This article was written by Donna J. Miller, reporter of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and first appeared on www.cleveland.com on January 9, 2014, with accompanying photograps by Angeline Dzadony.
An abandoned black dog held a lonely vigil for two years in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood, until she received a Christmas present from the 66-year-old woman who wouldn’t give up on winning her trust.
“I spotted her in the winter of 2011 sitting across Valley Road near Denley Avenue,” Angeline Dzadony said. “I thought she belonged to someone, but I kept seeing her every day. It would break my heart. She just looked so alone, sitting there like a little soldier.”
Dzadony learned from neighbors that the dog’s owners had moved away and left her. A neighborhood boy thought her name was CiCi.
“I think she was waiting for her owners to come back,” Dzadony said, “so I would feed her every day and talk to her, trying to win her trust, and let me tell you, it was the hardest thing I ever did.”
Dzadony already had two large dogs of her own to feed, Shadow, a black Labrador, and Babe, a shepherd, “and the shy lonely dog had hiding places on a large piece of land with a ravine,” Dzadony said.
“I do not understand why people just dump their dogs. They are like children who can not speak and do not understand why they are left behind.”
Last month, Dzadony gave herself two weeks to capture CiCi.
“This Christmas Eve, I went up there at 11 a.m. with a leash and collar and told her, ‘We are going home. This is your Christmas present.’ And it was like she knew it was time to get off the streets.”
Dzadony slipped on the collar and leash and walked CiCi home.
Dzadony’s daughter Andrea Crouse said, “My mother fell twice, hitting her head both times, and was bumped by a car, while checking on CiCi.
“I want people to know that if you own a pet or plan on owning a pet, this is the kind of love you should give them. Enough love that nothing will keep you from taking the best care of them. Pets are our family members, like our children,” Crouse said.
“I’m not sure how mom will manage three dogs, but I will tell you with confidence that she will find a way. She is what a true animal lover is supposed to be.”