I just wanted to let you know how much your story inspired me.
In 2011, I was dating a very abusive man who had a beautiful working line GSD. He kept her in a crate in the garage, only to be let out to go potty (sometimes). If she went potty in the crate, she would lay in her own filth until he decided to clean it. I knew nothing about dogs, only that she was such a handful- hyper, jumping, aggressive... it was easy for me to just think "what a mess" about the whole situation, not realizing that every day that she spent alone in that garage was abusive to her.
Well, when your story spread on the internet that year, something hit me. I just cried as I saw TAD's pictures. I was so touched that someone could save the boy and get him better.. and I was ashamed that the dog right under my nose was not being helped. She was fed and sheltered, but left in isolation because she was just too much work to train (according to the boyfriend). She would cry and moan from her crate to be let out.... and be ignored because once let out, she was a terror.
Well, I took her out of that garage. I brought her into the house, and taught her how to behave using positive reinforcement. After a week or so, she would come up to me outside and roll on her back showing me her belly. She actually let me pet her. I started reading "the culture clash" that you had recommended back then, and got myself a clicker.
She was loyal and sweet, and her transformation was amazing. After a few months, we even went to the dog park, where she ran with other dogs for the first time. She became my life- I loved her and she loved me. She was a welcome distraction from the bad circumstances of the relationship I was in. She would wait for me when i wasn't at his house. All night she'd wait by the door if I wasn't staying there.
When I finally broke it off with this abusive man, he refused to let me take her. My heart broke every day worrying for her, missing her. My heart still breaks. We had 2 years together, me and her.
I got my own GSD puppy a few months after the breakup- I needed to give some creature all the love I had to give to her. We train using positive reinforcement, and he's earned his CGC and is a therapy dog. Every day i think of her and how she waits by the door, knowing I'm not coming home and I pray that she is loved. All I can do now is love my boy and give him the best life possible.
So, I want to thank you for rescuing Tad and making it public- because I don't know if I would have ever rescued her from that garage. I don't know if I would have ever found the love one can get from a dog. I don't know if I would have my sweet boy today. Your actions have had amazing consequences in my life.
The Ripple Effect
I got a message from a fan of Tad a while back, and it's so...just...it's special. I wanted to share it with you guys. It's kind of like when you skip a rock across a calm and still pond...there's a ripple effect.
from tiffers @ 9:15 AM