Over the years, my family and I have rescued several dogs from our local animal shelter. If you’re thinking about getting a companion, please consider looking at your local Humane Society. Many perfectly-suited animals spend their lives lonely and homeless because people simply don’t look their way. Be someone’s hero. Rescue an animal!
MEET OUR RESCUE DOGS!
Nova was a White German Shepherd we rescued in early July of 2007. She had been saved by our local Humane Society from a life of neglect on an animal farm, having spent the first two years of her life living on a chain, starving and exposed to the elements. The animal shelter thought she would have to be put down, but ultimately decided to give her a chance at life. When we saw Nova for the first time at the shelter, there was no way we could leave her behind. She had been there for a while, and her time was running out. Against our better judgment, we invited a dog into our world.
The first six months presented many challenges, from health problems she’d received in her former life, to the adjustment that came with adding an overactive canine to a house that wasn’t quite dog-ready. But she persevered, and so did we.
Nova became such a blessing. She was the happiest dog in the world, and she brought us such joy. She found pleasure in the simplest things…chasing frisbees, playing with socks, and snapping bees out of the air. She didn’t need a chain or a leash – she just wanted to go wherever we went. She wanted to be loved, and she was.
Nova left the world on July 25th, 2008. After surviving heart worms, hook worms, growths, and seizures, the wear and tear of her past life finally caught up with her body. She fought to stay, but ended her Earthly life in peace, passing away quietly in the arms of her family at 5:00 in the morning – just in time for one final sunrise. She will be remembered by those who loved her forever. For the way she barked and bit our toes when we wouldn’t give her her ball. For the way she grinned from ear to ear when she was taken fishing. For the way she woke us up in the middle of the night in the winter, to be taken for a walk in the pouring rain. She made us laugh and smile. She was a very good girl. Your family loves you, Nova Cane. There’ll be joy when we see you again.
Ranger was rescued by my parents shortly after Nova’s passing. Another victim of dog abuse, he was a particularly timid and jumpy White German Shepherd. If you look at the above picture, you can see the fear in his eyes. This was a look he displayed often.
It took some time for Ranger to get used to a human family, but he grew into a faithful dog. Like Nova before him, one of Ranger’s favorite pastimes is going fishing with my father. Unlike Nova, Ranger complains when they don’t catch any fish.
TRIVIA: Both Nova and Ranger were named after vehicles, my mother’s first being a Chevy Nova, and my own a Ford Ranger.
Jake was adopted by my wife and I in Spring of 2011. Known by the rather distinguished moniker, “Jake the Collie,” he was actually a Collie-Shepherd mix. As is the case with so many adopted dogs, Jake was an impulse buy. Once we saw a photo of him (the same one posted above) on Petfinder, we simply had to find out about him!
After several phone calls with Jake’s shelter, which was a few parishes away from our own, we learned that Jake hadn’t garnered much interest from visitors. He had been at the shelter for months and was no closer to finding a home than when he’d first arrived. Apparently, Jake had first been spotted along the side of the interstate, scrounging for food under an overpass and covered in muck. He was very skittish, and it took several weeks for him to even be approachable. For us, it was love at first sight, and adoption shortly after.
But there’s more to Jake’s story than just that! Not long after we came home with him, we learned something new about our new family member, courtesy of my parents. As soon as they saw Jake for the first time, they said, “That’s him! That’s the dog!” What did they mean by that? Apparently, several months earlier, they had actually seen Jake running along the interstate! He was covered in muck, just as described by the shelter, and scrounging through garbage. Were my parents not dressed up and headed to an event, they would have picked him up right then and there. They searched for him on the way back, but he was nowhere to be seen. But surely enough, about the time when they spotted him was about the time when he was rescued by the shelter. This dog was destined to be in our family!
It’s safe to say, Jake is one of us. Still a puppy at heart, not a day goes by when he’s not trying to get us to chase him or pouncing on his toys in the middle of the living room. Whether he’s curled up on the couch with us like in the photo above (that was a daddy/dog Monday Night Fooball moment) or just following us from room-to-room, Jake always has a smile on his face…and usually a tongue hanging from his mouth!
I believe that everyone should experience the love of a rescued animal. I can’t imagine Earth holds more faithful companions. Maybe you read this page for curiosity or entertainment’s sake. Whatever the reason, I’m glad that you read it. Maybe it’ll open your mind to the possibility of visiting your local animal shelter – of saving a little life!
To learn more about rescuing animals, visiting the Petfinder link at the top-left of this page, or visiting the Humane Society!