My team is made up of a bunch of four legged monsters; head-strong and inspirational, my little boogers are invaluable to me and my life. They help to keep me accountable, and because I’ve already written about my main man Charlie, and my big guy Leroy, I figured it is high time for little Mo to have her spotlight.
Morgan was six months old when she came to us. In that short amount of time she had passed through many hands, submit to and removed from the humane society three times for one reason or another. They inaccurately listed her as a pit bull/german shepherd mix – the best guess of a shelter worker looking at a shaking adolescent dog.
My sister picked her up there one day, hoping to add a companion to her pack. But this little dog was entirely too difficult a case and required a great deal more time than most could afford. She was a wreck, unable to adjust and get along with an established dog; Morgan was headed back to the shelter for her fourth entry.
It was at this point that my father interceded. Morgan would be staying in the family, no matter the means. She came to us a shaking little thing, shrinking away from every noise and movement. Anywhere she went she did so low to the ground, pancaked in constant fear. She would barely eat unless everything was just so. Her only solace was her new brother Charlie, whom she locked onto at every chance.
She was like this for months, barely making any forward progress. She came to enjoy hikes, and leashed trips to the dog park – if she got out of your hands it would be an hours long effort to trap and get ahold of her again. One day she began acting off – even more so, and we had the startling realization that this reportedly spayed dog was in heat.
Somehow, she had made it through the humane society three separate occasions with ‘spayed’ on her paperwork, and no one ever actually did the procedure. When we took her in for the surgery, she understandably experienced a set-back in her progress.
Through relentless patience she slowly began to come around and bond to the rest of the family, one by one. It was a year before she reached relative normality. A year. She still won’t let on when she is injured; as a heavily self-reliant dog she doesn’t trust you to carefully tend to her injuries.
Her personality came out, eventually, and it continues to grow as a strongly vocal, heavily insistent, bull headed little tyrant who absolutely will get what she wants. She’s a regular pack member now. The little girl who couldn’t be trusted outdoors now is an off-leash dream (though she does wear a radio tone collar to keep her and wildlife safe in response to her extreme prey drive). She comes running when she’s called, she sits and heals and, begrudgingly, lays at command on daily hikes. She ignores other parties in the wilderness, simply living to be outside and venture out on hikes.
The wild little shithead goes everywhere at a dead run, ears folded back and tongue slanging about as she rampages through cactus and thorn bushes in hot pursuit of the next exciting scent or obstacle. She loves to sunbathe, and hates that bastard squirrel. The short-haired little nugget knows when its too cold out and she needs her jacket. I just can’t imagine our pack without her.
Despite the amount of work and time she needed, I would never turn back. Little Mo is our kissy pie dog, she is all the more appreciated for her struggles.
Of course I encourage anyone who has the time and means to provide what is needed for a rescue dog, to adopt.
There are more dogs in the world than we can responsibly handle. Perpetuating this problem by putting in a thousand plus dollar order for a pure bred puppy in an unborn litter directly contributes to a rampant and abusive problem.
Do what you can to help; donate, adopt, and promote rescue animals.
Now, for the disclaimer – I am not a vet, adventure guide, personal trainer, doctor, nutritionist, or medical authority, this is meant to be only a source of information and inspiration, implementing these techniques into your daily life is something you do of your own free will and at your own risk.
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