When we first brought her home she was severely underweight, missing a large amount of hair (the vet says this was probably due to stress) and had little to no energy. She couldn't move faster than a moderate speed-walk. She shook uncontrollably at random moments. She didn't seem to have much, if any, experience being outdoors (passing cars frightened her and she ran away from most people who came near). And, perhaps saddest of all, she never made a sound. As Bobby put it, she had no voice. Years of neglect had silenced her.
Two months later, she's a completely different dog. She's at a normal weight with a [more than] healthy appetite and her thick white hair has grown back in full. She's a dog-about-town, accompanying us on car rides through the country and day trips downtown. She says hello to other dogs on the street and always has a wag of her tail for people walking by.
She now loves being outside, especially on chilly days. When the weather drops into the 60s, she gets a spring in her step on her morning walk and trots across the grass in front of our building like a proud show dog. She's also recently begun sniffing the grass like a normal dog and marking her territory on fire hydrants and poles, something we found odd that she didn't do before.
Her favorite place to be is on our laps and she's developed a funny tendency of falling asleep with her tongue sticking out. She now has personality to spare and never ceases to make Bobby and me laugh when we're having a bad day.
Today Bobby slept until noon (after a taxing Saturday of eating potato chips and watching A Beautiful Mind) and Maple uncharacteristically stayed with him. When given the choice between laying in bed with a snoring Daddy and helping Mommy cook breakfast downstairs, she always opts for the choice that affords her the possibility of being fed bits of bacon from the pan.
But this morning she lazed in bed with Bobby until I finally came upstairs and woke them up with plates of zucchini quiche that I'd just made.
Bobby and I ate the quiche in bed with Maple curled up between us, looking from one of us to the other in hopes that a crumb might fall. Of course I ended up breaking off a piece of the pie crust for her, which she noisily scarfed down in record speed.
When the breakfast plates were cleared she fell back asleep, a peaceful smile on her tiny mouth. It's taken some time but she has found her voice and is finally part of a family where she is loved.