Mar. 25, 2017

Animal Abuse

It dawned on me after acquiring a total of three rescue dogs that my husband and I have always accepted their idiosyncrasies. All three have been abused as pups by the time we took them in. Their behaviors are a giveaway to the life they had BC (Before Coxs).

Charlie used to duck and weave when we tried to pet him and when we held him down to do it, he’d whine and whimper. He wasn’t used to human contact. As a beagle, he likes to hide anyway but lack of affection made him hide away from us more so than he should have.

Now, he’s more affectionate towards us. He simply adores my son. He loves sitting in his lap and getting a rubdown, which at times, will end with a doggy treat. He loves to eat. Lord knows that dog could eat us out of house and home so receiving a doggy biscuit or cookie is right up his alley. Charlie is also the dumbest animal we’ve ever had and we love him. He’s just so funny!

Bianca was different. She’d gingerly and fearfully lick us, always ducking away when we tried to pet her. She wanted to be petted and get affection too but she was just flat out terrified. If we dropped something or spoke too loud we would hear her slipping and sliding all over the kitchen floor trying to make her way to a hiding place. Really any sudden movements, especially noisy ones, would sent her tail spinning to an open closet, under the bed, or under a table.

It took time but, Bianca has come around a bit. She still skittish around loud noises and sudden movements though. She loves affection. We will allow her on the bed with us for a few minutes to say good-night when we go to bed. When we tell her “bedtime,” she knows that means to go to our room. She’s quick and smart.

Annabelle has been a pleasure. She’s a golden lab. Originally she belonged to my daughter and by the time Amber took her in, the previous owner had abused her so much, Annabelle was absolutely terrified of people. He told Amber, “She’s a terrible dog! You can have her if you want her.”

No. Annabelle is not a terrible dog. She’s a very good one. When Amber first moved back home, we insisted she bring Annabelle with her. We’ve always been adamant with the children that once you take in a pet, it’s for the rest of their life and not until you’re tired of it. So, when Amber came back home, she brought Annabelle too.

Annabelle would literally freak out when Amber left to go to work. She would sit at the door whining, crying, and scratching at it begging for Amber to come back. No matter what any of us did she would just stay at the door. That was the first week.

The second week - we at least had her calmed down. Even though she still hung out at the door waiting for Amber to come home, she did come to us to get a few doggy treats. Annabelle eventually allowed us to pet her, rubbing her ears and of course, we always talked sweet to her.

At the end of the third week, Amber came in from work and as she walked past me, she stopped and did a double take. There, sitting in my lap was this big golden lab. She stopped and said, “Well! I guess we know whose dog she is now, don’t we?”

Annabelle is our smiley dog. She has a beautiful smile too. I’ve noticed here of late that Bianca also smiles. When Annabelle smiles, the corners of her mouth turn up. When Bianca smiles, she flashes teeth as she turns the corners of her mouth up. Poor Charlie doesn’t smile, he just wants to be fed all the time.

We all love Annabelle. Even though when she first came to stay with us, she was extremely fearful of men, she’s warmed up to my husband and son. Now, she follows my son, Reese, around everywhere he goes and lays close to him. She’s had a good life with us. I hate to think how awful it was for her being kicked, yelled at and beaten.

Why do people do that? That is not how you teach a dog to love and respect you. I know if anything happened to one of us, Annabelle would gladly give her life for us.

Looking back on when each dog came to live in our home, I am just amazed. I have no idea why Annabelle was abused. She really is a good dog. She’s very affectionate and so smart. Bianca is a “blonde” without a doubt. No matter that she’s smart as a whip, she has her blonde moments for sure. My husband and son tell her she’s an airhead. Charlie, as I said, he’s dumber than a door knob. Was that why they were mistreated? I don’t know. I do know that we just accept their personalities as is and love them for what they are.