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

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Connie Palladini
Connie Palladini5 months ago

Thank you for sharing this great story!!!

TRUDI GRAY9 months ago

When I had my baby 56 years ago, and brought her home from the hospital where she had stayed until she reached her birthweight again(she was a prem),the first thing I did when the door was opened, and my dog came out, wagging her tail, was to put the baby down on the carpet in front of her for the dog to smell her and come to know who she was.
My mother-in-law was having kittens because the dog licked the baby's face-I told her that as far as I was concerned, I had given my baby to my dog because from then on, she would know that the baby was precious, and belonged to not only us, but to her as well. My daughter learned to walk leaning on that dog, and was guarded and protected for all of that dog's sadly short life......My baby grew up with respect for life of all kinds, and is still the same.....these people were less than human, and really don't know what love is.

Jessica Story
Jessica Storyabout a year ago

No dog deserves to be chained outdoors, they need to be part of a family. If people won't treat them as part of the family, then they don't deserve to have a dog!

Yvonne Wey
Yvonne AWAYabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing your story no dog should just be forgotten because of a new member in the family that is cruel and uncalled for

ravinder Singh
ravinder Singhabout a year ago

animals are always lovingand faithful.

Deborah W.
Deborah W.1 years ago

In today's toss-away society, nothing is valued, just replaced. Thank God for those who still remember and value all life, and are rewarded without asking for recognition, just because it's the right thing to do.

susan a.
susan a.1 years ago

Such a happy ending....so many dogs live out their lives chained up ,no walks,no praise,no love ,isolated .What these ignorant heartless people call ''owning'' a pet is tantamount to being a callous prison warden....so wrong.

Kat K.
Kat K.1 years ago

Thank you, Nancy Hatcher & husband, for loving & caring for this precious dog and giving her the good life that she deserved. You are truly good people, and I wish there were more of you in this tired old world of ours. Bless you a thousand times over for rescuing Princess.

jana Dicarlo
Jana DiCarlo1 years ago

if only more people were like that !!

and fewer like the stupid neighbours...

Krista T.
Krista Tackett1 years ago

God Bless you and your Husband for being such kind, caring and loving people to animals !!
And she lived to be 20 years+ old - amazing !

I have always found it to be true that a rescued animal is so loving and grateful to be be given a home, food , and shelter - and attention !

Last May I adopted a 3 month old mix breed from our towns' high kill animal control. She is so sweet and so eager to please. I am so glad I to have her as my BFF !!