I wanted to share with you a letter I received from Lady’s adopted mother Cynthia. This letter describes Lady’s integration with her new family and the progress she has made!
First, I wanted to share with you how I felt when I first met lady. I saw the horrific the pictures before I actually saw her. It took me a while to process what I was looking at. The CCHS staff took me in to see her. She was standing in the back of her cage in a difficult to describe frozen posture. I think it was the most painless position for her to maintain when she was chained as seen in previous pictures. Also she was just staring ahead with a very vacant facial expression. I assumed that she was not going to be responsive to humans because of the horrible abuse she had experienced. I got close to her and softly spoke her name over and over. When she began wagging her tail, I was in love!!!!!
We visited many times before we decided to adopt her. I didn’t want to let her down after what she had been through. We returned to Raleigh and I found myself thinking about her all the time! After several weeks, I decided to adopt her. My daughter, Annie, 14. helped with Lady’s introduction and inclusion into our “pack”. We have 4 cats, all rescues. Also, we have a very sweet English Springer Spaniel named Wally. He was found in the Walmart parking lot. Our greatest challenge was introducing Lady to Wally. After gradual introductions, they bonded beautifully. They play together, sleep together, and seem to be “best buds.” Then Lady began to show some dominance issues. Wally responded and reestablished himself as submissive. At first I was concerned about this, but they accepted their positions into the pack. Lady at first seemed disinterested in the cats, but then seemed to startle at times when they approached. Around this time, Annie told me she thought Lady had cataracts. I thought this was not possible since she was so young. When we took her to the vet, we discovered she was totally blind in the left eye. She had a cataract and no tear production, most likely from blunt force trauma to the head. This explains other behaviors such as bumping into our legs on walks, bumping into stairs, and difficulty seeing on nightly walks. We think her decrease vision causes a startle response when the cats approach on her left side. She requires daily eye drops, which she loves receiving. I think she likes the attention and the soothing affect.
Sometimes Lady becomes anxious and agitated for unknown reasons. She responds quickly to verbal and physical reassurance. Specifically she is fearful of men who have a muscular build. She has shown improvement after gradual exposure to such men. She is extremely bonded to her family members and is very sociable with most people. We affectionately refer to her as our “Happy Girl” and love her unconditionally. Overall, Lady has made remarkable progress.
Everyone who meets Lady and hears her story seems profoundly affected. For example, the vet, the staff, and especially her groomer express compassion and admiration for this incredible animal. Her extraordinary story and recovery has shown people that there is always hope even in the worst cases.