Guest post by Abbie Lynn Smith
I would like to share the story of how I came to adopt Bree (or Mama, as we call her). In February of 2020, my roommate's coworker needed someone to watch her foster dog for the weekend while she went out of town. At the time her name was Josephine, and she didn't know what life was like to be a puppy. She spent a long weekend with us, wearing birthday hats to celebrate my other rescue dog, and eating puppy ice cream. She'd never been around another dog that wanted to play. The first two days, she spent the entire time by my side, until on the third morning, when my dog wanted to play, she started playing back.
The COVID-19 hit. Her foster mom was going to be out of town longer this time, and she needed someone to keep her pup for a couple of weeks. Within days, I was smitten with this beautiful girl who just wanted to be allowed to be a puppy. When I decided to adopt her, her foster mom gave me the full story of what happened to my girl.
When Bree was surrendered to Companion Animal Alliance (our shelter here in Baton Rouge, LA), she was sick and emaciated, and nursing seven puppies that she'd given birth to at seven months old. One of the puppies passed. She spent so much time trying to be a good mama to her babies that she wasn't taking care of herself. She wouldn't eat, and she'd barely move. The veterinarian at the shelter said if she didn't get up, eat on her own, and go outside on her own, she would have to be put down.
Bree knew. Bree knew that she had to fight. So the following day, Bree ate, she got up, and she went outside all by herself.
Up to this point, her puppies were being fostered at my roommate's coworker's home, but she decided to take Bree home and begin her road to recovery. The thing is: all Bree ever wanted was someone to love her and treat her right. We believe she was severely abused.
When she came to stay with us long term, she got to learn how to play, how to cuddle, and how to just be a dog.
Before I chose to adopt her while she was staying with us, we sent a picture to her foster mom. She asked, "How'd you get her ears to stand up?" Up until that point, Bree's ears were always laid back on her head and she didn't do much other than try to snuggle up next to anyone who would have her. I knew in that moment that she was going to be mine. She was happy in our home, with my dog and cat, and I couldn't bear to let her go to anyone else.
While the first couple of months held difficult moments, my girl is now thriving. She gets to play with toys and sleep in the bed, and she was an amazing nurse when I had surgery in November. She loves to eat and snuggle and sit in your lap (and sometimes on your chest). She's a 40-pound lap dog. She and my other rescues enjoy long days of belly rubs, snacks, and nighttime cuddles.
Thanks for telling these wonderful stories. Adoption/Rescue is SO important!
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Abbie Lynn Smith