Mama arrives on an August evening as the sun was dips into the western sky. When she turns and looks at me her eyes glow amber in the twilight. She looks like a wild thing. She is thin and wary. She never rests. Her fear rolls off her like a gust of wind that never weakens. She’s always at the ready to defend and she’ll fight anything to survive.
From the Wilds to the South
She is typhoon Nina - the second deadliest typhoon in recorded history. That typhoon was so devastating because she rolled in so hard and quick she destroyed the Banqiao Dam. That set off a series of dam collapses throughout China, ultimately killing over 100,000 people.
This is how abuse affects lives. Its not the initial hit, but the rolling toll of continuing damage. Its the flooding, drowning and destruction after the act. It takes years to re-build both the mind, body, soul, home and community.
But, surprisingly, when I call her quietly she slinks over and rolls onto her back for belly rubs. When I say her name her ears perk up and back and forward again which seems to start her tail wagging. Her whole body seems connected to the world, her surroundings, the earth. She makes me feel like she has an important secret she refuses to share. She has a tortured smile.
Kim, her rescuer from the far North, calls this Northern dog rescue Precious. But I keep calling her Mama. Kim says she was beaten badly, but her scars are not obvious like her mate Buddy’s nose, ears and legs. Mama’s scars are deep and personal. They took all her puppies and destroyed them. They took them all, except Boston who was rescued with her. Maybe he was hidden or maybe he was too fast. Regardless of how, he survived.
Reunited with the Northern Dog Pack
Mama, Buddy and Boston were reunited here at Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary on a quiet Saturday evening in August 2014. We watched in wonder hoping for magic and we weren’t disappointed. There was something about they way they touched, sniffed and bumped noses. Their movements were familiar and they took comfort in each other and in the green grass, fresh water and food. Staples and basics that had been missing from their lives.
Before Mama came to Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary, her mate Buddy and her 6 month old puppy Boston had a relaxed, happy calm energy. The two of them played, but it was peaceful. They slept, sometimes together and sometimes separately. When Mama re-joined them, she brought a frantic energy of defense.
The boys were suddenly on edge, not aggression, but a heightened awareness. Similar to when mom comes home from work and you’ve been watching TV relaxing rather than doing chores or cleaning your room. You get this sense that you need to be back on your game.
Northern Dog Adapts
Flash forward, now its just turned October. Boston has been adopted and happily settled into an excellent furever home. Buddy has been taken in by one of our dedicated foster homes, as was the plan from the beginning. Mama is not taking it lightly; she howled at first, trying to call them back.
Mama has recovered from her spay, and has put on healthy weight. Now we have a renewed opportunity to focus even more on what she needs to heal the scars that are not do obvious: consistent, kind introduction to walking on leash; building trust in new strangers; dissuading her from over-protecting her space; and encouraging her energy and high intelligence in ways that do not have to include catching her own dinner, or running from humans that would do her harm.
Adopt a Northern Dog
If you are interested in helping show Mama her new life, we welcome volunteers here at Beaver Creek. And of course Mama is available for adoption – inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org or our website.