Rebel without a home

 

rebel

This is Rebel. He’s going to be my date to the Anne Jackson Memorial Walk this weekend. Anne Jackson was a sheriff’s deputy who had been a animal control officer. She was killed in the line of duty when a mentally ill man went on a shooting spree in 2008. She knew the man, and as I understand the story, he shot her when she came to his door to check on him. I didn’t know her, but she sounds like a very compassionate person whose heart would have gone out to the man who became her killer.

I first met Rebel a couple of weeks ago when I drove him to a photo shoot with Rescued Hearts Northwest. Allow me to explain it in this video:

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M is for Mystery

When you “rescue” a dog, unless it is an owner surrender with a uniquely upfront surrenderer, the dog’s previous life is a complete mystery.

We look at Mia all the time and ask her, “What were your families like before us?”

Mia hopped right in our car the day we met. Who would abandon this face? (Those aren't mites on her face, but white microbeads from a headrest Leo tore apart while we were meeting Mia.)

Mia hopped right in our car the day we met. Who would abandon this face? (Those aren’t mites, by the way, but white microbeads from a headrest Leo tore apart while we were meeting her.)

Mia came to live with us when she was about 7. The only things we know for sure are:

  • She answers to the name Mia.
  • She was microchipped but not registered.
  • She was spayed.
  • She was vaccinated.

Mia was living with a family on an Indian reservation for a few weeks, where she was probably outside, off leash, and unfenced most of the day, but slept inside at night. Her foster mother said Mia had two other families before us, and that the most recent one moved away and couldn’t take her along.

“Who would leave behind a Mia?” Rob and I ask ourselves every day.

Lately, we’ve started wondering if maybe she didn’t have a home because she ate it. We thought we’d solved the problem of door-chewing by leaving all the inside doors open, but then she started working on the door from the laundry room to the garage, and the moulding by the sliding glass door to the backyard. I fear she’ll turn on the front door next. When we got home from work on Friday, she’d torn the doorknob OFF the door to the garage, so now we can’t open it from the inside.

I took her for a long walk that evening and tried to figure it out. Why does she hate closed doors so much? Why was she close to perfect for two years before this started?

All the solutions that I can think of — leaving her outside, taking her with me, having Rob’s parents come by more often — none of those would have made a difference on a Friday when I couldn’t have taken her to work, didn’t want to leave her outside from 9 to 6*, and Rob’s parents were out of town. The best option is blocking her access to the doors. We can put an X-pen across the door to the kitchen, which keeps her away from the sliding door and the laundry room. Maybe we should blockade the front door too …

Later that night, our security cameras started beeping. After Mia’s first door destruction, I blamed the beeping from Rob’s car alarm key fob. Oh, the cruel irony. The very device that allows us to watch Mia destroy the doors could be the thing that causes her to destroy the doors.

Rob got on the phone with customer service and we think we’ve got the beeping fixed.

Again, my suspicion is that the beeping makes Mia anxious, so she tries to escape it, this time out to the garage or the backyard. Then again, maybe she’s trying to get inside the garage, where I like to hide cooked liver for her to find. I may never know.

And that’s what makes Mia a Mystery.

M

*Wondering why I don’t want to leave Mia outside from 9-6? Check back in two days for the letter O.

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