Saturday’s dog rescue turned our weekend upside-down–and then right-side-up.
Let me explain.
I had been looking forward to a nice, quiet weekend at home with my wife, Pattie. I hadn’t been feeling well and she was having back/alignment issues which were restricting her activity and causing a lot of pain.
So we started the day with what was supposed to be a short walk with our dog, Finnegan, around the neighborhood.
After a half hour or so, we spotted a large, injured dog along side the main road which runs through our usually quiet subdivision.
We determined he was some sort of black and white Great Dane mix–around 130 pounds. The dog had drawn a crowd of neighbors standing around whispering about where the dog may have come from and what someone else might do about it.
But not my wife! She immediately ran to the distressed dog’s aid.
So I rushed Finnegan home and returned with our van, needing help to load the big dog into the back. He was old and couldn’t walk. We figured he might need to be euthanized. But as Pattie noted, “If we don’t do something, these other people won’t.”
I was not a happy camper about all of this! I even tried to turn the corner before Pattie saw the poor dog–I knew what was going to happen. No way would Pattie leave the responsibility for the dog’s care to someone else. She simply isn’t wired that way.
After all, we had owned dozens of rescued dogs and cats over the years. Heck, we even had “his and hers” sled dog teams a decade so ago when we lived in the lake country of northern Wisconsin.
All rescues, our 8 “northern dogs” were quite a handful–and they actually lived with us in our cedar sided dome home in the middle of the woods.
Now we were down to one mid-sized dog and six rescued cats–and I’m determined to keep it that way! But even I knew deep-down that we couldn’t just let the dog lay there…
A trip to the local emergency vet clinic and over $200 later, we returned home with good news: With proper care, “Big Dog” should be around for another year or so.
Great! But we still hadn’t located the owner. Since it was the weekend, our local SPCA and Humane Society locations were closed, making it tough to get the word-out that we had found this dog.
To make a long story short, I was able to locate the owner by canvasing the neighborhood and knocking on a few doors. The owner shared how their dog–his real name turned-out to be Walker–had wondered away when her roommate had let him out three days ago.
After meeting the owner, we could see how overwhelmed she was. Working 14 hours six days a week after her husband left her. Feeling guilty about leaving Walker and her other dogs and cats alone all day. Owning a home which needs lots of maintenance and not having enough money to go around.
A tear flowed down her cheek as Pattie and I explained we would be happy to check-on Walker and the other household dogs and cats from time to time. We didn’t ask her to cover any of the expenses we had accrued. But she brought it up and is going to reimburse us for some of the money we spent helping Walker.
One of his issues turned out to be bad hips–not uncommon in a large, older dog. How old? 14 years old! Hard to believe a dog that big could live that long…
Anyway, we prepaid to have a series of cold laser treatments done on Walker’s hips. After only two sessions, he was bounding around like a big puppy! So we offered–and his owner accepted–to take Walker in for his remaining treatments this week.
What had started-out as a bummer of a weekend had turned into a special, uplifting experience. Doesn’t it always make you feel better after you have helped someone else? And for us, that feeling is doubled whenever there is a helpless dog or cat involved.
Funny how my pain wasn’t as acute yesterday afternoon. I felt a lot better than I had for a long time.
I understand how difficult it can be to be chronically ill. But taking the time to help others always helps me feel better–both physically and emotionally.
Give it a try! Try helping someone outside your normal comfort zone. It’s exhilarating!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat