Taryn and Dave Coates have been married for many years. In Port Elizabeth, South Africa, they took in an a.b.a.n.d.oned Great Dane towards the end of March. They left her in the woods.This cute dog’s name was Jez. Her rescuers assume she was left for a couple of months before they discovered her. The dog was just two years old, in bad condition, and terrified of people. She would need a great deal of assistance.
Taryn looked after Jez for many weeks. She then addressed a letter to Jez’s unidentified previous owners. He explains Jez’s and the rescuers’ difficulties and victories. It’s a touching description of the struggles and rewards that animal caregivers have while caring for a mistreated dog, and it’s definitely worth reading.
Here is her message:
,,We are here to help your dog. Do you know this lovely creature? You left her in the woods. The woods were just a few kilometers distant from the refuge. She was left to fend for herself, hunt for food, a place to sleep, and wait for you. If you’ve left more than one dog, you should be aware that I’m referring to the female Denmark dog. That lovely little animal with the white neck. A little spot of black fur directly behind the ear is shaped like a heart. You probably didn’t notice that, did you? I’m sure you’ve never given her much attention. Did she follow you as you drove away after you left her? Did you see her in your rearview mirror? Have you heard anything? Is there even a smidgeon of guilt? Did you not know that what you were doing was inhumane and that this magnificent being, deserved a better life? It took 45 minutes to capture the dog, who had become furious with terror after spending two months on the savannah. Did you know she was restrained to protect both her and us?
We believed she couldn’t handle it since she was so ill with bile and so e.m.a.c.iated. Did you know that half of South Africa’s Port Elizabeth prayed for your dog? that she had been visited by veterinarians? They gave her blankets, toys, and food because they wanted her to recover with all their might. We interacted with your dog despite the fact that we couldn’t go too near to her without her biting us. We assured her that she was secure now, that no one would ever leave her, and that her life would be calm, relaxing, and joyful.
We have fulfilled the commitments you should have made when you acquired your dog and welcomed her into your household. We assured her that she would never be hungry again, that she would never speak a harsh word or raise her fist in anger again. We promised her long walks, plenty of food, and a comfortable bed. We offered her all of this and more as a bribe to encourage her to survive, to persuade her to live so we could spend the rest of our lives demonstrating to her that not everyone is like you. ”
“You d.e.stroyed your dog.” From the time she went through the doors of the refuge, where she was welcomed and cared for, until her recovery. You broke your puppy and became a lesser human being at that point. You broke her spirit, as if you had beaten her with a rod when you halted a little deeper in the jungle and left her. She was still present. She was still waiting for your return two months later. The broken dog slumped.
She was d.y.i.ng in the garbage can, the only place she could find to hide. You achieved that goal. Whatever your circumstance is or was, I don’t care. I don’t care how horrible your life is, your financial issues, or the losses you’ve endured. I don’t care if you’re afraid of a Great Dane.
I don’t give a damn. Because there is nothing you can say to me to justify your actions. If you had cared, you would have behaved appropriately and placed your lovely puppy at an animal shelter, where people would be lined up to take him. But you didn’t give him that respect, that right to a secure and loving home; you didn’t do it for your dog, and I’m sorry, but it makes you a horrible human being.”
Despite all odds, the dog was happy. She retaliated. She stood up and used the last of her power to cure herself. We adopted her and called her Jez. Donations for your dog have increased. Strangers contributed to her cause. Unknown individuals were compelled to act because they cared so deeply for a puppy they had never seen. That’s how wonderful your dog is.
Three days after being discovered in the woods, Jez returned home and slept in a nice bed with a soft blanket for the first time in who knows how long. It was cozy, secure, and quite well. We spent hours persuading your dog to believe us. Hours were spent reassuring her that she could come inside the home and be a member of the family. We were angry and upset, yet we still loved her. We loved her even more because we saw how hard she was trying to get out of the rut you had created for her. We had to demonstrate to your dog that we are not all like you, and that there are people who wish to assist, love, and care for her. Your dog took four days to get to us, and suddenly she was there. She crept on the floor, her tail between her knees, till her chest was touched.
