“Most shelter dogs are mutts like me” – Barack Obama
It was our dear Missy’s second woof day on Saturday (October 10); and we wanted to celebrate Missy and her momma Shera, who are absolutely in love with each other.
A few days ago, when I chatted with Shera about her furry companion’s story, she said, “You know, my Missy didn’t have a happy puppyhood. Having been rescued by PARA from a kill shelter, Missy had to move from one foster home to another for a long time. You may ask why? I feel because she is a mixed breed, a Beagle-Shepherd mix, and not a pure breed.”
But the power of love has a healing touch. It has healed Missy; now she is happy, she enjoys socialising and warms up to everyone easily – dogs and humans. She loves going to the doggy parks and dog-friendly beaches and restaurants. At home, Missy is often found cuddling up with her human. She also likes to sit at the table, especially when guests come over. Her human feels, if Missy could speak, she would say, “Momma, where’s my food and why can’t I sit at the table?” Missy loves her home-baked treats too, made of peanut butter, banana and chickpea flour. Actually, I could steal some of that too 😉
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Here’s Missy’s life, so far, in her human’s words.
I first saw Missy at an adoption event. She was the quietest of the lot, seated inside a crate in a corner. Nobody was giving her a glance, but I fell in love with her instantly. She was lying down peacefully, looking at me with her big brown eyes, as if begging to be loved.
The decision was obvious; I brought Missy home. Despite her past, she trusted me immediately – all loving and forgiving. However, she had incontinence and would throw up her food. I was really worried during the first two days and took her back to PARA with an intent to return her. During the drive back, I cried and was heartbroken, especially when I saw the empty bed and all her stuff. I was back at PARA the very next day – ashamed – but with a strong intent to bring Missy back home. She had an inkling that I would come. As soon as my car pulled up, she knew; Missy scrambled and ran to me in between her bath. I’ll never forget that look of joy on her face.
Soon I engaged Olivier, a canine behaviour & positive psychology reinforcement trainer. He guided me to do crate training and several other things. The vet clinic, Pet’s Health, was also extremely helpful in treating Missy’s digestive and incontinence issues. It turned out that she could not digest kibbles at all. So, I immediately put her on a home-cooked meal plan, which has improved her condition greatly.
The lockdown and work from home during the pandemic were a blessing in disguise for both Missy and me. She had anxiety issues being left alone, but now I think she understands that she will never be abandoned. She is toilet trained. She doesn’t need the crate anymore; she wanders around home and puts on her brave face. Her incontinence, which was probably due to a spay operation that went wrong, was recently corrected with the help of Dr. Kathleen from Pet’s Health.
Missy still gets scared of loud noises. Firecrackers traumatise her and she barks out of fear. So, we moved to a higher floor to help avoid the sights and sounds that scare her. I have installed a camera to check in on her from time-to-time when I am away. And I know she waits for me to come back from the office because I can feel the warm floor near the door where she waits for me.
Raising a canine is a life-time commitment. You will realise that dogs are human-like in their nature, except for one big difference – their love is forgiving and unconditional. They rely and are dependent on us for their upkeep. It is a responsibility that must be clearly understand because our commitment should literally be – till death do us part.
When I asked Shera for a message to our PawzNRead community, she had this to say: “I want to humbly request those interested, to adopt and not buy pets. There are so many ‘Missys’ out there, who need a forever home and have a lot of love to give. Please also help your local shelters and rescue organisations, because if not for them, these souls would not get a second chance at life.”
Missy is a happy soul. She lives in Dubai with her human Shera and her kind big eyes always speak aloud of her love for her momma.