Missouri Couple Offers Sanctuary to Neighbors’ Forgotten Dog


Written by Nancy Hatcherof Missouri

My husband and I were married about 15 years before we were blessed with a dog companion. Our neighbors had a beautiful black shepherd and malamute mix that was raised as an indoor pet until they had a baby. Fearing Princess would harm their new baby, they put her on a heavy metal chain outside on a concrete pad with a rickety and leaky doghouse that was too small for her. Their only contact with her was to drop a bowl of food and tell her to shut up. We watched a very social and beautiful dog descend fartherand farther into depression. We would try to pet her but every time we approached, she would start to shake and pee on herself. Thunderstorms would terrify her, especially with no place to be protected from the rain.

Princess was in good physical condition but emotionally devastated.

She Ran To Us for Help

One weekend they left town and Princess broke loose and came directly to our house. We had a fenced-in backyard where she would be safe and kept her for the three days they were gone. We never saw anyone come to feed, water or simply check on her for the entire three days.

We would let her in the house during the day and fixed a bed on the back porch for the night. She was so happy to be inside and to have protection outside.

When the couple returned, we asked if we could keep her since they didn’t trust her with the baby. After an agonizing 24 hours, we watched her, once again, descend into depression. They decided to let her go and warned us that she urinated in the house. The only time she urinated in the house was when she heard paper crunching. She quit when she realized we weren’t going to hit her.

No More Chains for Princess

The Hatchers with their dogs Bob (left) and Princess (right)

The first thing we did was to take the chain off and throw it away with a promise to Princess that she’d never feel a chain around her neck again.

As it turned out, Princess was extremely intellegent (sometimes a real challenge!) and had a great sense of humor. When she and my husband got down on the floor and played, half the time she was teasing him. She had the most beautiful laughing eyes. Phil would hold a doggie treat in his mouth (I know, yuk!) and Princess would smile with her eyes, look deep into Phil’s eyes and gently take the treat.

When our first grandson was born, the supposedly “dangerous” Princess would guard his bed when he slept and was a constant companion even when Devin would pull on her sensitive ears. Never once did she snap, bite, growl or harm him in any way. We could not have asked for a better guardian companion for Devin.

During her life with us she rescued a brindle boxer, Bob, and they became the best of friends. Princess lived a very long life and finally passed at the age of 20. She is missed terribly.

All our animal friends have been rescued and we’ve found them to make the best companions. We have never “owned” a pet, but we have shared our lives with many. They have given us so much we wonder sometimes who rescued who and if we are their pets.More photos here.

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase

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Photo Credit: Jevernot | Dreamstime.com


Tara W
Tara Wyesterday

I love this story, and the comment that this couple has never "owned" a pet. I have been blessed with the companionship of several strays, and always remind myself that they are free and independent beings who are choosing to live with me for the time being. I'm so grateful!

Glennis W
Glennis Wyesterday

Princess you are so adorable All my thoughts and prayers go out to all the people in London today. Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis Wyesterday

A beautiful story So much love now Princess All my thoughts and prayers go out to all the people in London today. Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis Wyesterday

Wonderful story Good Luck Princess All my thoughts and prayers go out to all the people in London today. Thank you for caring and sharing

Kay M
Kay M1 days ago


Colin C
Colin Clauscen1 days ago

Lovely story

Suzanne L
Suzanne L1 days ago

Thank you for rescuing Princess from your awful neighbours.

Charmaine Shannon
Charmaine S2 days ago

A Million "THANKS" to these Neighbors with the Loving Heart, Home and Concern for this Beautiful Dog !! You are very Few for most people can't be Bothered ???? Also Many "THANKS" to the Owners that they decided to let her have a Better Life than just the Back Yard since they now had a Baby and less Time for her and that these Neighbors were an Older Couple that could give her Time that she needed and Enjoyment for their Extra Time on Hand !!!! I "RESPECT" your Decision and Hope that you could still see her and have the peace knowing she had a Wonderful Loving Home with another Dog to Play with and lived a Long and Happy Life !!!!

Teresa A
Teresa A2 days ago

Rev. Royce B I do agree with you.

Ei R
Ei R2 days ago

When you adopt a dog or cat it is a life that has feeling and needs. If you cant meet those needs you should not adopt. Many times couples get a dog or cat and when they start a family sadly decide they no longer can care for them. That pet is heartbroken.