We all love the before and after stories, especially with the "snowballs chance in hell" dogs. We got to celebrate a special snow storm survivor this weekend when puppy Vessa went full adoption. Here she is when we first laid eyes on her, back in August (she's the little brown dog). She was whelped in makeshift box that doubled as a fighting pit, then shuffled to an Oklahoma shelter by HSUS reps just after the big bad multi-state arrest that netted nearly 30 abusers.
If you've been following some of our dialogue about Vessa, you may know that the wee thing flew home with Tim after his stint assessing the 'Oklahoma Dozen' - as they've come to be called. She hit the ground running in Oakland and proceeded to impersonate Cujo Puppy with a fine display of monster manners. It didn't help that she wasn't quite weaned yet and came to our house without any waiting Ebsilac (puppy formula) her first night home; Vessa was pissed and not about to let us sleep for - oh - a week straight? That's okay Vessa, we forgive you ... now.
She came to us with a big sense of self: Tail held flagpole high and very ready to tell everyone how things should work. Many of the adult dogs in our local packs (wimps) learned to avoid her. She even had Phatman running scared. Ruh-Roh. Not a good lesson for a little Helen of Troy.
Her whole-lotta-tude won her a spot in the home of no-holds-barred surrogate mama Lily, who undoubtedly earned a dozen gray muzzle hairs putting this puppy into place. Word has it, it was very loud in Lily's kingdom for a few long days. And so Vessa survived yet another snowstorm....Or maybe we survived hers.
Once she showed us that she could be a civilized girl, she started puppy charm school with foster humans Jane and Ron. And then, she finally moved in to her real home ... All spit shined and ready to be a real dog.
Vessa is a true ambassador now, thanks to all the people (and dog Lily) who set the stage for her. She's thick as thieves with brother pit-mix named Tahoe who teaches her new games and who makes sure she remembers her manners. Her mom Bruce is a dog obedience junkie and already has her lined up to earn her therapy dog certification, just like brother Tahoe.
So many of the dogs from "the largest dog fighting bust in U.S. history" did not survive, so the ones that did mean that much more. Vessa made it in more ways than one, and we're all exhaling now.