We adopted Betty on September 28, 2008. Rox was deployed by Red Rover in the aftermath of hurricane Ike. One of the dogs was terrified to come out of her cage and had tried to bite anyone who reached for her. So after her shift, Rox opened the cage door and settled in with a book next to it. A long while later the dog came out and climbed into her lap.
The dog had been nicknamed Ugly Betty because she had black scaly skin and no hair. She had severe dermatitis, heartworms, and was fear aggressive. There was little chance of her being adopted through normal channels, but Rox fell in love with her and brought her home. We weren't about to call her Ugly Betty, but she was somewhat used to the name, so we stuck with Betty.
We took Betty to our vet who began treating her various problems. The dermatitis required weekly dips in a very nasty solution to kill the skin mites that caused it. Our vet clinic referred to them as her "beauty treatments" and acted like she was having spa days. They were obviously quite taken with her too. After two months Betty tested as free of both heartworms and mites.
Then we discovered that she had also been pregnant when we got her. Despite her physical problem she gave birth to a very healthy litter of eight puppies, not two of which looked like the same breed. Betty turned out to be an excellent mother. Rox and I helped and Ash pitched in as well. When they were old enough the Austin Humane Society took them and adopted them all out in three days.
With all of that behind her Betty was finally able to settle into her new home. Her skin healed, although with a few scars, and she grew a lovely coat of soft short hair. She was nervious about everything for a while, but she did trust us. Lots of reassurance covinced her that she was safe and she began to gain confidence. She also decided that sleeping on a bed with her people was one of the best things in the world.
Having found her place, Betty became the household caretaker. She looked after everyone, human and animal alike, checking on us and encouraging us. You could always count on a tail wag, a friendly lick, or a cuddle when it would do the most good. The interactions obviously made her happy and that cheered everyone up. She helped Rox raise a litter of abandoned kittens with patience and good humor.
Betty passed away on September 15th, 2020 while being held and petted by her humans. She never stopped looking after everyone around her and always remained positive.