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Animals: Dog in the Desert



Joined: 4/30/2015
Posts: 1
sabrinarose
It seems like everyone has something about their past that sticks with them forever, and even animals can have that type of emotional pain. When I was little, I had a dog with a crazy backstory, and it involves finding her in the middle of an Arizona desert. Animals can have emotional and mental pain just like people can, and one of my first pets was emotionally damaged.
My dog, Gypsy, was unexpectedly found in a totally heartbreaking way. When I was around 8, my mother’s boyfriend at the time, Jason, was visiting his mother in Phoenix. Jason found a dehydrated and starving puppy in the underbrush of a path while he was on a hike. She seemed to be a pit bull terrier, and she was entirely white excluding a few dark patches. He said that he could count every one of her ribs, and that her fur was brittle, her skin could have torn like paper. She was so sweet and friendly that Jason couldn’t resist taking her home on the plane back to California. She became our family dog, and we named her Gypsy because she was a free-spirited animal that was lost in the wilderness. When I saw her, I thought that she was the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen, and I loved that dog so much. Little did I know, my dog was haunted by her past.
Gypsy was driven mad by her fear of loneliness, and being abandoned again. She went nuts when she was alone, and my mother figured that was because someone had left her in the desert. Living the life of most, my mother and Jason went to work during the week, and I went to school. We typically left Gypsy in my mother’s room during the day, but she tried to get out by ripping the door frame off of the wall and scratching and barking until we got home. Gypsy did this to several rooms, and even though I hated the idea of her having a kennel, my mother had to put her in one before she left for work every day. There was one time when my family and I went camping with Gypsy, and we left her in our trailer while we went to the pool. She broke the window out of the trailer and ran to find us, which was easily two miles away. She could not be alone. Gypsy was afraid of us leaving her alone like her owners had in the past.
Gypsy was young when she was scarred with the terrible pain of abandonment. Having a pet with such severe separation anxiety made me realize that humans aren’t the only creatures capable of mental illness. I know a lot of people who have a fear of being alone, myself included, and having Gypsy as my pet has helped me through that. I could share that feeling with my dog, which in the end made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
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