It’s a Hard Knock Life No More for Hardy
A pit bull; scared, scarred, emaciated and defeated- brought to an already overflowing shelter, in the midst of a national crisis pertaining to power breeds. Not much is known of the dog’s background and he’s too weak to conduct a reliable temperament test. The marks on his body coincide with old dogfighting injuries, which if true, predict a long, challenging road to rehabilitation with no guaranteed success. Breed-experienced, responsible homes aren’t exactly in ample supply, let alone for an unsocialised pit bull. How does one justify the time and resources spent on just one dog when there are so many who need rescuing? It’s a delicate numbers game and his life hangs in the balance. The difficult decision of euthanasia is made.
This an all too familiar scenario in the daily lives of shelter employees. A reality which is so common, that the caring community member who had brought Hardy to us had prepared herself there for. To her, only one thing was certain, Hardy could not return to the life he had come from.
When Hardy arrived at TEARS, he was in a very bad way. It was clear that he had been both neglected and physically harmed over a long period of time. He was very ill with chronic ehrlichia – a tickborne disease – and suffering from a secondary skin infection due to untreated mange. He was horribly emaciated, with pressure sores all over his brittle body, and presented with a grotesque, thick scab around his neck, which when removed, revealed a nasty, old chaining wound. We were met with the physical manifestation of the story provided by his rescuer. One of gangsterism, drug abuse and domestic violence. One of a pit bull being punished for not being exactly that which pit bulls are most feared to be. A violent man’s disappointing toy; the violence in turn turned on him.
What lay before us was not a number, but a soul. A body too weak to support his head, but a heart strong enough to stir a tail. He too had quietly accepted his fate, thankful for whatever relief we may provide him. What Hardy didn’t know was that the heart he was showing was matched perhaps only by the very people surrounding him. As it has been known to happen in times of desperation, the TEARS staff banded together and a plan was made. An experienced member of the kennel team stepped forward to foster Hardy until a space opened up for him. A collective sigh of relief filled the room. This was not the end of the road for Hardy. It was the end of his hardships.
Shortly thereafter, not knowing anything about each other, the newly acquainted duo walked out the front gates, side by side, with no idea what the road ahead held; only that in order for this to work, they had to trust each other.
For the following month, Hardy would make the daily drive in to work with his new found friend to receive his medical treatment at the TEARS veterinary clinic. In the evenings, it was back again, to work on his manners and brush up on his social skills. His physical recovery was slow, but his mental and emotional healing amazed us all. Here was a dog who had every reason to enforce the unfortunate stereotype of aggression, to whom it is known everything was done in order to make it so, and yet… Aside from his absolute refusal to subscribe to personal space norms – too close to his human is never enough – Hardy has proven to defy all the odds! This boy is the ultimate advo-pit for the underdogs. His gentle, obedient, and eager to please nature has won the hearts of all who have met him. He bonds closely with his person and his foster mom and handler describes him as a “once in a lifetime dog.”
The hard knock life is in the past for Hardy and he has healed up beautifully from both his physical and emotional trauma, with full credit going to the resilient TEARS clinic, kennels, marketing and fundraising teams, but most of all to you, our loyal supporters, without whom none of this would be possible! We thank you from the bottom of hearts for helping us to turn dogs like Hardy from numbers into priorities, as they deserve to be. We appeal to you to please continue to support our cause to continue to RESCUE, REHABILITATE and REHOME the many lives that need us, by donating here.
A few little numbers can save a whole lot of souls!
To apply to adopt Hardy, please visit our website and complete our dog adoption questionnaire.