LU - THE SURVIVOR
Lu, previously Laume (in LT language meaning - a Witch), was born, as unfortunately many dogs in Lithuania, on a countryside, where dog's are not companions, or friends. Dogs are simply an alarm system. Alarm system that doesn't need food, water or love, just a strong enough rope, to not run away. And if they do, or, in worse case scenario, they pass away - they simply are replaced.
So it happened, that an old lady - utterly strange lady - known to others in the village, decided to have multiple alarms. One of them was Lu. Rumor has it, once, long time ago, Lu was loved. But it is hard to believe that love can lead to throwing a living creature into a small, completely dark shed, on a meter rope, and leaving her there, to....well...just leaving her there....
Lu lived like that for two years. Alone, in a small space, without light, food, water or any kind of love. She lived on her own feaces and urine. She survived on food scraps, provided by no less strange and old neighbour. Boiled potatoe and some "pig" food, seemed a proper meal for a dog, according to her. Lu survived by a miracle and it can't be described any other way.
Living in complete darkness, did not give Lu's eyes a chance to develop, and sadly left her living in the darkness for the rest of her life.
The old lady was placed in an elderly home, leaving her animals behind, like the many other trash she collected through out the years. They were left depending on a kindness of a neighbour who could barely take care of herself.
Lu was one of many, but she got the worse fate of them all.
One day, a visit to the neighbour, from a social worker, uncovered the hell on earth that was left behind. Immediately the right institutions where called in. A shelter, that mostly rescues cats, drove 260km to asses the situation and collect as many as they can. And what they found was horrible.
They started from Lu, who they found locked in a "giant trash can". She was all skin and bones. She was so hungry and dehidrated, that she bit rescue worker's hand, trying to get the food. She was not only beyond dehydrated and malnourished - her uterus was fallen out and inflamed. They immediately rushed her to emergency room. 6 other animals were rescued that day, all in a gruesome stage. More were rescued on a later date.
WARNING - VERY GRAPHIC
MY JOURNEY TO LULU
I saw a post about Lu, in January 2020. We had just moved in to my house and everything was still a mess. I saw her post and I was immediately in love, I knew I had to help. Until her, I mostly worked with small dogs. They are more desired, so they find homes quickly. I also never had the means to take in big dogs, while living in rented apartments and having a big squad of my own. I bought my house, to have more opportunities to rescue and be able to take bigger risks. I knew that a big, blind dog, is a big risk, but one I was willing to take.
It was written that she is not friendly with other dogs, specially small once. So a home without other pets was desired. My own squad has been attacked by big black dogs multiple times, so this type of dog immediately triggers them negative emotions. I knew I will not be able to take her into fostering into my home. Besides my own dogs, I already had few other small fosters coming. I was planing to prepare outside storage room, for bigger foster dogs, but it could be used only in warmer season. So, despite my immediate love for LU, I unfortunately had to way all options. What I did was, I contacted the shelter and told them, if she won't find a home until late spring/summer, I'll take her in. They immediately agreed.
As I mentioned before, LU had to go under emergency surgery after her rescue. What I found out later, she was so weak, that her heart stopped beating few times during surgery, but luckily she was revived. After that, she spent two years in the shelter with zero people interested She is a strong dog, with some agression and special needs. I was told, Denmark was her last hope. While discussing her fostering, I was fully aware, that if no one will want her here either, I'll keep her and we'll make it work. There was no way I was letting her end her days in a shelter.
She arrived at the end of June. The road trip to another town to pick her up started at 4 o'clock in the morning.
Our first meeting was far from easy. She was terrified, to the point she peed herself from stress. She also tried to bite me several times and really tried to escape the two leashes I had her on.
It took 5 minutes to calm her down and get her to trust me at least a bit.
The first thing I wanted to do, was show her the sea, so that's where we stopped. She was pretty wild and pulling me to all sides to smell it all.
MEANT TO BE, I GUESS...
Upon arriving home and letting her adjust to back yard, I wanted to introduce her to Josie, who is usually my designated co pilot, when picking up foster dogs. She helps them relax and is most neutral and patient. Lu's first reaction to Josie was excitement, but sadly it was way too much for Josie to handle and she released protective growl. Lu was not ok with that and went into full on hunting mode. That's when it was clear, she will definitely have to stay in the outside house space. I also thought, this was a message that she is not meant for me.
The first two weeks she lived separately but I spend every day with her one on one, with long walks to the beach and all around neighbourhood. I also still tried to integrate her with Josie. It was somewhat success. As long as they kept safe distance, they could coexist.
Leaving her alone felt more and more wrong, so I started integrating her one by one to the rest of the squad, so they at least could be outside all together. It started from an enclosure outside, then to a leaving her on a long leash without separation from others.
After two weeks of spamming about her greatness everywhere and zero interrest from potential adoptees, I decided to prepare for the possibility that she will have to stay. I wanted to see if it can be done, considering, there was no friendship yet between all the dogs. The first time she (forced by me) entered the house, she was terrified to walk on the floor. I also had to free up spaces, for her to find her way around better. BUT to my big surprise, all her agressive nature disappeared once she got inside. She jumped on a bed, like she would belong there and started showing her beyond goofy side.
She also started licking everyone in the squad, instead of trying to bite them, and she did not even care that some of them growled on her. She also discovered toys and began learning how to play them. From a big, scared and very self defensive dog, she became a happy go lucky child. I was sold.
I moved her inside with still a separation, for her to be with us but give space to the rest of the crew. After a week like that, separator was removed. After a week more, so after a month in total, with no one interested in her, I decided that enough of her life was wasted. I made a spontaneous against many many odds decision - to adopt her. Honestly, I could not imagine her anywhere else, so I am not sure anyone who applied for her, would have ever been good enough for me anyway :)
It was not an easy decision. I knew everything will be much more complicated from now on. I knew my fostering of others dogs will be challenging. I knew how people will look at me, seeing me with 5 dogs. I knew it all. And just like with Lucy, despite a 1000 reasons not to adopt, I simply had to. She needed me. And turns out, I needed her as well, we all did. Our little pony, toothless goofball and most gentle, innocent soul, despite her nightmaire life.
Her previous life haunts her in her dreams, very vivid dreams, but I am always there for my black shadow, my always there sidekick, to keep her safe.