rescue dogs

The Homeless Have Pets, Too

I saw a post on Facebook yesterday, a small video of a homeless man and his dog.  The dog caught my attention first as there is a special place in my heart for pit bulls.  So misunderstood.

The video took me back to a hot summer day just a few weeks ago.  On my way home from work.  He caught me so off guard, he was situated right in the middle of a traffic island.  The dog lay right beside him and he (the man, not the dog) was playing a banjo.  A banjo!  His case was open, ready to accept the loose change that might buy him a burger at the McDonald’s right there.

It was the dog that really got me thinking.  I never really considered that the homeless might have pets.  But of course they do.  And with the little that this man had, that dog did not look to be starving.

The light turned green before I had a chance to think of something I could have done.  I think I had a $10 bill in my wallet, but the light was green and I had to move on.  All the way home, I thought of how I could go home, grab a baggie of MilkBones, and take that $10 to him.

I thought of the dog a few more times that evening.  After checking on my own dog, I drove back up to the stop light.

But he was gone.  I haven’t seen him since.

I hope his dog likes listening to banjo music.  I know I do.

PS – When I visit with the dogs at the shelter, it’s always so wonderful to find an empty kennel and a sign proclaiming “adoption pending” – last week Irma and Maria found their furever home!  Congratulations, ladies!!

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rescue dogs

Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Three names of three storms that hit the US this past year, 2017.  Storms so intense that those in the path either board up to ride it out, or run.

The pets in the path of these storms were also in peril.  I cannot imagine the anguish that must be felt, the desperation that has to be lived, the utter unthinkable thoughts of leaving a pet behind when faced with the challenge of survival.  How?  I don’t ever want to know.

But what I have learned is that there are people who are willing to do whatever they can to help these helpless souls who become victims through no fault of their own.

Speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.  It’s the motto of our local animal shelter that put out the call.  Who answered the call.

The Facebook page allowed us followers to witness the rescue of 12 little souls who were transported to the Pittsburgh area in the hopes that our shelter could take them in and find them temporary if not furever homes.

The shelters in Florida were packed as a result of taking in extra dogs from Texas and Hurricane Harvey.  Then came Hurricane Irma, and more room was needed for the inevitable influx of abandoned pets in the wake of this natural disaster.

The shelter volunteers loaded the van with crates and took off to the county airport to meet the 12 dogs they promised to rescue.  And they were met with 16.  How could they turn away 4?

The Southern 16.  A story of survival.  And with these extra 16 dogs to care for, the word was out that the shelter needed help.  It was something I had thought of doing so many times, but for one reason or another, just never did.  Timing is everything, a friend once said.  And the timing was now right.  I found 2 hours of my week to help out at the shelter.

I have to tell you that those two hours a week are some of my favorite.  Walking into the shelter on Thursday mornings, knowing those pups are so happy to see me, if not just for the opportunity to empty their bladders from the long night!  They know they are getting a nice long walk, and then back to the shelter for breakfast!

This shelter is a no-kill, and I’m amazed at how quickly some of these dogs get adopted out.  Animal Friends is very particular and careful to adopt the dogs out to the perfect homes.  There are still 3 pups from the Southern 16 hopeful to find their families soon.  Until that time, we will continue to love them while they are here.

Oh, and the dogs that find their way to the shelter seldom tell us their names.  We give them temporary names.  Three of the Southern 16 were given names of Irma, Maria, and Harvey.

Irma and Maria are still waiting.

Irma n Maria
My name is Maria, and this is my pal Irma.