There is something disturbingly misaligned within the brain of a human who participates in any action which causes agony to a defenseless animal. Or even turns a blind eye to such.
At the shelter, we have grown accustomed to seeing it all, unfortunately. However, Barbie's story is one so barbaric; so spiteful; so unconscionable; and so heartbreaking, that she will forever be remembered by staff and volunteers.
In September 2012, the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter received a routine call for a stray dog pick up in Westwego. When the officer Brad Naquin arrived on scene, he was greeted by a petite, blue, female pit bull terrier that was literally missing her face. Her muzzle had been shredded and her emaciated body was battered with scars from repeated dog fights. Barbie was the worst victim we'd ever seen of this gruesome "sport." And once her purpose of serving as a bait dog to the lowest scum on earth had been satisfied, she was simply dumped on the streets. Dumped without a name. Dumped without a face. Dumped with no care if death followed as they had destroyed her worth in this world.
This poor dog was terrorized; forced into battles that she could not ever come out victoriously. Barbie simply doesn't have it in her to kill which is why she endured having her muzzle ripped off.
When Barbie arrived to the shelter, her injuries horrified us but we were awestruck by her outgoing, sweet, and mighty mouse type personality. Barbie had no reservations about trusting anyone. She was, in fact, inviting and engaging. She was either not ashamed or unaware of how she looked and whatever pain she may have been feeling, she wasn't going to let that be the deterrent in making new friends. She even struck poses for the photographer, reveling in this newfound positive attention.
Barbie needed serious medical attention for her wounds that were way beyond the scope of what we could provide to her at the shelter.
Her miraculous recovery began when the heroic staff at Southern Animal Foundation offered to take Barbie under their wing and thus her long, journey of surgeries, heartworm treatment, and healing began. The results post each surgical procedure were remarkable. Barbie was a canine plastic surgery phenomenon. After several months, Barbie's broken face was restored, piece by piece. Her transformation exceeded all expectations. And during her journey, the heart of this dog was renewed.
Barbie is a survivalist. What she has experienced in her short life and the dog she has become as a result of her trials and tribulations is a marvel to us in the animal sheltering and rescue world.
Barbie has been searching for her final wish to come true for quite some time: her own happy ending with a family. She is a charming, happy go lucky, bundle of child like curiosity. A wide eyed wonder intrigued by all things new and all things good. She is playful, can't get enough of playing with tennis balls, and to date, has never met a stranger, despite her savage betrayal by mankind.
Barbie also holds no grudges towards her fellow canines and gets along effortlessly with dogs which impresses us immeasurably.
This dog is a heroine. She is inspiring; she has beaten the odds with flying colors. She serves as a reminder of how pathetically low the human race can be. And is the official spokesdog for the Pit Bull breed and why we advocate for them the way that we do.
Yet all Barbie wants is the one thing she's never had: a home. Her story cannot be published with the final chapter unwritten.
Barbie has been boarding for months at Zeus's Place. She is hoping that her story will touch the heart of that special person/family. Perhaps a family not even looking to adopt a dog; perhaps a person looking for the "one."
We can't think of a dog more deserving than Barbie to be blessed with a home for the holidays. And we eagerly await the day that Barbie's final chapter can be written concluding with the happiest ending ever.