“Fiona” is the latest participant in my Victims of Dog Fighting portraiture project. She is 5 years old, and was rescued from a dog-fighting environment in Missouri as a newborn.
Hearing the story of a dog like Fiona, one rescued at such a young age, makes me wonder a couple of things:
1. There are perceptions in the general public that rescued dogs are damaged goods. Do people think a puppy, like Fiona was when rescued, suffers any trauma? If so, it’s further cause to support the ending of situations like puppy mill breeding and dog fighting.
2. If not, then why is it still difficult to find enough people willing to love a dog like Fiona? I know … the perceptions of the breed have a role. The perceptions. But is that it?
Kathy and Tom are the adoptive parents of Fiona. They have had her since she was six months old.
“I don’t think Fiona has any major issues,” Kathy says, “but a manifestation of coming from that situation is timidity, at times. If you raise your voice, even playfully, she immediately becomes submissive. She’s never aggressive with dogs, or with people. I’d stake my life on it that Fiona won’t ever become aggressive.”
“We walk 1 to 2 miles daily at a park,” Tom says. “Fiona picks out people on the walking trail from a distance, ones she wants to pet her. She’ll stop and wait for them to walk up to us.”