It’s mid-March in the Mojave Desert and I suddenly found myself abandoned along Interstate 10 to fend for myself. I am just a few weeks old and miss my mom. What is a cute little basset hound to do? What did I do? Why did these people drive me out to the desert to dump me all by myself?
I am so scared, hungry and thirsty. I don’t understand how to survive on my own. All of these cars and trucks going by so fast, I am not sure if they scare me more or the unknown dangers of the desert. I guess I will stay on this smooth surface for a little while…please don’t hit me. Why hasn’t someone stopped to help? I am getting so tired and weak. Please, someone help me.
Wait, I see a car stopping and someone getting out. I do not know what to do, should I run away? The last person took me from my family and left me out here. As scared as I am, I am too tired to run. I hope they take me back to my mommy. I am thirsty. Do you have any water? Where are we going?
I am going to just curl up on your seat and sleep. Thank you for picking me up and giving me some water. How far are you taking me? It seems like we have been driving for a really long time.
Wow, what is this place? I have never seen anything like this. I hear other dogs; this can’t be all that bad. Oh goody, I will have someone to play with. Wait; wait…your leaving me too? Don’t go! You were so nice to pick me up and give me water. Please don’t go!
Now where are you taking me? What are all the cages? Why is everyone in a cage? What kind of a place is this? What did I do to end up here? The day started off so nice curled up sleeping with my mom.
At least I feel safe here. Although I do not understand the fear I am sensing in some of the other animals. I just keep trying to look really cute so these people will keep holding me and making me feel safe. I like it when they hold me.
The nights here scare me. It is really dark and I am all alone. I find myself staring through the cage door crying most of the night. It is not a bad alternative to the nightmares I have when I am finally able to fall asleep. Where are the dogs going when the people take them down the hall? I never see them again. Are they getting to go home? Whatever I did I am sorry. I just want to go home.
Oh good, my friend is coming to get me. She is so nice. She lets me run around and holds me so close I can hear her heart beat. It is such a calming feeling. Why does she look so sad? What’s wrong? Why are you taking me this direction? Suddenly, a strong sense of fear is starting to come over me as I realized that this is not a place I wanted to be. I now know why she looks so sad. My little body is trembling in fear as we move further down the hall and into one of the back rooms. I can sense the death all around. We were doing so well. What happened? Why are you bringing me to this place? Don’t go! Please stay and protect me! I do not want to be alone in this room! Come back!
Who is this lady? What does she want? She has such a sweet, peaceful voice. Sigh…what a gentle caring touch she has. Where is she taking me? I still can’t stop trembling in spite of her attempts to calm me down. I am not sure if I am still scared of that room or afraid of where I am being taken next. I am just happy she is holding me in her lap for this car ride.
What is this place? I can sense a different feel here. All the dogs look alike and are running around out of cages. This is different. Who are these people and dogs? They all seem so happy to see me. This is looking better. Yea, this is more like it. I am getting one hug after another. Finally, I am starting to stop trembling. My tail is going so fast right now; I can feel my entire body shifting back and forth. I am a happy doggie…for the moment.
I am not even 2 months old…as far as I know and I finally found a home. As the week goes by, I am happy in my new home playing with the friendly people and other dogs. The only scary moment has been a trip to some place where I fell asleep and woke up with a big cut between my legs. I had no clue what happened, I just remember it hurt afterwards and really itched. They also, poked, prodded, inserted something up my rear, and gave me shots. I do not like that place.
Like I said, all was going well. Then it happened again…someone came and took me away. I did not want to go, but they seemed nice. My life is again turned inside out. I have no clue what these people want from me. I am trying so hard to please them and make them happy. I am showing all the love I have. Why do you keep yelling at me, hitting me and throwing things at me? I am sorry! I am trying! Please don’t. I just want to be back in a loving home and be happy. Why can I not find a happy life? What did I do to deserve this?
Once again I find myself crying a lot and hoping someone will rescue me from this place. This goes on for a couple of weeks. Uh oh, where are you taking me? Please not the car. I want someone to come rescue me. I do not want to go on a car ride with you. Please no! Where are you taking me? Please do not dump me in the desert. I am so scared curled up in a tiny ball trembling, not knowing what is to come. All I know is that car rides are not good.
What is this house? I remember a place like this from before. The people and dogs are different, but the environment is the same. I just do not understand why I keep getting left at different places with different people. At least these people and dogs seem nice. I think I can be happy here. I hope this one lasts. I am tired of being abandoned places.
Why? Why? Why are they letting someone else take me away? Why doesn’t anyone want me? I promise I will be good. All I ever did was love you. Don’t let them take me away from you! Another terrifying car ride to the unknown, I just want this to stop. I hope these people are nice.
Please stop throwing things at me. No, don’t hit me again. What am I doing wrong? I don’t understand. Teach me through love not violence. How did I end up in another abusive home? Won’t someone ever love me and want to keep me. Will you please just take me back to the nice place where you got me? Why are they so mean to me? I am so tired of hiding from people and crying.
Oh no…another car ride. I hope they are at least taking me back to that happy home. No such luck, but it looks like another happy home with lots of friends to play with. This one even has a cat and dog door so I can go outside whenever I need. This could be good. Hopefully these people will love me and want to keep me. I really do not want to be taken away or abandoned somewhere again.
Oh great…here I go again. Why did this guy pick me? Is he nice? Is he going to abuse me? I hate car rides! Maybe if I run all over the car climbing everywhere, he will turn around and take me back. No such luck.
It has been 8 years since he picked me up and drove me home. In that time, he has provided me with more than I could have ever dreamed of having. More importantly, he has loved and protected me, never once hitting or throwing things at me. He has spoiled me, trying to help me forget about those first three months of my life. Yes, the above all happened in my first three months. It took me about 2.5 years to get over my abandonment issues and to this day, I am still afraid of unfamiliar objects in someone’s hand. The memories of cruelty run deep, but it was all worth it to find a home where I am loved.
Thank you random driver, basset rescue, foster homes and of course, my loving, loyal companion and friend whom I sleep next to every night, for finding and saving me.
After 11 years by her companion’s side, Cooper passed away in her companion’s arms.
Cooper, February 14, 2004 – May 9, 2015