Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life of a Stray Dog

Darlin’ was brought home in a live humane trap five months ago today! For those of you who are new to Darlin’s story, here is a recap of her life before she was rescued.

I didn’t think to take her picture when we met. My purpose every evening was to put food out for her. The few times that I did think about pictures, I forgot my camera at home. By the time I took pictures of her, she had already gained weight. I had been feeding her three months at that point - Dec. 6, 2009. My pictures weren’t good because it was dark where I fed her and I couldn’t get close enough or she would get scared and run back across the highway.

Click on images to enlarge, then click BACK

I did go looking for Darlin’ in February 2009 and called Animal Control when I found these dogs. He said he left a cruelty notice. I took these pictures when I went back to check on them. I untied, untwisted, fed them, gave them water, and left them each with a chew. Because of Darlin’, I was able to help these dogs. She is the reason I was led to them.

She lived in the woods behind this rock and gravel company. She cut through their property, crawled under their fence, and ran across the highway to eat at night. I saw her one time in the tall grass beside the rock yard on a Saturday morning when I drove by. Other than that, I saw her an hour after dark almost every evening. Her food was placed by the tree every night. Most times she was there waiting or ran across the highway within a few minutes of my arrival. This highway had bumper-to-bumper traffic in the winter because she was crossing at 6:30 pm.

Truck drivers told the owner of the rock yard that when they arrived at 5:30 am she was sometimes sleeping on the piles of sand.

The highway she crossed to go eat at the grocery store. I did put food on the other side to keep her from crossing, but she didn't find it. I drove by and saw the food (she was waiting at the tree) so I pulled my car over, got the food, and drove it over to her.

The Giving Tree, where she ate dinner. She would sometimes come back late in the night and eat the dry food. My daughter saw her there at 1 am. She took a video, but we may not be able to retrieve it from that camera phone.

The trap was set next to the block house. It’s part of the rock yard property. You can see the tall dead grass on the left of this picture which is where I saw her that Saturday morning.

The food I prepared for her and placed in the trap along with a can of cat food. It had to be tempting because I had been feeding her every night.

March 10, 2009, I didn’t feed Darlin’ that night because I needed her to find the food in the trap. That was a very emotional evening for me as Darlin missed dinner. This little guy enjoyed a home cooked meal.

March 11, 2009, Day 2, 7:30 pm – One of the most exciting days of my life!

Transporting her home in the SUV. She was scared and had lost control of her bowels.

She cowered between the fence and the dog house and didn't move all night.

We added a tarp to keep her dry. We took the flap off the dog house, turned it so she could see the opening, and she bolted inside as soon as I turned my back.

Three nights later she came out for the first time to use the bathroom.

On the 6th day I removed the top of her dog house and her rehabilitation officially began. The sun was out after several days of rain and it was time for her to see her new home and yard. She immediately jumped in the lid to get away from me. She jumped in the lid everyday that first week.

My first attempt at making a video after she was home 10 weeks. She had bonded with me, but was very fearful of everyone and everything around her.

You can make a difference in the life of a stray animal.

1 comment:

  1. She is a very lucky dog to have you - few people would be so patient