Though I shied away from fostering because I didn't want to give up furbabies I had become attached to, one dog I couldn’t refuse to foster turned out to be my next Warrior Girl, who came about a year later. She had the same miracle surgery as my Batman to repair a broken leg.
She was a beautifully charming Pitbull about seven months old who loved to play in the sprinkler and sneaked up on the bed to snuggle with my Duncan, who was struggling with health issues.
She also loved kids and people. She liked most other dogs, but if she had a disagreement with one, she tended to hold a grudge. As her surgery site healed, she became more aggressive toward my other dogs, especially Ebony Rose. We hung in there with her until her leg healed, then returned her to the adoption kennels at the shelter to hopefully find a home where she could be an only dog.
She went to a family with one other dog and things seemed to be going fine for a while. Then she became aggressive toward the other dog and was returned to the shelter. At that time, she was very reactive not only to other animals in the shelter, but to the scent of other animals. Staff did all they could to give her another chance and I also worked with her. I got up early and went out in the mornings and/or went after closing to give her a potty break when other dogs weren’t out.
But what kind of life was that for her? The decision was made to euthanize her, and I went out to see her across the Rainbow Bridge. She wasn’t ready to go and didn’t want to cross. With some extra help, she finally lit briefly on the other side, immediately got her little white angel wings and started doing acrobatics. What a beautiful spirit! Then she started back across the bridge to this side.
She showed up at the shelter a few weeks later as a cute, cuddly little dog. A friend of mine adopted her and I knew as soon as I looked in her eyes it was Tuley come back as she said she would.
Tuley offered these words of wisdom when I was writing this book.
You ask if you had done things differently would I have been different? Perhaps. Or perhaps my aggression might have only been delayed and taken someone else by surprise when I really hurt another. I
Some things are not for you to know or to control. Some things are only to ponder and to question. Don’t take anything at face value. If you question, you have learned.
Now I have a cute little doggie body and a beautiful family. Let go of your sense of failure. Quit beating yourself up. Release the guilt and know I am happy.
And, as Panza says, learn to play. That’s what we’re doing. We’ve left our Warrior ways behind. We’re playing.
My Warrior Girls may have shown aggression at times, but I also saw strength, love, and playfulness. Tuley playing in the sprinkler and comforting Duncan when he was ill. Panza’s paw on my Jeep and wanting to go home. Miss Ebbie trying so hard to find a new way of being, as am I.
My spirit guides say I need to lighten up. To experiment and to play. But this is new territory to me. I’ve been serious for so long, I struggle with how to play. I’m almost afraid to play. Will I get in trouble for playing? Will others think I’m irresponsible? Will they look at me and find me not good enough? Not worthy or somehow lacking because I’m not working hard?
My Warrior Girls tried to show me it’s time to step into a different way of being. To reclaim our true warrior nature of pride and strength and love–and peace. Not to be a doormat, but to be strong in peace so fighting is no longer necessary. And to play. To somehow find a way to play again.