life between the lines, betsy's blog post, betsy fitzgerald blog post
May 282014
 

I met her at the MSPCA Nevins Farm in a quiet one-on-one before the doors officially opened for the day. She would be our fourth rescue pet–one dog and two cats had made their home with us in prior years. I’d officially graduated from the “must have a AKC registered dog” to “must do the right thing.” In some cases, that means a registered dog that has been abandoned. But it’s the animal, not the papers, I care about.

She was named Penelope, a small snip of a dog of cocker-spaniel mix.

A Cockapoo according to some, a Spoodle according to my husband.

 Her fur had been shaved and clipped to relieve her of horrific matting. At seventeen pounds, a pale gold white, she looked like a spring lamb. Her first impulse was to climb in my lap, and stay. She had no interest in the floor. As her story came out, I learned that the floor was not a friendly place. She’d been rescued from a case of severe animal hoarding–more than 200 animals crammed in a small house. Her feet had become inflamed and packed with the mess of all that many animals relieving themselves on the floor at will. It would be nearly a month at my house until she would realize that the floor could be an accommodating place for a rest.

Her tiny cropped tail was barely visible. She had been through surgery (spaying), several weeks at a foster home, and had just returned to the loud confusion of the shelter. About the same time she discovered that floors are not her enemy, she also began carrying her tail high … or as high as a two inch tail can go. She’s jaunty and she moves with a bouncing gate that makes her resemble a frisking lamb all the more.

For weeks, her dark eyes tracked every expression of her new people. She’d lived with a mentally ill person who had committed suicide. That death had led to her rescue. At some point, I’m sure she was close to the person. We’ll never know. One of our friends remarked that her eyes were scary and intense. Not now. Now, she has a light that is shining from inside.

chickie_2014

Her fur is growing in–a kind of soft curly coat. A true mix of the two breeds. I think she would be perfect as the lamb in a Christmas pageant, held by a young shepherd. That’s far away. For now, she has a lawn to explore. Frogs in the goldfish pond who answer her yelps with their own croaks. Food enough that she doesn’t need to fight for it.

And a new name. She joined our other rescue, Waffles. And when a family vote was held, it was decided that not much goes better with Waffles than chicken. So Chickie she is and here she’ll stay.

Betsy