February 17, 2011
Every time there's a dog show on you know what's coming, right? Those "adopt a shelter dog" commercials set to mournful music with soulful eyes gazing up at the camera. Look past the sappy commercial and into your heart the next time you want to bring a dog into your family... please. Shelter dogs do have tales to tell and life experiences that pure bred dogs don't have... but these experiences make a shelter/rescue dog grateful.. eternally grateful for their home and the love they receive. You see it in their eyes, in the wag of a tail, in the utter abandon of dozing on the couch instead of a hard floor or worse... Sure, some may need a little more encouragement in the "training department" but many were lost or brought to a shelter from a loving home under circumstances simply beyond the owners' control and have no clue why they aren't "home" any more. Shelters do the best they can but for a dog who has been loved and lived with a family, the time before the stress of shelter life sets in is often short.
Our Harrier (think big beagle), Plotthound/Blue Tick mix (think Eyeore) and Rio (flat coated lab/pointer mix) each have/had their own story, truly distinctive personalites and utterly annoying habits...but each never seemed to forget that they came from a place that wasn't "home." Dus and Motley crossed the bridge within two months of each other in 2004, a very very difficult autumn, leaving our beloved Rio who at age 12 is in the twilight of his years. Rescued from Hurricane Floyd's flood waters at barely 6 months of age he is a true survivor who still loves his pasture romps with "dad," his huge squeaky toys and mooching rawhides from me. Think about it the next time you or someone you know has a hankerin' for a dog,okay? Don't discount shelter dogs and don't ignore the senior dogs either. All of them want just one thing: they want to go home.
::Stepping off rescue dog soapbox and back into craft room... I feel a doggie card coming on:::