Thursday, July 18, 2013
Athena's story started out as a very sad and scary one. She and another dog, Zeus, were found in North Carolina as strays who had been severely maltreated and abused.
Their background story can be found right here, although I should tell you that I tried to read it twice and it is so heartbreaking (and graphic) I couldn't get through it.
SO, because we try to keep things as upbeat as possible here on the blog, not because we are ignoring the reality of animal cruelty but because we need as many positive stories as possible to get us through this life, we will pick up Athena's story when she came to live with Alexa.
Alexa had just moved out of her parents' house and needed a service dog to help remind her to take her seizure meds, call 911 if she had a seizure, and just generally look after her.
She had long been in love with the Doberman breed, and was thrilled when she found Athena online. Athena was part of a rehabilitation program for prisoners who train rescues to be service dogs, which I have always thought to be an incredible idea.
Anyway, Alexa put a deposit on her and was able to bring her home in a few months, but had no idea of her incredibly difficult start in life. Athena had obvious physical scars but Alexa didn't know their origin until Athena's foster mom filled her in. Once Alexa found out that Athena had been found with another dog, Zeus, she put a plan in motion to try to find him and reunite the two.
Athena was skittish at first and was not into trying new things. It took her a little while to develop her confidence, and in the meantime she and Alexa went for daily hikes and just tried to get used to life together.
Eventually Athena was reunited with Zeus, which I will tell you more about in a later post, and that's when she really came out of her shell. She would watch Zeus and imitate whatever he did. That's how she discovered she loved to swim!
Athena has developed into a beautiful and confident dog who accompanies Alexa everywhere and has not failed her yet. She loves nature and digging and surprisingly, given her past, isn't dog aggressive either.
She is sweet and lovable and Alexa's best friend, and none of the things some uneducated people expect Dobermans to be.
This doggie family has gone through some changes recently. Zeus is staying with his dad for now, and Athena also got a new little brother, Novak, whom Alexa is just getting to know.
I look forward to sharing these dogs at some point, and I want to thank Alexa for sharing her story. It's the first time we have had a Doberman here on the blog, and it's all a part of what we aim to do here on the Rescue Dog Blog: dispel myths about what kind of dogs are available for rescue and encourage people to really research a breed and not accept the stereotypes.
One more thing to share. . . today is Athena's 4th birthday! Happy Birthday Athena from the Rescue Dog Blog! You can follow Athena on Instagram @athena_novak.
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