EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: Tank, The Peacemaker... a COTM Story by Andrea

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tank, The Peacemaker... a COTM Story by Andrea

Tank, the Peacemaker
A Story by Andrea

... is our May Charity of the Month
nominated by Andrea of EveryDogsDelight

Tank, what a dog!  Friends of Pets (FOP our May COTM) rescued him from Anchorage Animal Control.  His original name was Harley but that didn’t fit him at all. 

I had rescued a wonderful muttley, named Thumper, from the Big Island of Hawaii.  I thought he could use a sprightly companion.  I went over to visit a completely different dog and there was Tank.  Standing there, so calm; the only dog NOT barking at me. I immediately asked if I could take him for a walk.  He was completely laid back and a nice slow stroller.  I called Michele Girault of FOP to see if I could take him home with me.  Of course, it was a YES!


When I brought him home, we had visitors who had baseball caps on their head. Tank immediately freaked out when he saw that. He ran to my closet and hid. This was the beginning of the realization that he had been severely abused. I went to him; sat there and talked to him. From the get-go, I wanted him to feel wanted and loved.  

As the days went by, I found out that he did not like camouflage uniforms. I took the dogs everywhere with me.  We went on base and Tank saw the Security Policeman at the gate.  He immediately went into a frenzy. I gathered that whoever had abused him worn a type of uniform; some sort of camouflage. He definitely was more at ease with women than men.

Girl and Dog Collage
by PetCollage

I worked slowly and gently with his wounded spirit.  Whenever we’d walk, he would not leave my side.  It was like he was afraid to be a real dog.  So serious. He had the kind of face that said “Tell me all of your troubles. I will listen.”  Thump thump goes my heart. As it still does today as I write and think of him.

I saw that Tank’s rear end wasn’t functioning the way it should.  It was wobbly. I took him to a local surgical and rehabilitation clinic for dogs. I found out he had 2 bad hips and knees. The surgeon told me he wasn’t really sure where to start with him. He didn’t want to open up a “can of worms” as he put it. 

Tank’s muscles were atrophied so he started on water therapy to help build his muscles. He absolutely LOVED being in the water tank. He was sweet on the female technicians as he received treats! His favorite was Lisa! She stretched him out after AND he got a massage! When I would walk out of the room, he immediately went into barking mode. He wouldn’t stop until I came back. I felt like I was his security blanket. 

Blanket for Pets
by MsBekkahscorner

After Tank had been x-rayed, the vet told me he was probably in a lot of pain.  He went on medication to help make him more comfortable. He slowly began to loosen up.  The day I KNEW we had a break- through was called our “Kung Pao” chicken day. Tank and I took a “just us” ride.  I got some food to go. (Kung Pao chicken ;-0). I went into another store. I came back to the truck and I looked down on the floorboard. There was zero chicken or rice left over!  Not one kernel!!! All that was left were some bite marks on the box. Courtesy of Tank! All I could do was laugh my heart out!  THAT was normal dog behavior!!! 

Bon Appetite Dog Collar
by CanineDesign

From then on, he was more relaxed. Another rescue found me.  Her name was Raina. She was a tiny, 7 week old pup.  When I brought her home, Tank immediately glommed onto her and became her protector and tattle tail!! Big brother Tank! I was incredulous. She would sit against his chest and they’d both sit and “be” together.

Tank did not like the other dogs playing rough house. He immediately would run up; bark and try to break it up.  He did not like any type of conflict. I wasn’t sure how old Tank was. According to the vet, he was probably 7 or 8. It was walk time and out we went for a stroll. Thumper went along too.  He is a free-spirit and passed some of that onto Tank. For the first time since I adopted Tank, (about 8 months), he actually ran with Thumper on the wooded trail. He started sniffing and whizzing on everything.  He had morphed from a closed silk pod into a wondrous butterfly!  He would jump up on the bed with us as well. Something he used to absolutely refuse to do.  We were quite the pack; Thumper, Angus, Raina, and Tank = TART!  

After Angus had passed, Tank wasn’t the same. I knew he missed Angus.  He used to bark for Angus for me to let him back inside. That wasn’t all.  His hips were worsening. I was having a hard time controlling his pain; even with fentanyl patches. I made that hard decision to let him go. We were only together for 14 months but in that time, he made a complete turn-around. He went from being a broken soul to a free bird; a light-hearted, happy-go-lucky boy! That was what got me through his loss and the grief. Knowing he knew he was loved and he felt secure with us.

My vet once again came to our home and helped him pass over to the Rainbow Bridge.  I know they all are waiting for me.  One day, we will be together again!


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