For something different this report, I asked "adopters" to write a story about their animal.
I offer the following Love Story.
By: Amanda and John R. Allen
If our furry friends could speak our language, I am most certain they would have a story or two to tell. Like us they hunger, they love, they connect, and can be let down and failed by the humans that were supposed to love and protect them. However, when their stories are told, they are told by us, by those who have sworn to keep them safe. Sometimes they find more than more than just a meal, and a warm bed at the end of their rescue. Sometimes they find all the love they need. They find family. They find their heart. And this is one of those true success stories, from chains to couches.
It started with a roadside zoo. Ace’s mother was a mid content wolfdog bred to a higher content coydog. The pups were supposed to be cool display animals. The pregnant mother was then sold to an eighteen-year-old, with no prior experience in dealing with such an animal to make room for more of the man's big cats. Once the mother gave birth, her pups were given away to the kid’s high school buddies. Other than Ace, the rest of his brothers and sisters didn’t fare so well. In each of their attempts to escape their new homes, sadly, they didn’t make it. Ironically Ace only survived due to being chained and confined in the barn.
It was August of 2014 when Amanda Allen was contacted. As an advanced EMT, she had been working a 24-hour shift when a coworker reached out. That friend had explained that a friend of theirs had recently moved into a new house. Along with the house, there was an existing barn. The people who had just moved in had found something unusual. Chained to the rafters of the barn was what they claimed to be a wolf/coyote/dog. In similar cases it isn’t a “wolfdog,” but merely a husky mix. Other than the people that are dedicated to rescuing these particular animals, and the ones that take them in or own/breed them, most couldn’t tell the difference between a husky and a wolf.
Amanda, however, had some experience considering the fact that she had two low content wolfdogs of her own. And with this her coworker thought she would be someone to contact. She was someone that would know what to do. When she had visited the barn to take pictures, it was with that visit that she discovered what we now know to be a true mid content coydog, wolfdog cross.
The situation was deplorable. Living in an old barn run down by time, he picked through a bowl of molded food. And what water could be found had grown a thick film of what could be aptly described as “green muck.” However, the conditions and the fear he exhibited said enough. Amanda’s first thought was that he needed to be removed from that situation. And her second thought was how somebody could leave him there like that. She took him home the next morning after finishing another shift. And from there “Ace” began his new life.
Full Moon Farm quickly sprang into action, giving Ace an evaluation and medical care. Amanda intended to take him in temporarily. He was only supposed to be a foster while Full Moon Farm searched for another placement. Amanda and Ace quickly decided that his home was with her. Amanda entered a lifetime foster agreement with Full Moon Farm.
His first two days with Amanda he would not come out of his kennel. Ace was completely shut down and was completely “broken.” He had to have a reinforced kennel built. It became a small enclosure inside Amanda’s dining room. He spent a lot of time in there. It was his safe place, as he was terribly afraid of just about everything. Outside was frightening for poor Ace. The snow, rain, and even the wind, scared him to death. He was around six months old. His socialization windows were pretty much closed, resulting in him being almost feral. It was within the first year of his stay at Amanda’s that he needed the most attention and care. He still does to this day, but at that time it was imperative for a sustained wellbeing.
Also, within that first year, he was getting accustomed to normal canine manners. Ace was getting used to being on a leash, human touch, and even walking in the grass. But even with these small strides, there was still some work to be done. He was reactive to everything. Traffic, people shouting, and noises associated with urban life. He couldn’t be trusted around small children because of the high-pitched noises children often make. Children set off his prey drive. He viewed them as a “toy” that needed the “squeaker” removed. His first year was filled with reactive fear nips, whirlwinds of fear poop, and carrying him almost everywhere.
Amanda was taking him to Full Moon Farms periodically where Nancy Brown aided in his behavioral modification. He had been destructive all around. Ace jumped on counter tops and stove hoods. He ate couches and destroyed other pieces of furniture. All attempts to correct the behavior were very slow going. But with help from Nancy Brown, love, patience, trust, and special accommodations in the home, he started improving.
Although his temperament was better, he still had a fear of men specifically. However, I am proud to say that when I met him three years ago, I became one of the only men he has liked. It safe to say that he has gone so far as to love me. But it was with Amanda that he hyper bonded. She refers to him to this day as her “heart dog.” She sees him as her child. And to him, she is all the mother he will ever need.
In the last three years he has grown immensely. Ace was slightly apprehensive. But he took to me pretty quickly. Nowadays, he highly enjoys my company. He takes pleasure in me scratching behind his ears and under his chin. Again, if he could speak, I bet he would tell you that he surely doesn’t mind his nightly back rubs.
He sure has come a long way. Ace has blossomed into a regular social butterfly, taking trips to the park, and greeting strangers on his walks. Which before would’ve have resulted in fear pooping or peeing. Amanda is so proud of how much he has improved within the last three years. During our wedding, which took place at our house, he stole the show. Ace was social, playful, and engaged. He showed no fear of a guest list of fifty or more people. He now spends his days lounging on couches rather than devouring them, and finds enjoyment in almost everything.
The two biggest hurdles that he had left, he has jumped this year. It has been proven to be as natural for him as chasing the possums up our tree. It was for the first time that he has played in the snow, frolicking, rolling, and making his version of snow angels. He also has found love for a small child. The undying affection for a little girl, our granddaughter. It all comes down to love. The love he has been given, and the love he has given back. He is adored by everyone. And just as Amanda had won his heart, he has won all of ours. He’s definitely the Ace of hearts.
Ace and Amanda
Ace wears pajamas
Ace with John