Today was supposed to be an ordinary Sunday. My best friend and I had just barely decided that instead of going to a movie as planned, we would spend the afternoon with the big Gibbs the Troublemaker (my American Bulldog) since he was slighted more than just a little bit yesterday while I celebrated my birthday.
We had the family room's wealth of blankets and were off to drop them at the laundry after getting our morning caffeine.
We arrived at the laundry and there was a cute little dog. "Oh she must belong to this lady or that guy..." I thought as I scoped out her stocky but sweet little heeler build. You see, heelers ALWAYS remind me of my first little dog, Harlee.
She came right up to me, checking me out and wandered around the car-all the while being barked at menacingly by Gibbs who was in my car. She had no fear.
She had a keen interest in me though. She watched my every move while I was inside the laundry. I asked Cindy to run next door to the store for some food and water. The little dog ate eagerly. She drank thirstily. As I frantically tapped my VERY FEW animal rescue friends for info, I sat with this senior dog and worried about her near future. Would she have one?
Messages were answered, clues given-who to contact, what could I do? I've been blasted online with stories of animals taken to the shelters. Shelters are vilified so regularly that people often make their decisions based on that. The good thing about shelters-and shelter people-is that the animal can be safely kept off the street. They can be fed. They can be checked out for their health AND they can be checked for a microchip! (Read-Returned to their Owner) The average Joe can't do that last one on their own.
I did not get any resolution in the time that it took for Cindy to make 2 trips to the neighboring store for food and treats (both for the senior girl and for my big guy who was still sitting in the shady spot in the car with the air running. I tell you, when I did get in the car, it was nice and cool!), so we talked when she came back. I would take Gibbs home and she would watch the senior girl I'd started calling "Honey". They bonded over cookies and a sense of peace that allowed the sweet girl to fall asleep on the warm concrete while I was gone.
I returned with Sheldon's leash (it's our best option to make a slip lead) and we walked the opposite way to the neighboring farm supply store for a crate-we had decided that since answers were slowly coming from our limited circle-we were probably going to doggy-juggle with one more dog for the night until we could get her to the shelter.
"Honey" didn't want to leave the spot she was in-she kept looking back. With the way she earnestly searched every car and driver and kept her eye on the spot she was in with such fervor, I started to REALLY think she'd been dumped there, in this blind little corner where the wind collects trash and bug carcasses and little dogs. Since she can't tell me her story, the only thing I can do is surmise.
We got the crate (an expense we can't exactly currently justify) and loaded dog, crate (and clean blankets from the laundry) into the car to come home for one of those "this should be interesting" kinds of days (and nights).
The good ole boys (Sheldon and Mickey) came out to greet her and after Mickey gave her a "this is my house" growl/bark/air-snap he shrugged off her presence. Sheldon greeted her like he does all other dogs. Proper butt sniff and carry on. We got her (hobbling) up the stairs. We suspect arthritis-hope it's not more serious-caused her hips to hitch.
She was going to be safe in "Nana's" room and it would only be until operating hours at the shelter. Then I got a message from one of the Facebook resources that networks shelter and rescue animals. One of the girls who transports animals would be able to take her and keep her safe for the night AND take her to the shelter. Best News Ever for me. It meant that Gibbs (who was starting to get a little squirrelly in the family room) wouldn't have to live on edge for the next 24 hours! It (selfishly) meant that someone else would do the tough part of relinquishing this sweet senior girl to the shelter.
We drove her over to this kind woman's home and the little stinker recalled that cookie-warm-concrete-nap bond she had with Cindy and wouldn't get out of the car. Cindy had to pick her up. Then she wouldn't walk to the curb. Cindy had to pick her up. After we took our leave, I was told she spent some time wandering around IN the wading pool!
It's been several hours since we left her with this rescue angel of mercy. I am crazy-tired and I can't even imagine, after walking 50 yards in the shoes of a rescuer what a mile would be like??
Animal rescuers-I salute and applaud you!