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Posts Tagged ‘animal rescue’

My beautiful wife is the Pennsylvania State Foster Co-ordination for the National Great Pyrenees Rescue. For the lay people, Great Pyr’s are very large dogs who were bred to guard livestock. They are also known in the dog world as ‘Gentle Giants’. How did my wife end up with such an illustrious title? After we adopted Clary we were so impressed with the organization my wife decided to give back and asked if they could use some help, perhaps she could field applications and such. And they said, “sure, You are now the Pennsylvania State Foster Coordinator” After reading this and commenting in the comment section below, and of course hit the follow button if you are not already a loyal follower to this blog, you should go visit the National Great Pyranees website http://www.nationalpyr.org and see about adopting, volunteering or make a donation.

Usually when my wife is conducting a phone interview with a potential Foster/Adopter I can be found immersed in the world of the video game Assassins Creed. My ears perk up when my wife gets to what NGPR (National Great Pyranees Rescue) calls the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is when my wife tells the potential Adopter about the traits of a Pyr in order to make sure the victim knows just what they are getting involved with in order to secure a good fit between man and beast.
I can’t help but grin as I listen to my wife go through the litany: the over abundance of the hair, (y’all only think you know about shedding) their need to bark, they are nocturnal, stubborn, expensive, they drool oh yeah baby we got drool! Did I mention the shedding? If you walk them off leash they become a ‘disapyr’! Oh they…dig, jump and climb oh my. Did I mention the hair? Better be ready it’s everywhere.

I find myself wondering who would want such a dog? But then I look at my two beasts and I know, you know, we all know. This my friends brings me to the whole point of this post. ‘What Have I learned From My Dog?’ The following 10 lessons I either learned or already learned but re-enforced by our dogs.
1. There is a lot of shit in life, it works out better for all if we clean up after ourselves.

2. At least once a day find something to bark at, and do so without regret or remorse.

3. I am the Master of my domain.

4. I can yell all I want and it won’t change much. Keep calm, stay strong, take a breath and square up your shoulders. Everything will be just fine

5. Don’t surround yourself with clutter, have a space for everything and keep everything in its place.

6. Don’t go cheap on a vacuum cleaner. Learn to enjoy vacuuming and do it often.

7. Always have something handy to wipe stuff up with.

8. Get up and go out every single day. It doesn’t matter if you are sick, drunk or tired. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing or blistering hot, go outside every single day

9. Just because you don’t hear it, doesn’t mean it is not there.

10. A little mud never hurt anything.
The following were some of the responses I got from asking the question on Facebook. Both to my friends and the good people at NGPR.
-You have to have patience Dig deep to understand others.

-When you finally figure out what’s going on, it’s not the real story anyway.

-Unconditional love

-Why sweat when you find your stuff in pieces – it’s just… stuff… right?

-Never buy expensive shoes, only cheap ones.

-dog hair is edible

-You can be young all the way up to Your last days.

-Forgiveness, no matter how badly they were treated before they meet you they give you the benefit of being a good person.

-Love is free, give it away often

-How to “rule” non-violently. My Stinson could control an entire pack with a look and a woof.

-Be happy to see everybody.
If you are considering introducing a pet into your family please find a rescue and adopt.

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When I started this blog every 10 posts I wrote an ‘introspective’ for lack of another word.  It has been awhile so I figured I would try another.

What have I learned/observed?

1)      People like to read my lessons on Jewish holidays.   While my favorite such post, (there have only been two) was about Chanukkah, it gave me a new found respect for what it is to be Jewish.  You readers on the other hand seem to like the one about Passover.

2)      I’ve written one post at somebody else’s suggestion.  It was not a pleasant experience so while I am open to suggestions, I’m a little gun shy on the whole concept.

3)      If you are going to write a fictional piece, it may be best to create another page for that purpose. The post generated a lot of questions.  The bulk of the story is true.  The only part I made up was the very end.   Since writing that post I have learned that most of the locals do believe the Avondale is haunted, but I made the ghost part up.  When we drove up to the Avondale there were two grizzly men, but one got in a pickup truck, the other got on a motorcycle and they both drove away.  There was no picture of George on the wall.

4)      I learned how to post stuff on YouTube and since then I’ve learned how to embed them on my page.  Now I have to come up with more video.

5)      Foxes are really beautiful animals. Elephants are still my favorite.

6)      One of my most popular posts had to do with a conversation between my mother and myself.  It seems a lot of people identified with it, I’d like to say the conversation was unique, but really it was just normal for my family.

