On the day of Stevie Wonder’s rescue, she was found tied to a tree on the property of a suburban golf course. Dogs can’t tell time extraordinarily well, of course, so she wasn’t able to tell anyone how long she had been there. She was skinny as a rail, though, and more than a little nervous.
Once back at the shelter, scratches and cuts were discovered all over her neck and face. Her evaluator assumed they were animal bites, but just to be safe, a vet clipped and scrubbed the area, finding that they were all scratches and not punctures, indicating that they were unlikely to be animal bites. Perhaps she had scratched herself up trying and trying to escape from an enclosure, for example.
Early in our time with each dog we have taken care of, a moment comes when I can scarcely think about anything other than “how could this have happened to this dog?” I wish more than anything that they could talk, and tell me their stories.
But on the other hand, it’s probably better that they can’t tell us the stories of their lives. Whereas we are prone to always remembering and being haunted, most dogs have an amazing ability to leave the past behind and accept a new reality as if it were the only one that ever was. It takes more time for some dogs than others, but we have found this generally to be true. Dear Stevie Wonder will never tell us what her scars mean or how she ended up tethered to a tree and abandoned, and we hope that soon enough, she won’t even remember it herself, as her memory and past identity begins to fade away and be replaced by the new life we’re building with her now.
The girlie certainly is coming around. She is progressing faster than I had expected, and is already willing to trust us more often than not. I can still see the worry in her expressions and she is timid of new situations and unexpected things, but hey — it’s only been a few days, and she is already turning into a wonderful little companion.