When I was young and just starting to grow up with my favorite person, her sounds were soft and made me feel warm. I had soft cuddles and my person made soft sounds just for me and they made me feel safe and relaxed and I felt wonderful!
My sister is very aware of people things and she could understand the sounds very quickly, so I just followed her when it was time to move or to go outside or get in our sleeping cages. My sister always helped me by moving her tail as a signal for me, or turning in a quick circle to let me know were were going for a walk outdoors, or in the other direction to let me know it was time to go out for our, uhhh...personal business.
Later on, there was one person who visited who made sounds that were deep and harsh and loud. The new person was not soft at all and he liked my sister, but not me. He made lots of sounds to my sister but the ones he made to me scared me. Sometimes, the sounds would be so loud I was so scared I could not walk or even stand up and the person would usually push me off the sofa onto the floor, or pick me up by my front legs and put me in another room and close the door. I was always being pushed hard and made to fall and hit things and sometimes it really hurt and it was hard for me to walk. After a while, I was afraid of the hard person and the sound it made. By then, my front legs hurt a lot in my shoulders and just hearing the voice would make me not be able to walk and that made the person's sounds louder and the leash was pulled so hard it made me fall and I was scared to move.
It was not too long before we would hear the voice and my sister would run away, but all I could do was fall down because I was scared and everything in my head was afraid of being hurt again. That would make me pee and the loud person would pick me up by my front legs and put me outside. The sound would be so loud and close and hard I just stopped remembering everything for a while.
When the loud sound person was away, my person held me a lot and made soft sounds and I could sleep but I was still afraid that the loud person would return. I would worry all day, too.
Our person brought our food bowls at the end of that day, but I was not hungry. After she ate, my sister turned around fast and put her front paws out to let me know it was time to go out, so I went with her. It was getting dark and I'm afraid of the dark so I went back inside. The lights in our room were not on, so I got in my sleeping cage to be safe. My sister got in with me and we finally went to sleep together. It was the first time our person did not make soft talk for us at night and I was very lonely.
She came the next morning and gave us chew-treats and made soft sounds and petted us but did not stay long at all.
That afternoon when she brought our food bowls, she took our water bowl and put a large thing in its place and then gently moved Bella to it to show her that it had water in the bottom. Then she picked us up and held us while she made soft sounds, and then put us back down. She closed the door again when she left.
The loud person was still inside with our person. We had not been for a walk in a long time and we had not been inside with our person. She brought our food bowls in the afternoon, and sat on the floor and held us when she made soft sounds, but her sounds made me sad because they were different and had a special sound to them. Bella was nervous, too, because she licked her nose and she always does that when she is nervous.
That happened for many, many days and we did not see the loud person, but we could hear him. Then, one morning our person let us through the door and into the house with her, and we could tell that the loud person was gone. We sat on the sofa for a long time and our person took us for a leash walk and let us smell everything again. We even had our food bowls inside at the place we always ate before.
The loud person pushed our person down on the sofa, picked my sister up and then picked me up my my front leg and took us to the back near our doggie door, dropped us both on the floor and that hurt my legs real bad. I think my sister was hurt, too, but we were both scared and got in my sleeping cage together. The door made a really loud sound and we could hear the hard and soft persons making a lot of loud sounds for a long time.
It was quiet for a long time and my sister and I went out to pee. She saw a frog and ran back to our door and got in our bed.
Later, in the darkest time of night, our person brought us our food bowls and the big thing that our food was in and put them on the floor. She filled our bowls with more food than we would ever eat and left the food thing on the floor. She came back with more water and put in our big water thing. She picked us up and squeezed us really hard and made soft sounds that made me sad and my sister nervous. It was very dark and my sister and I were confused. She put us down and we could barely hear the sound when the door closed.
Before sunrise, we could hear the person sounds again and our person was making high pitched sounds we had never heard her make. The hard person was also very loud and there were other sounds and the loud sounds went on and on.
After a long time, the sounds stopped.
The day was light but my sister and I were afraid to leave my sleeping cage. My legs hurt especially bad and I finally went to sleep.
My sister woke me up and I followed her outside to take care of our business.
We came inside and got back in my sleeping cage and went back to sleep and slept most of the day.
