Dogs get depressed too
Written by Nancy Hatcher (Missouri, U.S.A.)
Published on: March 2nd, 2012
My husband & I were married about 15 years before we were blessed with a dog companion. Our neighbors had a beautiful black shepherd & malamute that was raised as an indoor pet until they had a baby. Fearing Princess would harm their new baby, they put her on a heavy metal chain outside on a concrete pad with a rickety & leaky doghouse that was too small for her. The only contact with her was to drop a bowl of food and tell her to shut up. We watched a very social and beautiful dog decend farther & farther into depression. We would try to pet her but everytime we approached she would start to shake and pee on herself. Thunderstorms would terrify her, especially with no place to be protected from the rain.
Princess was in good physical condition but emotionally devastated.
One weekend they left town and Princess broke loose and came directly to our house. We had a fenced in back yard where she would be safe and kept her for the 3 days they were gone. We never saw any one come to feed, water or simply check on her for the entire 3 days.
We would let her in the house during the day & fixed a bed on the back porch for the night. She was so happy to be inside and to have protection outside.
When the couple returned we asked if we could keep her since they didn't trust her with the baby. After an agonizing 24 hours we watched her, once again, decend into depression. They decided to let her go and warned us that she urinated in the house. The only time she urinated in the house was when she heard paper crunching. She quit when she realized we weren't going to hit her.
The first thing we did was to take the chain off and throw it away with a promise to Princess that she'd never feel a chain around her neck again.
As it turned out Princess was extremely intellegent (sometimes a real challenge!) and had a great sense of humor. When she and my husband got down on the floor and played, half the time she was teasing him! She had the most beautiful laughing eyes. Phil would hold a doggie treat in his mouth (I know, yuk!) and Princess would smile with her eyes, look deep into Phil's eyes and gently take the treat.
When our first grandson was born the supposedly "dangerous" Princess would guard his bed when he slept and was a constant companion even when Devin would pull on her sensitive ears. Never once did she snap, bite, growl or harm him in any way. We could not have asked for a better guardian companion for Devin.
During her life with us she rescued a brindle boxer, Bob (big ole boy) and they became the best of friends. The first picture is our "yin/yang" photo - Princess is the one in black. The second picture is Devin and Princess.
Princess lived a very long life and finally passed at the age of 20. She is missed terribly!
All our animal friends have been rescued and we've found them to make the best companions. We have never "owned" a pet but we have shared our lives with many. They have given us so much we wonder sometimes who rescued who and if we are their pets!
Will You Help Rescue Others? You'll LOVE Our Work! Before: scheduled for euthanasia at the pound. After: His new family has a huge backyard!