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Shelter Dog

My Family's Experience with Adopting

By Cezanne LibellenPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Top Story - May 2023
Shelter Dog
Photo by Cole Wyland on Unsplash

The first night you came

Sweetest night of your life.

You were tender and tame

But played us as a fife.


The first two weeks went by

You retained a sweet demeanor

But with a toxic bite

As you grew meaner and meaner.


Then a ray of sun came through the clouds

Though it was just a spell.

You were quite careful not to be rowdy

But then from grace you fell.


The final strike came, swift and brutal,

Lacking in retaliation, for fear of exacerbation.

When you left our home, you took it all.

All the happy memories, tinged with desolation.


Like Romeo and Juliet's tragedy

Though ours is more tragic.

Their separation was temporary

Ours will be protracted.


And they were ephemerally parted

Without bitterness in their wake.

But when I think of how we started

My heart suffers a painful ache.


Well, folks, this is my cautionary tale. The message is not to not adopt a shelter dog... it is when you do, make sure that a) you know the dog is well-mannered and not aggressive and b) it is NOT an impulse buy. Because we followed neither of those rules.

When we got Gunner, he was a sweet, lovely, adorable boy. We all loved him so much. But then, it turns out, he was a turd. He pooped and peed all over the house. My parents were willing to work with that.

Then he started biting us. He bit us as we were walking past. Then it got better. Whenever he bit us, they were loving nibbles (maybe a little hard.).

And then it was all downhill from there.

When I tried to feed him one morning, he growled and bit me hard when I tried to push him away from his food, and he knows that he has to wait for us to release him. Then I tried to feed him again and he was just trying to nose past me and get to his food.

I told him to back away and didn't even touch him.

He lashed out, snarling and biting my arm and leg. I was lucky he didn't bite my face or draw blood. I yelled at him and that somewhat snapped him out of it, but when I tried to chain him up he growled at me again so I took my siblings inside and cried.

Mom took him back to the shelter. What else was she supposed to do? We have a five-year-old and an eight-year-old in the house. If Gunner attacked one of them, they would never recover mentally.

Gunner and I were best friends, but he ruined our bond of trust. Now all of my memories will be tinged with bitterness. I could have loved that stupid dog to death, but he ruined it for me.

When we got him, it was kind of an impulse buy. Mom and Dad just saw a starving dog at the shelter and couldn't resist. They thought they knew what they were buying. The shelter workers said that he was good with kids, but he has bitten all of us at least once.

He left a giant hole in my heart and, unlike our last dog, who couldn't help dying, it was entirely his fault.

Again, I'm not saying don't buy a shelter dog, I'm saying to MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE BUYING. I hope this helps anyone who is thinking about adopting. I know that there are probably wonderful shelter dogs out there, you just need to make sure that they are wonderful.

sad poetryheartbreak

About the Creator

Cezanne Libellen

I am an ailurophile, xocolatophile, linguaphile, lexophile, and a bibliophile. Writing is my passion. I am currently working on a novel. Subscribe and share my stories if you want to see more of my work!

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (14)

  • Carol Townendabout a year ago

    I had a dog who we were told was good with kids, but he went for my 2-year-old son and sadly, we had to give him away.

  • Real Poeticabout a year ago

    My heart is breaking… so moving. Bravo!!!! 🤎

  • Gosh, that was so scary! Also, there might be something wrong with Gunner, like psychologically. That's some great advice you've given there. Congratulations on your Top Story! I've subscribed!

  • Kristen Balyeatabout a year ago

    Great poem, Cezanne! So sad that Gunner didn’t work out for your family, but that situation was dangerous for all involved! Can’t have a dog that bites- Especially with kiddos. I hope he’s found a place of belonging. Congrats on top story!

  • Stella okebechiabout a year ago

    Awesome poem

  • Brenton Fabout a year ago

    Lovely poem and a well written article - a pity that Gunner didn't turn out for you but you cant keep a biting dog especially around kids!

  • Testabout a year ago

    Heartbreaking for all involved. I don't think Gunner was so much a "turd" as he was a dog who needed specific care, education, and training. I hope he found the right home, and I do hope your experience with a puppy is better for all parties.

  • J. S. Wadeabout a year ago

    Sweet yet sad poem. The tag gives great advice. Congratulations on the recognition 🥰🥇

  • Congratulations on your Top Story❤️❗

  • Gerald Holmesabout a year ago

    This is sad. Sorry you had to give him up but I understand. Congrats on top story.

  • Jay Kantorabout a year ago

    C.L. ~ Magnificent Gunner ~ I'm so glad I've discovered your lovely stories. And, as you might say, "If it ain't Chocolate why bother." *I've subscribed to you with pleasure. I'm not the least bit interested in contests or self promo - way out of the popular demographics - I get that. Albeit, If you have a moment please check out 'Rescue' that I've written on behalf of - Pet Haven Minnesota - The Lovely Director is such a 'Cat' Person as you are. It gives me such joy that this silly (3) minute article has brought this such dedicated organization so many adoption 'Re-Homes' Jay Kantor, Chatsworth, California 'Senior' Vocal Author - Vocal Author Community -

  • Babs Iversonabout a year ago

    Heartbreaking!!! Your poem and story were fabulously written!!!

  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    This is quite sad, I’m sorry for your experience!

  • Aveline Sonnenblumeabout a year ago

    This is a sad story 😭. Will you get a new dog?

Cezanne LibellenWritten by Cezanne Libellen

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