"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, January 24, 2011

AN OLD FRIEND RETURNS

In some postings from last summer, I introduced a friend, Lucy
A year ago, Lucy came to Schnauzer Paws Rescue from a puppy mill that was raided and shut down.  She was blind and in very bad shape when she arrived.  We decided there was hope for her, so had surgery done to restore her sight.  Her blindness was caused by juvenile cataracts.  


She was cared for and loved and rehabilitated by Denise one of the Directors of the rescue.  In October Lucy was adopted by a very loving family.  Unfortunately, the challenges of dealing with a puppy mill rescue proved to be much too daunting for that family, and this past weekend she was surrendered back to our care.  This happens in rescue, it's not a perfect world, and we are actually grateful to families that acknowledge that they are in over their heads and return a dog to us, so that we can continue our work for the dog and some day find a more suitable home.  


Since the adoptive family lived 1/2 hour away from me, our home was the logical one for Lucy to be returned to.  Also, it is very quiet in our home and I maintain a pretty rigid schedule day to day.  Both of these things will help Lucy to decompress and adjust.  


Dogs become very stressed from being re-homed and require some serious TLC and understanding when moved.  When I say TLC, what I mean is "ignore the dog," which is what we are doing.  She needs to get comfortable on her own terms in her own time.  We will know when she is ready for us to touch her, right now she is not.  As a puppy mill rescue, Lucy has a very specific set of needs and requires great understanding by her handlers.  Add to that the fact that she was blind and you've got yourself a package to be treated with kid gloves.  


She is doing well, 3 days in.  She has discovered the joy of our patio doors, which face South and provide the perfect sun bathing area until around noon time.  My critters are a bit put off by the fact that Lucy is in their sun, but they will deal with that and sort it all out on their own.  I'm guessing that by the end of the week, the 4 of them (YES, 4) will be sharing that sun with little fanfare.  That's one of the many things I love about dogs, that they are pack animals and with little interference are able to sort out the rules and order of the pack on their own.  My two dogs are very accustomed to other dogs coming and going from our home, and so are experts at putting all the ducks in a row.  I count on them to do the majority of the rehabilitation of Miss Lucy.  


As you can see, so far, so good. 

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Some day, I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one, I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.