Hi there, my name is Meatball. Let me tell you about the day my life began. It was Saturday, February 13, 2016. Yep, just a couple of months ago. But I’m seven or eight years old, you say. How can that be? Let me explain. You see, Saturday, February 13, 2016 was the day that two women had the courage to knock on my front door and convince my owner to let them take me. People had seen me before—curled up in a tight ball in the yard when it was cold, or yanking on my chain outside, trying to get my owner to notice me while he was grilling out on a hot summer day. In fact, a super nice lady named Sherin had tried to rescue me years ago. People had called Animal Control multiple times, too, but my owners didn’t appear to be breaking the law. I had adequate food, water, and shelter, even if what I really needed was more love. All that changed when someone drove by this past February and saw that I looked really, really skinny. She got in touch with that lady Sherin, who got in touch with her friend Andrea, and they tried to talk my owner into surrendering me. Watching them walk away, unsuccessful, broke my heart. But later on, Andrea came back! With another friend named Melody! And $300! And then my owner gave me up. It was the first day of the rest of my life.
I was very, very sick. I had a bladder infection, double ear infection, frostbite on my ears, could barely walk, and was heading into liver failure. I had to be carried up and down steps because my legs wouldn’t support what was left of me. My old owner had claimed that I was so skinny because I had worms, but that wasn’t true. I was literally starving. It’s hard to think about but let me tell you, my foster mom, she fed me good. You can watch me polish off one of my first meals, a bowl of pumpkin, rice, and coconut oil by visiting my Facebook page: “Shadow, the rescue pit from HS, NC.” That’s right. My name used to be Shadow. But that was before, and this is now.
After my rescuer Andrea took care of me in those first few crucial days, I went to live with Catherine. It’s funny how things work, because Catherine remembers driving past me a long time ago and saying, “That’s gonna be my dog one day.” She used to check on me a lot and I didn’t even know it! A year prior she even went to bat for me at a Town Council meeting where she talked about what you, as a community, can do to help dogs like me. Stiffer penalties for violators of the current animal cruelty ordinance, and maybe even some revisions to that ordinance, too. She was my advocate before she even met me! So when I went to stay with her, I fit right in with my new pack. Everyone’s astonished that I transitioned so well. I didn’t go after the “little fuzzies” as Catherine calls them (the cats). And I didn’t have aggression towards the other dogs in the house over anything, even food. Can you believe it? I’m telling you, this was where I was meant to be.
Before my life began, I was stuck outside, tied up, watching cars pass by. I knew there was something special about the world outside of my yard, but I never thought I would get to enter it. Now I’ve been all over my town of Holly Springs! I picked out a new collar at Petco, took a hike along Harris Lake, and have met lots of people like you, people who refuse to look away when they see pain and sadness . . . even in a dog. While my new guardians (more like guardian angels!) were nursing me back to health, a lot of people donated toys, food, supplies, and money for my vet costs. And just look at me now! I’ve gone from living my entire life outside to being able to choose if I want to play outside or come inside and snuggle with my new family in my forever home. After packing on thirty pounds of pure, happy muscle, I’m living up to my new name, Meatball. I’m even a published author! Life? It’s good.
To enter a greater conversation about animal welfare in our town, connect with likeminded people on Meatball’s Facebook page: “Shadow, the rescue pit from HS, NC.” Together, we can take steps to ignite change and save lives.