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 The Lotus Flower

 

The Lotus Flower grows in the deep mud, far away from the sun. But, sooner or later, the Lotus reaches the light becoming the most beautiful flower ever. The Lotus flower is a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. Even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters, the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower ever.

 

This is Lotus.

 

This is her story.

lotus sitting pretty

 

Lotus came to us on November 24 when some volunteers nabbed her with a catch pole from underneath a porch. She was living on an Indian Reservation as a stray with a pack of dogs and gave birth to her pups in the safest place she saw fit- under the porch of some unsuspecting family. Some of her pups died from the cold, (along with another dog's pups) and when the volunteers arrived to gather the two moms and their babies, one mom got away.

 lotus new

Lotus was trapped using a catch pole because she was so fearful of people, and the remaining pups were tucked away in the volunteer's jackets until they could be brought to my home. When Lotus arrived (then only referred to as "yellow mom") she had completely shut down from all the trauma. She was trembling, wide-eyed and barring teeth. We were worried she would not nurse the pups so my frantic husband was sent to the pet store at 8 p.m. to purchase puppy bottles and formula.

 

We dimmed the lights and prepared a soft bed and yellow mom nursed both litters.

  lotusmomma2

On November 28th Yellow mom still did not have a name, but she was still growling at me and I couldn't get within 20 feet of her nor her babies. Who could blame her? Dogs living on the reservations have sticks thrown at them and guns shot. They scrounge for food and fight for shelter. It is not a safe place for a dog to be, especially a new mom with babies to feed. I didn't hold it against her one bit. I was hopeful but realistic. "She'll be a tough one" I said to my husband. We decided to name her Lotus, as in the seed that grows from the mud but eventually blossoms into something beautiful.

 

On the 29th I was able to move her pups and finally change blankets. It was a huge accomplishment!

 lotusnursing

On December 3rd, she still wouldn't let me near, but my husband, Nate, was able to give her treats from a long arm reach and touch her paw with his index finger. I think I was reassuring myself more than him when I said  "we will get her there, it will just take time".

 

On December 12th, she surprisingly greeted me for the first time one morning with a wagging tail! Totally out of the blue! I remember how excited that made me feel and I posted it on my facebook page for all my friends to see.

 

On January 3rd she had her first vet appointment and it took me 20 minutes just to get her into the crate at home. We had to carry the covered crate into the vet's office and they kept her inside while they vaccinated her. "She probably shouldn't go to a home with children" the one vet warned me. I just smiled.

 lotus

Her pups left her shortly after that in January, and she seemed depressed. I spent more time with her and I worked on getting her comfortable wearing a leash-just a few minutes each day at first, then with me holding the end of it (increasing the time each day), then walking with her, her leading the way. When the weather finally broke we went outside for short walks- increasing our distance each day and getting further from her 'safety zone' each time. I honestly can't say where all the time went in between and how quickly she made progress. Her reluctance to be petted somehow turned to belly rubs and silly dances when she greeted me. Her phobia of squeeky toys magically turned into fun play time and fetch. The threshold of my house was no longer scary and now she raced in and out as she chased me in our game we played. I don’t know how much time drifted between those things she learned while with me, but  I do recall all the quiet time we spent together just lying in the grass outside, watching life happen. It was our special, bonding time.

 meandlotus

Flash forward to May 21 (the day of the home visit) and I sobbed quietly in the front seat of the jeep while she rode quietly in the back without fear. It was her stoic nature that kept me strong this time and let me know that everything would be okay. When we arrived at the house, she even came right out of the crate when I opened it, and walked into the adopter's house with minimal reassurance. It is really hard for me to believe that this is the same dog who arrived at my house on November 24, barring teeth. All she needed was for someone to believe in her and to show her the way.  That person was me.

 

People ALWAYS ask me how I could do what I do because they could never give up the dogs in the end. I tell them that it's dogs like Lotus that ARE the reason I do what I do. Where would she be without me? I put myself out there each and every time, knowing full well that my heart will get crushed in the end. But if I didn't, Lotus wouldn't be the dog that she is and I wouldn’t be the person that I am because of her.

 

Love is sacrifice.

 

 lotus happy

(This is Lotus with her new family)

 

 

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