Every dog that comes to Misfit Manor seems to arrive at just the right time…for them and for me.
About a month ago I was tagged in a post about a very shy Chihuahua with deformed legs. Her picture haunted me for weeks. I felt like she has been calling me. Truth be told, a lot of things have been haunting me lately. I stopped ignoring her call and I picked her up last Sunday.
Meet Miss Heloise. Heloise came from a hell pit here in Kentucky. She and several other dogs were surrendered to Paws 4 The Cause. I will spare the sad details of her background. She is the second dog in a row that has come to my house who has lived her life thus far without a name. There is a special kind of spiritual coldness to leaving something so precious unnamed.
Heloise is missing half of one back leg and appears to be missing at least part of her foot on the other back leg. She gets around great on what leg parts she does have. Her deformed legs are a minor handicap compared to her fear of humans though.
I have taken in fearful (bordering on feral) dogs before…none quite this fearful and shy. She hardly came out of her crate the first two days. She is pretty much horrified by humans. She has been at the manor a week now…she is still quite unsure of me…we are taking small baby steps. She will walk up to me and sit but if I move she squeaks and runs away. She will let me pet her a bit but I can tell she hates it…so I don’t.
She has been living in one of my bathrooms… the dogs and I go in and visit her and offer her food… she pokes her head out from behind the bath tub. She doesn’t want to come out of
the bathroom on her own but she also cries if the dogs and I aren’t close to the bathroom. Today I set up an air mattress outside the bathroom door and we are all going to sleep there so we can be with her all night.
Heloise doesn’t bark much, rather, she makes a shrill call, like an owl or maybe a raccoon sounding noise…its almost like she is singing a little song.
All of my other dogs are treating her well…there are no bullies here. Buster sits at the bathroom door with his head on his front paws…like he is just trying to show her moral support. Buster seems to adopt every dog that comes here like he is their big brother.
I’ve accepted that working with Heloise is going to be a long slow process…it will take baby steps for her to learn to trust…but she is supposed to be here…of that I am certain. She arrived here right when I am going through a major life change…facing life as a single woman again at almost 50 years of age. I’ve been sitting in the bathroom hanging out with Heloise a lot this weekend…a weekend that has been one of the worst in my life. I realized that Heloise and I have a lot of in common….we are both broken and unwanted with a lot of healing to do. I am honored that she and I will get to do it together. I will have uncompromising patience for her and I know that she eventually become a happy and whole member of the pack at Misfit Manor.
I am repeatedly humbled by the creatures who find there way to me. I will never be foolish enough to believe that I “rescue dogs”…they always rescue me….may I always endeavor to deserve them.
Keepin’ on the journey,