I remember seeing Ursula, and when I picked her out, I thought what a beautiful little dog–either a shih tzu or a morkie (Maltese Yorkie mix). But once we got back to the farm, we realized that beauty was only skin deep. Inside she was terrified. We’ve been working with her and things were getting better. One of the things that we use quite often with the puppy mill dog is the dragline, where we put them in a harness with the leash dragging behind. I get a kick out of the look on people’s faces when they realize I truly mean for the dog to wear the leash in the house, as well as outside of the house….and that leashes are disposable. You can get a lot more leashes, but it’s much harder to get a lot more dogs.
Ursula was at the Raleigh event and was not doing well. She had thrown up the entire way up there and thrown up on the way to the event the next morning. She was the last dog that we had available, and we were actually packing up when a nice young couple walked up. Ursula had already put a bruise on Lisa Gaines when Lisa had tried to pick her up, so we were being very cautious with handling her.
Lisa had her in her lap, and when Mary Lynn reached down to get her, Lisa shielded her with her body protecting both Mary Lynn and one very terrified Ursula. But Mary Lynn is a patient person, and I can see that in her. Her hands were in her lap, but they were still outstretched. She was talking to me, but she was looking at Ursula. She wanted so badly to hold her! Lisa had transferred Ursula to me, and I was sitting in a lawn chair petting her. Of all those people there, she knew me best. So, I was her comfort at the moment.
I had Mary Lynn borrow a lawn chair and pull it over next to me. Very slowly, I transferred Ursula to her lap. I wish you could’ve seen the smile spread over Mary Lynn’s face as she was finally able to cradle the dog she’s been staring at for 30 minutes and not been allowed to touch.
Over the next hour while I interviewed Mary Lynn, I was actually watching Ursula. She started out looking at me, but before long she had her head buried in the crook of Mary Lynn’s arm. I could see her relaxing. I was only halfway through the pre-screen, but I knew Ursula had picked her own mom. For the next two hours, the only time Ursula was not in Mary Lynn’s lap was when I took her out because Mary Lynn and I were both talking too much for her to have time to finish the application, and she wouldn’t put Ursula down in order to finish it. Ursula was getting at that point a little bit active, and I figured she had to go to the bathroom, so I walked her while Mary Lynn finished the paperwork. Cason Lynley finished the interview for me while I did the personal reference, a woman that Mary Lynn had pet sat for when she was younger. Mary Lynn and her boyfriend had not planned to adopt a dog on Saturday, so they had plans for Saturday night. Mike Reel took Ursula home for the night, and she was adopted the next day.