Taryn Coates and her husband, Dave, started raising a Great Dane at the end of March after the dog was found abandoned in the wild in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Her name was Jez. Her rescuers suspect that she had been on her own for 1 to 2 months before being found. The two-year-old dog was in poor health and was afraid of people. She was going to need a lot of help.
After taking care of Jez for several weeks, Taryn wrote a letter to unknown former owners of Jez. She describes the struggles and triumphs that Jez and the rescuers who care for her have endured. This is a sincere article about the challenges and joys that animal rescuers encounter when caring for an abused dog and it is worth reading.
Here is the story of Jez in Taryn’s own words:
“We saved your dog. Do you remember her? The one you threw in the bush a few miles from an animal shelter, where you left to fend for yourself, to look for food, to find a place to sleep, to wait for you. In case you’ve thrown more than one, I’m talking about the female Great Dane, the sweet, pretty and sweet white-necked creature and the tiny black fur skin just behind her ear, which has the perfect shape of ‘a heart. I bet you never even notice that. I bet you never paid enough attention. When you dropped her, did she run after your car while you were running at full speed? Do you watch her in your rearview mirror and feel something? Even a pinch of guilt? Did not some part of your being recognize that what you were doing was cruel and that this beautiful creature deserved better?
“It took 45 minutes to catch your dog, who was so terrified of humans after two months in the bush that she was aggressive in the face of fear. Did you know that your magnificent and majestic Great Dane had to be muzzled for her own protection, and ours, that she was so sick of the bile ducts and so thin that we did not think she would get there? Did you know that half of Port Elizabeth (South Africa) prayed for your dog, had visits to the vet, brought her blankets, toys, and treats and left her with all her strength to survive?
“We talked to your dog, even though we could not approach her without her trying to bite us. We explained to her how safe she was now, how no one would leave her anymore, how her life would be calm, restful and full of joy from now on. We promised your dog the kind of promises you should have made when you bought it and brought it home to be part of your family. We promised that she would never be hungry again, that a cruel word would never be addressed to her, or a hand raised against her angrily. We promised him walks and treats, warm bedding and long walks. We promised her all this and more, we used her as a bribe, to make her survive, to make her want to live so that we could spend the rest of our lives proving to her that all humans are not like you. ”
“You broke your dog. By the time you stepped through the animal shelter doors where she would have been cared for until she could be transformed, by that time you broke your dog and became a lower human. When you stopped in the bush a little further down the road and you left her, you broke her mind as surely as if you had beaten her with a stick. And it is there, two months later, that you probably still wait for your broken dog to collapse, dying in an empty container, the only shelter she could find. You did that.”
I do not care about your situation or what it was. I do not care about the gravity of your life, I do not care about your money problems or the losses you have suffered. I do not care if you can not deal with a great day, I do not care, not because I’m heartless, but because nothing that you could say to me could start to excuse what you have done. If YOU cared, you would have acted responsibly and left your beautiful dog in a shelter where people would have lined up to adopt it. But you did not do it, you did not even give him that little bit of dignity, the right to a safe and loving home, you did not do it for your dog, and I’m sorry, but that makes from you a pretty poor excuse. of a human being.
Against all odds, your dog has succeeded. She fought herself. She rallied, she used every last shred of strength she had left to heal. She was given the dignity of a name, Jez, and brought home. Donations to your dog, gifts from complete strangers, strangers, who cared so much about a dog they never met, that they were pushed into action. That’s how awesome your dog is. Three days after being found in the bush, Jez returned home and, for the first time to who knows how long, she slept inside, on a soft bed, covered with a soft blanket. She was warm, safe and loved.