7)      I may suffer from a little road rage.

8)      With some of our pets getting older I am dreading the next few years and the decisions that are going to have to be made.  After the passing of Maya I am finding that ‘dreading’ is to light a word.

9)      Never take air-conditioning for granted, we would have never survived this last week without it.  At the moment I love my air-conditioning almost as much as I love my Garmin.

10)     I still stand by my previous lessons learned.

11)     I feel a little bad about punching Ant because he was just doing what wasps do.  Now I check the van before I start it up.

13)    The most common phrase that people type into a search engine and find my blog is ‘mouse poop’  I find it a little worriesome that people are typing ‘mouse poop’ into a search engine.

14)    I don’t care what people say, possums or o’possums are really cute.  

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Emerging from carrier

The other day we got a call from Sparrow our local wildlife rehabilitator.  There were two foxes that needed to be released.  It wasn’t skunks so I was down with it.  Not that I have anything against skunks, but we have had too many close calls between the husky and skunks, and many a nights we have arisen from our slumber with tears in our eyes due the odor of Pepe Le Pew. 

This morning we picked up the foxes. I believe it was the first time I’ve seen foxes up close and they are incredibly beautiful animals. When the foxes left the safety of the carriers and started running around the woods, well lets just say it was one of those indescribable magical moments that will last a long time for both my wife and I. 

I have been unable to download video onto this blog, so I only brought my trusty little camera down to the release rather than my supercool video camera.  My little camera does take some decent movies and I did manage to capture some of the excitement.  I also managed to create a YouTube account and posted the video here.  So this is my first appearance on YouTube.  Before you click on the link see the photo’s below.  I’d also like to take a moment to thank Robyn (aka Sparrow) and the good folks at Centre Wildlife Care for giving us the opportunity.

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My wife reminded me that Dorian was not the first time Sequoia was wary of a cat.

We went to Cook Forest State Park here in Pennsylvania.  Sequoia and I waited in the car while my wife went into the information station to find out where we could picnic.  My wife was taking a long time to get the information so Sequoia and I decided to wait outside the car.  Even though we were in a parking lot it was very rustic, very beautiful.  Amongst the people, cars and quaint cabins I spotted a cat a bunch of yards away.  The cat was watching us, watching Sequoia.  Sequoia for her part was ignorantly sniffing the ground, I did not particularly like the way the cat was watching us.  People would be walking between us, carrying canoes making all kinds of noises, cars would pass by kicking up dust and all the while the cat just stared. I started looking for my wife, where the heck was she? I’m about to enter a Stephen King story and my wife is taking forever getting directions to a picnic table…or did the cat get her?

Then the cat started to move, it started moving towards us.  It would stop to let a car pass, it would negotiate its way around a family, it would check out something on a stone wall but it was coming closer and while it would pretend to take interest in something else, clearly we were its target.  I was pretty confident it wasn’t going to approach a husky, where the hell was my wife?  While still some yards away Sequoia finally took notice.  She strained at the end of her leash whining as huskies do when being denied chasing pray, and the cat kept coming.  Then the oddest thing happened, Sequoia started backing up.  The cat kept coming and now it wasn’t walking around people, it wasn’t stopping to check out the bird, the cat was coming, and it was coming for us.  I was looking at the information place for my wife.  Sequoia was no longer strained at the end of her leash, she was standing by my side.  When Sequoia broke her stare from the cat and looked at me her expression was priceless and unmistakable, it said, Dad, perhaps we should wait in the car. And that is exactly what we did and it was only when we got back into the car did the cat change direction, still keeping an eye on us, but no longer approaching.  A few moments later much to my relief my wife emerged from the building.  Not knowing what had transpired my wife pointed at the cat so I would not miss seeing it.  To the horror of Sequoia and myself, my wife actually bent down and started calling “here kitty kitty”  Could she not see that this was no ordinary cat?  Could she not see that it was some sort of demon?  Lucky for us the cat (if that is what it was) paid her no heed, it just wandered off probably looking for another dog to terrorize.

My wife had her own tale to tell. While Sequoia and I were being hunted by a demon my wife was dealing with a hummingbird.  Some children had found a wounded hummingbird in the parking lot and brought it to the information station (yes I like saying information station) in hopes that the bird could be fixed.  A wounded hummingbird is not an easy animal to fix.  But you can’t tell children that, they were so hopeful, and the information people didn’t know what to do.  My wife as always, stepped up to the plate.  She told the children that we knew a lady who might be able to help.  They put the bird in a shoebox with a little towel and kept the bird in a warm quiet place inside the office.  My wife made an arrangement with the park people that on our way out we would stop by and pick up the hummingbird and drive it the two hours (with a prey driven tramatized by a demon husky in the car) back to State College where we would take the bird to a wild animal rehabilitator.

