dog story

This dog story begins where it could well have ended.

A dog’s owner dies. The dog’s fate rests in the hands of the family.

The family takes him to a quick-kill facility. After all, who’s going to want a 10-year old dog?

That was Jackson’s reality a little more than three years ago.

A “Fresh Start”

When Fresh Start Sheltie Rescue arrived, it was to rescue another dog from the same household. This younger dog was “out front” with the other younger, more adoptable dogs. Jackson was in the back, waiting his turn to be put down.

A worker casually mentioned about a second dog, an older dog named “Jackson” having been surrendered by the same family. The rescue insisted on taking him as well. Realizing the difficulty of finding homes for senior dogs, they figured he would live out his remaining years at the rescue.

When Fresh Start Sheltie Rescue put Jackson on their Facebook page, they weren’t terribly hopeful. Everyone wants a puppy. Who’s going to adopt a 10-year-old dog?

Jackson Advertised on Facebook

Fifteen minutes later, their phone rang. It was wife…inquiring about Jackson.

Who’s going to want a 10-year-old dog? Not many. Jackson would tell you, “You only need one.”

Jackson’s “Forever Home”

Jackson’s car ride from Tennessee to Alabama three years ago was a “fresh start” for a gentle companion. No dog has “settled in” more quickly. It was as if he realized the second chance at life he had been given.

His coat grew to the point that it barely cleared the floor as he walked. He loved everyone he encountered. He was clearly a pet who never met a stranger.

Jackson’s favorite place to lay was at my feet as I worked…which makes writing this post all the harder. It’s still tough to look down and not see this magnificent companion.

Chapters in Our Lives

In our living room are 6 wooden boxes containing the ashes of 6 Shelties. A picture and engraved nameplate adorn the front of each box. The collar & tag, and other pictures surround each one.

Dogs lead very temporary lives. It means we are there for both their first joyful day and their tearful last one.

While temporary, those lives are long enough to encompass significant chapters in our own:

  • The puppy who arrived to the delight of a toddler, and watched that toddler graduate from high school.
  • The stray who showed up on the doorstep of a college student and was with that young person through final exams, the launch of a career, marriage, the start of a family, and a move across the country.
  • Fill in your own memory… Anyone who has ever loved and lost a pet has them.

Those loving creatures remind us how far we have come during their short lives. For those who have adopted adult pets, we wonder what life was like in their last home, and what they thought when they were taken from it.

Why We Blog

This story will never make the “news.” It’s a story interested for only the one who wrote it and the ones who will choose read it.

But that’s enough. And blogging gives you and me the outlet for writing and the ability to connect with like-minded people.

Tuesday is a day on which you normally read a new post about organization and time management. The arrival or departure of a pet has always trumped that focus.

Yesterday was National Dog Day, a perfect day to celebrate and remember:

Jackson joins Lassie Marie, Bonnie Lass, Skipper, Cabrio, and Lucy… patiently waiting at Rainbow Bridge.