My first experience of rescuing a dog was with my own, Lynus. I found him in Tulsa, OK in 2005 at a Petsmart by Woodland Hills Mall. My friend, Courtney, had come up to visit me for a weekend my last semester at the Univ. of Tulsa. I'm sure more people know this than I really want them too, but that last semester was a rough one for me. I had a lot of personal things going on and living by myself just wasn't helping my situation out. Courtney and I went to Petsmart to look at the adoption day going on and that is where I found Lynus. He was on a top kennel and he was so damn adorable. When I sat on the floor to play with him he curled right up into my lap. When I left that evening I told myself that if I was still thinking about him in a week then I would adopt him. I adopted him 5 days later. He went everywhere with my when we lived in Tulsa. He would visit the sorority house, friends would watch him when I had to dance at back to back basketball games, and he went to dance practice with me and played with my friend, Taylor's, toy shih tzu. I know there is a proper way of spelling that breed but I can't recall it right now, haha.
This is Lynus!! He looks pretty apprehensive in this picture....
In 2007, I adopted Lucy. She was so shy and timid that I couldn't leave her at the rescue shelter she was staying at. She has come a long way since then. The first few days that I had her she stayed in the corner of the stairs and wouldn't leave it except to go to the bathroom and eat. I didn't push her and she eventually grew to trust me. She has been through a lot these past five years (and so has mine and my husband's bank account, thank God these incidents occurred after we got that joint account ;)). She had ACL surgery 4 weeks prior to our wedding in 2010 and then this past December I almost had to put her down. That was a horrible email to send to my husband in Afghanistan. She had exploratory surgery, had her spleen removed, and numerous antibiotics and no progress was made. It was like she heard me discussing putting her down with the vet and his technicians and she was like, "Oh dear God! Hell no! Not before my world domination plan!" I'm fairly certain that she is trying to bleed my husband and I dry of any funds, so that way life is that much harder when she takes over the world. Lucy is her own dog. She will yell and talk to you until you're in blue in the face. Yes, until you're blue in the face, because no matter how many times you let her outside, feed her, water her, and yell......she.....keeps.....talking!
That's where I started with my love of rescuing animals. I also rescued my cat, Gizmo, from a litter that was going to be put down if they didn't find homes. He currently resides with my mom where he is fat catting it up.
Yesterday evening I picked up the cutest boxer girl. Her name is Haley/Greta. She doesn't really respond to anything and I can't decide if it's because she is hard of hearing or if it's selective hearing. I'm going with the latter. She is about 12 years old and she is in ABR's Silver Heart Program which means that you can foster an older dog and ABR pays for their vet bills. There is no adoption fee for these wonderful "old" babies. Randy and I have fostered almost every type of dog under the sun. We have had the aggressive type that had to be taken back in three days (Dulcie, our first one), we have had the territorial one that got adopted and then given back to the rescue (Gigi), we have had the beautiful flashy brindle (Lolo), the shy timid ones (Enya who we only had for about 48 hours and Brita), we had the hyper one (Frances), the white boxers, one of which was deaf (Sulley and Ajax who was deaf), and we have had the extremely sick dog (Juniper who was such a doll). So, why did I want a silver heart dog? I saw her picture on our facebook group's page and my first response was, "Damn you Jacque (our fearless leader in the Ft. Hood area)! You know how to pull on my heart strings!" and then it went to, "This poor girl cannot live the rest of her life in a kennel." Haley deserves a soft, warm bed to sleep in at night. She is such a sweet dog and she is incredibly well trained. She knows how to sit and shake and will do almost anything for a treat. I can't believe that she was left at a shelter. Her back story is that the family who owned her moved to a not dog friendly establishment and couldn't take her with her. I'm not kidding. People have surrendered their dogs for stupider reasons though.
I love rescuing animals, I really do. I still stop on the side of the road to rescue stray dogs, especially when they have collars on. Why do I do this? Because I PRAY that someone would do that for my dogs if they were to ever get out. I would want someone to take five minutes to herd my dogs in their car to make sure that they are safe and sound. I found a pomeranian and a boston terrier on the side of the road the other day and they just hopped in my car. I took them to my house, pulled their collars off, and called their owner. She showed up ten minutes later in a panic, thanking me profusely. I once found a German Shepherd who had just been purchased from a breeder in the Czech Republic (is it still the Czech Republic?) and the owner tried to give me $200 for finding and returning her. That one was more complicated than it sounds. I had to call local vets to notify them that I had found a German Shepherd with no tags and one vet had told me that they had an owner looking for one. When I contacted the owner, it turns out the dog only understood commands in German. Go figure. No wonder she wasn't responding to me.....and it might explain why she wanted to attack Gizmo.
The point is, if anything were to happen to me and Randy I want to know that there are good people out there to take care of Lucy and Lynus. Having a dog and loving a dog are two separate things, in my opinion. When you have a dog they get petted and walked every so often, but when you love a dog you have a friend/companion/groupie for life. They will be there for you through thick and thin. They will comfort you when no one else can. They will tell you in their own way, "It's going to be okay." That way just might be a paw slap to the face, but, hey, it'll do. I still remember a few weeks after I adopted Lynus and I had to fly back to Dallas for a doctor's appt and I told my doctor that I adopted a dog and she looked at me, and was serious, and said, "You probably did the smartest thing ever considering what you're going through." Yes, I love my dogs and in your mind I probably love them too much. But don't judge me or anyone else, because when you find that one dog, cat, guinea pig, rabbit, bird, or whatever animal that you just love so very much you'll wonder how you ever lived life without them.
This is Haley! My new foster dog.
Juniper in Lucy's kennel and Lucy is not happy about it. Lynus is in the background.