True to our word we stopped by the office on our way out of the park(amazingly the bird was still alive) and we brought the bird to Sparrow our local wildlife rehabilitator.  Sparrow tried her best with the hummingbird but its very fragile wing was broken and the bird refused to eat and didn’t survive the night.   I wasn’t surprised, first off it was a hummingbird, delicate to begin with secondly it was probably the victim of the demon cat that haunts Cook Forest State Park.

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Pets don’t have many choices, they are completely at our mercy, I know it doesn’t always feel that way but they are, and we are responsible for them, every last one.  They are bred, for the most part, with little or no thought for the thousands of other dogs and cats who don’t have homes, don’t have anyone to look after them.  Most people don’t understand that when a dog is purchased from anywhere but a reputable breeder or some sort of humane society we are supporting puppy mills, supporting back yard breeders who out of ignorance are producing dogs that are probably going to end up with temperament or medical problems if not both, breeding dogs that are statistically going to end up on the loose living a miserable existence, or living in a shelter.  Either way it’s no way to live but at least at the shelter they have just that, shelter, food, people who care about them and with any luck, eventually a good home. 

Animals in our society don’t rate for much in any legal sense, they are simply property and not just property but the lowest sort of property.   In an emergency (such as a fire) the rule of thumb according to Emergency services is you save people, property and then animals (the last is usually optional).

Our pets give us so much otherwise why would there be so many of them?  No matter what we do to them they love us unconditionally, they help us in so many ways. How many times on the news do we hear about the pets that alert their owners to a fire and end up saving the family?  They are our constant companions, they are our eyes, there are alert dogs, rescue dogs, dogs that help us find criminals, find mines for soldiers and the list goes on.  

clicking on this link will enable you to donate to the Clearfield County SPCA where every bit helps.  Plus if Sequoia is one of the top donation earners she will be featured on their 2011 calendar.  Raising money is not really what my blog is about and I promise this won’t be a regular theme, but every once in a while you have to give back.  So thanks in advance, thanks to those that have already given. 

As always thanks for reading, and next post we will be back to our regularly scheduled programing.

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French class in high school lasted an hour a day for our entire youth, we were forced to do two things,  conjugate every verb on the planet and read the book,  “La Dynamite”.   ‘La Dynamite’ was about these guys who had to transport TNT over an old logging road to get to the job site.  The previous drivers died on the way because the truck hit a pothole and the TNT exploded.   

One fall day my wife and I found ourselves driving home with two pet carriers full of  skunks in our back seat.   Yes we were holding our breath for fear of setting one or all of them off.    Sparrow the wild life rehabilitator promised they would not spray.  I wasn’t sure how she could make such a promise, after all they are wild skunks, but she promised and we trusted.  Sparrow failed to mention, (and we didn’t know enough to ask) that skunks stink even when they don’t spray.  

With the windows open and the air cranked, we cringed at every stop light, turn and bump on the road.  As the skunks chattered away in the back seat I thought about those two guys in ‘La Dynamite’ and really, they were idiots! Why the heck didn’t they just keep the blasting caps separated from the TNT?  

 

  

 

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Standing in the parking lot at the grocery store in Phillipsburg my wife announced that she was ready for a kitten (see Fate Or Circumstance, Part 1) and I rebutted that I wanted a dog. Who knew it was a magical parking lot? 

August of Nine years ago we were still trying to find a home for Husky when the Trouble began!

We were just about to take our exit off the highway when my wife yelled, KITTEN! I pointed the car to the shoulder of the road, hit the brakes then checked the rearview mirror. “Where is the kitten?” I asked as we got out of the car.

“Over in the bushes on the other side of the road”

 “sigh”

Just as home is always up hill, everything else seems to be on the other side of the highway.  Sure enough I looked at where she was pointing and there the kitten sat meowing bloody murder.  Our experience has been that when you approach cats on the side of the road they tend to turn and run, so the plan was simple, I would head around on the diagonal and try to loop around behind while my wife took the direct approach.  I went my way, my wife waited a beat and went her way.  The kitten had plans of its own and made a direct charge across the road into my wife’s arms and promptly bit her on the wrist.  If cats could talk this one would have been telling us. ‘What the hell took you so freakin’ long!’ We made sure none of his litter mates were hanging around and then headed home.

