Niya arrived at Gibson County Animal Shelter in Tennessee. She came in with a horrible story and scars to match.
Her previous owner had abused her: they used a can to muzzle her and had obviously hit her with objects. To make matters worse, Niya had heartworm and whipworms. Understandably so, Niya was very shy and nervous around people.
Niya’s New Beginning
Kimberly Slown, the founder of Arrow Dog Rescue heard about this poor girl, and she came to the shelter to save her. Niya did not know that she was being saved. She was so scared that she refused to leave her kennel at the shelter. Her tail was tucked so tightly in between her legs. Eventually, Kimberly had to carry the 47 pound pup to her car.
When they arrived at Kimberly’s house, Niya picked a corner and curled up. She stayed there for a day and night, refusing to move. Kimberly left her alone, knowing that she was scared and needing time to adjust to this new environment.
Something had Changed
On the second night, Niya left her corner, walked into Kimberly’s bedroom and pressed her nose into Kimberly’s hand while she slept. When Kimberly awoke to Niya’s sweet, blue eyes, she knew something had changed. It was as if Niya was saying thank you.
In an interview with The Dodo, Kimberly retells the story “She just breathed into my hand and I woke up and immediately paid attention to her, petting her and talking to her.”
Niya went back to bed, but a couple hours later, returned to Kimberly’s bedside.
“A couple of hours later, the same thing. It was overwhelming. I was crying” Kimberly tells The Dodo.
Slowly but surely, Niya became more comfortable with Kimberly and her family. It was all about the little things: a quick smile or a little tail wag when being pet. Niya met Kimberly’s two other pups, Chet and Charlotte, and became the best of friends.
Needless to say, Kimberly fell in love with the sweet girl. Instead of adopting her out as she had planned, Kimberly decided to keep her.
Niya has now been an official member of Kimberly’s family for two years and is doing great. They say she is a cuddle bug, enjoying TV time with family and the comfort of her own bed.
We can all learn a little something from Niya. Despite a rough past, it often just takes some love and a bit of time for dogs like Niya to come out of their shell. But when they do, you know you’ve created a bond for life. Be sure to share Niya’s inspiring story with others.