Your rescued dog’s story did not start when you met. As you begin your life together, do you wonder what their story was?
This post is sponsored by CUDDLY, a crowdfunding platform built for animal welfare organizations worldwide. I am sharing Cookie’s story as part of the #MyUnspokenPet campaign. Learn about Cuddly’s worthy mission and how it can save lives.
After Jasmine’s passing, I believed I wouldn’t be ready to love another dog for a long time. And should that time arrive, I was positive I wouldn’t ever love another dog as much—Jasmine was my heart dog. My heart was broken to pieces.
Life, however, had a different plan. First, I realized that my heart-to-heart connection to Jasmine remained, even though her physical body was gone. And then, one day, I got an unmistakable feeling that Jasmine wanted me to save another dog. I did not hesitate to do something for Jasmine. Something she wished for, gave my life a new purpose. We immediately started searching for a Rottweiler girl to adopt. It had to be a girl, and it had to be a Rottweiler, Jasmine’s legacy.
As soon as I saw Cookie’s photos, I was sold. She looked so much like Jasmine, and she looked so sweet. There are, actually, substantial differences between their built, head shape, and ears—but when I saw Cookie’s photos, I saw Jasmine.
We made arrangements to meet Cookie at once. Both hubby and I were sold, but we had JD, Jasmine’s housemate, and we wanted to make sure that both dogs were going to be happy with the new arrangements. I wanted them to get along, not to merely put up with having to live together. The only way to learn how they feel about the idea was to have them meet.
As it turned out—while a bit overwhelmed at first—JD felt about Cookie the same way I did. He was happy to have somebody whose lead to follow again; he was quite lost after Jasmine’s passing. And Cookie was ecstatic at the idea of having a brother. And just like that, we were four peas in a pod.
A new family
Cookie took to her new family immediately. She had a lot to learn, but that did not include adjusting to a real family. Some of the things that were foreign to her provided clues of what her life used to be. Cookie didn’t know how to use stairs or any man-made surfaces. She made no distinction between things that were meant for chewing and things that were not—if she could reach something, it was fair game. Cookie was also unable to sit and rest for more than thirty seconds because the whole world has just opened up to her, and she wanted to explore it all in one go.
We were in for some surprises too. We’ve had Rotties for a long time, and while each of them was a unique individual, there were traits that they all had in common. Those traits didn’t include a strong prey drive. We were little prepared for a Rottie with Hound blood flowing through her veins. But that’s Cookie. You’d swear she has a Beagle somewhere in her lineage. Is it Cookie’s genes or her previous life that made her into the warrior Rotthound she is?
Cookie tells her unspoken story
The first thing I remember is my mom’s teats, and my siblings’ warm bodies snug against me. We ate, explored, and slept together—mostly slept, though. As time went on, we played, wrestled, bugged our mom, and got to explore more and more. The world felt safe and exciting—so much to discover. We were always together, and there were some bipeds to interact with as well. I figured that the world was a wonderful place to be. There was so much to do and so little time; it wasn’t until my body was exhausted when I laid my head to rest.
One day, a male biped came to visit and whisked me away from everything I knew. He put me in his pickup truck, and we drove into the unknown for what felt like an eternity. Where were we going to? Was I going to be back with my mom, brothers, and sisters?
The dog house
At some point during the trip, I fell asleep. I woke up when we pulled into a driveway and stopped. The place looked fantastic. There was bush as far as the eye could see, and the air was saturated with exciting smells. The male biped took me to a little structure in the yard and tied my leash to it—”that’s your house,” he said as he retired to a structure not much bigger nearby. At first, I thought it was quite awesome that I was going to have a house of my own in the middle of the forest. I could understand we both wouldn’t fit into it—there was just enough room for me to lay down. I was tired from the trip and all the change so I curled up to sleep.
The next morning, the male biped came out of his little house—I noticed his had wheels on it and mine did not—and filled my bowls with food and water. Then he climbed back in the pickup truck and drove away.
Wait, why are you going for a ride without me? Are you gonna be back? You forgot to untie me. What’s the use of having bush all around you if you cannot go and explore it?
I thought about my mom, and my siblings. Our old house was bigger and we could all fit in it together. Our yard was small but we could enjoy it. Now I’m here, alone, and cannot leave. Sadness came over me. Then, something moved at the edge of the woods. Was it a bunny? The only thing standing between me and some adventure is the lead that keeps me tied to the tiny house. I wonder if I could chew though it.
