My little Bug Bug came to me in January of 2020. She was rescued and rehabilitated for six months by the good people at People's Anti-Cruelty Association in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bug is a ten-year old German Shepherd/Greyhound mix with the gentlest, sweetest spirit you ever could know. She thrives on positive encouragement and affection. Her most notable feature is her eyes: deep brown pools that reveal a being that has endured great cruelty.
Though we aren't sure exactly what Bug experienced, it was evident that she was beaten harshly and regularly. When she first came home, she would not stay in the same room with me. Whenever I approached her, she would immediately lay down on her back and put up her paws in submission. If I so much as dropped my pencil onto the floor, she would jump up and dart away in terror. In addition to her fear and anxiety, Bug had severe arthritis in her hind legs and a pancreas disorder that prevented her from digesting food well. Hello, my picky little eater!
After some time with her new pack, Bug began to settle in. She learned how to be off leash with us at the park. She loved to take rides in the car. She even learned to play with me a bit: when she would lay down in submission, I would gently squeeze her paws and she would spring up and sprint in a circle with her hind legs flaring out. So, so funny. In time, she even allowed strangers gently pet her head. She even eventually stopped laying down on her back when I (or anyone) would approach her. So sweet and gentle, Bug is a delight to have in my everyday life!
On May 19th, 2020 Bug had a severe nosebleed. It turned out to be lymphoma. One of the great graces of her dying time was that she finally felt entirely safe and at home with us--perhaps for the first time in her life. All traces of anxiety and fear evaporated as she lay dying, surrounded by her pack. I am grateful to PACA for the work they do, and to God for finally granting my girl the grace of healing before she crossed over to into God's arms. Bug died a peaceful death on July 13, and took a part of me with her.