to help her f
oster care some of the pits . found they are a truly gentle bred when handle and or bought up right.

Jan 8 @ 6:13PM  
That is so beautiful!!! Brought tears to my eyes, but, they are happy ones!! You made Dani's last few months full of love, something that girl needed.

This blog is definitely kudo worthy.

Jan 8 @ 7:59PM  
You have a great heart.

We just got a puppy tonight. She was found under a porch freezing. The person who found it could not keep her in her apt. My daughter begged me to take her in. So of course I did. Not sure what kind of dog she is yet? I will take her to the vet. First she looked like a lab but her paws are small for a lab. She might be part lab?

I didn't want to get a puppy. I am still hoping to find my other dog but as each day that goes by it don't look good..The cat's don't understand why this puppy is here. When I got home I picked the puppy up and could feel her ribs. She is so thin.

If I lived in the country I always said I would take in strays. People are so mean to animals. They think they can dump them off anywhere.

Jan 8 @ 9:47PM  
Thanks for sharing you story! You sound like a good man and this kind of kindness just shows you have a big heart!
Send you a Kudo

Jan 9 @ 12:30PM  
Aw straight....what a story. A love story and very well expressed. My daughter has 2 American pitbulls she adopted. One...Deedee....she fostered first, then adopted. She'd foster them all if she could.

It's hard losing a pet...they're family too.

A kudo biscuit for stirring the warm fuzzies in my belly...

Jan 9 @ 8:06PM  
Beautiful story Straightup! There should be more people like you who will take in a wary creature and give it love.

Jan 13 @ 11:45PM  
What a beautiful story. Kudos to you and Danni.

Oct 30 @ 1:40AM  
That was such a beautiful story. I cried at the end. I felt like I was write there. I've had many animals in my life, even hedgehogs. those were great animals. You really have your hands fun with all you have, God bless you for helpi8ng the animals that can't take care of them all.javascript:emoticon('');

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