They say my name is Lacy but I have heard it so seldom in my life that I do not know the sound. Humans usually just yell at me or ignore me. I would do what they want but I have never learned enough words to know how to please them. Once in a while, a human has spoken kindly and softly and that memory causes me to stand up on my hind legs against the front of the cage when humans approach but I cower when they reach their hands into my cage as it usually means I will be roughly grabbed or hit. Humans are all powerful and will do with you whatever they want.
I have always lived surrounded by cages full of dogs. To the front of me, behind and around, all I can see, all that is my world, are cages filled with dogs. The smell of urine and feces is always here, worse in summer, but always here. Some of the same dogs have been around me for years but then sometimes dogs get sick and die. Humans come and take the dead dogs out of their cages and throw them on a pile with other dead dogs. Humans are all powerful and will do with you whatever they want.
My coat is short now and that feel so good. They let my fur get long and matted and the fleas and flies drive me mad. Then one day they will yank me out of my cage and with a noisy thing in their hand, they cut my coat off to the skin. The noisy thing sometimes burns places on my skin or cuts me but it is such a relief to be rid of the dirty, matted fur, that it is worth it. For a little while at least, I am cleaner and more comfortable.
I have had many puppies in my life. I love my puppies. Each time before the puppies are born, a human will take me out of my cage and put me in another place. It is a little cleaner and is warmer in winter. This is the best time. The humans are less harsh and the food is better and then there are my puppies. I love them so much. I lick them and nurse them and cuddle them close. Sometimes though puppies are born weak or get sick. I do my best to make them all right but no one comes to help and sometimes puppies die. It makes me very sad. A human will come later and be angry and take my dead baby away and throw it on a pile of other dead puppies. But I do try to be a good mother and the most wonderful thing is having my puppies around me cuddling and pulling on my ragged fur. But then when the puppies are still very small, a human will come and take then away. I am put back in my old cage and despite my cries and barks and pulling on the wire with my teeth, none of the puppies ever come back. This is the worst time. But humans are all powerful and will do with you whatever they want.
My ears bother me a lot. They hurt and are so swollen inside that I can’t hear very much. Sometimes my mouth hurts too where I broke some teeth on the cage wire.
They put me in the puppy house again but I didn’t have any puppies. For days the humans are puzzled and then they are angry. They take me out of the puppy place but they do not put me back in my old cage. They put me in another cage away from the other dogs. They say I am burned out and useless but I don’t know what that means.
After a while, a new woman human comes and I am put in a cage in a funny room. The woman gets into the room too and I can feel us moving. When the room stops moving, I am in a new place. There are some pens and other dogs in a building but not as many and the pens are clean and there is clean water and good food to eat. But I have never been in a place not surrounded by dogs in cages so I am bewildered and afraid. The woman pets me gently and tells me my name is Lacy and that things will be better now.
I am in the new place for two days and though I am still bewildered, I do not cringe as much when the woman approaches.
Then I am taken out of the pen and put back in the cage in the moving room. When the doors open again, there are two new humans looking in at me. One is a man human. I am even more afraid of man humans as they hit very hard and are usually angry. The man takes me out of my cage and puts something around my neck and sets me on my feet. There is strange springy stuff under my feet. I hear them call it grass but I am afraid of the feel and smell. When I take a few steps, there is a tug on my neck and I cower in fear that I have done something to anger the man. But he speaks softly and doesn’t hit. They seem to want me to walk around but everything is strange and frightening. Finally, the man picks me up and puts me in another cage in another funny room with he and the new woman and I can feel us moving again. I pant and tremble. They tell me my name is Lacy and that things will be better now.
After a long time the box stops moving. Again the door opens and a new woman is standing there with the man and woman. They look at me and talk for a while. They talk about “rescue” and soon the new woman takes me out of the cage. I cower but do not fight. Humans are all powerful and will do with you whatever they want.
She puts me in yet another cage in another box and we are moving again.I am restless at first but then just give up and lie down. As I rest sadly in my cage, the woman talks to me. I can tell she is crying. She tells me my name is Lacy and that things will be better now.
Finally the box stops. I am exhausted and shaky when the woman sets me out into a pen. There are no other dogs around anywhere and I can see no cages but many strange new sights. I am given good food and water again. I am still surprised by water that is not in a dirty bucket. After a while, the woman takes me into a building like I have never seen. There are no dogs and only human smells. The woman puts me in a big bucket thing with water and stuff that smell funny but feels good as she rubs me all over. She tries to clean my poor ears too. I hold very still, afraid to move. When I am dry, I wander around this strange place but I can find no place that seem right for me to be. Then the woman picks me up and holds me beside her where she sits. It is soft here and she strokes my head. At first I stay stiff and ready to be hurt but slowly I relax. I cuddle against the woman and give in to the exhaustion of the day. As I drift off to sleep for the first time in my life on a soft bed and with the gentle touch of a human lulling me to sleep, I hear the woman say. “Your name is Lacy and things will be better from now on.”