Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pooches: Clues from a Past Life

Both Miss M. and Mr. B. were adopted. They spent their formative years in other homes before they came to us. Mr. B. was actually a fancy purebred pooch, complete with papers, who lived in an irresponsible home. He was not neutered and left to roam free through the streets of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Each time he was picked up, the owners were fined. They finally accumulated enough fines that they decided to surrender him to the City Pound. Luckily, the kind people from Kalamazoo Animal Rescue found him and we were fortunate enough to adopt him and bring him into our home. Now the only wilderness he gets to experience is outdoor dining on our back deck:
Miss M. on the other hand was a complete mystery. Before she joined us she was a smelly dog, plagued by mange, who had been living on the mean streets of Chicago. She was 25 pounds lighter than she is now; you could see every rib. Here is her profile from Petfinder. She doesn't even look like the same dog:
Miss M. was picked up by Animal Care and Control, the Chicago city pound, which is severely underfunded and forced to euthanize 18,000 pets a year. Poor Miss M. didn't even make it to the adoption floor. She was in the "Rescue Only" group, and she had to hope a rescue group would come. Luckily for her, the amazing people from New Leash on Life whisked her away just as the pound had put a date on the calendar for her to be euthanized.
I always wondered about Miss M's story, and how she ended up on the streets. She actually gave me some clues that helped me piece together her former life. I think she was owned by a big guy because When we would go on walks, she would get super-excited whenever she saw big men. She would dash towards them, wiggling and "smiling" like this:
She would also try to sit in our laps, which being a big dog she probably would only be able to do with a big man. Miss M. also knew another language. When people passed speaking she would get super excited. I even asked a child to tell her to "sit" in another language and she did. She also let me know she was fed food from a can opener. Whenever she heard me using our handheld can opener she would come running, start twirling and begging for food. I think she was mainly an indoor, or at least basement/garage dog. I adopted her when she was 1 1/2- 2 years old, and I could tell she had never seen snow before; she absolutely freaked out the first time she saw snow.
I could tell she was never abused, but I was still curious about how she ended up on the streets. Do other adopted dogs give behavior clues about their past lives?

19 comments:

Two Crazy Coaches said...

I've always wondered about Flash & Ollie's former lives. Flash was only 8 months when we got her so she didn't have a lot happen before we got her, but she was very spoiled by their family, which leads to a very spoiled girl now! Ollie on the other hand, had it a little tougher. We only know that he was surrendered for biting the littler girl because she put curlers in his ears and messed with him. This has led to a slightly sensitive guy who growls when disturbed or startled. But, thankfully he still loves kids, though we try to limit his interaction.
I found your stories of the pups very interesting. Funny how we learn things over time! Keep those cute pictures coming!!

Deb said...

We know our rescued mastiffs' basic history, but even so, their behavior gives us clues about little details. For her first six or so months with us, Hera would approach every pickup truck we saw and try to climb in, so we presume she saw the world from the bed of one in her early life. Zeus will ignore 99/100 other dogs, but let him see a small, furry, white one and he wants it- not in a good way. We're not sure what to make of that. Both of the dogs were afraid of the broom, giving us yet another reason to be happy to have rescued them.

Mack said...

What great success stories!!
Our Lilly's past is a mystery too!

RescuedPittieMommy said...

I can't believe someone would be so irresponsible with Mr. B. I would be honored to have such a handsome guy like I am honored to have my babies. And that is why they are spoiled rotten.
I appreciate them and know how blessed I am to have them in my life.

And Ms. M... wow! What a turn around she has made. Ya'll should be so proud of her and yourselves! I would have never recognized her if I just saw her before pictures. She is truly the princess she was meant to be now.

Your babies are absolute treasures and I'm so glad they are finally in a home that recognizes how truly wonderful they are.

No wonder they're so well behaved ;)

Pibble said...

What if your dog comes out of rescue wearing green sparkly nail polish? Is that a clue?

Actually, we know Buster was slightly "used" by a child before we rescued him. His hair had been chopped to pieces and the aforementioned nail polish had been painted - irregularly - on his front claws. I can't say I blame him for nipping at the youngster; I probably would have, too!

Charlie was tied to a stop sign at 10-weeks-old, during her impression period. I definitely see lasting signs of this in her. There are things that spook her that I can't quite understand, even five years down the road. It's sad.

Kari in WeHo said...

I have always wondered about my pups history. We have a good idea about all three but will never know for sure.

