Batman, below is a boston terrier/pug/chihuahua cross ( my best guess) and Pumpkin,who suffers from pempigus foliaceus, is a small mixed breed of unknown origin. They were confiscated from an owner who was driving through Western Minnesota from Las Vegas. The woman and her companion also had two small kids in the car. They were on their way to Chicago when arrested for trafficking child pornography. The sheriffs took their kids into protective custody and the dogs to animal control. The animal control officer called Home for Life, shocked at Pumpkin's condition, knowing she would never make it out alive of the shelter. Batman was arguably "adoptable" but the sheriffs and animal control did not want to separate the two dogs who were frightened and tramautized, clinging together. Pumpkin's condition needed intensive treatment including medications, food supplements and regular therapeutic baths, while the impact to Batman was more of a psychic injury. He cowered and shrank back if anyone looked at him. Despite her disfigurement Pumpkin actually seemed more resiliant and hopeful. Maybe she was down so far she had nowhere to go but up. The sheriffs elected to send both dogs to Home for Life where they could heal in body and spirit while supporting each other. This photo below was taken just ten days after they arrived, and they still seem haunted by what they had gone through. After several months with us, at last, Batman's true spunky and happy go lucky personality has emerged. Pumpkin's health has been restored with the conscientious care she has received. It is obvious that she feels like a pretty dog again with her new collar and frequent baths. Her fur has grown back as her skin has healed but the hair follicles on her face are permanently scarred and so in these areas, she will likely remain bald. Surely the support the two dogs gave each others during the hard weeks of loss and transition helped them to heal as much as the physical care they received at the sanctuary.
Sanctuaries, as true homes to their wards, honor the bonds and friendships among their animals. Certainly having the opportunity to observe our dogs and cats over time has confirmed that animals form strong alliances and close friendships just as we do, mourn when their treasured friends pass away and rejoice when they are reunited with a long lost comrade. Animals have long emotional memories, and never forget their loved ones be they two-legged or four. Dogs and cats kept as pets seem to be valued only insofar as they have a relationship with a person but their friendships with other animals are just as important a part of their well being and quality of life. Yet so many animals are socially isolated from others of their own kind and are very lonely even with attentive owners. Animals of the same species have an unspoken understanding, and those who are friends have an even more profound connection . We feel fortunate that, as a care for life sanctuary, we can provide a rich social life for our dogs and cats and the opportunity to foster the touching bonds between pairs of animals that have found their way to us.
Sheba is a beautiful black and tan husky mix with whiskers and eyebrows, and Tom is a dingo mix is a striking chocolate brown with white socks. Upon arriving at Home for Life both dogs immediately sensed that they were in a stable enviornment where they could stay, were cherished and would not be separated. They relaxed and regained their hearty appetites, and have thrived at the sanctuary. Tom loves to be outside and Sheba loves to be inside, but whether indoors or out,they become lonely if they are separated for long. True friends, they are tolerant of each other's preferences , since their greatest joy is in being together.