So my therapist is quite hairy. He has a strange habit of raw hide bones, and he sometimes smells as if he has rolled in something not so alive anymore. But for all his quirks he has the best talk medicine. Silence. He listens without judgment. He looks on with those big soulful eyes as I spill my doubts, worries, and problems. I am so thankful for such a kind soul that makes my life so much more whole. So cheers to Dr. Blitzen Manuel and his life altering therapy!
I did. Fall in love. With the biggest brown eyes and toothy smile I have ever seen in my life. He is the typical tough guy, full of devilish good looks and rippling muscle. And a dash of mystery. His name is Tyson aka Jelly B Yellow, he is a two year old pitt bull mix. I agreed to foster him for a local (ish) rescue called Unleashed Rescue. He was on death row in Greater Kansas City Animal Control. I just couldn’t say no.
I picked him up today, not knowing what I would find. All three of my girls in tow and a collar and leash to be filled. Let me tell you, what I found was heart breaking. The smell about knocked me flat when we went inside the building. There were huge smokestacks to the crematorium outside. It was dark and I could hear dozens of cries from the back. This was definitely death row.
I gave the bored worker my info, as well as the collar and leash. An attendant brought out Tyson. He smelled terrible… scratches and wounds adorned his body. Possibly cuts from trying to escape? From being handled roughly? I prepared myself to see a broken soul. Instead a smiling, tail Wagging, exuberant soul met me and the girls. He looked carefree and happy despite his condition.
The forgiveness dogs offer has always amazed me. Here he was in deplorable conditions and he still wore a happy grin and fostered a bounce in his step. He was happy to see me. A perfect stranger to him.
We got him in the car quickly. He sat quietly observing me. Blessing me with his contagious grin. And his horrible smell. I’m still wondering if I’ll ever get that smell out of my new Yukon. Oh well if I don’t. It will remind me how easily some people throw life away. How easily some souls are deamed inferior and dismissed so easily because someone got tired of them. Cast aside like filth and sent to death because someone suddenly decided they had no value. I took this photo minutes after rescuing him from death row. Those stacks in the back ground are from the crematorium. So close to death, and yet he smiles. Ironic hey?
The ride home was uneventful. He was quiet and stared at me. Trying to make sense of his situation. Wondering if I’d be his saviour or his warden. I guess at some point he decided I was a good person.
Got home, gave him a much needed bath and a meal. Poor chap is so thankful. He tried to eat Eli (our housecat) once, and tried to jump the two little girls. So I sit here with him on a leash for the while day. Yikes! This rescue business is work. In exhausted and this is only day one! How do people do this every day. Day in day out? It’s exhausting. Or did I already say that? But that smile is so worth it.
After bath and meal we had a two mile walk and played with toys. He pulls on the lead. Not to be mean. No one has ever taught him anything. He’s a seventy pound puppy.
So that’s my story of how I Fell in Love With A Death Row inmate. He won’t stay on the HK Bar forevor. If circumstances were different he would be my forevor dog. But reality is not as such. The HK Bar will be a stepping stone, a place to rest and be loved. A short stop on his journey to his forevor life. I know as long as I live I’ll never forget Tyson. He has changed me. Forevor.
The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me. My sweet Tucker passed, and then suddenly our sweet Bo did too. To me these souls weren’t “just dogs”, they were a part of my family. They worked, played, and lived beside me. What non farm and ranch people don’t always realize is that this can be a lonely way of life. Often days upon days will go by that I don’t speak to another human other than my girls and husband. That’s where my dogs (and horses) come in. They become my company. They become the friend that lends a hug when I’m sad. They become the sympathetic ear I spill my guts to. They become the Happy, wiggling, excited dance party buddy when I have a moment of excitement. They become the copilot in the truck. They become my protector, willing to lay thier life down to save mine (even if it is just from the mailman). They become the best friend a person could ever ask for. And there I was, suddenly lost, without my two best buddies.
And then Bullet laid her head in my lap as I ugly cried. I looked into her eyes and she licked my face, shoved her paw in my hand and leaned her head in close. I smiled despite the snot and tears running down my face. Because in that moment I realized Bullet and I were just meant to be. She’s my non person person.
Our little blue girl, Bullet, was meant to be my husbands dog. She gave her full loyalty to me when I took over her training. Now that she is nicely finished, it was time to turn her attention back to her original purpose; being my husband’s partner.
Over the past few weeks I have distanced myself from her. It was very difficult for me as I have really grown to like her. I would gladly take her on as my horse show partner to rode in the truck and guard the trailer on trips. Bit i have my goofy little Blitz coming up in ranks for that job.
So Kevin has assumed her daily care and excersize, and she has finally stuck to him like a burr on thick cotton. I am both sad and pleased at the same time. My husband lost his very good blue male about two years ago, and he never did quite recover I don’t think from the loss. So happy for him, but a little bittersweet for me. I get attached easily. 😉
So my little turncoat has officially swapped loyalties. And i couldn’t be happier.
Last week Bullet had a spay surgery done. Yesterday her suture site dehissed and guts hanging out EVERYWHERE. Cue emergency trip to the vet. Sedation…..guts back in….resuture…stay the night…
Then this morning I picked up my sweet Bullet ensconced in her Satellite Dish. I’m really hoping she pi ks up some great channels as she is on strict fest for two weeks…..ummm really a blue heeler on rest? This should be interesting….
Wish us luck!
I’m not dead, proof above. I have really been focusing on my health and my family. I have unfortunately been distanced from family and friends while I focus on my journey. Other than my girls and husband, I just haven’t been around to “check in” with people as often as I usually do.
I have been logging at least two miles a day (except that one or two days I missed) jogging (OK, it’s more like run, jog, walk…..OK come on body….run, jog, walk….come on again!). Bullet and Blitz have been my ever present partners in this struggle to train for a 5 k. They are my inspiration. Every time I feel like quitting I look over to see Blitz’s goofy smile that seems to say Come on Mom! We got this! Keep going! We were born to run! And then I look over at Bullet and she has her ears back and head down focusing so intently on one foot in front of the other. My precious rescue dogs that don’t know the meaning of quit.
I started this journey March 1st, and can’t believe how far I’ve come! At first I couldn’t even jog continuously for a quarter of a mile. Now I’m knocking on crushing a mile. No matter how much I hurt or struggle, I have to remind myself I’m making strides, even when I do some falling up.
About a mile into our run my legs really start to burn. This is the moment I really consider going back to my comfy couch. But then I push forward, I recommit, and I push on through that burn until it’s just glorious pain. Glorious pain? Yep, it’s the pain that reminds me I’m pushing myself. It’s the pain that reminds me that nothing worth doing is easy.
So that’s where I’ve been….Making Strides, Falling Up, and reveling in that Glorious pain.