Sorbet’s journey to her forever home.
March of 2011, was one of the saddest days of my life. My dog Dakota went down in the middle of the night and could no longer walk. After calling a local vet to help me, I ended up having to take him to Banfield in Bozeman. My husband was out of town and Dakota being 80 pounds, I had to drag him to the car on a blanket. A guy out of nowhere stopped and helped me put him in the car, I was crying so much I don’t think I even thanked him properly. I just kept telling him I was sorry for being so emotional. If you are that stranger and reading this- Thank you! I will never forget your kindness.
The vet visit ended up being a rollercoaster ride. At first there seemed to be hope, he could come out of this but would still need help getting up. Then they found the tumor on his spine and I had to say goodbye. This was a hard goodbye for me. I adopted Dakota from a shelter when he was 6 months old. To us he was perfect, and one month after he turned 13, we had to let him go. I decided no more dogs. I needed time to grieve and to catch my breath. That time was shorter than I had anticipated.
On June 24, 2011, Stafford posted on Facebook that they need people to foster. They had three dogs that were going kennel crazy and needed help desperately. I wanted to help. I had the space and time, but Stafford had also posted that they weren’t exactly cat friendly. I posted back anyway, stating my dilemma about my cats. Soon after, Kris posted again, they had tested one of the dogs and she didn’t seem to have any reaction. That night I picked up Sorbet from the shelter. Stafford told me how crazy she had gotten in her stays at the shelter, one time chewing off part of her tail and this time she was jumping and twirling in the air. So I had prepared myself for a real challenge. Besides bully breed traits, she really wasn’t the challenge I thought, she actually wasn’t a challenge at all, just a dog with certain needs. After bring her home, I met her sponsor, a very nice woman, who was very concerned about getting her a good home. I instantly liked this woman and appreciated how caring she was. I watched several times as Sorbet left, with her sponsor, to meet the people who would give her a loving, forever home. I was sad knowing the perfect home wasn’t out there for her at the moment, every time she came back. Getting to know her- I wanted to see her with a family, with two kids around the ages of eight or ten. The Norman Rockwell life for a dog, I guess, but that wasn’t happening. The sad truth is a lot of people just want a pit bull for the status symbol they think they bring. To me she’s a dog that needed a home with lots of structure, love, and understanding.
You can’t imagine how happy I was when Sorbet’s sponsor came over to get her to introduce her to exactly what I wanted… a family with two kids. And the best part, the father claimed he was very experienced in handling bully breeds. Of course, I forgot the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” Sorbet had left for 5 days, testing out her new family. I’ll admit as hard as I fought myself just to stay a foster parent, I was missing her badly and I didn’t know if I had just said goodbye to her for the last time. She is quirky, stubborn, obsessive and at times made me want to pull my hair out, but she is also very funny and I loved watching her reactions to things because of lot of it is new to her. She is so innocent and yet has been through so much in her 6 years of life. But I kept telling myself this was the right thing to do. She needed a family and I shouldn’t be selfish.
5 days later, Sorbet returned. She was not the same dog that had left my house. She was now aggressive and tried dominating traits on everything and everyone. She was exhausted and slept for two days straight, but even after a few days back in her structured world she was still showing aggression and trying to dominate. Whatever Sorbet had gone through in those 5 days I was determined she wasn’t going to go through it again. After talking with her sponsor, who pretty much from day one thought we should take her, and talking it over with my husband we decided that this WAS and had been Sorbet’s home all along. I was the only one who didn’t see it, when she first arrived.
Sorbet’s been here a year now. We have experienced a lot of things that has happened in her past. She’s still aggressive at times, mostly in the car. We can take her for a walk and she’s fine around all dogs. Put her in the car and a dog walks by, she’ll throw herself in the window trying to get at it, snarling and barking. We’ve since bought a seatbelt harness to stop that. She still quirky, stubborn, obsessive, and has some anxieties that we are working through; like thunder and lightning. Lightning she’s gotten over, but we’ll probably always deal with thunder. We’ve also decided that at some point of her life she was beaten, by a man. She had gotten into the trash while we were away. When we got home she tucked her butt underneath her so tight, I have no idea how she was still able to walk, with just her front paws, to the bathroom to hide. A few minutes later, she came to the couch, where she sat by me, shaking, for 40 minutes, as she closely watched my husband and waited. That beating never came… nor did it come the next time she got into mischief that she thought warranted one. We’re getting over that issue, too, thankfully, because it was so sad to watch. Now if she gets into the trash she knows it’s bad, but she no longer shakes or tucks her butt. She remembers her past, and yet knows we are not that past, which makes her not sure how to react. She’ll go up to my husband trying to lick his face, and yet trying to keep a distance (just in case). This actually makes us laugh, and she forget the entire mess she’s made and starts prancing happily around. We just take it one day at a time and one problem at a time. I know with a loving, yet structured home she’ll get past her issues and that she’s developing into a wonder, funny, calmer, and loving dog, who likes to run (a lot), play, bark at her fellow neighborhood dog friends, and cuddles up at night with the cats. I never pictured myself with a dog that needed not only a mom and dad, but a therapist too, Ha! (good thing she can’t sue me for bad counseling). I’m so grateful I got the chance to meet her, foster her, and give her the home she wanted and needed… even when my twisted mind didn’t think she’d be happy here. For all her craziness and imperfections I can’t imagine a life without her. I think Dakota would have enjoyed this zany life we’re now living too. Sorbet sure makes it interesting and fun.
Submitted by: Sheila