Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Have a Broom

I have a broom with my name on it. Let me explain.

This afternoon I came home to my apartment, and noticed that the birds I love to feed made a horrible mess of my patio. Seeds were strewn everywhere, and I bet that Stellar Jay is to blame! So, like any other good housekeeper, I went to my hall closet and retrieved my broom to sweep off the mess.

On my way to my sliding door, I passed my dog. When she saw the broom her ears dropped and she cowered. It broke my heart.

Five years ago, I adopted my Golden Retriever from a rescue group that caters only to Goldens. Ruby, my dog, has not had the best in life. She was originally used for breeding. The first six years of her life she spent locked up in a puppy mill, pushing out babies, and sleeping in a kennel. After she was no longer useful to the breeders, she was shoved from home to home, abused, dumped, and eventually rescued.

When I brought her home, I was totally surprised at her nature. She's a dog that doesn't know how to be a dog. She won't sleep on anything of comfort. Ruby would rather scrunch up by my front door on the cold tile hugging the corner of the wall. She doesn't know how to play either. The first few weeks I had her in my home, I went to the pet store and retrieved the usual fluffy toys and balls. This dog is totally clueless as to what to do with them. Her eyes look back at me with a blank stare and not once has she played with me since I gave her a home five years ago.

Today I was surprised, as I passed her by with the broom on the way out the door, she still remembers being beaten by one. After five years, Ruby still doesn't trust me not to hit her. I never have, and I never will.

In a way it reminded me of myself. I guess, I have a broom with my name on it too. In my single blog, I've never really dealt with abusive relationships in our past, but I'm sure there are a few of you that have come out of those situations.

When I watched my dog today, I pitied her, but sadly related. There is a broom in my life, with my name on it, and there is still a fear inside of me that the next man I meet may turn out to be an abuser in disguise. I don't know what it will take for my dog to totally trust me that I will not beat her as her other owners did. Frankly, I don't know what it will take for me to trust another man not to hurt me.

For every single who reads this post and relates, you no doubt have a broom out there with your name on it as well. I found this picture on Photobucket and thought it appropriate. It represents the abuse, but it has a pretty bow tied around the handle. I guess that's what I need to do, is put some beauty back in the broom and not be so afraid of it.

I've cleaned the patio, and put the broom back in the closet. My dog is back to her old self now, but thanks to her I learned a lesson about myself today. Inspiration comes from the strangest places.

Vicki

3 comments:

The Singlutionary said...

Thank you for his brave and wonderful story. I work with dog rescue and I know the kind of behavior you speak of. It is so so so sad. But, I might point out that while that dog is still afraid of the BROOM, she is not afraid of you. In fact she loves you to death, I bet.

I guess it might be helpful to see the broom as abusive behavior (which is unacceptable) and the person as, well, a person.

I really appreciate this story!

Samantha said...

I agree with The Singlutionary. I don't think that your dog's afraid of you at all, there's just an automatic reflex that kicks in whenever the broom is around.
My cat was the same way with plastic bags after an extended stay with my mom and stepfather. I still don't know why to this day.

Hayley said...

You would think that your dog would trust you with anything by now, show's how deep those mental wounds go.