Bless your heart.
I had horses, too.
Most loved was my big, sweet buckskin gelding, Rebel.
He was the best horse who ever lived and we had a connection that irritated my dad, no end.
That horse would do things for me that my dad could only dream of.
I trained him to be 'gaited' even though he was a QH/App cross.
I taught him tricks and he followed me everywhere off lead.
[if I had a dollar for every time dad or mom yelled "Get that d@mn horse off the porch!/out of the kitchen!", I'd be rich.]
He would walk through/over/under/up anything I asked of him, because he knew I'd never put him in harm's way.
For me, he was a trail horse without equal...for dad...well, not so much...
Every day after school, no matter the weather, I'd let the Dobe boys out of their kennels and throw a bridle on Reb and we'd race through the woods and over the mountains in joyous abandon.
All my stress seemed to flow down into his legs, where it was pounded to meaningless dust beneath his hooves.
I haven't ridden in 30 years and frankly, I think that's the reason for my health/emotional woes.
I no longer have a wonderful friend who will happily pulverize my sorrow into oblivion.
It's been 28 years since Tito passed away [my parents had been keeping him when I had a no-dog apartment...I won't 'go there'] and not a single day has gone by that I don't think of him.
He died 4 days after his 8th birthday, right *on* my
[which I no longer 'celebrate']
I grieved horribly for many years...only 'cheering up a bit' when I found my Ibizan, Minny at the local shelter.
But still, in my heart of hearts, I missed him desperately...and still do.
Many dogs I've loved dearly over the years and many have passed on.
There are dogs you'll always remember...and then there's dogs you'll never
Tito was My One.
With all my heart, I hope dogs go to Heaven.
I dearly look forward to the day I see him, again.
My ex took all the photos I had of my dogs, for spite and I have only one lousy, tattered snap shot of his sweet face, that I miraculously found in the attic, just a week before I found Odin and 2 weeks before the 25th anniversary of Tito's death.
I took that as 'a sign' and Odin has brought some of the joy I felt many years ago back into my soul.
He is very much like Tito in his single-minded devotion and protection.
There were many deeply loved Dobes in my life during that 25 year span but I've only found 2 who could be "The Ones".
Now I'm crying.
Little 'Halla is so afraid to trust.
She missed the entire puppy pile/loving mom thing and I think she lashes out in fear.
My hands are shredded from the bites inflicted as I try to teach her that no harm will ever come to her.
She gets so hysterical if she feels she can't get away when she wants to.
It's getting better, but so slowly.
After 20 minutes of freaking out, she calms down and lets me do the wondrously simple act of just petting her soft puppy fur and stroking her head.
She's missed so much that is essential for puppies.
Sometimes I just weep for her.
She's so alone and lonely for her siblings and has no idea how to 'connect' to people, normally.
I think what tears me apart most is that she is so much like me when i was a child.
I have often asked God "WHY?!?" but that's probably my answer.
One wounded soul will understand another.
Hopefully I can give to her what was never given to me.
Thank you so much for sharing your story...and your soul with me.
Horses did for me what that Dobe did for you. They saved me. Your story absolutely moved me to tears. The sad part is to me that that man still exists somewhere. People used to say I had a knack for them (horses) - now that I'm older, I'm quite out of practice (bad hips from an accident when I was around a year old left me with something close to arthritis). Of course, there was a dog - a mutt, a farm rescue who'd lost all her teeth that we called Ruth. My foster parents ended up letting me keep her, and she was my girl (through mental illness and then finally wellness) til she was right around 16 - she died my senior year of high school, along with my lab, my first Dobe, and our Mastiff (they were all very old by that point, and all went one after another - cancer for the lab, heart disease + kidney failure for my mutt, cancer + heart disease for my Dobe, and heart failure for the Mastiff). I didn't have another dog until I got J five, almost six years afterward - I still cried when I saw pictures of that mutt.
I think Halla is in great hands with someone who can love her. Having a dog or any other animal pinned to the ground is stressful for them, and it takes building trust to get there. And, I think that some of her socialization issues may be from being so sick.