Thursday, September 30, 2010

Being Rescued (An Opportunity to Help Out)

Animal rescue is a cause that's incredibly close to my heart. My own dog, Sandy, came to my family by way of a wonderful organization here in Ohio, Golden Endings. She spent 6 months in a correctional facility with a handler where she was taught manners, was house broken, and was incredibly well cared for. My heart breaks when I look at my dogs innocent big brown eyes and realize that someone gave her away and possibly mistreated her. Their loss was my gain. I would adopt every dog if I had the money and the space for them, unfortunately I don't but, I try to help when I can.

The Golden Endings organization put together a 2011 calendar to raise money to help care for the dogs like Sandy; dogs who are currently housed in a prison program or a foster home. Some of the dogs are abused and need special medical attention; all dogs are give shots, put on preventative medicine like heart worm meds. With the economy in the sad state that its in, the rescue is taking in more dogs than ever. As you might imagine, vet costs and basic needs are expensive. 

Sandy was one of the dogs chosen to be in the calendar, which I consider a special honor and privilege. If you would like to help by ordering a calendar, please go to this site to place an order. Or maybe just make a donation to an animal rescue of your choice. Most organizations will happily accept food, toys, treats, etc. I know times are hard and money is often short, but every little bit helps and does make a difference.

 Sandy attempting to "play" with the fish in the pond.


The following is a piece I wrote for the Golden Endings Newsletter, a few  months ago.

Sandy joined our family over three years ago, its hard to believe its been such a short time. My family met Sandy – a mild mannered reddish hued Golden on a Friday night exactly one week after releasing our first 17.5 year old dog from her pain.

Making the decision to bring another dog into our home so quickly wasn’t a decision we made lightly. In fact, all the food and dog treats had been given away, the dog house (that had never been used) was donated, water and food bowls picked up and put away. However after two days of a house that felt completely empty without calming presence of a four legged family member was torturous. There was no jingling of a collar, no contended sighs, and coming home was almost unbearable with no one to great us at the door.

When my brother found out we were going to meet a Golden, he became upset, “Its too soon, we’re not ready.” On that summer Friday evening, he begrudgingly went with us, mumbling under his breath. As we stepped out of the car, the wonderful woman who works on behalf of the rescue organization, opened her van door and out bounded Sandy. She was incredibly excited, wiggling her entire body as fast as she could. After quickly making the rounds for a quick pet, she went back to my brother who had crouched down. With her long flowing tail beating against the ground, her big, warm brown eyes looked into his face as if to say “It’s ok if I come home with you, right?” He responded with a playful pat on her head, we all knew that Sandy would be coming home with us.

Over the past few years, while Sandy has a special bond with each of us, the bond between her and my brother has surpassed all of those. In some way that can’t be verbally explained, Sandy knew that my brother needed her most to help him get over the grief of losing our other dog. We all needed her to help heal our hearts and move forward. She has given us unconditional love and loyalty. She makes us laugh daily with her human like expressions, antics, and moods. When we've had a bad day and just want a hug, she patiently sits there as we wrap ourselves around her, kissing her forehead. She reminds us to stop whatever it is we're doing for some fun or just a belly rub. She makes our lives complete.

Its easy for us human beings to rescue a dog-- to give them shelter, food and love. What we don't realize though is that usually we're the one's being rescued by these magnificent creatures.