Tracy is a senior German Shorthair Pointer from a suburb north of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, with the softest ears one could hope to pet. At age 9 she was surrendered to Home for Life® when her loving owners asked us to help her due to a complicated situation.
Strife had arisen between a neighbor living near Tracy and her owners when the neighbor accused Tracy of charging him and attempting to bite him. The owners were ticketed when a complaint was filed about the incident and were summoned to a hearing. At the hearing, Tracy was declared a "dangerous dog" and her owners required to jump through many hoops in order to keep her as part of their family, including purchasing expensive insurance riders, posting their property with "Beware of Dog" signs and keeping Tracy largely confined and behind heavy duty fencing. If they couldn't comply, Tracy would need to be put down.
Tracy had never bitten in her previous nine years and was deaf. But the neighbor was believed, and the order was issued. The neighbor was alone with Tracy when the incident allegedly occurred. No one else had witnessed what had happened.
Tracy's owners knew their dog was innocent, but did not prevail at the hearing and could not afford to comply with the dictates of the city's order to keep their dog. She was now officially a "dangerous dog," and no other rescues would consider her either. In addition, the neighbor had vowed vengeance on Tracy, and her family did not feel she was safe any longer in their home - that it would just be a matter of time before there was another incident even if they did comply with the requirements that would allow them to keep their dog. They appealed to Home for Life® for help on behalf of their dog to save her from this very unfair and tragic situation that they could do nothing about.
The owners could not afford sponsorship and could make only a one-time donation, but they obviously loved their dog enough to seek out an alternative to keep her safe. We agreed to help Tracy because we felt the situation was so unjust, and at Home for Life® she would be safe and protected. Her owners would know where she was and be able to visit her should they want.
Tracy has been at Home for Life® now for 3 years, and it is impossible to imagine her attacking anyone as the neighbor with a grudge depicted. We have learned to consider all circumstances when asked to help dogs like Tracy, always keeping in mind that the dog can't talk and defend themselves or explain their behavior. Tracy has been gentle and well behaved - always - with people and our dogs.
Her first friend at Home for Life® was Redmond, an elderly rednosed pitbull who had just lost his friend of many years, Allie-gator, a Shepherd mix when she passed away from cancer. Redmond was happy to meet Tracy, and her allegiance and friendship sustained him in his last two years of life until he passed away from cancer at the ripe old age of 14.
Tracy then found compatible new comrades with Diego and the members of his group. Tracy, who is now 12, also has moved from Redmond's old townhouse to our main dog building.
To meet this beautiful girl, one would never imagine she was unfairly labeled dangerous. She is kind-hearted, gentle, and still active at her age. She loves to run with Diego in the meadows and to rest with her companions after a fun-filled day on an overstuffed cushion or the couch. Friendship with other dogs was a new experience for Tracy as she was an only dog in her old family home.
To see gentle Tracy, happy, serene and safe at Home for Life®, it's hard to imagine how easily her story could have ended in a tragic miscarriage of justice because of the ego and bitterness of a person who would unfairly portray this sweet, hearing-impaired dog as a menace for his own reasons. We are grateful for her family who knew she was a good dog and reached out to Home for Life® for help rather than let her become a victim of a petty neighborhood dispute.