Happy Friday Everyone,
October has begun and this month is a very important month for me as we will be talking about Domestic Violence and how it affects both Humans and Pets. This is also the reason I am such a strong advocate against abuse for both Humans and Animals.
To start off the month I decided to once again share my story, as I am a survivor, a proud survivor that got away and now has a voice to speak up.
I met Baby, a tan Chiweenie, while I was visiting the SPCA in Southern California. She had just been surrendered by her family. It was love at first sight. Her loving eyes and beautiful face just made me want to hold her and keep her. They kept her for 48 hours to spay her and check her out, and then I fetched her.
Baby changed my life from the moment she came to live with my now ex-husband and me.At home, I was a victim of domestic violence on a daily basis. With Baby around, I finally had an excuse to get out of the house, by telling my ex I was taking her for a walk.I went for long walks with her, which helped me get away from the stress I was submerged in day after day.My life was hard. My ex controlled the money, the computer, the phone, everything. He didn’t give me access to bank accounts, I was not allowed to answer the telephone, I could not check e-mails, not even the mail box.I was isolated from the outside world, including my friends and family. When I was allowed to talk to them, he sat right next to me, so I could not say much. He timed me when I went to the supermarket or went shopping. If I was a bit longer than expected, I got yelled at. His constant emotional abuse was to me harder than any physical abuse, since body wounds heal quicker than emotions. I was walking on eggshells all the time.
No matter what I did, to him it always looked wrong. Baby kept me going with her loving personality, her wanting cuddles, her unconditional love. And the moment we had a chance, I packed up with her and ran. We found shelter with a friend, who hid us until we could get our lives organized.We were penniless, but I knew in my heart that all would fall slowly into place once we were safe and by ourselves.
Upon arrival in San Francisco, Baby was fostered by some wonderful women from the Domestic Violence Organization Shalom Bayit (Their link is on my links page) and when possible she became the first dog accepted into a domestic violence shelter. (In another post I will discuss the pros and cons of having a pet in a Shelter)
I finally found our own little place we called home and were living a peaceful happy life with lots of laughter, fun and so much more.
10/5/10 Baby, my little trooper, my angel, my everything, grew her wings and crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She had contracted IMHA and within 48 hours passed. It was one of the hardest days of my life, one I will never forget as she had kept me going during my darkest hours.
My friend said something to me which sticks in my mind “Baby came into your life at a time you both needed each other, and left when she knew you were safe so that you could rescue another”
In January 2011 Layla arrived, and the rest is history.
If you are in a Domestic Violence Situation you can go to the National Domestic Violence Hotline :
Tel : 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or their website :
If you are in the situation we were in, know that where there is a will there is a way. Against all odds, Baby and I did it. You can do it, too and today compared to when I did it there is so much more assistance out there for you.
So we are asking everyone this month to share our story as it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and by sharing maybe we can help others.
Please be safe, Baby and Layla’s Mom