Dreaming Of A Life Without Fear
Yesterday I talked a little about my family. Like many families it has had tragedies and joys and for the most part we share a lot of love.
I suppose you could call me a sheltered pooch. I came to my Beloved when I was very small and although I knew there were a few rocky weeks when she threatened to give me away to any one who offered, I don’t think she meant it. We just had to understand each other and draw a few boundaries.
She had to understand that I have a passionate hatred of closed doors and I had to understand that at night I don’t get to sleep on the bed. I did once when I was sick and I lay very still and didn’t do anything to make her notice me but despite my hopes, the experience was never repeated.
Anyway, one of the things I have learnt from others is that not all my friends or family have been as lucky as I was.
It is hard to believe that there are so many bad things that can happen out there. It is enough to make a dog afraid to leave his house. Sometimes I see on the news about dogs who go bad, who bite or even kill and I wonder, what happened to them to make them so angry?
When I got to know Bella (my beautiful standard poodle cousin) she told me her story and it was so sad. She was a pedigree too and you would have thought being so special would have been some protection against cruelty but no. She was taken as a young pup from her loving family and put in a dark shed, tied up, starved and beaten.
I shudder to think of the fear, the loneliness and the confusion that she felt. She told me how she believed it was all her fault. The angry voices, the blows. She felt that she somehow deserved them that she had done something wrong. But whatever she did to try and make it better she never seemed to do the right thing and she just became more frightened.
Finally, to her relief she was taken and given a new home with Team Leader. It took a while but she learnt to trust and love again and although she was always a little concerned that she might go hungry, by the time I met her she was a happy well-adjusted individual who never snapped or growled or lost her temper. I miss her a lot.
Devon on the other hand has another story but somehow it is equally as sad to me who is a dog who hates closed doors and loves his freedom. Devon made it plain from the start that he was a cut above us. Never mind that we are pedigree dogs too, we had never been in the show ring. He was a champion. He seemed to think that mattered and was annoyed when even The Princess wasn’t impressed. It is important to him to think he was better than most other dogs, that he had somehow succeeded.
Eventually we pieced together a little of his story. He was born into a championship kennel and from the start was groomed to be a show dog. He was quickly separated from his brothers and sisters and trained and groomed to prance around a ring. When he wasn’t showing he lived by himself in a small kennel because he was too ‘precious’ to play with the other dogs and risk getting an injury.
Ironically he became sick one day and had to have an operation. How quickly life changed for him. From being the pampered, isolated pooch he was suddenly shaved and put into the kennel with the breeding mothers and their growing pups, some of whom were very rough.
Ugly and forced to mix with a lot of other dogs he was confused and fearful. He hadn’t learnt how to talk with other dogs, he didn’t know how to behave so he snarled and wouldn’t let anyone close. He wouldn’t risk getting hurt. He still won’t.
He is a little better with The Princess and I than he was, but he is still very wary. I think he always will be. It is difficult for him to overcome the fear that dominated his life for so long and he prefers to keep us at a distance so he doesn’t get hurt again. If we tell him things he won’t believe us but at least he does trust Team Leader which is something.
This is how our pack has changed over the years. We’ve blended with others and each new member has a story, some have been bad, some of have been happy and sadly we have lost some close pals who will never be forgotten and neither will their stories.
In the reserve I hear tales of dogs stolen and made to fight or being badly treated. They worry The Princess but I trust Beloved to watch out for me. I think that is why we are not allowed in the front garden by ourselves.
I’ve heard it’s the same in the world of people. That there is cruelty and violence and that some grow up in fear and in want. That makes me sad.
I am a simple dog. I like to be happy and I like others to be happy. I would like all the dogs to be happy and I would like the whole world of people to be happy too. What a place that would be.
Do you think if everyone was happy there would be more sausages in the world? Maybe if everyone was happy we wouldn’t have to go on diets! But more about diets another day.
For now, it is raining outside, but inside it is warm and comfortable and I am a lucky dog with a soft bed and time to sleep and nothing to fear (except diets). This is how it should be.