Martine said...

Very interesting observations. The kiddlets were just puppies when we got them for an animal rescue, the rescue we got them from gets dogs from similar places like where Miss B was adopted from. I do suspect that Captain (10 months when we got him) must have at some point been around a lot of people because he has such good people manners! Who knows though...

Bobby said...

What a difference fabulous. Dogs do give many signs, having had so many on foster, they do not have to talk, it does not take long to know if they have been hit, locked out all the time. If any one has been kind to them male or female,or not.
They really do not have to speak.

laura said...

Too bad some people think the 'papers' that come with the dog are more important than the dog itself.
And who'd have thought Miss M, in addition to being divine, would be a linguist!
I'm glad they are now living happily ever after, they deserve it!

Bijou said...

Oh we love a good mystery but understan it would be good to know more background info. Mom knows exactly where we came from as she bought us. I know... Adopt! Don't shop. So mom was a bad girl and payed money for us. But, all the other dogs she has had over the years have been adopted/rescued dogs. And she once fostered dogs for the local Humane Society. One of those dogs she had for over a year and every time they would walk past a certain house this foster dog would practically drag mom up on the porch. She later found out the dog had once lived there.

Waggles,
Bijou

cre8vekaos said...

My Quizz was a fresh young puppy, 3-4 months found on the streets of Baltimore with an uncommon affection for cats. Not an 'You're a yummy treat' but a 'You're my best friend' affection. Somewhere, he had really positive exposure to cats. (They definitely raised him right, according to Charlie, the Cat.)

The shelter from which I adopted him, the Animal Welfare Society of Howard County, MD, snatched from the euthanisa line of the Baltimore city pound. He'd only been at the shelter for a week when I came looking for my forever dog.

I'm not sure how he got on the street, but he has never had anything but an amazing personality. Affectionate, good-natured, and tolerant. I'm thinking puppy lived up to his name and got inquisitive.

mayziegal said...

Oh, I knew that Miss M was exotic and sophisticated the first time I laid eyes on her! Two languages! (Well, three if you count "dawg.") Mom knows lots about my background but I haven't given her too many clues on the specifics. I'd just rather focus on the present. As for Ranger - she says there's definitely a "type" of woman he gravitates to - like they're familiar to him or somethin'. And we think he mighta had a plate dropped on him cuz after all these years, he ducks his head and walks far away when mom and dad go to put a plate on the floor for prerinse. (But then he comes right back and does a top-notch job. Such a trooper!)

kissa-bull said...

well lets see lucky of course was found on the side of the freeway so as you can imagen gettn her into a car to take her to the vet and what not is very troubling for her still
when we took her back to the shelter to get her microshipped since they offered it for free she was so scared we were going to leave her i almost left.
bella has a similar reaction to cars and car rides we found her on the street and it seems that it might have been really scary for her crossing the streets and all
guero lived the good life but they just could'nt keep him anymore due to them being young and apt having animal laws there so we got him when he was but 5 months old and he's really the spoiled baby . he's never known whats its like to tuff it out in the world. thank god.
wow i still have more dont i ??
lol
i'll save some for later

Mango said...

Thank you for sharing your stories. They are very interesting and have happy endings (two things I like). Momma had an adopted basset hound doggie. She says that she thinks the wee thing was tormented by the boys in the house because even though she became a certified therapy dog, she was always hand shy with boys around the age of 8-10.

Slobbers,
Mango

Benny and Lily said...

What stories!! We sure are happy they wound up with you!
Benny & Lily

Twinkietinydog said...

So, you are pitties, huh? Well, I'm a Chi, but you knew that. We should join forces. The pounds are usually full of us. I'm full of it too, but you'll find that out in due time.
Twink!

Jenny said...

I know the background to my shepherd as I got him as a 12 week old puppy from the breeder.

My cat though is a rescue and the place were I got him from was the one who rescued him. He was a farm stray that was sicker than sick. Luckily he survived.

Sue said...

When we adopted Monty we knew he's been beaten from his injuries, but he told us that it was a man and he used both a stick and a belt. He also let us know that he was afraid of certain sound so the man must have made those sounds.

Daisy Dog said...

Daisy was very afraid of tall men, and some other men depending on their attitude, she would cower and stay away from them. I am sure she was abused by a tall man. When I brought her home from the rescue my daughter was dating a guy who was 6'6", it was a challenge. She now is fine and loves everyone.

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