Story and photo: Trina
Picture a woman with a soft spot for dogs. The soft spot isn't really just a spot; it's rather bigger than a mere spot. It's pretty much her whole being. Picture this woman meeting a new dog, squatting to say hi, petting him. Picture the scrappy, skinny little dog snuzzling up to her like he hasn't had even so much as a loving touch in weeks. Picture the dog's owner arriving with a "What's going on here?" look on his face.
"We're just saying 'hi.' He's really sweet!" the woman says.
"He's a pain in the ass is what he is; you want 'im?" is the gruff reply.
Having no ability to walk away from a dog in this kind of situation, this woman, who looks a whole lot like me, finds herself rescuing dogs on a verrrry regular basis.
I don't actually recall how Pickle, the lanky black lab that raised me from birth, came into my family's life, but I do know that every other dog I've had in the three decades since The Pickle Era has been a rescue dog of one kind or another. Whether they came from the pound, turned up mysteriously under the back porch, were impulsively selected from a cardboard box in front of the grocery store, or were found lost and hungry with no collar, my dogs have always been orphans.
The key to rescuing dogs is not falling in love with them. This is where I fail miserably. Some of the dogs I fall in love with I end up keeping; some of the dogs I fall in love with I end up placing in new homes. Either way, I end up falling (helplessly, pathetically) in love with all my rescue dogs.
It's ok. It's how I ended up with both Zeek and Sprocket. But two is the magic number for me, so now, even when I do fall in love with a rescue dog, as I did with this latest one, Baxter, I still have to let him go.
This past weekend we had a few reasons that justified a 4-hour drive over the mountains to the big city. Delivering sweet Baxter to Jack Russell Rescue of Colorado was just one of them.