It’s hard to believe, but Pyrrha turns 3 today!
Unlike many rescue dogs, we know Pyrrha’s actual birthday, because she came from her unscrupulous breeder (who was raided by the rescue, essentially) with AKC papers. On March 6, 2011, a shy puppy named “Katie” was born to a backyard breeder in rural North Carolina. We don’t know much about her life from birth until she turned a year old, but rescue reports were that she lived outside her whole life in a filthy pen with her relatives. She was neglected, painfully shy, and especially frightened of men.
We adopted her shortly after she’d turned 1, in mid-May 2012. The rescue had named her Lyndi, and she’d been recently returned to the rescue after a family with three young children learned that she wasn’t going to work out for them. (Understandable, because she is very anxious about small kids.)
Once we met her, in the parking lot of a PetCo, I was sold. In retrospect, it was a foolish decision. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, ha! Adopting my first dog, a dog with evident fear issues? Not the best decision I’ve ever made. But I don’t regret it. I was in love.
She had a rough time at first. As I’ve recounted before, she hid from us in corners of the house. She never wanted to leave her crate. She spent every walk with her ears flat back and her tail completely tucked under her. But, gradually, she started to get comfortable, and she bonded intensely with me.
Pyrrha still has issues and always will, but she’s my special girl. (Exhibit A, below, her ambivalent ears.)
My heart thrills when I think back to those first few months with Pyrrha and then think about how she is now. Still fearful, but, wow, what a different dog!
Our adventures in fostering and now, having adopted a second dog, have worked wonders on soothing her nerves. Pyrrha is most at ease when she’s with me at home and when she’s in the presence of another dog. Having psycho Edie around has already made a tangible difference in reducing Pyrrha’s day-to-day anxiety level.
At 3, Pyrrha is a content, calm dog. Yes, she’s still leash reactive. Yes, she grumbles at Eden from time to time. Yes, Guion is still on her “don’t entirely trust” list. But the progress she’s made! It’s enough to make my eyes well up.
Happy birthday, Pyrrha Louise. You’re a good girl. And I’m glad you’re in my life.