Something was nagging at me last night about the lost dog we now know is named Tristin. I wanted the chance to let anger rise up in me thinking someone had just abandoned it at the dog park. After I took her home I called a couple of shelters and found just how difficult it can be to get rid of a dog.
This little girl was scared. Her pungent odor told me that. Her snarl with a tail tucked and body rolled in on itself and her cowering were all signs. But she wasn’t fear submissive, she was fear aggressive. She was going to fight if need be to protect herself from any stranger or other animal.
I spoke with someone from a shelter and she said they would not be able to take a dog like this. I resolved that I would work on her for the next three days, amidst a busy schedule and see if she could come around by Wednesday when I had made my appointment for intake.
This morning I took her to the park again. I didn’t take Pops or May Belle. I wanted to give her my full attention. For the longest time I kept her on the leash. We walked the perimeter several times just letting her get comfortable to me. Then we’d stop and I’d sit in the grass letting her stand as close as she wanted. Every so often I would gently pull her toward me and softly pet her side. She would always jump and sometimes snarl. When she jumped I’d just pet again and when I’d see a snarl forming I’d softly correct her with a tug of the leash. I could tell this dog didn’t want to be scared. Something wasn’t right but it seemed mostly to be a confusion.
After a while I removed the leash and just walked around. She followed me everywhere I went. Then, after some time of that I walked up to where a group of people and dogs were congregating. She was still timid but much less so. She let a few dogs sniff her and she licked a couple of women’s hands. I was seeing improvement.
Later in the day I decided to take her back again but this time with my buddy Pops. Everything was about the same this time as the earlier time. I was sharing the story with some other dog lovers when the little girl was gone. I couldn’t see her.
I looked up at the gate where people and dogs were gathered and heard one of the other owners yell my name.
The little girl was in that back seat of her dad’s vehicle. They drove by and she saw her dog running around. They were on their way to get lunch.
This dog completely changed its demeanor and I could tell the little girl was ecstatic. I was almost in tears. What a great ending to the story.
I don’t know who dropped the dog at the park. I do know that I am grateful she/he did. I am grateful that this dog wasn’t abandoned. It was lost. It had been lost since sometime on Monday.
Now the sweet face is home with her family and her family is with her.