No kill: For this dog, a journey to a better life

October 1, 2013 

This is my first entry into this journal and may very well be my last. It is raining outside. I am cold, wet and tied to a tree in the back yard with an old rope. I haven't had any food for what seems like days. I have seen my humans outside laughing and playing with other humans, totally ignoring my very existence.

I am becoming weak and not sure how long I can hang on. I cannot give up, though, because I know things can be better. Just today I saw a large truck pull up to the house. Many people were scurrying around, carrying things from inside the house, putting them into the truck. They keep going in and out, in and out with more and more stuff, filling the truck.

People are leaving now. My humans get into this truck and drive off. It is getting dark outside. Night has come and yet another day without food. I lay in the hole I dug earlier to keep cool. It's a hot night as I roll over and look at the stars. My human's house is dark, too. The big truck never came back. Everything is quiet. Have I been left behind? Is this my last day?

Morning comes with birds chirping. The sun is getting bright and the sky is clear. The normal household activity seems non-existent. I am thirsty and hungry. Who will come to take care of me? Where are my people? Am I alone?

This rope I am tied up with is old and I have an idea, before it's too late. I need to be free. I need to fend for myself since no one else cares. I cannot go on like this for another minute. I will not give up; I will live a great life one day as I have often dreamed. I will find a family to love me, a park to play in, a car to ride in and even my own bed.

I chew and I chew on the rope. I chew until my teeth hurt and my gums bleed. I am losing strength, yet I will not give up. Night begins to come again. No sign of my humans anywhere. The house is empty and I am really alone. I must rest for a moment before chewing some more on the rope. After a while, I start trying to free myself again. A little bit left, one more bite. Finally, I am free. I check out the back of the house and run to the front, hoping to see my humans, finding nothing and no one. The house is dark.

I run into the street, so happy to be free. I see someone down the road. There is hope. I run toward this image of a person. I get close enough, only to find it was just a mailbox by the road. I start running until I can run no more. Hunger and thirst have overcome me. I fall

into some grass. I roll over and look up into the sky. I close my eyes only to wonder whether they will ever open again. I am exhausted.

I hear a voice and feel someone touch me. I am startled for a moment, but too weak to react. I look up to see a human smiling and talking to me in a soft voice. I am in his arms, being placed into a van.

I am not sure what is going on, but figure that I am being helped. I am riding in this van, which now stopped outside a place I had never been. A place with friendly people who were all wearing the same type clothes. A man reached out to me and put a cold metal disk on my chest. He looked at me very closely. I got some medicine and they put me back into the van.

After a short ride, I was greeted by another person who helped the man get me out of the van. I could hear a lot of barking from other dogs. I was not sure where I was, but knew I was not alone. I ended up in a large fenced area where I was given some water and clean, dry food, neither of which I have had in a very long time. I feel safe. I can feel that these people really care about me because they are paying attention to me. I am sure everything will now be alright. I am resting now and I soon fall asleep.

Please read next week as this journey goes on.

Watch for more upcoming events and adoption specials. Check out our Facebook page every day. Who knows, maybe there is an adoption special of the day. Don't forget the ongoing BOGO special where you can adopt a dog or cat at the regular adoption fee and get a dog or cat for no adoption fee. Also, any dog or cat that has been in the shelter over 60 days is available for no adoption fee.

If you never have to look into the eyes of a dog or cat and make a choice, you are lucky. One day, we all would like to be lucky, too.

Check out Manatee County Animal Services on Facebook. Like us and share us with all your friends. Our web site mymanatee.org/pets has a wealth of information, including your new family member for adoption. Or call 941-742-5933 for information.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, provides this weekly column to the Herald.

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