Bob, the Rescue Dog

Bob just died. He was about 11 years old. I heard that three dogs had been left for three weeks in an apartment in W. Virginia, and had been taken to the shelter. Two of them, small dogs, were adopted, but Bob, a homely hound around 40 pounds, was headed to the euthanasia room. I said I would take him. When it came time to load the truck to CT, there was no room for Bob. He might have ended up dead, except that the driver took a chance and put him on top of the crate right behind him so he could keep an eye on him.

For 13 hours, Bob didn’t move. He lay on top of that crate and looked out the front window, looked north all the way to CT. A foster had him for a few days, and I went down to get him, and he again looked north for the three hour trip. He ended up going to my friend’s farm, where he walked backwards into the house for the first few months. He was much loved, much cared for, and he lived another 7 years as her best buddy.

Rescue dogs aren’t always gorgeous, smart, spectacular – but they do seem to have some special qualities that those who haven’t suffered the same way just don’t have. I brought up about 3000 dogs and puppies in 10 years, and I spent every penny I made, and I wouldn’t give back one of them. I love rescue dogs.

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Some dog rescue ideas and stories

When I started in dog rescue, the lovely town of Greenville, SC had a 87% kill rate of the 21,000 dogs and puppies that came in every year. I got my Carolina and my first rescue dogs and pups there. I pulled 21 of them after they killed a little black hot-dog kind of dog I had my eye on. Carolina was my third pull – the local boarding kennel had been helping me but bailed when some dog got sick. I had to send Carolina and about ten other dogs to a vet for kenneling until the transport was coming. Carolina got a respiratory infection and almost died – the vet called me and yelled at me for sending them a sick dog. That’s when I realized that even to most vets in the south, shelter dogs were trash to be put in black garbage bags and taken to the landfill. This was the start of my nightmare.

More to come…