A Dog's Tale

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A Dog's Tale

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This is Hannah aka Hannah Banana. My husband and I adopted her May 4, 2013 from a rescue in St. Catherine's, ON. We live just over the border in Buffalo, NY. Hannah is a purebred Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog), but purebred gone wrong. She is what is called a double merle. That means an irresponsible breeder bred two merle coated dogs together, which results in 25% of the litter being born deaf, primarily white in color, and with eye problems or missing eyes altogether. Hannah was approximately 4 years old at the time. The previous owners who surrendered her had had her for 2 years. They had adopted her from a shelter that had picked her up as a stray. Hannah was our 2nd double merle (we also have an Aussie with the same problem), so we were used to the unique problems associated with deaf and vision impaired dogs, but Hannah came with many more from a history of abuse and neglect. One of her biggest issues was that she was absolutely terrified of people, particularly men, and she hated small children. We worked with a trainer, we did agility twice a week, and did barn hunt once a week. She broke out of her shell a lot, but did not lose her fear of people. In 2016 my husband and I had our first and only child, Charlotte. Hannah was very aggressive towards her. She would bark and snap at her. We had to keep her separated a lot, and we worried about what the future would bring. She got a bit better when Charlotte could walk, but not to a comfort level. Once Charlotte was about 3, Hannah accepted that she was a human in the house but wanted nothing to do with her. She didn't really want to have much to do with any of us or our other dog except for at agility class. She wouldn't play with us and only tolerated petting for a short while.
Fast forward to 2020. While COVID-19 was cause fear, anxiety, and depression in people, for Hannah it was just what she needed. After a few months, she became a whole new dog. Having all three of her humans home 24/7 seemed to alleviate a lot of her fears and anxieties. She completely bonded with Charlotte. She actually plays with her and snuggles with her and sleeps in her bed. Who knew this 12-year-old dog just needed constant companionship to heal her old wounds. Luckily, my career path changed during the pandemic (I am going back to school to pursue a PhD) and so I will continue to be home a lot of the time. While COVID did bring devastation to people across the world, for one little dog it was just the medicine she needed.

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text story

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Pandemic Pets>Covid’s Impact on Pets

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This item was submitted on July 3, 2021 by Ashley Tibollo using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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