A scruffy mop of a dog came to Animal Haven early last summer. She arrived from a puppy mill where dogs are over-bred, neglected and abused. Like most puppy mill dogs, Abagail was fearful and cowering.
I picked her up from the shelter on the hottest day of the year. I flagged down a gypsy cab and we took a bumpy ride from SoHo to Battery Park City. I heard small noises of unhappiness coming from the dog carrier.
The next day, Gene and I drove the shaved, pink-skinned girl from New York to her new home in Maryland with my parents. I sat in the backseat with our dog Shadow, and Abagail rode in her crate in the front.
Dad gave Abagail her new name, Yankee Poodle, appropriate for a poodle from New York. Since then, Mom and Dad concluded she’s not a poodle, but a Bichon Frise and I suspect she didn’t originate from New York. So what’s in a name?
The Second Inning
Over the next couple days, the bewildered Yankee Poodle would not come out of her crate. I did get her outside for a walk, but she could only walk in circles.
We discovered she loved chicken.
When Gene and I returned to Maryland in December, we found that Yankee had started the long road to recovery. She relished the parade of food and the soft quilts and how my mother spoiled her. Still, she was happiest in her crate.
Yankee put on some weight and she ate like a beast. My mom doesn’t call her Yankee, just “My Baby.” And Yankee is her baby.
Though Yankee wanted to badly, she didn’t leave the platform at the foot of the staircase. She danced at the edge when she was excited. But just when I thought she would step off, she pulled back.
Rounding The Bases
By February, Yankee weighed 26 pounds and had found her bark.
I suggested to my mom that she should probably not gain any more weight. Mom said she has gotten picky with her food. That’s what happens when a dog is no longer starving.
Yankee walks in a straight line and we discovered she loves massages.
My parents and Yankee are a perfect match. They have all the love and patience she needs.