|Practicing my agility|
It's me, little old Tilly again. As I promised last time, I'm here to tell you the story of Sheba, one of my doggie pals, and the survivor of some really horrendous treatment in her puppyhood.
Just over 2 years ago, Harry and the family went to the local dog pound on a cold December day. They had taken a big box of chocolates for the staff at the pound, to thank them for all the hard work they do every year, trying to find new homes for the many strays and unwanted dogs who pass through their doors. It was the 29th December, and the pound was so full of dogs received over the holiday period that they had resorted to using their overflow accommodation and even their stables to house the many dogs who had arrived in just over a week.
Harry and our Mum were appalled when they say a little grey blob, lying under a heat lamp, in a small pen in a corner of the stables. Thin and skeletal, the poor thing barely looked like a dog and when the family enquired about it, they were told it was a tiny Staffordshire Bull Terrier that had obviously been used as bait for the training of fighting dogs. The people at the pound didn't think there was much that could be done for her and they offered her to Harry for free, if her thought he could help her. 5 minutes later the dog was in the back of the car on the way to our home.
On the way home, Harry and Mum decided to give her a 'posh' name, despite her looks, and they named her Sheba, our own little 'Queen'.
|Skeletal Sheba, soon after joining us|
|A dog or a frog? Poor little girl, legs could hardly support her|
A visit to the vet was made and Harry was given a cream that had to be applied to her tail four times a day. Every time he applied it, she winced and shut her eyes so it must have hurt a lot. The alternative was to let the vet amputate half her tail, but Harry was determined to try and save her tail intact for her. Two months later, the tail had healed and now, she loves nothing more than wagging that tail at everyone she meets!
|Getting some much needed love|
It took some time to get Sheba to trust people, but she now loves everyone she meets and greets them with a big 'Staffy smile'. She soon began to put on weight and one day, Harry met the dog warden who had taken her to the pound. It transpired that she'd been thrown on to a rubbish tip and left to die and the wardens had got an anonymous phone call to tell them about her and had only just got to her in time. She'd been in the pound nearly a month when Harry found her, so we could only imagine how bad she must have looked before they'd fed her and given her some basic medical care. Now she was with us, though, and the family lavished her with all the love and care she deserved, and gradually, she began to put on weight and the beautiful brindle colouring of her coat began to appear.
|A picture that says a thousand words?|
Harry took her to some training classes and she gradually got used to being around other dogs, although she was still very nervous around strange dogs and would get rather aggressive if they came too close, because she was afraid they were going to attack her, of course. Eventually she could be allowed to be loose, under close control, near some of the others at the training class, a really big step for Sheba.
|A good game with Sophie|
She put on more weight as the months progressed and then Harry entered a photo of her in a contest on an internet site, with entries from around the world. Believe it or not, Sheba won the 'Rescue Dog of the Month' award and you can see that picture here along with the others that show Sheba's progress from skeletal waif to beautiful dog.
In order to keep her safe, and not put other dogs at risk, (just in case she gets too scared and tries to bite them), Harry and Victoria usually exercise her with one of our other Staffies, Muttley, on a nearby field, where they love to run and play together. She is so happy, and loves all humans, something of a surprise when you think what some humans did to her in her youngest days.
She now weighs over 16 kilograms, and her coat shines so much that Harry and Victoria made up a little tongue twister based on the way her coat gleams in the sun. Here
it is, why not try it yourself? (Glad I'm a dog and don't have to talk...hehe)
"Shiny Sheba shimmers in the summer sunshine."
|Playing Tug of War with Dexter|
Sheba gets on fine with all the rest of the pack here at Harry's place, and Harry will gradually try introducing her to more and more dogs outside the home until she eventually loses her fears and can one day be fully integrated into the local dog community. For now, though we are all just glad to have her with us and are so happy that she has overcome the terrible start\she had in life. Can you imagine how scared she must have been as a puppy? Imagine spending each day tied up and being attacked by dogs who were trained to do nothing but fight and who tried to rip her to bits. Sheba is a miracle dog. It was a miracle she survived in the first place, and it's surely a bit of a miracle that she has turned into such a beautiful and loving girl, and oh yes, the cheeky madam actually sleeps with Victoria in her bedroom at night. Who ever said Staffies are vicious? Harry has a very good phrase actually and has a T- Shirt that says "Punish the deed, not the breed".
So there we are, that's Sheba's story in a nutshell. I could tell you a lot more, but I don't want to bore everybody, so will leave you to look at the pictures of Sheba and hope you enjoyed reading about her.
Next time I'll tell you about our youngest Staffy, little Sasha, who has so far survived a life threatening lung and chest infection and TWO broken legs in the first 6 months f her young life.
|Wanna play ball?|
For now though, love to you all, and here's a preview pic of little Sasha
Tilly XX (And Sheba of course)