At first I thought, we will just keep her comfortable, help her get around, help her eat. After a couple of weeks of that, I was sitting with her and she just looked at me with those eyes as if to say “Why? Why did I have to wait for so long to FINALLY have a happy life with people who ‘get’ me, only to have to this happen?” Kitty can’t walk on her own anymore, although sometimes she forces herself to stumble around the room, going from furniture to walls, to legs to hold her up. Watching her stubborn, survivor kick in made me realize that we had to try to raise the money to find out what is going on with her, even if it meant asking our friends and family for help. She deserves a shot at health and happiness, and we can’t let pride stand in the way of that.
Thank you so very much for helping our Kitty, it is appreciated. Will, John and John
Here is Kitty’s story…
Before Kitty I had a Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Bessie. She was my sweet baby girl for many years. She was the last of 3 Corgis I would have, and my last connection to my life in Cambria. After we lost Bessie just three days after Christmas in 2014, I decided that I wanted to know more about Pit Bulls and what I could personally do to help this much maligned breed? I felt very “broken” at this point in my life, my anxiety took center stage and any relationships I had began to crumble, usually because I ended them. To get out of my head, I decided to volunteer with “Educate-A-Bull” Pit Bull rescue group as a foster home for dogs that had been rescued, but not yet found a home.
Just about a month later, on a very snowy and blustery night in January of 2015, I got a call from the rescue group. They had just been to a hoarder’s home in Lockport that was full of dogs, the SPCA was trying to sort them. There was one who had been crated for 7 years, give or take, and they wanted me to take her in, tonight, soon! I was kind of shocked, but I immediately agreed. About an hour later, 3 brave and dedicated young women showed up at my door loaded with supplies, advice, support, and gratitude. Then Kitty came in, her name was “Lily” then, but we soon learned that Kitty fit her much better since her attitude toward people is very cat-like and she loves every cat she meets. Kate, a very tiny woman, had Kitty on leash that night with the base of a crate between her and a snarling, very unhappy white dog. Out in the snowy yard as she approached, she almost blended right in to the heavy snow. When she got into the house, she immediately headed for the corner of the living room, with her back to everyone. She quietly growled and was absolutely terrified. After the women prepared us, as much as they could, we were alone with this dog we couldn’t touch or verbally calm. She couldn’t hear us, and didn’t want to have anything to do with us.
I remember wanting nothing more than to touch her head, that square head! I wanted to touch it! No way was she going to allow that! It took quite a few months of patience, and letting Kitty set the pace, before I could finally show her how I felt and got to pet her head at last. She had come a long way from the scared girl we had to leave on leash for a week because if we took it off, she’d never let us put it back on! Slowly, her personality began to shine. You could tell she wanted to be touched and loved, but she just couldn’t get past someone touching her. We don’t know if it’s because she’s deaf, or some trauma from her past, has made her this way. Kitty sets the pace, sets the rules, very few demands are made on her. When people come over, I always tell them “Don’t look at her and don’t touch her, and it will be fine.” That sounds very inviting, huh? Kitty will try to trick you too, she will come up and nudge your hand with her nose, but if you then pay attention to her, she will growl or bark. I know it’s tempting, but the rule is “Kitty can touch you, but that doesn’t mean you can touch Kitty!” She does like other animals, particularly cats. She requires no slow intros with cats, she hasn’t met a cat she doesn't like. Cats are shocked by that, it’s comical to watch.
After keeping Kitty in foster care for nearly a year, we noted a lot of progress, she even went to an obedience class and did quite well She started to learn the signs we started using with her. Our communication with Kitty includes a few hand signs and a lot of facial expression. A good old “thumbs up” lets Kitty know what a good girl she is and how much we love her. I remember the day I was trying a few random sign language letters with Kitty, I made a “T” and she immediately sat down and got very excited. Apparently, I had stumbled across the sign for “treat” and she sure knew that one. That gave me pause to think that at one time someone else loved her enough to teach her she was a good girl and indulge her with a treat. I began to wonder what kind of family would be able to adopt Kitty, they sure would have to be special, and very specific. Would anyone want to adopt a dog they couldn’t even touch at a meet and greet? We couldn’t even take her to adoption events, she didn’t trust people she didn’t know and certainly would not be handled. It was sort of a relief when I finally decided that Kitty was already where she intended to be. She told us, in her way, that our home was her forever home, like only she could. No dog I’ve ever had has had the depth of Kitty. You have to earn her trust. She taught me more about patience then I ever thought I needed to learn. Kitty was home and I was glad.
Now I can’t imagine life without her. I don’t want to imagine life without her. We have a very strong bond with Kitty that came from our desire to foster. I hope that if you can’t donate financially to causes for dogs, you volunteer your time. You will never regret it, I promise.
Thank you again
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