Thursday, May 14, 2009
They traveled to North Carolina to rescue cats. This is something that they do with dismaying regularity, go to what are called "kill shelters" ( a strange combination of words: kill and shelter, disturbing in their incompatibility) to scoop up armloads of abandoned cats and unwanted kittens. They bring these poor animals home to find foster placements and eventually permanent homes, one drop of water in an endless sea. On this particular trip, someone noticed a puppy, emaciated, filthy, and bereft in a cage all alone. When asked what was happening with this pathetic little scrap of dog, the operator of the 'shelter' said that the dog was sick and scheduled to be put down in a day or two, when they got around to it, that all of it's litter-mates were already dead, that it was unfriendly and did not like to be handled, just more worthless flotsam, unwanted. The tiny little life lying on a dirty rag lifted his head, perked up his ears in a fleeting second of hope, sighed and closed his eyes.
They rescued him too.
He was skin and bones, wheezing and coughing when he reached his foster home. Diagnosed with pneumonia, it was touch and go for a week or two. He ran a high fever and shivered, but now in a cozy bed with a warm blanket, loving hands smoothing his soft coat, and antibiotics fighting the infection that was trying to kill him. He survived, this tough little scrap of a dog.
His foster aunt came to work talking of this sweet, smart, hardy pup. She told his story, spoke of his spunky nature, of what a good dog he was going to be. Then one day she brought him to work for a visit. In the space of ten minutes, he chose his person, who had gathered him up in her arms, this pitifully thin, squirming bag of bones, and was captured by puppy breath, sighs, and kisses, the soft puppy pads on his feet, and the essence of pure love in his bright shining eyes. He came home a couple of days later. His name is Grady, and I am his.