Monday, June 11, 2012

Rehabilitation and the Power of Love

Several years ago my good friend, Marcel, got a call about a dog needing rescue. He and his wife drove a hundred miles to pick up the dog, an action that they had performed numerous times over the years for an assortment of dogs and cats. This dog, a female Pekinese, proved to be a great challenge. She growled at and bit anyone who got near her. The veterinarian told them that the dog had gone completely psychotic as a result of abuse and needed to be put down. Another visit to another vet produced the same prognosis.  The dog continued to bite, drawing blood and charging at anyone who got close to her.

Marcel's marriage dissolved and he was left with the dog. Over the next two years the dog gradually began to accept Marcel allowing him to touch her and even pet her. The dog continued to growl and tried to bite anyone else who came near.

It's been four years and Marcel and Baba just spent a weekend with us. Baba let me pet her, she didn't growl at anyone not even our two cats who did their best to enrage her. Marcel put it succinctly, "I believe anyone can be rehabilitated."

Baba is intensely attached to Marcel in the ordinary way that dogs become attached to their humans. And for Marcel this once "psychotic" dog is a loving and loyal companion. During Baba's recovery he never once raised his voice to her. It goes without saying that he never struck her. He just gave her an endless stream of love and patience never asking for anything in return. I witnessed this transformation and I am in awe of it. For me it is proof that the power of love resides in each of us and it can accomplish the impossible.

Maybe saving one little dog is no big deal. But when you see Baba wag her tail and jump you sure feel like it is.

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