From day one the cat was trouble and was so named.  He didn’t get along well with others,  he was strong, he was ornery and he was not afraid to use his teeth and claws.  This one we were definitely adopting out.  When adopting out an animal our first priority of course is to find a good home.  There is no use placing an animal in an environment that isn’t better than the previous situation.  We were starting to realize Trouble was going to be a difficult case.  There is no doubt that he would take one bite out of somebody and he would find himself back on the wrong side of the door.  It made sense that this was how he first wound up on the side of the road.  We took him to our trusty vet Lee and there were no parasites, no worms, not a tick or flea to be found.  Somebody probably decided that he was just too much to handle and had recently dumped him.

Trouble was a pain in the ass, because of that he spent most of his nights locked in the bathroom, otherwise around two in the morning we would all pay the price.  The other ‘problem’ was he could charm the pants off the devil.  Didn’t matter how scared our arms and hands were from his scratching or how sleep deprived we were from his night time antics,  it didn’t matter how he would torment the other cats all he had to do was turn on his charm and your heart melted. 

At four months old Trouble weighed in at five pounds and to the relief of all our vet agreed to have him neutered.  Nine years later Trouble weighs in at 18 pounds of solid muscle.

I admit we didn’t look too hard to find Trouble a home.  First because of his disposition most sane people would have booted him out the door.  Second, Trouble just has that certain charm. While he has calmed down some he can still raise a little hell.  Not long ago we added Gumdrop (our latest cat) into the mix and for months Trouble would simply not let Gumdrop on the floor!

Obviously it all worked out and some might accuse me of anthropomorphism but I think Trouble appreciates the fact that we love him for who he is and on his terms.  Every night after my wife and I settle into bed Trouble runs up between us for his nightly hug and then heads to the foot of the bed where he sleeps curled up behind my knees.

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Fate Or Circumstance, Part 3

Once at  Sandra’s we found the kennel, made sure Husky had food and water, we promised her that Sandra would be home soon and that we would visit during the week, and with great reluctance we walked away.

Husky screamed!  She didn’t bark, growl or howl, she screamed.  Never had I heard such a noise, it sounded like somebody had taken an old rusty spoon and used it to carve out her heart.  We couldn’t take her with us and we couldn’t wait all night.  Husky was safe, she had water and Sandra would soon be there to take her inside.  Being the cruel heartless people we are we walked away with heavy hearts and tears in our eyes and the most horrific sound echoing in our heads.  The neighbour promised us he would check in on Husky once Husky had settled down.   As we drove home with that god awful noise still reverberating in our heads we started thinking up ways we could keep her with us until we found a suitable home.  Logically we knew husky was fine, emotionally we were drained.  Some would argue that this was when we decided to keep Husky, and again they would be wrong. 

We made a vet appointment with Lee (the best vet ever) who gave us a lecture on dog ownership and given our situation and the temperment of our cats, how owning a dog was probably not the smartest idea.   Lee also forced us to see the obvious, if Husky did  kill one of the cats, how would that make us feel? then what would become of Husky?   Lee did admit that this husky was not a typical husky.   Husky took all her shots, gave blood and submitted to the exam without all the usual husky drama.  For the most part she lay on her back paws in the air waiting for somebody to rub her belly.  Lee who is not only the best vet, is also a friend who cares about her patients and despite her lecture informed us that she would support our decision and help us any way she could both as a friend and a vet.  Did our vet just open the door a tiny crack?  There were a lot of issues and the potential for deadly disaster, I was still focused on finding Husky a suitable home but maybe there was a way to share the household, maybe we could find a way to separate the cats from the dog when we were all in the house at the same time, maybe…just maybe…

During this time we took Husky everywhere getting her as much exposure as possible figuring the more people who saw her the better the chance we had at finding her a good home.   My wife was busy being a detective and with only Husky’s rabies tags she managed to uncover  a lot of  information.  The previous owner owed the vets money, making them reluctant to give us any information, but with a little explaining on our part each vet we talked to agreed to release Husky’s records our vet.  We found out that Husky was a mom but the dog law officer realized this guy was unable or unwilling to look after Husky never mind husky puppies and forced him to have Husky fixed.  He did comply but once again never paid the vet.  From there my wife was able to track down the breeder.  Husky was a purebred and we got all the information we needed to get her papers from the American Kennel Club.  We had no interest in getting her papers but it was a good ‘selling’ point to tempt a possible owner. 

