Still Another White Dog, Puff The Magical...
HAPPY FIRST GOTCHA DAY!
As most know, Puff is a 14-year-old former puppy mill breeder who had passed her prime and was living outside without shelter year-round in Kansas. Steve and a pilot (who was a friend of a friend of a rescue friend) flew to close down the operation and rescue her. Puff was Stage 3 Heartworm positive; her ear tips were chewed off and scabbed from fly bites; and she was nearly feral in her ability to trust. She was not part of the White Dog Army "plan" but for lots of reasons we could not turn our back on this desperate senior girl with no future and little hope.
Unlike Nuka, who had joined us only a week earlier, Puff was daring and quick to learn. We had to constantly watch to make sure she did not try to escape. She mastered the dog door in about 3 minutes and for a week refused to sleep in the house unless we secured her behind a gate; otherwise she would run to the far corner of the yard where she had made a "nest" out of old leaves. Even in Albuquerque, November is too cold to be sleeping al fresco. She gave nothing...no trust...no indication of her needs...no cheer or complaint. She was stoic and fearful to the point that I nearly despaired. Her eyes looked dead and her tail hung low; she seemed a broken pup.
And then, very very very slowly she started to peek around corners to see what we were doing...she came back in through the dog door instead of making us chase her down and carry her in. She sat next to Steve. It was nearly 3 months before she let me pet her...after weeks of sitting quietly with my back to her and ignoring her (while silently willing her to come close). She asked to join us one Saturday in March when the WDA was going for a car ride and out for maneuvers (she usually ran and hid when leashs were displayed)...it was hard to keep to our normal routine during that trip.
In May, Dr. Julia pronounced the heartworm cured and we celebrated like crazy. Our girl with the haunted eyes has come so far on her journey these past 365 days...and she still has miles to go. But we know now that she is a tough little fighter, but not one hardened beyond being able to give and receive love. For that we thank the Universe. For Puff IS Magical and adds a unique special delicacy to our Army and we love her with a commitment of always.
Happy Gotcha Day, Puff.
Steve made this Smile Box just for his Special Baby Girl...and the White Ones donated their allowance to Pilots N Paws, a group of volunteer pilots who fly rescue and mercy missions for needy pets across the country. We hope that another pup gets to fly to a forever home filled with love and safety.
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