It was only six months after they had gotten Patsy that Diane received a phone call from a friend. There was a baby Newfoundland at the DC pound, the sweetest dog this person had ever met, and she was slotted to be killed in five days. This was pretty normal for that pound. They were overrun with dogs and could only hold the canines less than a week before having to execute them, lest they be overrun with pooches. This woman really wanted the dog, but couldn’t keep him for various reasons and thought perhaps Diane could see it in her heart to take in another puppy?
Diane could, the only problem was that the pound would only adopt to DC residents and required a house inspection to make sure the potential owners were fit to take in the dog. These seemed like pretty ridiculous requirements for a place that was going to gas the poor homeless creature in less than a week’s time. What were the chances that the home would be worse than death?
Thankfully Diane’s friend was as clever as she was determined. She went to the pound, put in the application herself and had them inspect her home. She passed the test and took the adorable black fur ball home. Then that weekend, after the sun had set, she had a clandestine meeting in an empty arboretum where the dog was handed off, no one the wiser to the illicit pooch exchange.
When Diane arrived home with the dog and could inspect her properly, she realized this was no puppy and no Newfie. According to the vet her new dog, Grizzly, was a Chao mix, approximately four years of age, bore the scars of abuse and the marks of having given birth to at least one litter of puppies. Grizzly turned out to be full of surprises. It wasn’t just physical trauma that she’d endured, clearly there was quite a bit of mental injuring as well. The poor girl didn’t even act like a dog for the first few months, she was as expressionless as a doll and seemed terrified of displeasing her new masters.
Thankfully through the love of Diane and her whole family Grizzly slowly became more lively and affectionate. Patsy also helped greatly in this. Since Patsy was there first, she figured she was the alpha dog and had to show Grizzly the ropes, and her place. Being three times her size Grizzly could have easily insisted on being alpha, but most of the time was content to let the diminutive white dog act like boss. If Patsy did cross over the line, Grizzly was quick to show her the difference between choosing to follow and being required to.
Grizzly and Patsy both lived to ripe old age, happy and contented dogs. It was hard to remember Grizzly’s cruel beginnings except for her uncanny ability to always sense when law-men were near and urge her humans to flee from them!
Orator: Diane (adapted to text by Marjorie Skiba)
Illustrator: Marjorie Skiba
Editor: Michael Skiba
About the Orator: Diane lives in Maryland with her husband. She is an olympic level shopper and believes in ordering dessert first.
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