Finding Husky an owner was a difficult task,  we were not about to ‘dump’ her on just anybody, how would that help her?  how would that put her in a better situation?  Most people want a dog that they can throw out the door on a cold day and then give a whistle and the dog will come running back, unfortunately with most huskies you can’t do that, once they are outside and unrestrained, they are gone.  Training a  husky is not as easy as training a lab.  Before a husky will do anything they ask themselves “whats in it for me?” and there better be something as they are certainly not out to please you.  Huskies are not always good with children or other dogs and other dogs don’t always like huskies.  In our studies we learned that huskies have their own language which other dogs don’t understand.  A husky owner in northern Canada who has working huskies warned us that huskies play a lot harder than most dogs and the difference between husky play and a husky fight is the amount of blood spilled.  To make matters worse our husky is very dominant and doesn’t play well with others.  If another dog doesn’t respond the way Husky wants them too she goes on the attack. 

One Sunday we went to Sandra’s to drop Husky off, (thankfully we could now do this without the screaming)  there was a pen set up in the yard with all the husky puppies playing inside.  We brought Husky into the pen and she immediately went into mothering mode.  She played with them, let them crawl all over her but when they crossed the line (as huskies are prone to do) she would roll them on their backs and hold them there until they calmed down.  We stayed for a while, playing with the puppies (we really liked zag and Sandra actually tried to get us to adopt zag) and really enjoyed watching Husky play with the pups.  Once again that dreaded time came when we had to leave we said goodbye to Sandra and the woman helping her, said goodbye to Husky who was only paying attention to the puppies but just before I got into the car I happened to look back and noticed Husky had stopped paying attention to the puppies, all her attention was on us. Later when my wife mentioned that particular behaviour to Sandra she told us that Husky always watched us leave and looked for us once we were gone and on Saturdays she would wait by the door for us to pick her up.  I though back to when we first met Husky, she didn’t look at her previous owner, she never looked back.  Some would say it was at that point we decided adopt Husky the truth of the matter is Husky had already adopted us.

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This is the second part of Fate or Circumstance?

This post like all the others has taken on a life of its own. Many forgotten details are floating to the surface as I write.  All of which means it will be broken up into more than the two parts I had planned.  I hope you continue to enjoy.

One Friday not long after the Shadow incident one of my wife’s co-workers asked my wife if we would be able to help out a dog that was in a bad situation.  A relative of this co-worker lived next to this guy who would leave his husky tied up for days outside without food, water or shelter.  It is believed that the dog, out of hunger killed and ate a cat. The landlord had enough and gave the guy an ultimatum, he had to get rid of the dog or leave. 

We had four cats certainly we couldn’t keep a dog that eats cats.  Besides, a husky would never be happy spending most of the day indoors and they always have to be contained which meant not only a dog house but a dog kennel.  Huskies are very active and we live a pretty sedate lifestyle.  When huskies get bored they chew everything and they get bored easily.  Huskies have no guarding tendencies and huskies shed and shed and then shed some more.  However they are big enough, they don’t drool often and are not known for barking, howling is another story.  We needed a plan!

I made a call to Sandra the customer at the bank who, two years earlier had shown me the picture of her husky puppies. It turned out that Sandra was raising yet another litter of huskies, she did have an available kennel and would take in the dog in while we found it a home, (or as she put it, until we decided to keep the dog).  The next morning we would make the 48 mile drive to Avis Pa to rescue the dog, if we got back into town early enough we would bring the dog around to Sandra’s work so she could get a look at her new charge.  Indeed, we had our plan!

Upon meeting the dogs owner it was clear that this guy was not exactly the pillar of society but he signed husky over to us without incident.  What my wife and I found interesting was husky never looked at him and when we drove away husky never looked back.  We had been driving for just a few minutes, us in the front seat, husky in the back when husky put her head on my shoulder and licked my ear.  Some would tell you it was at this point that we knew we would be keeping husky, but let me set the record straight, it was not.  That day was still over a month away.  We did shed a tear or two knowing that this was a great dog and we were not going to be able to keep her.  She eats cats for crying out loud.

