When I first saw India at the Rescue League, she was curled up into a tiny ball, and when I reached in to pet her she started trembling and fear showed in her eyes.
I immediately filled out the paperwork and brought her home, despite the warning of the shelter workers that she was "a lot of work." I found out that India was a law enforcement case, having been taken away from a family that had chained her to a cement lot, and beat her to "make her an attack dog." When I looked into her warm, gentle eyes, I knew that we had picked each other.
India was hardly any work; all that she required was lots of love and patience, and eventually, she and I both learned to trust again. I treated her with kindness and compassion, and in return she became my best friend and protector ever. If anyone approached me who was drunk or seemed "off," India would go into wolf mode and growl at the person. She also was protective of any puppies she would meet, earning her the well-deserved nickname of Mama. She slept next to me in bed, curled up against me, with her head tucked into the crook of my neck. For the first time in a very long time, this grown Child of the Secret felt safe.
I trained her with love and respect, not anger and violence. And my little girl guarded me until the end.
On December 31, 2002, at 4:13 am, I was woken from a sound sleep by India, who was panting and in distress. I rushed her to the Emergency Room, to find that she was bleeding internally (her lungs were full of blood). She was in pain, I had to make the toughest decision of my life; to let go of my sweet angel. She passed from this world in my arms.
Not a day goes by that I do not think of her, or ache with her loss. There may be other dogs to come and go in my life, but there will never be another India.
With love and respect,