I asked the animal control officer at the front – “Why is this terrified little dog all by herself at the back like that? What did she do?” He told me that she had just come in that morning, was very aggressive and unpredictable, wouldn’t let anyone pet her, and wasn’t eating her food. I remember something about the situation didn’t seem to sit right with me that day, and I insisted I meet her anyway. The officer told me he would strongly recommend that I didn’t, and that the shelter would not be held liable for any damage or medical bills, they even made me sign liability waivers.
As I entered her cage I didn’t really know what to expect, and at first, she wouldn’t even look at me. I sat down across the cage and started talking to her for what seemed like forever, and finally she looked up at me. Right away I saw it in her eyes. I knew that in her very short life, this dog had already been through something terrible.
After a few minutes I felt confident enough to reach my hand out towards her, and she very gingerly stood up and shifted her weight towards me, almost as if to ask if it were ‘okay’ for her to come and say hello. I inched a little closer to her and she lowered her head into my hand, literally shaking with fear the entire time.
I knew at that moment that someone had made a terrible, terrible mistake. This dog wasn’t ‘aggressive and unpredictable’, she was scared. I asked the officer at the front what her situation was (she was listed as ‘non-adoptable’), and to my absolute HORROR, he told me that she was scheduled to die the following morning. She was on a list of dogs scheduled for euthanasia, due to her ‘aggressive and unpredictable nature’. As I’m sure you can imagine, I had never made an easier decision in my life. I paid $27 dollars for her shots and a little nylon leash they had at the front desk, and we walked out of the shelter together.
Over the next few years, my little shelter dog became more important to me than I could ever put into words. I learned that she had been used as a “bait dog” in a dog fighting ring that had been broken up by the police, and thrown into the shelter system to fend for herself. She had never known love, never had a couch to lie on with her people, treats from the table, kisses after work, nothing. I spent the next 10 years making that up to her, every single way I could.
Along the way Bubba helped me through some very, very difficult times in my life. At certain times it felt like she was all I had left. In 2011 she became my legally registered emotional support service animal, and came EVERYWHERE with me. She never forgot how I pulled her from that shelter, and I didn’t ever want to ever be alone again.
It really wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Sheeba literally saved my life. I have no idea where I would be today without her, and I know wherever she is now that she is still the same cuddly, friendly, goofy, beautiful little girl I rescued all those years ago.
I wanted to share her story here today because I started Bubba’s Pet Supply in her memory, selling and promoting only the highest quality pet products on the market at affordable prices, even some I used personally over the years – because I know better than anyone that a pet is a member of the family, and they deserve nothing but the best.