Hello friends and followers, I have had a life changing few weeks and I feel very compelled to share what I think is a beautiful story. It is no secret that I am a dog lover. I have 2 labradoodle dogs- whom I rescued, brother and sister from the same litter Moose and Juki. My boyfriend and I were in our neighborhood with our dogs taking our evening walk when my dogs started to get excited, and I spied what I thought was a cat darting across the road. There are lots of stray cats in our neighborhood and I really didn't think anything of it, but when I got to where I thought I saw it dart I looked over and saw a shivering very small puppy in a bush against a house. My dog lover instinct quickly took over and my boyfriend and I agreed that if it would come to me then I should take it and try to do the right thing by it. Obviously it wouldn't last long on that cold January night all on it's own. So my guy Jeff took our dogs across the street and I kneeled down at the edge of the yard and said "come here baby". Quicker then a flash this sweet puppy came bounding out from under that bush and jumped into my arms promptly licking my face and wagging it's tail. My heart completely melted- I realized two things right there- that I had found an adorable sweet girl puppy who was full of energy and love, and that she was a pure pitbull. I will admit in the past I was nervous as so many are around pitbulls, especially when they weren't on a leash. They get a bad reputation, though I truly do believe it is bad owners that create bad dogs, not the dogs themselves. But this was just a small baby- maybe 2 months old- and sweet as could be. How could I not help her. But I also knew at that moment I had a challenge on my hands- with their bad reputations and extreme over population in my Southern CA town I knew it was hard to get help for this breed, and I also knew that my female dog Juki does not ever like other female dogs- and so this was going to be a tough situation. Regardless of the challenge this baby needed my help and was trusting me to give it to her, so I scooped her up and let her lick my face all the way home. My boyfriend and I made some signs to put up in the surrounding area and spent the next few hours driving around posting signs and watching to see if anyone might be looking for her. I expected to wake the next morning with a phone call- but I didn't. The first night was pretty uneventful- as expected my female dog Juki wanted nothing to do with her and got a bit growly if she came too close, but my male dog Moose and she became fast friends. She ate like she hadn't had a meal in days, and drank about a gallon of water in a few sittings- poor girl, and played with every dog toy she could find laying around generally acting like she had won the doggy lottery being in our home. It was endearing to say the least. She also pottied outside and on the paper we layed down for her, which I took as a good sign that she may have come from a home, so I was hopeful that her owner would be calling any moment. Jeff decided we needed to call her something and she was exactly the color of Cinnamon so that is what we began calling her, and it really suited her.
|Cinnamon is settling in for her first night with us loving having some bones and toys to play with.|
|backyard shots of Cinnamon on day 2|
|she was a natural poser- and such a cutie pie|
|what a pretty girl with honey colored eyes|
|who could abandon such a pretty and sweet girl like her?|
|she sure thought life was good at our house!|
Day 3 arrives with no calls- no help, no hope. I called around to every single no kill shelter within a 200 mile radius and got the worst kind of news- no help or hope for this baby- I was laughed at, talked down to- you name it- no one wanted to help when they heard it was a Pitbull I was dealing with. I heard about a local organization called "Loving All Animals" who helped place dogs in good homes and called them. The lady I spoke to was very supportive and said she would do what she could but warned me that it was very unlikely she could find a placement for this dog- as no one wanted to help pitbulls. I was quickly becoming disillusioned with all of this- sure she was a pitbull, that was her breed- but she didn't live up to any stereotype I had ever heard- she didn't have an ounce of mean or aggressive in her- she was sweet and smart and very trainable- she loved my dogs though one of them didn't like her- she loved me completely and Jeff too- this was a great dog who would make a fabulous pet- how could people so quickly dismiss her based on a stupid stereotype? It was sickening. "Loving all Animals" got back to me and told me that the only placement they found was in the county shelter and she was honest with me that this poor girl would be euthanized within 48 hours of arriving there as they had literally hundreds of pitbull pups and thousands of pitbull dogs come through- so after the required 48 hr hold time to let someone claim them they were all euthanized. The tears really started to flow at that time... I felt so hopeless. I had this sweet puppy sleeping in my lap as I was trying to fight for her life and coming up against brick wall after brick wall. I didn't know what to do. Jeff came in the room about that point and through tears I told him what our only option was that I had found and he shed a tear too and said- we took her, we are responsible for her, and we need to do whatever we can to find her a good home- get on facebook and start begging and pleading- I will drive her up to 700 miles if we can find her a home. Jeff and I are originally from the Seattle area and knew that we would have a much better shot with friends and family helping if we would at least drive halfway there. I fell in love with Jeff all over again after he said that- and was reminded why we are together- we make a great team and both have the same heart for animals- he really is the one for me. So facebook blasting I did, I pressured everyone to post her picture and story on their status thinking the more we reached the more likely it would be that we could find help. My sister in law gave up a day of work talking to everyone she knew and found us a few options, as did my father- but what we kept coming up against was that someone still needed to drive from Seattle to the boarder of Oregon/CA to pick her up and that was a problem. Then my mother proved why she is my hero once again and said her and dad would do it- they would drive that far to pick up this pup and deliver it to her new home! I cried, Jeff cried, and we quickly started planning our trip.
Within 24 hrs we had booked a rental car big enough for all 3 dogs, booked a hotel in Yreka CA that would allow the dogs, and were on our way up to meet my parents. I hadn't seen them in over a year so the icing on the cake was getting to spend an evening and morning with them in Yreka before they left to take Cinnamon to her forever home and we returned back to life as normal. It took 15 hrs to drive the 700 miles- the weather was sketchy and the puppy needed to pee every 1.5 hrs. She was a beautiful road companion though, slept in my lap the whole way up- never complained or got fussy- just a perfect little dog. We met my parents and had a great night talking, eating, laughing, and playing with the dogs. I was hoping Cinnamon would sleep with my parents so I didn't have to sleep on the floor, but alas- she wanted no part of that, I was her mom as she saw it and she was with me! I was dreading saying goodbye, and again I had a night of almost no sleep at all. We woke up and decided to have breakfast and walk through the local quilt shop- and also take a few pictures under the Yreka sign before getting on our way. I picked up a charm pack at the quilt shop and cried my eyes out when I had to hand her over- It took me a few hours to stop sobbing- I was so happy I had found her a great forever home with 2 very loving people who had owned pits in the past and were very excited to get this little dog, but so very sad to say goodbye to the puppy who had forever changed my heart about this misunderstood breed- and who thought of me as her mom. When my mom told Cinnamon to say good bye to me she put her paws on my shoulders and licked the tears off my face. I still choke up thinking about it. I found through this experience that I was stronger and more capable then I had ever imagined, and when faced with a tough decision- would do the right thing. The self confidence that comes from something like this is priceless- but the heartache is still, a week later very palpable.
|trying to stop crying long enough to get a few pictures|
|my Dad telling me he was proud of me and it would all be okay|
|Cinnamon's new dog bed|
|it is really puffy now but will compress with use|
|quilted in a meandering stipple|
|Juki had to test it out to make sure it was just right!|