Manatee No-Kill column: In a dog's life, Part 2

October 8, 2013 

Second of three parts

To briefly recap this story from last week: A dog that once had a family was abandoned and left alone, tied up outside. He was able to get free, but wandered the streets on his own. Hungry and thirsty, he collapsed. The dog was found by an Animal Services officer, taken to the veterinarian and then to the Animal Services Shelter, where he was fed and given water before he fell asleep…

I take a deep breath and open one eye, then the other. Was this all a dream? I am not cold and wet any longer. I feel a bit rested, but a little confused. I look around and see walls and fencing. I look out the front of my room and see other dogs. It is still quiet and peaceful as the sun is coming up.

I now see this wasn't a dream. But where am I? I don't know whether I am happy or sad, afraid or just nervous. I used to have a family and they left me. I wonder what will happen to me now. This could be the beginning of a new life for me.

All of a sudden, the lights come on. The other dogs are barking with what appears to be excitement. I am new to this so I don't know what is going on. Then I see people. I have never seen these people before. They are smiling and talking to each of the other dogs. This smiling person leaned down in front of my room and made a comment about me being "new" and, I think, something about being "cute." I really like how my day started. I am sure I like this person, too.

The door at the back of my room opened and I went to an outside room. The outside air was fresh and clean. I feel good about this place. I sat in my room, looking outside, wondering when I would be able to run around in the grass or chase the butterflies again.

A short while went by and another smiling person was standing in front of my outside room. She opened the gate and picked me up. She held me close while talking to me. She carried me to a big room and took my picture with a camera. She was telling me that my people may be looking for me, so the picture would help them find me on the computer.

She then said I needed to be looked at by another smiling person, who opened my mouth, touched my teeth, petted my fur and looked into my eyes. I was a bit afraid, but felt safe because everyone was smiling and cared for me. This was a feeling that I had not felt for a very, very long time.

After I was checked out overall, they put me back into my clean room. What was going to happen next? Everything was quiet again. I could hear voices every once in a while. Will my people come to get me? I really don't know what to think. I like the people here; they care for me and I am not alone. Food, water and a nice place to sleep for the night is all

that I need, for right now. I know people like me and I think I will be able to make other friends.

Over the next few days, it was the same routine. I wake up to smiling faces, other dogs, fresh air, some people talking to me, and I wait. I don't complain because I feel great now, but I still wait. I learn the routine. I have seen other "new" dogs come in. I jump up in the morning with excitement and sleep at night with comfort, but I still wait. I want more.

Am I selfish? Do I deserve more? I am not sure what more is or what could be better. I have never had much and always loved what I had. I really need a hug and a face to lick. I want a ball to chase after and a sandwich to share. I am not sad… I do not want to be sad, either.

Next week: the conclusion.

Check out Manatee County Animal Services on Facebook. Like us and share us with all your friends. Our website 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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