Animals rescued from abuse have many different means of coping. Some are able to forget their pain almost instantly, while others must travel a longer road to recovery. For Bailey the pit bull, every tail wag, kiss and nuzzle is a major milestone that serves as a reminder of all that she has overcome. Fortunately, a loving adopter has been by her side almost every step of the way. Here is Bailey’s Happy Tail.
Bailey came to the ASPCA in May 2014, almost one year ago to the day. She and seven other dogs were rescued from an abusive situation that involved hoarding, street fighting and confinement in a squalid basement. Shaking from fear and terrified of strangers, Bailey was clearly traumatized. She spent the next three months at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where she was spayed and received surgery to repair an injury on her right hind leg.
At the end of August, we moved Bailey to the ASPCA Adoption Center in hopes of finding her forever home. She was still scared, but we believed that the right adopter could help ease this sweet dog’s emotional wounds—and fortunately, we were right. On November 13, she met Freddy C.
“When I first laid eyes on Bailey, she was cowering in the corner of her enclosure with her tail between her legs and the saddest look on her face,” Freddy recalls. The Manhattanite was at our Adoption Center after his first dog, Bella, passed away. “Life is much better with a dog,” he said. As we filled Freddy in on Bailey’s past, his interest grew. “I was moved by her back-story of being in a basement and not going outside,” he says. “The thought of leaving Bailey to shake in the corner motivated me to bring her home, plus she’s so cute.”
Aware of Bailey’s issues and anxiety, Freddy readied himself for the road ahead. “When I first brought her home, she didn’t want to leave the house and seemed terrified whenever she was outside. She would pull back toward the building the entire time we were out. She also had no bark; she would nervously, quietly sit or lay down,” he says. But Freddy was patient, and with stability came progress.
“Bailey found her bark after a week or so, which was really nice,” he reported. “I was very happy because it made me feel like she was becoming more confident and acting more like a dog.” Soon she “took over” the apartment and made herself right at home. Freddy says, “Bailey’s a very sweet and snuggly dog that wants to spend most of the time at home playing with toys or sitting in my lap. She tends to plant herself there for most of the night.”
Though Freddy knows Bailey’s got more work to do, he is pleased with her progress and proud of how far she has come. She is peacefully coexisting with his resident cat, and he is looking forward to the day when the two pets will be friends. And though she is still mastering the art of housetraining, Freddy is optimistic about her success. “I think she’s come a long way so far,” he says. “She is a great dog and wonderful addition to my life.”
We believe that Bailey’s journey is just beginning, and we are so grateful to Freddy for giving her a second chance at life. “I’m very happy I adopted her,” he says—and we know she feels the same way, too.