October is Adopt-A-Dog Month. You’re used to seeing my cats on here, but in honor of this month-long celebration, I’m devoting this post to dogs. A number of years ago, I found myself having to find homes for four abandoned dogs. Fortunately, the story had a happy ending…for everyone. (I originally shared this on Roxanne Rustand’s blog, Faith, Family and Four-Footed Friends, a Life in the Country.)
A Forever Home for Bruno
I am amazed and heartbroken over how many pets are just discarded.
Shortly before my husband and I were to leave for the holidays, a tenant moved out of one of our rental properties and abandoned five dogs—a black lab named Jackson, a lab/cur mix named Bruno and a dachshund mix with two puppies. The dachshund disappeared; the neighbors suspect the tenant came back for her. People advised me to call Animal Control for the other four. But in our county, as in most others, animals brought to Animal Control have a few hours to a few days, usually on the lower end of that range. I’m way too tender-hearted to carry good dogs to their death. So I enlisted the help of a friend and we googled rescue groups and sent dozens of emails asking for help.
Over the next few days, neighbors gave the dogs food we provided, and rescues responded asking for information and pictures. I went out armed with my digital camera, unsure how the two larger dogs would respond to a stranger. I needn’t have worried. They rushed toward me, tails wagging. Once sure they were friendly, I handed my neighbor the camera and sat down to pet them. Bruno immediately pushed me backwards and attempted to plant a sloppy kiss on my face. I went home with some great photos.
The puppies were easy to place. (Who can resist those sweet faces?) The larger dogs weren’t. It was the week before Christmas, and with many rescue foster families traveling for the holidays, there was no room. (Sorta reminds me of another Christmas story.)
Soon we were down to three days until we were to leave, and Bruno and Jackson were still homeless. My boss had lost an older lab and decided to take Jackson. Bruno and Jackson grew up together and were inseparable, so I asked if we could keep them together one more day while we tried to place Bruno. I would have taken him myself, but I live in a condo where I’m allowed two pets. I have a dog and three cats, all rescues. (One plus three equals two, right?)
My boss told his family about Bruno, and his wife said to make sure he gets a home. When he told her that was out of his control, she said, “Then lie to me!” She promised to distribute Bruno’s pictures around the school where she teaches. By lunchtime, a family had agreed to take him. By the end of the afternoon, both Bruno and Jackson were on their way to their new homes with their first scheduled play date lined up.
Bruno now has a home on ten acres with a loving family, other dogs and cows. He’s living the good life.
Unfortunately, there are hundreds more like him who aren’t that lucky. Calling Animal Control is quick and easy. Contacting rescues involves time and effort. But nothing beats the feeling of knowing some sweet dog or cat has found a forever home and you had a hand in it.