Sometimes, we just need a friend. We need someone who gets us, who nods and says, “Yup. Been there, done that.” Or, “You’ve got this.” Or, “It gets better.”
Our new dog Rocky spent his first two years in a crate that was locked in a dark shed. He’s known freedom, sunlight, and grass under his feet, for 6 short weeks. His only previous contact with life was the old woman who fed him, who for whatever reason, waited two years to call for help. Rocky has no idea how to be a dog. He is as thin as a rabbit, and as timid as one.
Our other two dogs, Oliver and Maisie, are also puppy mill rescues, but they were more fortunate. They were rescued much earlier, and have had each other, and the company of other dogs on their forays to the dog park, for many years. When Rocky arrived five days ago, frightened, clueless as to the ways of dogs, they looked puzzled, but not alarmed. After a day, Rocky started to settle in, studying his two mentors for clues as to how to be a dog. (So far, he’s been taught to bark at squirrels, taught to run around the yard and play, and taught to lounge in the sun. Not bad for five days of lessons.)
Rocky has a long way to go. He will need months of gentle rehabilitation, of learning to trust. But I see a glimmer in his eyes that wasn’t there when he first came to us. And the blanket of sadness that he carried, is starting to lift, just a little.
We all need friends, unconditional love, and a quiet acceptance that we are okay.
Rocky will be okay.