Photos: Greg and Landon
There's something sort of magical or serendipitous in randomly crossing paths with and falling in love with a rescue dog. As someone recently commented here, "Sometimes you find them; sometimes they find you." Either way, it's an entirely different experience from purchasing a dog from a breeder or, Dog forbid, a pet store. I'm not even going to get into the pet store/puppy mill thing other than to say they should be wholly boycotted. I think most people are pretty aware of that.
I even boycott breeders, mainly because with a ba-million dogs a year being put down for lack of homes, we don't need people making a ba-million more dogs every year. For more on the downside to breeding and purebreeds, go here.
You'll often hear people say that rescue dogs are more appreciative or devoted. That may be true, but I say ask not what your dog can do for you; ask what you can do for your dog. When you rescue a dog you're almost always doing something to mitigate and potentially heal a prior harm done to the dog by a human. We humans do so much damage on this planet, not the least of which is inflicted on "man's best friend." Whether it was beaten, dumped in the desert, starved, neglected, or just abandoned, most rescue dogs come with some kind of psychological or physical injury inflicted on them by a previous owner. Treating them well and giving them a loving home is the least we can do to compensate for what they've undeservedly suffered at the hands of our fellow humans. That's the main reason I prefer rescue dogs. It puts right a wrong.
This post (in what promises to be a series) celebrates a recent happy ending -- or beginning, really -- for a little lost dog who managed to cross paths with dog lovers who, even if the timing wasn't quite right, or life circumstances weren't ideal for adding a dog, opted to take in a rescue dog in need of a good home.
Skinny little Dinka had been running frantically, skittishly around the neighborhood for two weeks before Mary was finally able to approach her and coax her inside out of the cold. The scrappy, floppy-eared, frightened little girl showed up when Landon and Mary were focussed on spending a final few years with their old dog Gus, and making those precious final years the best they could be for the old boy. A new, young dog wasn't in the plan, and initially seemed to be a source of stress and chaos in their lives. They decided to at least foster her, even though Landon wasn't making a connection with her.
With no bias or hidden motives whatsoever, we pointed out that she was built almost exactly like our Sprocket, which would likely make her one heck of a mountain biking dog if given half a chance. When we checked in with them after a mere three days to see how things were going, the report was that she and Landon were warming, albeit tentatively, to each other, and, indeed, she was even showing signs of possibly being a pretty good trail dog. We crossed our fingers, knowing that if that turned out to be the case, it would tug at Landon's heart strings like nothing else could.
Indeed, just a week later, after taking Dinka on a couple more progressively longer and faster mountain bike rides, and being impressed with her speed and enthusiasm, Landon had to admit that despite the timing, she was a really good fit for their lifestyle. He also had to admit that somehow he had finally fallen in love with her, as Mary had done pretty much immediately.
Now, a couple of weeks later, little Dinka's fear and anxiety have dissipated and she has relaxed into her new, loving home with big brother Gus and mountain biking parents who will not only treat her incredibly well, but take her out for the kind of trail running she's built for.
Gustifson Herman Adamson and Dinka Jane on Rockin A trail, Moab. Photo by Landon
Other tails of rescue:
More to come: Caz, BJ and Bella, Honey