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Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:23 pm

A few months ago one of my co-workers came across a stray dog on the side of the road. She has a heart for dogs and couldn’t just leave him there, so she brought him home with the intention of finding his owners. Unfortunately, no one came forward so she set out to find him a good home. Marion County was absolutely no help at all because the dog wasn’t chipped. Her problems were compounded by the fact that she had found the dog and couldn’t claim ownership. Needless to say, three months later, despite not being the owner, she still has him.

Her ordeal was still fresh in my mind when my wife showed up the other day with a little Jack Russell that she had found on the roadside. Now, I don’t want any dog to go without a home, but we already have two of our own and we are currently living in an RV. It’s not like we have a lot of extra room. The dog was dirty, seemed to be injured and was definitely old. Where my wife saw a poor, helpless animal that was hurt and needed attention, my mind immediately went to the worst case scenario. Dollar signs flashed in front of my eyes like mini strobe lights and, I hate to admit it, but I got angry that she had picked this hapless creature up. To make matters worse, she had a class that she was running late for so she said, “Can you take care of her for a couple of hours until I get back?”

Suddenly, I was at home by myself, taking care of a dog that I didn’t want, wondering how it all happened.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has read my stories that I am more of an animal tolerater than I am an animal lover. The last thing I wanted to do on a beautiful Sunday afternoon was take care of a dirty, stray dog. For all of you animal lovers out there let me reassure you that I could never hurt an animal so she wasn’t mistreated in any way. In fact, inside the RV I did my best to make her comfortable. She drank some water and looked up at me with big dog eyes as if to say, “Thanks.” She was a gentle, loveable dog, but the dollar signs were still strobing in my peripherals in anticipation of the vet bills that were sure come and I still wasn’t sure what to do about putting her with our other two dogs.

I looked on Facebook and found the LOST AND FOUND PETS OF OCALA/MARION COUNTY FLORIDA page. Once I was granted privileges I posted a picture, a description of the dog and where we found her.

The very first response I got was an introduction to a world that is waaay outside of my comfort zone. It read:
“SWP and HOPE for this precious little furbaby so heartbreaking”.

First, I’m not even sure what SWP means. Second, I had no idea that adults, or anyone for that matter, referred to dogs as furbabies. My mind was still trying to comprehend this when my phone rang. It was my wife and she was having a bad case of vertigo. It was so bad that she couldn’t drive back home, so I had to put the little dog in our spare kennel and go pick her up. She went into the kennel without a fuss and once again pierced my soul with those big, thankful eyes.

When I finally got the chance to look at Facebook again the excited owner of the dog had reached out to me. The dog’s name was Pixie and the owner’s husband had been riding up and down the highway trying to find her. So, shortly thereafter a grateful husband and his son came to our home to pick her up. We didn’t have a chance to be with her for long, but little Pixie made a lasting impression on me.

A funny result of all this is the response that has been given on the Facebook post. For a person who simply tolerates animals for the sake of his family I was suddenly made to look like a hero. Since I posted that Pixie found her way home over 90 people have either responded with comments or likes. One person wrote:
“…thank you to the finder for getting her to safety, posting and reuniting!”

My wife rolled her eyes at that one because she knows the truth of the situation. Honestly, she is the one who was the hero in all of this, not me. She saved her from the dangers of the highway while I reluctantly took little Pixie inside and then posted for purely selfish reasons because I didn’t want to be stuck with another animal and the costs associated with it.

Looking back, I’m finding that I was wrong about that. There’s something to be said about a heart that beats for animals. Perhaps I have kept my heart a little too shielded from the love and joy that can come from loving a dog. Maybe I should lighten up and start really accepting the unconditional love that our pets give us every single day. Who knows, maybe one day soon I’ll start referring to our dogs as “furbabies”.

Somehow though, I’m drawn back to the words of that great philosopher and theologian Mr. Grinch, “Too much, too fast.”

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