“We have spent hours making sure your dog trusts us. Hours convincing her that she was indeed allowed to stay at home, to be part of the family and daily comings and goings. We were upset, frustrated, but we loved her anyway and, in fact, we loved her more because we could see how much she was struggling to get out of the rut she was in, the rut that you have dug for her. You see, we had to show your dog that we are not all like you, that there are actually humans who want to help, love and feed. Do you know that it took your dog 4 days to get close and that, in doing so, she snuck on the ground with her tail so far between her legs as she touched her chest? ”
“That moment when she put her head on my husband’s shoulder, terrified as if waiting to be reprimanded or beaten, that moment broke me. She was thin and sick, but it was easy to adjust, what was happening in her head was a battle that only she could fight. What you have done to your dog is so much worse than not feeding it. You have destroyed his mind, you scared him to live, afraid of being a dog, you scared him to be, to exist, and that, thanks to you, will take years to repair. And we will do it. Each of us is invested in your dog, in the repair, in loving him until he feels no pain. ”
“We love your dog with every fiber of our being. We had to teach him to be part of a happy and healthy family. We celebrated every moment, every time she went out to pee herself, every time she finished eating or consumed her medication without us having to pack it into cheese. We celebrated his first siege and his barking at a person passing by. Because your dog was starting to live again, she was learning to be a dog and to love. We texted each little thing she did, where she was lying, or the first time she had enough energy to run in the garden instead of walking. We have invested time, energy and love in this creature and she has absorbed it, rewarding us in the same way that a rescue dog can do it. ”
“You broke your dog, but we repaired it. Bernadette who saved her from the container and who lived knowing that Jez would never be tired of her because she associated him with this frightening period of his life, but who visited her anyway. Dr. Ferreira and her veterinary colleagues Walmer treated her with kindness and compassion, even when she tried to bite and pinch and struggled with their contact.
“My husband saved your dog by going to bed the first night she was at home with us. He sat in his bed, in his space, and sat down with her. He sat down. He did not expect anything from her, he did not expect a reaction, he just wanted to be with her and show her that someone wanted her to feel safe, loved and appreciated. My husband is great like that, and Jez reacted to his calm attitude and loving energy. ”
“I repaired your dog. I took her to the vet for an exam after an exam, I held her up while they muzzled her and pushed her. I whispered softly in her ear as the vet evaluated her severely infected nails and I was there to pick her up after their operation. I mixed pretty treats in her food to persuade her to eat and I sat with her for hours, just to touch her, her head, her ears, her tail, her belly, so she could learn that all human contacts were not cruel. .
“Marizanne Ferreira has looked after your dog, as she has treated thousands before her and will continue to treat thousands more. She worked tirelessly behind the scenes, sharing Jez’s story with her countless contacts, coordinating her treatment, monitoring and donating, locating potential homes, but more importantly, she was a terrific friend of the exhausted foster mother and the rescuer of Jez. , Bernadette, giving us hope and encouragement when we doubted that we could fix your dog. It is the glue that unites the rescue community with the EP and I promise you that without it, we had no chance to fix your dog. ”
“Hundreds of complete strangers have repaired your dog. They wrote emails asking for donations, they raised money, they gave food, they shared their story on Facebook, again and again, they watched it unfold while we uploaded photos of its improvements daily, with Jez. They prayed for her and talked about her and her. These people saved your dog. These wonderful and caring people, who have never met Jez, but who love him deeply, have saved your dog. ”
“During the few weeks she was with me, I was more worried about your dog than you probably feared for two years on this earth. I worried about his physical and mental health. I worried that she would eat too little and too much, to have her feet hurt, so that her bedding was warm enough. I worried about his eyes, ears, and brain, as his ravaged body suffered seizures at the time of healing. I hugged her at 2 am as she showed up and asked to be fed. I went to work practically sleeping at walking, but I would do it again, and with my next foster home, I will probably do it. ”
“I worried and laughed, I encouraged and loved, and now I cry, sobbing, painful, ugly, like a tear, until I can not cry anymore. I’m crying because two other strangers entered the life of Jez, two other people have committed to healing your dog. Two other people are looking at Jez’s photos and can not understand how you did this to him. Two other people promised to take back where we left off, we promised to care, to love, to feed and to heal this beautiful soul until she does not remember what you told her have done. So yes, I’m crying because Jez went home, to her new parents, Julie and Nico, and because there is a hole in the shape of a Great Dane in my house and in my heart, but at the same time, I am very happy with Jez, and for the beauty of his future. ”
“People often ask me how I do what I do, how I encourage them and give them up, and honestly, in the darkest moments, I do not know how I do it, but I do it because there are so few people will do it, and because not doing it is not an option. And I will continue to do it again and again, and my heart will break, I will laugh, love and cry, then I will do it again.
“I met the most amazing people through the rescue work, but more importantly, I met phenomenal animals. These animals and people give me hope that one day there will be more people who worry than those who do not, more like us and less like you who give up their dogs, and that’s the hope which makes it possible. for me to go out and start again, to save the next abandoned dog, to repair the next broken heart. ”
This article was first published on DogHeirs.com on April 25, 2014, and has been released with permission from Taryn Coates.