Our person did not bring our food bowls because they had been there all day and that was strange and we could not figure it out. We had a lot of food in our bowls and ate some of it when it was getting dark. We went back outside to pee but my legs hurt bad and it took a long time for me to walk.
And we did the same thing the next day. And the next day and every day for a long time. We slept a lot. I would leave my sleeping cage and lie down at the door that kept us out of our person’s house. I put my nose at the crack below the door and got smells, but they were old ones that had begun to fade away. I listened carefully for sounds, but there were none except for a few mice. My sister and I both are afraid of them, too! Every night, I kept listening and sniffing.
We could not tell how many days it had been. We had not heard our person and that was strange for both of us. My sister was spending more time outside and I went out to be with her. We could hear sounds of all kinds but it was scary for me to be outside without my person with us.
One night, our food bowls were empty. We did not hear our person so we waited. I get very sleepy when it is dark so I went to sleep with my sister close to me in my sleeping cage.
After more days, I was really hungry and I scratched the food thing the way I used to do to let my person know I was hungry. Then I remembered that she had not brought our food to us in a long time. My sister started scratching the food thing and she made a small hole in the side and a few pieces of our kibble food spilled on the floor. We both felt better after we had our kibble.
More long days passed. My eyes began hurting and got gummy stuff in them and my hair got stuck in it and I could only see a little. The hair under my tail was full of smelly poo and I could get it clean. Then my skin got dry and itchy. My sister was itching, too.
And our water bowl was empty. We had never had an empty water bowl!
We were hungry, but it was hard to eat without water. The food thing did not have more kibble and I ate some of the food thing's insides because it tasted like kibble.
I slept a lot. It was cold and dark and I had bad dreams about the loud voices.
My sister scratched a lot and her hair was matted all over and she was trying to pull the knots. I was matted, too especially under my tail and around my eyes.
The next morning water was falling outside when we went out to do our business. My sister was exploring the yard again and I walked with her and my skin started to feel better and not itch so much. I was cold and went back to my sleeping cage with my sister. It got colder all day and we were close together but it was very cold and we both were shaking when we were trying to sleep.
My sister would not get up when I needed to go out to pee. I could tell she wanted to sleep, but her breathing made a different sound. It was cold during the night and the white thing was on the ground in the morning. I licked it to get some water. The cold made my legs hurt. I went inside and got in our sleeping cage with my sister. We slept for a long time.
When I was sleeping, I heard my person making soft sounds and they were just for me and I could understand! Her sounds made me remember her smell and how it felt when she held me and my heart made me sad. I tried to awaken my sister but she was too tired and did not want to move.
I missed my person! All I could think of was how good it was to hear person sounds. I got up and went to the doggie door and pushed my head hard to move the white stuff away and went outside. It was light and I thought about my person and was so happy I would hear her sounds again and I barked!
And I barked and barked and barked until I used all my barks. I went back inside and curled up next to my sister and thought about my person's soft sounds. I was feeling warm for the first time since I could remember.
Just over one hour later, Patrolman Pete Gagliani of the La Plata, Maryland police department stopped in front of the deserted house to make a welfare check in response to a neighbor's report of a small dog barking in the vacated house behind his. Checking the perimeter, and forcing the back door open after finding animal tracks in the snow, he found two small, undernourished and neglected dogs. Both were very weak and malnourished and both were wearing collars that were hidden in the unkempt fur. The vaccination tags for Bella and Coco were five years out of date, but at least their collar tags carried their names.
Patrolman Gagliani also saw the large note on the wall next to the door of the laundry room where the dog cages were. It said:
He immediately called Animal Control and they responded promptly, gently taking the dogs into their custody. In turn, they called and sent photos of the dogs to a local pure-breed animal rescue group who picked the dogs up from the animal shelter within two hours of their discovery.
The small Havanese sisters were in good, caring hands. The first day, they had baths and were groomed and began a managed feeding process to help them regain their health. They saw a veterinarian, and were given medications and began their long search for a home together. They would have another year and a half in at least four foster homes and with two rescue groups in three states, before finding a permanent home in South Carolina where both people have soft voices and wanted both sisters to remain together.
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