in #dogsofsteemit3 years ago (edited)

Being afraid

When you are a little girl dog with a soft, gentle manner, it is easy to be afraid when there is a person who mistreats you because of the way you look and especially because you don't understand the sounds when they tell you to do things. Sometimes it's hard to pay attention and know when the sounds mean something because they are all just sounds to me and I really do not understand any of them because everything sounds alike. It was a long time before I even learned that some of the sounds meant I should do something. Even then, the sounds were all the same and I did not know what they meant. My sister, Bella, was happy all the time because she knew what the sounds meant, and I was scared all the time because I did not.

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.

Bella and Coco
Image by @willymac

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.

Coco - image by @willymac

Then, one morning, the loud person came and brought a lot of things and put them in the place where our person sleeps and where our comfortable sleeping cages were. The loud person moved our cages to the other end of the long hallway and put them in the small room near our doggie door. That was so strange, and my sister and I were confused and sat down to look at the sleeping cages. Our person came and put our water bowl on the floor and said very soft words to us. Then, she closed the door so we could not get inside with her. We could hear the loud person inside and were happy that he could not see us.

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.
While we were eating that night, there was a loud noise and I barked without even planning to since I get startled easily. My sister barked, too, and our person got up from the table and started making loud sounds just as the hard person started making loud sounds at the same time. That was very loud for a long time and I was really scared again.

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:

“Please, please keep my fur babies together and tell them I am so sorry.”

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.

images by @willymac & @swan-nguyen - Coco and Bella's new family


Comments from real people are welcomed.

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Thank you, Swan. I hope you thought it was believable.

howdy sir willymac! wow how hard was it for you to get into Coco's head and think like her? Great writing again and very moving! Where's curie?

A very strong compliment from you, Tex! Thank you!

After being with Coco for three months and watching her behavior, the story would at least create a framework to explain her physical problems and her habits with her sister. I am pretty certain that she does not recognize speech as communication. She can hear sounds but ignores speech.

very nice rendition of the sufferings the dogs have gone through. fear, enjoyment, trepidation, anticipation! you have really gotten to their level, pardon my english!

I am happy for you because they inspire you a lot

Thank you for reading, Adarsh. I try to see events from the victim's viewpoint to understand how they must feel. No one deserves to suffer pain, even animals. Dogs are especially intelligent and sensitive creatures and do not understand cruelty. They do very much understand affection and unfailing loyalty.

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This story touched my heart! I have a rescue that was beaten, a lot. I have decided to keep this one. He has been here a year and a half, and is coming to me for petting finally. He is a sweet boy, and I dream of someday having him jump up on my lap, but I know that will not be anytime soon. But I will wait, and pet, until then.
Enjoy your sweet treasures, a rescue is a special bond; and a special blessing!

Thank you for the nice sentiment, Toby. They are sweet little things and they are feeling more and more at home. Coco is still skittish and sudden moves still paralyze her with fright, expecting more abuse. She recovers quickly with a soft touch and that is better.

Yeah, after a year and a half, I would not be able to part with him. He needs someone he can trust and he has learned you are not going to hurt him. Once he knows that, the rest will come more quickly and when he does get on your lap, he may not want to leave.

Imagine their pain and confusion when the person they bond with continues to abuse them. They do not understand cruelty or disloyalty and the punishment they suffer must be really awful for them.

Sometimes I think God put dogs with us to both test and reward us. Mine have always been blessings, even the hard-headed ones, but they were all loving and loyal spirits. It is so hard when they pass on, though. I think part of my soul leaves with each one.

Yes, Von was severely beaten. He is a Dachshund, and they are different. They must be in a pack, and to get them to do what you want, you have to be pack leader. The person that beat him didn't understand this. If he had been decent, the dog would have willingly died for him. But, you can't beat a dachshund into submission.

It took me a week to get him out of the cage when I got him home. He has mellowed some now. I added a blanket to the couch, and he took it over, LOL! Finally acting like a dog.20180713_133426.jpg

Bless his heart, he's had a rough road but the blanket therapy seems to be working.

Is he your only dog? Does he get along with other dogs?

I have two other dachshunds, and one half Chihuahua / Yorkie

Daddie's crowded lap.jpg

Willie, on the left runs the place with an Iron Paw, but welcomes in rescues, since we have had a bunch come through. He and Von have butted heads a couple of times, and Von is twice his size, but he gets out of Willies way now!

Lilly on the right was also a rescue, she came with two sisters. That was our only triple rescue, and I was able to place one of them before we got home. The other needed surgery, so it took a little longer, but we placed her six months later. She is the one in the picture I put on steemit, and her name was Lola!

BUT Lilly was to rotten not to keep, we just love her to pieces! She stole a whole cheeseburger from my wife last week, and just left her trying to figure out what had happened with it, LOL! :)

You get an A+ for allowing a spoiled dog to remain spoiled! They all have a good home.

Good for Willie in asserting his leadership of the household. Having the rules worked out makes it easier for Von to fit in and feel at home.

My two new ones have begun playing with each other again; something I can tell they have done in happier times all their lives because it is more of a dance with set poses and move directions than just random play. They ignore us when the play starts, showing that they are comfortable here and can finally relax. That is a big step, especially for little Coco. It's quite touching to me.

I am pleased you are getting them back! They are cute fur babies! Coco may not hear as well, and that might make it hard for her to understand spoken words. That does NOT make her any the less precious and sweet! :)

Time heals some, but not all. I stood up yesterday, and it startled Von, and he ran and hid for a couple of hours; before he came out again. When he gets scared like that I let him decide to come out, he has had enough force to last a lifetime.


BTW, you really should post the photo of grandson Merrick and Lincoln dog together nose-to-nose. Include the dogsofsteemit tag.

It is one of the most precious baby/dog photos I have ever seen.

I will do that, I never heard of the dogsofsteemit before. But it sounds fun, LOL!

Both Baby and puppy are precious. That dog was placing himself between Merrick and myself, and I have petted him since he first came home, The little Rat, LOL!


Yes, it is fun. You run into a better class of people when dogs are involved.

I have always (kind of) joked that you could not trust a person who didn't like dogs.

Your story is remarkable. And I love happy endings.

I'm glad these gentle souls have found a home with you.



Thank you, @creatr. The girls have settled in and are super affectionate. Coco is far more trusting of me now and we even play together (by watching her and Bella in their ritual morning play. Body language is a formal dance they have and it's wonderful to observe.

I've been deeply impressed and moved by the dog stories on your blog. Thanks for writing them.

Our pets surely become family members. A long time ago, my friend Amy assembled a compilation of Scripture that I often share with friends who have lost pets, because I feel it gives some real insight into God's attitude toward animals. I hope you'll find value in it:

"What Does The Bible Say About Animals?"

Thank you for the references. I made a hard copy to keep with my special things (in case the Web disappears).

I have used "The Rainbow Bridge" concept to help buffer the grief when I lose one. I still need to write about MacIntosh, Charlie, Sam, and Barney. Their partings were very difficult for me.

I hope you are doing well, my friend.

I am doing quite well, Thank you friend!

And I'm so glad that you've found some value in the references my friend compiled. I've had many occasions to share it as I come across friends grieving the loss of their pets, or fondly remembering them.

I do look forward to reading about your other special pets as you have opportunity to write their stories.