slurpee, our 2 year old rottweiler X mastiff, had recently passed when i first looked into her eyes. trav + i were grieving and certainly not looking to adopt another. but i couldn’t look away from the photograph on my facebook newsfeed of this skinny dog with a massively enlarged head and the saddest eyes, named faith.
out of morbid curiosity, i inquired as to why this dog’s head was so unnaturally big and learned that canine education rescue + adoption (also known as c.e.r.a; previously ocean dog rescue) had caught her as a feral street dog in taiwan and saved her life by removing a thick band that was put around her neck as a puppy, collapsing her trachea as she grew. her head was so swollen due to a lack of circulation but with time, would decrease in size. in sadness + awe of learning about some of what faith had gone through, i continued to follow her progress online. then i learned that after a few more weeks of healing at the vet’s office, faith was scheduled to be released back onto the streets of taiwan, as c.e.r.a does not have a shelter of their own nor did they have any space at their volunteers’ overflowing foster homes.
i just- i couldn’t. i couldn’t handle the thought of not knowing if she would be okay, the huge possibility that she would be hurt again at the hand of a human being, that she would live always in fear, always starving, hiding. i looked up from the computer screen and said to trav, “we have to help this dog. please..” and being the wonderful man he is, he immediately smiled and said, “yes, of course.”
faith, renamed pickles, became a member of our family 2 years ago now. she has taught us so much about patience, kindness, the ability to adapt and has brought so much joy into our lives. so when lynda tierney approached me about writing a story on pickles // animal adoption for pacific rim magazine, i was all like, “helllllls yes!” the special 25th anniversary edition of the magazine is available now and throughout the month of may with the globe + mail in vancouver. go get yourself a copy or view online here (scroll down to page 62 for pickles’ story).
side note: at the time of adopting pickles, a local vet in chilliwack said to me, “there are millions of homeless dogs in north america. dogs that are well behaved and happy that are going to be killed. i encourage you to adopt one of those dogs instead.” honestly, my immediate feelings to his words were anger, followed by a saddening frustration.. he was right. there are millions of good, ‘normal’ dogs right in my backyard. but the more i’ve thought about this vet’s advice, i’ve realized.. love has no borders. a body of water separating the lands is not an indicator of who is entitled to be saved. they all deserve to live. pickles grew up wild and abused, so absolutely, she has fearful behavioural issues. and not everyone can or wants to take on a dog like her. but please, please understand, there really are MILLIONS of happy, well adjusted dogs (including pure breeds + puppies) everywhere, including at your local shelter, that need to be adopted. we want to encourage you to donate to, foster or adopt any. :)
a of t+a