I had found my new car. I was excited-- I was more than excited, I was THRILLED. ECSTATIC. I was any number of words that can only be properly expressed by using ALL CAPS. Mom and I were driving home in the Tahoe, counting down the days until my 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee would arrive from Nebraska, giddy at having found a car that was so very perfectly suited to me.
And then I saw her. Wandering along the highway, looking scared and confused, was a young chocolate lab. There was no way I was passing that dog without trying to help. That kind of thing just isn't in my nature. She was very sweet and came right up to me when I got out of the Tahoe--flopped over for tummy scratches showing me the red-raw teats that I knew had to have finished nursing a litter of puppies not more than a week or so before. "She's got to be somebody's hunting dog that's lost, right?" I said to Mom. It's hunting season, and she wouldn't be the first gun-shy pup we'd found and returned to its owner. She had no collar. Mom just looked at me a little sadly, and nodded. "Sure, Hon. I'm sure that's it."
Now, two weeks later, we know that wasn't it. Two more labs, one going blind and the other very young, were also found around the same area wandering hungry and dehydrated and cold. I wanted to believe she was a hunting dog that separated from the pack--but she isn't. Somebody got tired of having dogs, couldn't afford them, needed to get rid of them, whatever-- and they drove out into the country and kicked them out. Luckily the veterinarian in Ulysses, Kansas has a big heart. His name is Tim Cantrell, and as far as I'm concerned the man deserves a knighthood, or sainthood, or at least as big a check as you're willing to write. He took her in (I named her Molly, and it seems to have stuck for everyone), cleaned her up, made sure she's healthy and as happy as she can be. And now we may have found two homes that want her and her cohorts.
The fact that these dogs were abandoned makes me physically sick. I can not begin to FATHOM the kind of selfish, self-centered idiot that believes that to have been the correct course of action. Where are Molly's puppies? I hope with my entire soul that they were sold, and sold to homes with families that will love and cherish them as they deserve--as every dog deserves. I'm terrified of alternative options, and refuse to speak of them even though they swarm my mind with yelping nightmares the minute I drift off to sleep.
But the fact that finding the dogs homes has been relatively quick and easy fills me with hope. Bless you, beautiful people, for being willing to open your hearts and doggie doors to these lost little souls. You have a stockpile of karma to see you through the next decade.
I understand that sometimes things happen that knock you for six. The economy is depressing right now (to say the very least), and there are people who find themselves unable to care for their human children let alone their furry ones. But there is NO excuse for abandonment. If I could find the people who left Molly and her friends, they wouldn't escape with less than a bloody nose and a severely bent ear. And that is the absolute truth.
One last thing, for those of you who have a minute and a couple of pennies to rub together. If you were thinking of getting me a christmas present this year, but wondering what I might like--I'll tell you. I'd like you to write a check to your local no-kill shelter, or rescue society, in the name of Molly Dowd-Morrison, Chocolate Lab, and lucky little pup.