Male Maltese. Number 265. That’s all he was.
I can only imagine, because I wasn’t there, but I’m betting he was filthy, terrified and cowering in a cage with that orange string tied around his neck and a round piece of cardboard with the number 265 written on it. His details on an auction sheet. It probably said something about his approximate age and that he was a “good breeding stud”. Still having potential to create a few more litters of adorable little Maltese pups to be sold off to pet stores. $$$$$$$$$
But those were lies. He wasn’t in well enough shape to breed. He was so broken and traumatized that I doubt they could even pull him out of the cage without him pissing himself. Probably why his tail was broken…it would be the only thing to grab him by as he was trying to push himself up to the cage wall, to make himself invisible, to just not be touched. Anything to Just. Not. Be. Touched.
That’s where Free and Alive Rescue (FAAR) comes in….they saw potential. They saw “Wheaton”, not just Male Maltese #265. They bid on that filthy little terrified guy. They saw through the matts, the dirt, the stains, the rotten teeth, the sad eyes, the impacted infected ears, the broken spirit, his body shaking and his tail tucked up under him in shear terror. They raised their auction paddle when his number came up.
“Male Maltese number two sixty five sold for $10.”
Thank the animal gods. Universe set this little guy on a course of healing that started the day that auction tag was placed around his neck. A second chance. A do over. Love. Comfort. Peace. Safety. Freedom. Health.
I’d like to say that THAT is all behind us now but it’s not. Every single day the terror of those 4 years in a cage is our reality. There is more curiosity now. There is a sense of self confidence coming through. There is a sparkle in his eyes and a joy on his furry little face. We’re moving through and forward.
We’re coming up to 7 months since that first night. That first evening when he came to visit and I knew he was ours. I knew I would never be able to give him up. Since the second I saw that picture above, my heart belonged to that furry little man. It hasn’t been an easy 7 months. Good gravy he tests my patience every single day. Seriously. Every. Single. Day. But every single second of the day I love him. I forget about his touch issues and I reach out to pet him or hug him and he still ducks or scurries out of reach….but then he comes back to give me another chance and I just move slower. It’s a dance of trust. I pick him up and I kiss him and I rub my face into his neck and I sniff him and I sing little made up songs to him. I show him that he’s safe and loved and I hold him tight to me and make him promises that I’ll NEVER hurt him. His improvement is amazing. Sometimes I think he forgets about his issues too! Daisy helps him with that part. She doesn’t put up with his issues. She doesn’t care about his special needs. And he loves her with a devoted love that makes my heart sing. If Daisy is there it must be safe….so he comes closer.
So….Male Maltese……orange string, tag #265……you are his past.
And we all deserve a chance to break free from a past that no longer serves us.