Conversation With a Scared Puppy

It’s difficult to receive clear communication from an animal who is terrified. Think of a time when you were really scared. You know how fear makes your brain go on the fritz… extreme fear can jumble your thought processes and make it hard to think clearly. So when we heard a puppy crying outside our house one evening, it was impossible to connect in with the puppy telepathically. She was in complete output mode, unable to “hear” me asking her to show me where she was hiding.

Finally, I found her by crawling under the porch with a flashlight. She was huddled in a corner where the concrete slab of the main house meets the pier-and-beam porch. She rolled to her back and screamed when I reached out for her, so I took off my sweater, wrapped her in it, and crawled back out with her cradled against me.  I figured that she was about six weeks old. I asked her how she got here, and she showed an image of being thrown from the window of a car, into a wooded area. She showed herself rolling and tumbling through piles of leaves and vegetation, then running until she couldn’t run any more.

Covered in fleas and ticks, emaciated and dehydrated, it was clear she’d been wandering the woods for days. The night before, the temperature had dipped below freezing. She showed me that she stayed warm by digging into the soft dirt under a pile of leaves. She wasn’t able to tell me why she decided to come to our house, but I believe she was following the sound of our dogs barking. (We play ball a lot, and Fred believes that barking is a necessary part of that activity.)

I knew she probably wasn’t the only one to get tossed from that car, so I searched the yard and the woods around our house and called for other puppies, but none answered. I notified the nearby neighbors who also have dogs, so they’ll be on the lookout for any stragglers. Although I doubt any remaining puppies would have survived, because three days after we found her, the puppy came down with parvovirus, which is often fatal. We caught it early and got treatment started right away, so after a few scary days at the vet, she is fine now. In fact, I’m about to go to the vet and pick her up because they say she’s barking up a storm and ready to come home.

The vet says she’s about twelve weeks old, and she weighs just over three pounds. She’s a cutie! And I’m sure she’ll be a live wire now that she feels better. We’ve been calling her Lambchop, but I think her real name might be Pearl. I’ll ask her what she thinks about that as soon as we get home.

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