We had seen many huskies in our day.  In fact when I was young we owned one for a while (to spare my mother from tears I won’t go into that story) but we had not seen the likes of this one.  She had obviously never seen  a brush, there were tufts of fur popping off her body, it was sad that she had been so neglected but funny as heck to look at.  She was a pale yellowish colour and her coat was/is incredibly thick and soft despite all the tufts.  We got back into town earlier then expected and decided we would run her by the bank and show her off a little, perhaps somebody there would want her, (nobody was in a position to adopt her)  but husky was an immediate hit she rolled over on her back and let everyone rub her belly and of course left a pile of fur on the carpet which remained there for a week or two.  We brought her to Sandra’s work as planned.  You know you have an impressive husky when the husky breeders are in awe.  The plan was for Sandra to come over after work stay for a bonfire and take husky home from there.  In turn we would pick up husky on Sunday and take her to a local pet place and start trying to find her a home. 

Sandra came over that evening and we had fun talking about huskies, roasting marshmallows and eating smores.  We decided that we would keep husky on the weekends,  Sandra assured us that husky would be fine in our laundry room with the cats sequestered in the bed room.  Monday we had to go back to work and we couldn’t leave her locked in the laundry room all day so the new plan was to drop husky off at Sandra’s sometime Sunday night.   Sandra was going to be working the late shift so she told us where the kennel was located and we should just put husky in the kennel.  If we wanted we could let her neighbour know that we were dropping husky off, being husky owners themselves they would be sure and look in on her until Sandra got in that night.

Stay tuned for part 3

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In the early 2000’s I was standing at my teller window when one of our regulars came in to make a deposit. She showed me a picture of the cutest little Siberian Husky puppies one could ever imagine.  Except for the fact that they were adorable and that for once somebody wasn’t showing me baby pictures,  I didn’t think too much about it.  Time passed, another litter of puppies came and went and life continued on its merry way as it tends to do.

Two years later my wife and I are standing in the parking lot of a grocery store in the tiny town of Phillipsburg when my wife tells me she is ready for a kitten, we already had four cats.  “I’m ready for a dog” came my reply.  She told me to start building a dog house.  Building a dog house sounded like fun so why not?  We thought about what kind of dog we would like, we both agreed it had to be big, no drooling, no barking, good both indoors and out, had to like cats and have some guarding instincts.   The doghouse had just gotten underway so we were not quite ready for a dog but we decided to check out the SPCA,  upon entering the dog room the first thing that struck me was the unimaginable amount of noise, it was truly an assault on my ears.  I made my announcement in the middle of the chaos.  “The first one of you who is not barking has a shot at coming home with me.” In a corner kennel was a massive black dog.  It wasn’t barking, it wasn’t paying the least bit of attention to me, the dogs or anything really just lost in his own world.   My wife and I looked at his information.  Shadow was the dog’s name, he was surrendered by the owner with no explanation and it came from our little town.  We asked if Shadow had any issues with cats.  Shadow was then taken to the cat room where a staff member shoved a cat right up into Shadows face.  Shadow could have swallowed the cat whole but he didn’t so much as bat an eyelash, the cat was too stunned to do anything, so far so good.  We put Shadow on a leash and took him outside. The minute he hit the fresh air he came alive and took me for a drag.  He probably knew his name but certainly didn’t care.  He didn’t stop, he didn’t sit, he didn’t even acknowledge our existence and he was amazingly strong, stopping him was quite the issue. My wife would not have been able to walk this dog. There was a mountain of issues involved with adopting Shadow, he had no manners making him difficult to control, he had some health issues as he was loosing hair, but there was something about him that touched both my wife and I so he became a possibility but we were not about to rush into anything, the responsible thing to do was wait, we were not at the point of dog ownership and Shadow was a large handful.

At the end of our road across the highway there is a travel trailer and a dog house which was home to a large black dog.  (At this point we have to travel back about a year from the above story) while driving to work one day we noticed that the travel trailer had disappeared but the dog  was still there, worried that somebody had abandoned the dog we knocked on the closest door we could find.  Turns out the people who owned the house also owned the dog.  That dog was Shadow. (Another jump in time, to our current story) Earlier in the week my wife had commented that we don’t see the dog anymore and we figured the owners schedule had changed (he was a security officer for Penn State) and we didn’t give it another thought until driving home from the SPCA when my wife put it all together.  Once again life in a small town rears its head.

We never saw Shadow again but I think about Shadow often, I feel I let him down. I know Shadow was never meant to be ours, life has a way of telling us what is and what isn’t, all you have to do is listen and in this case there were just too many obstacles being thrown between us and Shadow.  In the end we wound up with the right dog.  Still when I think of Shadow I can’t help but feel a little heaviness in my heart.  I can only hope he found a good home.

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