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Today We Rescued Your Dog

Today We Rescued Your Dog
by Pat Colsher

Today we rescued your dog. We don't know where you got him -- maybe you saw him in a pet store window or maybe one of your neighbors bred a few litters a year just to make some vacation money or because they loved their dogs so much that of course they wanted to have puppies. We don't know much about how you cared for him either, although our vet thought that for such a young dog, his teeth were in pretty bad shape.

The way we heard the story, you moved out of state and didn't want to take him with you. You left him at your grandparents. Maybe you thought a lively, handsome dog was just the thing for them, and under better circumstances it might have been. Maybe they have been cleaning up your messes for your entire life and an unwanted dog was just another mess to clean up.

Did you know they were going to keep him outside? At least it was a pretty mild winter. There were no heavy snows, not much heavy winter rain and only a few days of bitter cold. But for all of those weeks he had no companionship, no care, and no love.

For some reason, your grandparents took him to the shelter. Maybe a neighbor complained about him or maybe their own health gave out or maybe they just got tired of him. You know the local shelter is a kill shelter, don't you? You know that their own statistics indicate that about half of the dogs that enter are killed, don't you?

Maybe your grandparents thought he would be adopted quickly. He is a purebred, after all. No one was interested in him, though, maybe since he's an adult dog and not a cute little puppy. No one contacted the purebred rescue group either. They probably would have placed him quickly, since he really is a great boy.

The shelter is a clean place and they take good care of the dogs. They get good food and they're bathed and brushed. It's still a shelter, though, and is noisy and chaotic and frightening. He spent two months there in that confusion, away from everyone and everything he had known.

One day, we saw him on the shelter web site. We called and asked about him. The shelter workers were so happy to hear from us and were delighted to agree to bring him to a local pet store where they do adoptions. Do you want to know why they were so accommodating? He was scheduled to be killed that afternoon. He didn't know that, but the shelter workers certainly did. It hurt them and he felt that, so he knew something was wrong.

All of a sudden, though, the shelter workers were happy and excited and so was he. They bathed him and brushed his coat. We think they probably told him this was it -- his big chance, or maybe he just knew it somehow. When we met him, we all fell in love.

He had to go to the vet to be neutered of course, but then he came home. He has his very own 13-year-old boy. You know it's almost like watching one of those old Lassie movies, seeing how well they've bonded. He's got good food and his own toys. He's taken on walks three times a day, is regularly groomed and is taken to the vet for needed care. We'll be with him always, even if we have to make that last, difficult decision, because, you see, he is our dog and we are his family.

He has a good heart you know, but then he is a dog, so that's to be expected. He's probably forgiven you and, with a dog's grace, doesn't even remember you dumped him. He'd probably even be willing to greet you at the Rainbow Bridge. But you know what? He'll greet us and go with us at the Bridge, and then he'll be with us forever, because he's our dog and we're his family.