My Name is Cowboy
Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Humans have such good words to describe the things they see.
Alone. Exhausted. Terrified. Hungry. In pain. Hopeless.
One look at me and she saw all those things that humans have words for. I think a lot of humans that passed by saw those things, but there was only one that stopped. I don't know why, because I'm pretty sure I looked lost and yucky and maybe even intimidating, but Sharon stopped anyway.
There's a lot about my history that the humans don't have words for. I know they wonder where I came from and who I used to be when I was there. I wish I could tell them.
They saw how tight my collar used to be. It felt fine when I was little. I was proud to wear it. But the bigger I got, the tighter it got. It was hard to breathe when I wanted to play or run fast and sometimes it would make it hard to eat. It was always itchy and hurt a little where my collar was digging into my neck. After awhile I stopped noticing most of the time. I learned to live it with. When it finally came off I took so many deep breaths and wagged my tail so hard.
But that collar hurting was nothing compared to the awful day last month when my life changed forever.
They say I either escaped from my humans or that my humans abandoned me on purpose. Truthfully, it's all a little grey. I just remember being alone. I was so hungry and I would walk all day. I was searching for them and didn't know where they were. I didn't know which direction to go or where to look. I didn't know how to find food or clean water.
There's this thing about cars. They honk at you when you get in their way. I kept searching for my humans, but apparently I kept going in the street. Turns out, humans don't like that. They would honk so loud and it would scare me so bad, I just kept running and trying to get away. But there are so many cars everywhere. I really didn't mean to break the rules, but I just felt more confused every passing day that I could't find my home. I think I was just beginning to realize I had lost everything.
It came out of nowhere. In a split-second, I knew I was in the car's way and it couldn't stop in time. The impact was blinding, and then part of the car bit my skin and dragged me down the street for a few seconds. I yelped and cried and whimpered and ran as fast I could for a minute, the adrenaline rush taking over my body. Then I just collapsed. I laid there for a while trying to figure out what to do. It hurt so bad. I was bleeding on my face and down my body and my legs. The searing pain in my head was overwhelming. But no one came. No one saw or helped or stopped.
The next few days were a blur. I don't know how much time went by, but that's when the human words perfectly described how I was feeling: Alone. Exhausted. Terrified. Hungry. In pain. Hopeless. I limped along and gradually started feeling a little better even though my head still hurt and my puncture wounds were getting infected.
But then I saw her. It was weird. Everyone else passed by like I was just in their way, but she stopped and called out to me. I avoided her at first, because I was afraid. Why is this human talking to me? No one else has even tried. No one cares. Why does she care?
She kept calling for me, so I took the risk and decided to trust her. FOOD. She had FOOD. She put a leash on me and petted my face. I had forgotten what the gentle touch of a human does inside the heart of a weary, forgotten dog like me. Something turned on inside of me, like the light switches humans use to see at night. I think it's called hope.
We waited awhile for her friend to come and they took me to a shelter. When we got to the shelter, I saw a lady named Tena that just happened to be there at the same time. She looked at me and had really compassionate eyes. She talked to the other people about me took a picture of the papers humans always look at. She told the other humans she wanted to help me.
I stayed there a few more days and saw a doctor that gave me some medicine. The shelter had some nice people, but I was alone most of the time and stayed inside a tiny space and didn't get to go outside very much. I kept hearing this word, "Euthanize." I was kind of hoping that word somehow involved salmon-flavored rawhide chews, but I was pretty sure that was wishful thinking.
There was this really bad feeling I started to get on the third day, like a looming sense of dread. Even though they were feeding me and I was safe from all the cars, it felt like my time there, one way or another, was about to come to end. Then someone "tagged me as a rescue" whatever that means. I found out later that it was my friend, Jay. It ended up being a great day, because Tena came back to see me and said I was going home with her for a while! Jay helped me to get into Tena's car and we got to go for a ride all the way to her house.
Ok, I can't even begin to tell you what that week was like. Tena and her husband Tyson were wonderful. I jumped out onto their grass and I just pooped so much. SO MUCH POOP. I was house-trained before, so let me tell ya... staying in that small space inside for a few days will really back things up. Whew! It felt so good to be at Tena's and get to poop as much as I wanted in her grass. It was really nice grass, by the way.
And I ate and drank so much those first few hours at her house! Her water was the best water! And if you drink all the water in the bowl, you can also drink from this ENORMOUS water bowl that just sits in their backyard all the time! Turns out that's a swimming pool and not a water bowl. After the first few times I learned that you're not really supposed to, but it's always there if you need to sneak a few little sips.
Sharon came over to visit again. Boy, was it good to see her! She and Tena gave me a sponge bath and got all the yucky blood and dirt off of me. I had forgotten how nice and white my fur was under all that grime! I felt really proud, knowing that I didn't look or smell like a street dog anymore.
The best part of that day was having two humans affectionately focused on helping me. They were right there next to me, washing and comforting me and saying sweet things. It had been so long since humans had talked to me like that. Maybe not since I was a little puppy. And I felt just like a puppy again, soaking up all the love and attention. I was beginning to feel so much better.
I ate, drank and slept through the next few days. When you feel safe and begin to relax again, you don't even realize how tired you were before! Tyson petted me a lot, too and I really liked hanging out with him. Tena and Tyson were really good to me, but they already had a house full of dogs, so at the end of the week Jay came to pick me up. I know they were sad that I had to go somewhere else. She kept saying that I was meant for greater things, which made me feel really special. She said my calm and gentle spirit meant that I was created to help humans.
That's when Jay brought me to Jake's House of Animal Rescue at the Wildflower Ranch. Jake wasn't there, but he sure sounds great, because this place is awesome! There's so much space to run and play. I wear a leash and go on long walks with Joseph and Jennifer and Jay. Other people come to play with me, too! They have lots of food and water and toys. I LOVE this giant bouncy ball they have, but I'm pretty sure I bit a hole it in. Whoops! I have never felt more alive. I get to play outside every day and they are all so kind to me.
When I think back on the day that awful car bit me, I can hardly imagine living in pain on the streets and being hungry and helpless anymore. Honestly, it feels like a former life. I guess it is a former life, because I have a new one now. They told me that after I'm treated for heart worms and finish healing from my wounds, I get to go live with humans that will love me in a place I will call my home. I'm so excited for my future family, but I'm really thankful for right now, too. We have so much fun and I know I'm getting stronger every day.
Thanks for listening to my story, but I gotta run! It's time to play outside and I heard a rumor they got a new bubble machine! See ya!
PS... OMG BUBBLES ARE AWESOME!!!!
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