I’ve always loved dogs. I was devastated to have to start a new life without my fur babies. But, when life gives you lemons, well, you know. Recently, I have been in contact with a number of rescue organizations seeing where I could be of the most help. It’s not always an easy sell, having to explain the nature of my disability. Rescues want, need, help, but they are hesitant to allow someone who may be a hinderance join in.
So, recently, I came across some info about some dogs who needed help. Dogs with a past seldom do well in a shelter/kennel environment. Volunteers do their best. They are passionate and love unconditionally. But, sometimes, there are dogs who are at the point where they need something extra. Something personal. Volunteers can only do so much, especially when they have 15 or more dogs who are starved for attention.
I talked with my son. We agreed that we had the time, space, and most of all, passion, to help. We did the paperwork and went to the organization that needed the most help. They were all pit bulls- pure bred & mixed. We prayed that God would point us in the right direction. A meet-and-greet was arranged. After pouring over the paperwork, we had carefully chosen a few that would be a good match based on needs & size. We aren’t equipped to handle a dog that’s aggressive. That was the main limitation. Looks are irrelevant. But, I can’t have a safety concern with a 16 year old here.
The day came. We went to the facility, armed with open hearts and our list of potential new friends. As my son & I had discussed, we aren’t replacing the two we lost. We were meeting someone new. We checked in with the staff who were expecting us. We began the meetings.
Sitting on the bench outside, friend #1 arrived. He was a beautiful pup, 3 years old, background unknown. He was, however, a ball of energy and a non-stop barker. He had very little interest in new people, just wanted to run. No problem. Friend #2. This beautiful girl was an all black, pure breed. Very sweet. But, she decided to take up residence underneath the bench, out of the sun. We laughed. She was very sweet and had been dumped by an owner who decided she’d served her breeding purposes. Poor baby. Despite her relative shyness, we didn’t feel she really wanted to be with us.
At this point, one of the really experienced volunteers stepped forward. He said he had a very special boy in mind for us, if we’d like to meet him. We were game. Franklin, the volunteer said, had been through it! Poor guy had been dumped at some point in his life, onto a major interstate. About three months ago, someone had seen him taking refuge in a grassy area near the interstate. He was covered head to toe, almost literally, in ticks. He’d had some lacerations on his face, obvious marks from other dogs. Twelve pounds under weight, timid, and scared.
One other thing: he has Lyme disease. Dear God, I wondered, how many trials can one dog withstand? I asked questions, some stupid ones, about Lyme disease. No, he can’t pass it on. No, it’s not to the fatal point so he isn’t a hospice case. I looked at my son who nodded confidently. We did want to meet Sir Franklin. They mentioned that other than these facts, they knew very little of Franklin. I had seen him briefly on their website. But, none of that was listed. We had made note of others. I was guilty of overlooking him.
When the volunteer reemerged, beside him was this beautiful, blond baby doll. Franklin gave us that notorious pit bull smile. He made a beeline for my son, placing his head unto his leg. Then, he turned and looked at me. I was in love. I’ve taught my son how to pet a dog who has been abused in his past, slowly, side of the face. As he began to pet Franklin, angel boy closed his eyes and placed his total trust in us.
To be continued……….