“There’s a pit bull on my road who should not go back to her owners. Starved, had puppies recently. Doesn’t want to walk. Maybe hit by a car.”
A little over a month ago, I received these text messages from my coworker Emmy. Her husband had spotted a sad soul sitting on the side of a road leading to their house. It was dark and temperatures were heading below freezing. That’s the night we met Stella.
I left my house as the beau cleaned up the reminisce of our dinner. “I’ll be back. I’m not sure what’s going to happen.” A quick kiss and I was gone into the night. As my car hugged the back roads to Emmy’s house I braced myself for the condition this poor dog could be in. We’ve had a hard winter here in Virginia. Some not so well cared for dogs on the Eastern Shore can squeak by during this time of year. However the frigid temperatures and reoccurring snowstorms we have been experiencing are taxing on a body that doesn’t receive enough daily groceries. I pulled in behind Emmy’s truck. Her and her husband were squatted down speaking to a nearly motionless creature.
“She thinks the leash is a bad idea.”
When approached with a leash, she would cower and shoot a distrusting look. She didn’t know any of us, wasn’t sure if she’d ever want to know any of us. The only thing she cared about was the dry dog food that had been brought to her and the rattling noise a container of peanuts made.
I crouched down with everyone else and put the basket muzzle I brought on the ground beside me. It’s nothing personal, but you never know what you are getting yourself into when you approach a neglected animal. Some are incredibly thankful for any bit of attention you’ll throw them. Some are past the point of return and never want to be touched by a human again.
“Hey, girl. Come here.” After a few shy moments, she slunk over to me to investigate what I may have to offer. She weaseled her head into my jacket as if she was hoping I would surrender that to her. “Thank God ya’ll found her. She probably would have died out here tonight.”
After a few minutes winning some doggy brownie points, we finally were able to place the basket muzzle on her. We scooped her up and whisked her off to the animal hospital. A padded warm bed and a bucket of water later, she seemed pleased with the evening’s outcome. We turned out the lights and left our new friend with her first comfortable night’s sleep in many moons.
In the next day’s light, we began seeing the scars on her frail thirty five pound body, a body that should weigh in at probably twenty pounds heavier. On her legs, on her ears, the one around her neck where a collar must have grown into her skin at some point. There were the emotional scars in her eyes she’d reveal to you when you reached for her. Were you going to hit her? Would you hurt her? Would you toss her out in a strange neighborhood to die?
It took just the frequency of a few random meals and she decided that we were A-OK in her book. She began to enjoy scratching and belly rubs. Turns out, we weren’t so bad after all.
The search began, first quietly. How could we advertise for her? She needs a home, but where do you begin? Pit bulls carry a type of stigma to their breed. Tons of pit bull breeders want them for all the right reasons, but tons also do not. Many rescue and humane groups won’t touch them. They are a liability to everyone and themselves. What if they attack someone after adoption? What if they are adopted by someone who is going to use them for fighting? Would she be a bait dog? Would someone adopt her with promises of a happy home just to turn around and sell her to the wrong hands?
The silent hunt for a home turned up nothing and just as we began to turn up the volume, Stella took a turn for the worse. Her healthy appetite suddenly stopped and was replaced by vomiting. Diagnostic testing pointed to a foreign body. Last Monday afternoon, we took her into surgery. We found a corncob lodged in her intestines. She had no access to such a thing at our hospital, so the only logical thing we could think of was that she ate this before she came to us. For over a month at least, the corncob had been traveling a slow journey until it couldn’t get past her ileocecal junction. We spayed her while we were in there. At least now we don’t have to worry about someone adopting her for breeding purposes.
I tell you this story because Stella needs help. Our girl needs a home where she can be an only child. She needs somewhere filled with love and affection, a warm bed and regular meals, and probably with someone who is pit bull experienced. They are a wonderful breed, but I think we can all agree not every breed is for every person. She needs someone who will be responsible for her.
I know I usually do cheerful happy blogs about stories of days past or sweet desserts. Those are all fun and games, but today I’m turning this blog to a serious matter. I’m turning it to Stella.
Share this story. Share Stella. Let’s find Stella a home.
Here’s the most recent picture of our lady. She’s wearing her lucky green bandanna. Can we find her a home?
*Pick your favorite form of social media below and get the word out!*
Stella has been moved the Norfolk SPCA No Kill Shelter and has been cleared for adoption. She is still looking for a forever home! Please share her story and help get her a loving home!
Stella also had a beautiful photo shoot. See those photos here at Tail Waggin’ Photography!