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No act of kindness,
No matter how small,
is ever wasted.
This isn't a story about a dog overcoming insurmountable odds and saving the world, or performing heroic acts that we all fantasize about our own dogs doing. Nope, not this story. It's a story about a dog that I just couldn't figure out why was not adopted. She was owner surrendered to the largest animal shelter in Austin; too much to handle, you know, disobedient, strong-willed. Austin Animal Center intakes about 17,000 animals yearly; Honey was one of them. In 3 months she never had a look. When our kennel manager of our shelter saw her, he commented, "I felt like we were truly rescuing her."
A border collie mix, Honey was 'transferred', as we call it in the rescue biz, to us, Highland Lakes SPCA in the Texas Hill Country. And there she stayed for 4 more months, again, with never even a look. That's where I come in. I volunteer to walk dogs at HLSPCA. There I would see Honey, waiting, in her pen. Strong and strong-minded; underweight, lackluster coat. Seems like she had never been on a leash, "What's this?" I had to let her know this was my walk; she was an invited guest. With so much energy, I would walk her a lot, insisting on good manners. After all, your future parents will want a pal with manners. So we worked together and we worked hard. Still, no lookers. Then, it just happened. Against my husband's wishes, I adopted Honey. Somebody had to adopt Honey. When we got her home we started noticing things, little things, like the scar under one eye, or the scars under her ears. Things can get hidden in a black coat of fur. Must be stories back there, "What happened to you?" It really doesn't matter now; she's forgotten her past and so will we.
Her personality began to blossom. When you enter a room and Honey's on her bed, she is completely still; eyes are opened wide and fixated directly on you. Then there's the tail. The tail thumps wildly in anticipation. She'll curl up in the crux of your bent legs at bedtime. She nudges the back of your knees with her wet nose while she's walking behind you. When we are both out in public, whether she's standing or sitting looking out at people, she will absolutely make sure her hindquarter is touching me. "I've got your back." "No, I've got your back!" She loves her older sister. She loves to run breakneck speed when you call her. And now, she jubilantly jumps about six feet into the air when she sees her leash. We believe Honey is happier now. We know we are happier for having her. Still looking back, I never really figured out why nobody adopter her, or even gave her a look. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Fate. It's me; it's always been me. I was the one meant to adopt her!
PETCO 2015 HOLIDAY WISHES GRANT CAMPAIGN
IF YOU MEET AN UNADOPTABLE DOG
If you have ever lost a best friend you know just how deep sorrow can dig, and sometimes the thought of finding another best friend is just too much to bear. That's where I had been for two years when I found myself scrolling through face book and happened to see a post from the Highland Lake SPCA with an attached article published in the Marble Falls newspaper highlighting a beautiful Lab mix that had been in their care for 5 years. All that apprehension of jumping off my emotionally safe ledge was gone in an instant. This was my girl... Jessie! I read through the article and it outlined that Jessie would need a special family due to some issues, primarily dog aggression. Issues I was not a bit apprehensive to take head on. Meeting Jessie on April 12, 2015 sealed the deal and off we went into the proverbial sunset.
As we rode away I truly had no idea just how many people loved Jessie and just what a large support system was in place to help with her transition into.... squeal.... her new, forever, home. This country girl was about to turn city, about to make friends, about to explore a new wide open world.
Step one, her name... No brainer there... keeping it! My grandmother's name was Jessie and my grandmother was the world to me. Just being able to say her name on a daily basis brings a smile to my heart. Step two, research, research, research. It is amazing how many styles of training/therapy are out there. It took a little trial and error to get a mix that fit both the physical and emotional needs of both of us. Step three, enjoy every minute of the journey!
So here we are six months out and life is pretty darn special. Somehow it feels very much like Jessie waited all that time just for me, a better fit was never forged. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for having a best friend, grateful to the Highland Lake SPCA for making the decision to rescue Jessie and taking such exception care of a beautiful soul while she waited so long for me to find her, and in awe of just how many people can love one very beautiful pup. So here is to best friends and the journey of a country girl turned city all thanks to the kindness and efforts of the Highland Lake SPCA aka family.
~ Terresa Jeffries Sanchez
Copyright@2017 Highland Lakes SPCA P.O. Box 1275 Marble Falls, Texas 78654 830-693-0569 | To rescue, rehabilitate and secure loving and healthy forever homes for homeless dogs.