That moment, when she placed her head on my husband’s shoulder, terrified, as though expecting to be punished, shattered me. She was weak and ill, but she was quickly healed. What was going on within her thoughts was a conflict only she could win. You have done considerably worse to your dog than not feeding it. You wrecked his psyche. You gave her the dread of living, of being a dog, you gave her the fear of being, of being, and it will take her years to overcome it as a result of you.
We shall do so. Each of us has invested in her to care for and love her until she is pain-free. We had to educate her on how to be a happy and healthy family member. Every time she had to go on her own, every time she completed eating or taking her medication without having to wrap it in cheese, we rejoiced. We rejoiced when she sat for the first time and barked at a person, because your dog was re-engaging in life, learning to be a dog and trying to love. We texted about everything she did, from where she slept to when she finally had the energy to run in the garden instead of stroll. We put time, energy, and love into this creature, and it repaid us in the way that only a rescue dog can.
You harmed your dog, but we made her recover. Bernadette saved her from the rubbish, knowing that Jez would always avoid her since she identified her with that awful period in her life. But she continued to pay for his visits. She was polite and compassionate to Dr. Ferreira and his colleagues at Walmer Vets, despite her attempts to bite and fight their caresses.
My husband saved your puppy the first night she stayed with us by jumping into bed with her. He crept into her bed, into her chamber, and sat down beside her. He just sat down. He didn’t expect anything from her. He simply wanted to be with her and show her that someone would make her happy, secure, loved, and respected. My husband is outstanding in this regard, and Jez replied with his calm demeanor and loving energy.
I looked after your dog. I brought her to the vet and held her in my arms as she was rubbed and combed. I talked quietly in her ear while the vet checked her diseased toenails, and I was there to pick her up after surgery to remove them. I put pieces in her food to persuade her to eat and sat with her for hours, petting her to teach her that not all human contact is bad. Marizanne Ferreira has taken care of your dog, as she has taken care of thousands of other pets before her, and she will continue to take care of thousands more. She has worked diligently, sharing Jeza’s story with her vast network of connections, arranging care, tracking down and delivering gifts, and locating suitable homes, but most importantly, she has been a close friend to Jeza’s foster mom and savior. Bernadette provided us with hope and motivation when we were unsure if we could look after your dog. She is the glue that binds the PE rescue community together, and I can guarantee you that we would not have been able to care for your puppy without her.
Your dog was cared after by hundreds of strangers. They sent letters asking for contributions, collected money, provided food, shared her story on Facebook repeatedly, followed her tale as we uploaded images of their daily progress, and rejoiced with us and Jez. They prayed for her, chatted about her, and spoke in her honor. These individuals rescued your dog.
These kind, loving folks, who had never met Jez but loved her, rescued your dog. I loved your dog more in the brief weeks she spent with me than you did in her two years on this planet. I was worried about her physical and emotional health. I was concerned about whether she was eating too little or too much, if her paws ached, and whether the litter box was warm enough. I was concerned about her eyes, hearing, and brain while her ravaged body convulsed throughout recovery. I held her at 2 a.m. when she wanted for feeding, and I went to work almost drowsy, but I would do it all over again, and I’m sure I would for my next foster family as well.
I have worried, smiled, delighted, and loved, and now I weep, and suffer with dreadful tears till I can no longer cry. I weep because two more strangers have entered Jez’s life, and two more individuals have offered to care for your dog. Two more people look at Jez’s images and can’t believe you could do this to him; two more people have pledged to start up where we left off, to take care of this lovely soul, to love him, to care for him, and to heal him till he can’t remember what you’ve done to him. Yes, I am sobbing because Jez has returned home. She now has a new place to live. Julie and Nico are his parents. There is a void in my house and in my heart, but I am also extremely glad for Jez and her wonderful future.
People often ask me how I do what I do, how I can trust people and let them down, and to be honest, I don’t know how I do it either. I do it because it is a rare occurrence, and not doing it is not an alternative. I’ll do it again and again. My heart is going to shatter. I shall continue to laugh and adore. I will weep indefinitely, but I will do it again. I’ve met some incredible individuals via the rescue, but most importantly, I’ve met some incredible creatures. These animals and these people give me hope that one day there will be more people who care about them than don’t, more individuals just like us, fewer people like you who leave their dogs, and it is this hope that allows me to keep on going and doing it all over again to save the next unwanted dog and heal the next broken heart. “