I’ve sat staring at a blank screen now for hours because I’m not sure where to begin. This story has many points from which to begin and it’s not yet completed so the opportunity to experience it while it unfolds presents itself. I’m excited to see how this story progresses and to discover the outcome along with you.
I guess the beginning for me started last week as one of our volunteers was at a shelter* and we were talking about some of the dogs they had available to be pulled. One of the dogs was her “type” but she didn’t bring him back and since I had an occasion to be in that area a few days later, I just had to stop in to satisfy my curiosity about this guy. The biggest surprise was that when I entered the front door, I was greeted by a Facebook friend who graciously led me on a tour of the facility where we looked at several sweet dogs in house. At the end of the tour we were looking at a large board which listed all of the residents. She pointed to a name, Tiny, an American Bulldog mix who was unlikely to leave the building. He was heart worm positive and as if that wasn’t enough of a strike, he was deteriorating in the shelter and had seemingly lost hope.
Sad case, I thought but I generally advocate more for the highly adoptable dogs. If we can get as many of those as possible in homes it opens up that much more space for those who may need it and for those who may need more time. Not until I arrived home and began scrolling through pictures of dogs available did I see Tiny’s beautiful mug.
My heart skipped a beat and I had to know more so I began messaging with my FB friend but as her replies to my query came through, my heart began to sink. At intake he was a happy and wiggly big boy who acted like a puppy. He was gentle and loving and good on leash but as the days stretched to weeks and weeks stretched to months he became “hard to handle” and began “losing it.” Unfortunately I was already emotionally invested and ready to at least meet him. Knowing there was a glimmer of hope, the Pit Bull Coalition agreed to pull him and give him some time to decompress before assessing him. If he passed assessment he would be treated for the heartworms but if he was too far gone…he would not be treated nor would he be returned.
I spent the weekend literally sick to my stomach. With my daughter egging me on and pushing me out of my comfort zone to rescue a “hard case” the plans formulated and the pieces all began to fall into place, including gaining acceptance from the hubby and other Board members of the Coalition. Now that the plan was set, what if when we arrived he was deranged and we had to leave him? What if hs e crapped mountains in the van or what if he ripped up all of the upholstery? Could he be touched? Walked? Will he ride? Oh! all the questions that plagued my brain all night!
After messaging the time frame in which we expected to arrive, we made our way to the shelter full of anticipation and worry. He was being bathed for us and as we arrived were told he was waiting. When walking through the kennels, Kevin pointed at a dog and asked, “Is that him?” to which my first thought was that it couldn’t be. We were meeting a potential monster, not this happy, tail wagging, calm boy but surprise! That was him! He and I locked eyes and I believe he knew. I had arrived with a collar, leash and harness in my hands and walked straight to his gate where he stood wagging his tail, ignoring the barking that swirled around him and he waited to be outfitted for his journey.
To be continued…
*If you would like to help support this shelter, message me and I’ll share the name/location, otherwise I’ll be keeping it anonymous to protect the sensitive nature of some of the details here.