Success. I demolished the obstacle to freedom. I ran to the woods to see if I could still find the bunny. It was gone but there was evidence of other critters—I might not be alone after all—I’ll make new friends.
I spent the day exploring and didn’t even notice it was getting dark. Then I heard somebody calling my name. It was the male biped. Oh, so he did come back. I ran toward the voice. To my surprise, he wasn’t anywhere as excited to see me as I was that he returned. Why was he upset? He couldn’t have missed me, he wasn’t even here.
The field trip
He did feed me but he tied me up again, this time with a rope because my leash was shredded. I was exhausted and fell asleep.
The next day I woke up to his scent and the scent of breakfast. After I finished my meal, the biped picked me up and put me in the pickup truck. Am I going to see my family again? Or are we going on an adventure?
We didn’t drive long enough for me to be going home. It was a short trip. This new yard was full of mud. Some machines were making similar noise to the truck, but they were bigger, noisier, and looked different. My biped took me with him to see what he does all day, perhaps to help! But instead of showing me what we were going to do, he tied me to some kind of a post and went to play with those machines.
I wasn’t upset; I already knew how to fix that. Easily, I chewed through the rope and went to see what this new yard had to offer. This time I knew to be back before dark to avoid trouble.
The sun was still quite high when I heard the biped calling me—why am I in trouble again? I was gonna come back before it got dark? The biped put me back in the truck. We made a couple of stops on the way before we returned to my tiny house. The biped got out but left me inside. He walked back and forth and was building something. It didn’t look like a house—there were two tall poles and some cable connecting them; it looked like those we passed on the road. Then the biped attached a lead to the wire and me to the lead. It was kind of cool; it extended the area I could explore despite being tied up. And I knew how to get free.
The next morning, after the biped filled my bowl, I waited after the sound of his pickup truck faded before I went to work on the leash. As I bit into it—it hurt my teeth—it had a hard center and couldn’t chew threw it. Day after day, I tried but failed. My heart was overcome with sadness and disappointment. I was all alone, and I could only walk or run a few feet back and forth.
The only time I saw the biped was once in the morning and once in the evening when he brought me food and water. Why was I here? What was my purpose? I missed my mom and my siblings so badly I could cry.
I don’t know how much time has gone by but I noticed I had a harder time fitting in my tiny house. The leaves on the trees turned color and fell to the ground. Rain got replaced by snow and it was so very cold. Most mornings my water was frozen and I had to eat snow instead. Some days I thought I’d surely freeze. Finally, the snow melted. It warmed up and things started to grow around me. Then the insects came and they were all over me, biting me ears and face.
I never stopped trying to get loose, but the lead was too strong. This was my life. I spend my days smelling and watching critters I couldn’t chase. They were free—why wasn’t I?
It was when some of the larger flies were biting me so hard that the tips of my ears were bleeding. The male biped who was feeding me pulled into the driveway with another vehicle—a strange-looking thing. Two bipeds and a dog came out. I was so excited I wanted to run toward them, but the lead was holding me back. They were coming toward me and called my name. They got closer and unhooked me.
I didn’t know who to run toward first. The dog was nice, and it was a boy! But he was kind of shy it seemed. There was a female biped too; she kept saying my name and giving me treats. And then we all started walking toward the bush. I was so excited I didn’t know what to do.
I caught the scent of a bunny. Finally, I was able to run and try to find it. I was flying through the trees, free as a bird. It was a while before I noticed that everybody was calling my name. Was I in trouble again? I ran toward them and found them easily. I thought I better stick around now.
As we returned to where my tiny house was, I really didn’t want to get tied up again. But we went past it, toward the strange vehicle. The female biped invited me in, and we all got in. And then we drove for a long time again.
We arrived to a place that didn’t look all that different from the one we just left. There was bush, and a smallish house on wheels like the one the male biped lived in. There were no other structures, no tiny house for me.
All together, we got out and toward the house on wheels. The bipeds and the dog got in and urged me to follow. The entrance, however, wasn’t on the ground. They climbed some sort of platforms to get in. How do you use those things? They seemed scary and slippery. The bipeds helped me out and we all got it—together.
There was a bunch of beds and one of them was mine, right there with everybody. We ate together, we slept together, and we went outside together. Suddenly, I was no longer alone. I had a family.
When I woke up in the morning, everybody was still there with me. And the next morning two. And the morning after that. I was so happy I forgot all about my lonely time.
Cookie’s is one of the many unspoken stories. What is your rescued dog’s story? Did you ever imagine what it would be? Share your dog’s story using the hashtag #MyUnspokenPet and help dogs in need.