“Tyger, Tyger burning bright, in the forests of the night; what immortal hand or eye, could frame thy fearful symmetry?”… Poem by William Blake
I am a pit bull terrier, boxer mix with a multi brindle coat named Tyger. I had a very difficult start in life. I was taught to fight for my food. This practice made me very aggressive and unhappy. I did not trust people. Other dogs were opposition to conquer. It was a matter of survival. However, it made me tough and resilient.
Thanks to Sheriff Arpaio’s program to rescue abused and abandoned dogs, I was rescued and placed in a shelter. This shelter is a prison that was unfit for human prisoners but perfect for the rehabilitation of animals. It is a “No Kill” shelter that does everything it can to prepare us for a Forever Home.
I had exercise time every day to stretch my legs and feel the kindness of human touch. There were gentle ladies in striped suits that brushed us, bathed us and taught us manners. I would listen for my caregiver making her rounds. I knew food was on its way. Here I didn’t have to fight for my food, and I gained trust in humans once again. I was alone much of the time but this was better than the abusive nature of my first home. Was this going to be my life forever? Days turned into nights and nights turned into days. I often thought of escaping, but the chains were too strong and the walls too high. I was in this shelter for nine human years and I became fearful of taking another chance out in that scary world.
One day I met a couple of people that I thought came to take me for a ride and help me overcome my fear of the unknown. Little did I know, they were taking me to my Forever Home. They were stern yet gentle. They took me to a beautiful place where I have my own soft bed to sleep in at night and mats for afternoon naps. In the backyard I can chase lizards and scratch my back on the turf while soaking up the sun.
Is this for real? Am I going back to the shelter?
I get tummy rubs and scratches behind my ears. Did I mention food? I ate a whole package of tortillas just laying out on the counter waiting for me on my first day. I must be in doggie heaven!
I saw a rabbit and I wanted to catch and eat it, but Chuck and Kay discourage this behavior. They know I love to eat. I get lots of treats for good behavior. Chuck is my best buddy and I know where he keeps the treats. I hang out in the kitchen as much as I can, hoping to get his attention. “Hello, can you see me? The treats are here.”
My tummy is full and my heart sings.
I love my new life and the two angels that rescued me not only from prison but from myself. My new name is Tyger.
Learn more about Maricopa Animal Safe Haven Unit http://www.mcso.org/mash.
PetWise: The free online magazine communicating all-things “pets” with the SaddleBrooke Ranch Community by volunteers at SaddleBrooke Ranch at saddlebrookeranch.org/petwise.