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A few years ago I worked as a foster with a poodle rescue. One of our dogs was a stranger surrender at a vet office. A man came in with a dangerously matted dirty dog and said ask no questions, I just can’t watch this anymore. He laid the filty baby down and left. Vets and techs spent hours shaving a small female dog. Her right rear leg had grown to the skin on her abdomen and required 3 surgeries to save the leg. During thus cold winter she was kept shaved, in a sweater, in the vets office.
Finally, the day came to release her. I took her and brought the naked little mouse to my father and stepmother. I spent a lot of time with Mandy. She had behavioral issues of course and I realized soon my stepmother was too impatient for a nervous baby who had been abused.
So I became very active in her care. when her hair grew out I took her to a great groomer. I crated her and warned them of her history and told them I had no idea how she would behave.
Imagine my pleasant surprise when I arrived to pick her up. There was a beautiful blonde poodle with pretty ear bows strutting around the woman’s living room. The groomer said she has been groomed before. When she began to groom her Mandy relaxed into the process and loved it.
We had a new dog! Mandys behavior changed . She became more confident, less fearful, and a little demanding of attention. All fine with me.
Shortly after Mandys transformation my stepmother tripped, fell, broke her hip. My father was too frail to stay alone and I had my hands over full. Their doctor, a young woman with 2 children offered to take Mandy sight unseen.
A new era began. Mandy met Susan. It was love at first sight. Susan had always dreamed of owning a blonde poodle who would run the house and sit in her lap while she updated patients charts. A secret dream she shared later. Mandy began to run to the top of the stairs morning and night and bark 3 times like this is my castle I am Queen. The children dressed Mandy in elaborate outfits. Mandy never gave up her need for apparel after being shaved for so long. Her favorite and the children’s were her rainy day coats and hat. Mandy loved dress up. She claimed Susan’s lap in the evening. She ran the cat and Susans husbands boxer from the bed. Susan thought Mandy had always slept in bed. ( Mandy had slept crated before Susan because of potty issues.)
All these issues disappeared in her new household. She went everywhere the family went.Trips to the city, well Mandy went. She slept in a cushy nest in their SUV while they dined, shopped etc.
Eventually, I called Susan because it was decision time. Mandy had been there for weeks. At that time there was no place for Mandy. I felt terrible for leaving Susan caring for her for so many weeks.
Fortunately Susan was an honest person. Her first words “if you want her back I don’t think I can give her up.” Just what I was hoping for. Major moves to assisted living, house sale, my fathers death were all packed into the next month. But Mandy had found her new home and adapted.
My father and I were happy for her. She lived a long, adventurous, nurtured and nurturing life among her chosen family in her chosen lifestyle. God is good and he loves dogs, so he gave them to us.
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