In late 2008, I received notification through one of the canine rescue groups I volunteer with that a feral Great Dane mix had been found wandering the streets of Galveston, TX, weeks after Hurricane Ike had ravaged the city. She was placed in isolation as she exhibited every kind of aggression a dog could display, and was scheduled for euthanization. She was micro-chipped, but her family never checked in for her, and their home was completely gone in the aftermath of the storm. I saw her pic, and knew I had to at least meet her before she was put down. So I made the trek to Galveston and was connected with her in her small pen. She immediately lay down and exposed her belly, tail wagging a mile a second. When I sat beside her, she quickly got up and greeted me by licking my face.
It was definitely love at first sight. So I paid the fee to free her from death row, and we made the trip back to Colorado. Because she was left to her own survival for so long, she had indeed reverted back to instinct mode, and it was a challenge to integrate her into our existing canine family. There were times when I nearly gave up, for my patience had worn thin. I didn’t think I was qualified enough to be able to reach her through her defenses.
After five long months, we reached a major breakthrough, as if Jasmine (who I immediately decided was NOT a Disney princess, even in name, and rechristened her Yaz, after my favorite electronica group of the 1980s) had been testing my loyalty and commitment to her. Once we reached that threshold, it was like the sun coming out after a massive storm.
Since then, she has become the kindest, gentlest, most intelligent companion a person could hope for. I am incredibly grateful for her presence in our home, and am pleased and honored to wish her a heartfelt HAPPY BIRTHDAY!