My last several posts have been what one might refer to as...heavy. Ok, here's a little light, albeit soap-boxish, moment in my blogging history.
He was thin, shy and starved for attention when I saw him at the pound in his 2'x5' chain link cage with a concrete floor. His long legs and floppy ears made a somewhat comical contrast. He sniffed my hand nervously when I bent down to pet him. As I passed dog after dog who was bouncing off the walls and barking (probably the right dog for someone, but not me), I wondered at his shyness, his lack of "pick ME, pick ME!" barking. After nervous deliberation, I finally pulled the adoption card above the cage belonging to a jet black schnauzer-mix with glistening, pearl-black eyes and tossled fur. (He was a quiet one too.) I got in line and stood there as a girl and her dad adopted a tabby cat. Then a family with three chubby children took home a miniature pincher puppy who looked rather intimidated by the three fat munchkins who were arguing over who would hold her. As I got closer and closer to the counter, I could not get those sweet brown eyes, those silly long legs and those floppy ears out of my mind. I left the line, put the schauzer's card back, and ran to Sammy's pen. I realize now that I was afraid he would already be gone. I opened his chain link cell, and he bounded out almost before I could get the unfashionable (free) purple leash around his neck. Following his nose at the end of the leash, we made our way to the door and got back in line. Together.
It hurts me to think of the little black schnauzer. I hope someone took him home that day, and in my mind that's what I have to believe or I'll cry! "Why didn't I just take both of them home?" Because I can't save them ALL. They need other people, children, families, seniors who feel lonely to go rescue the perfect friend. That's what Sammy has been to me. I don't know how I would have gotten through a few of the rougher nights alone without him curled up next to me.
People see me with Sammy and ask, "What kind of dog is he?" Am I embarrassed that I can't recite his pedigree? Am I ashamed of his missing tooth? Am I hoping they won't notice the scars on his nose from his former owner/abuser? Far from it. I usually just smile and say, "I have no idea what kind of dog he is. His name is Sammy. He's just a pound puppy. A mutt, I guess, and he's the greatest!"
So why are so many people patronizing these pure-breed puppy farms instead of going down to the shelter and picking out some loveable, sweet little soul who just needs a home? What is it? Are we too good to own a used dog like we're too good to buy a used car? You can get some delicate, fastidious dog, and take the chance that he'll end up owning YOU! OR you could give a "used" dog a home. They call it "rescue." Well, that's exactly what it is, and the DOG senses that YOU are the one who rescued him. He'll thank you for it every day of his life.
Having Sammy has been like a reward to me, a gift straight from Heaven. Having Sammy has opened my heart and dried many tears. What has Sammy been to me? I call it "rescue."