The holiday season is in full swing, plans are being made and the tree is coming in from storage and being dressed in all its shimmering finery once again. Last year, we celebrated Christmas with three fur-babies but sadly, this year, we lost the two dogs. Crowbar was bitten by a rattlesnake and we chose to release Abigail from her long battle with osteosarcoma - it was just getting too much for her to bear. I think age was against us as Crowbar (bullmastiff) was approaching ten years of age and Abigail was almost thirteen - an incredibly long life for an English Mastiff.
I was heartbroken to lose these two, both special in their own way and absolutely devoted to our family. I determined not to have any more dogs for a while, partly because, as you all know, it's hard emotionally when they leave but also because I am building my business back again, preparing to sell part of our property and making the decision to build a home or buy. Just a lot going on right now!
But wait, didn't I mention a dog in the last blog post? Ummmm, yep. See, I stayed strong for several months. Now, this was probably not the best course of action but I followed the Facebook posts from several local shelters and held my breath as each shelter dog was advertised, became urgent and then snatched from the jaws of death by their new family. Sadly, the big dogs are always harder to adopt out, especially big, pushy, black bully breed dogs and they caused me the most anxiety.
Each one was eventually adopted out or rescued.....until this boy. He was big and stressed-out skinny. He had scabs and burns all over his big, wide, bully-breed face. He liked to try to pull your arm out of its socket when leashed, he was STRONG. He was equal parts black and white with a goofy black patch over each eye and a black patch on one ear. He came up urgent. No takers. He was on the euthanasia list. Nobody stepped up. My heart was flip flopping. No, I didn't want another dog. Well, I just didn't need one, couldn't cope with one right now. Just not the right time. Someone will take him. Surely. Somebody? But nobody did.
And, of course, that's how he ended up with us. I just could not let this beautiful boy lose his life. So he is now head of ranch security and he does a fine job......from the comfort of our bed....or my chair.....or anywhere he wants. He likes sliced cheese and cheap hot dogs and anything else that falls on the floor. He's scared of the dark and doesn't like cats. That's ok because the cat really doesn't like him much either. He has wagged his way into our life and our hearts.
And so, the point of this particular blog post is this; if you have space in your home and your heart this Christmas season, please consider a dog or cat from your local shelter. There are some wonderful companions available to adopt or, if you can't commit to a new family member right now, there are temporary foster opportunities available or you can even donate blankets and throws for the cold winter months. You can save a precious life or bring a little comfort.
We adopted Bandit from the wonderful folks at the Parker County Animal Shelter. Our local shelter also performs a great service for the community, Erath Co. Humane Society and our much beloved Crowbar was adopted from Saginaw Animal Services. Wherever you are, there are shelters and rescue groups that may well have your newest and bestest friend. We found ours.
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!