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Annie came to us in January 1998. I
was driving back to the sanctuary when I spotted something black lying
in the dirt by the side of the road. As I drew closer, I realized that
it was a young female dog. Initially I thought she was dead because she
remained absolutely motionless. However, when I softly called to her,
she jumped up in terror and ran blindly into the busy traffic. My heart
was in my mouth, but thankfully she made it safely across the road. I
discreetly followed her at a distance hoping to try again in a safer
area but, as terrified as she was, she would not let me approach her.
I asked a local business about her. They
told me that she had been there for several days. It was obvious that
her owner had abandoned her on the side of the highway. It was also
obvious that she was awaiting their return and would not go to anyone
else. It was just heartbreaking.
I went several times a day in the hope
that she would come to me. I left food and water but she would touch
neither. She would move restlessly around in the vicinity of her drop
off point waiting for her owner to return. After ten days of fruitless
efforts I was in despair of ever catching her. I would lie awake at
night in frustration, thinking about her. The fear and confusion in her
face just haunted me.
That final day, I spotted her sleeping in
someone’s yard. As I watched, the owner of the house came outside with
two small children to greet a visitor. As soon as Annie saw the children
she jumped up and started to wag her tail with pleasure. It was fairly
obvious that she had been someone’s pet. It was such a poignant moment
to see her watching this family scene as an outsider desperately wanting
to belong. It truly broke my heart.
With the activity from the house, Annie
didn’t notice me slip from my vehicle. I sank slowly to the ground and
waited. For two hours I quietly talked to her as she moved in ever
narrowing circles towards me. Finally, to my enormous relief, she
allowed me to pet her and then slowly slip a lead around her neck.
several months to nurse Annie back to health. To watch her bones fill out
and her coat grow glossy was extremely gratifying. However, to see that
bright and lively look come into her eyes was the greatest reward of all.
Annie’s home, she’s safe and she’ll never know fear again!
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