I've wanted to blog about this for some time, but it's been difficult. As I sit here typing this, it's still hard to do without getting teary eyed.
You see, on the Saturday night before Easter of this year, we had to say goodbye to our beloved little yorkie, who shared our home, our life, and our hearts for the past 8 years.
He fought tenaciously, as always the ferocious and brave little fighter that he was, all 6 pounds of him, but lost this last battle against lymphoma.
Shnookems.......in his earlier days.
Yeah, he was like another one of my babies.
This is him about 3 years ago. His dark coloring was getting lighter in his older age.
Will always love you, buddy!
It's not easy to fill that void that is left by the passing of your faithful and loyal..(no matter how many times he was fussed for pooping in the house after just being let outside)....companion, friend, and for all intensive purposes, 4th child. The kids had been asking to get another dog, but it just didn't feel right. They finally wore me down with the asking and decided it was time "to look".....afterall, summer would be a good time for them to bond with a new canine friend.
I decided we weren't doing the puppy thing again. Life here is crazy enough without adding the antics that come along with a puppy! Being the animal loving family that we are...did I ever mention we own 14 cats, all spayed and neutered by the way, 2 guinea pigs, 2 nigerian dwarf goats, 11 chickens, 1 duck (who thinks she's a chicken), and 10 rabbits.....I figured adoption was the logical thing to do.
"Looking", at the shelters, was difficult to do. Not only because it got me to missing Shnookie, but seeing the look of desperation in those dogs' eyes, and knowing their fate, is gutrenching.
My daughter asked, "please, can we get this one"..only about 6,7,8+ times, but none of them seemed to 'feel' like the one.
Until this little guy caught my eye,
because he reminded me of.....Shnookems.
It was the hair covering his eyes......just like Shnook. Shnook always had those bangs in his eyes, just like this little fellow.
He had been picked up by animal control. He did have a collar on, but no i.d., and no one came looking for him. During the summer months, the shelter will only hold strays for 5 days, and if not claimed, or saved by an animal rescue group......well.....you know what happens.
We saw him only minutes before the shelter was closing on a Friday afternoon. Something about him made a connection with me.....could have been the gentle lick he gave me when I put my hand into his cage. But I needed to know how he got along with cats, as we do have quite the mess of those! The shelter worker didn't know, but said she could see how he would do over the weekend. This sounded good, because I needed to think it over, too. I didn't know if I was ready, yet.
Remember I said strays had 5 days in the shelter? This little guy's number was up on the Monday morning. His fate was in my hands.
I thought about it, prayed about it, and ...still didn't know what to do. When late Sunday evening, I was reading a book from the library to my 4 year old......
The story begins.....'In the back of a dogcatcher's truck sat a little white dog nobody wanted.'
I hear you God! LOUD and CLEAR!!
So, Monday morning I called the shelter to tell them to spare the scroungey little mop dog, we were coming to get him. The shelter gave us a 5 day trial period to see if he would get along with the cats. If it didn't work out....we could return him to the shelter. I got the first hint he'd be staying with us when he wasn't the least bit interested in the cute kitties in cages in the shelter lobby.
I have to say after a clip (he was so matted, he needed to be clipped before bathing), a good bath, and another clip....he is quite the handsome chap......don't you think?
He is the most gentle of dogs, gets along brilliantly with the cats, and loves to have his belly scratched. He's the quick learner too...as he has already learned to sit and stay after only 2 weeks with us. My daughter is teaching him more, a lot, more.
Of course, our new family member needed a name....can you guess what the kids named him?
I would like to introduce,..... you guessed it,....... McDuff.
Who ever would have thought underneath all of that matted, dirty fur was this little cutey?
There are many more like McDuff waiting for a home and a loving family. So many innocent little lives are just disposed of because of irresponsible human owners.
Thankfully, there are no-kill animal rescue groups that give some (wish it were all) a second chance.
Which leads me to the cookie part of this post.....had to have SOMETHING to do with cookies!
A local animal rescue group, HOPE for Animals, does just that........it gives these furry little members of God's creation a second chance. The organization has worked to develop awareness and interest in both animal cruelty issues and overpopulation problems, and they provide for foster homes for dogs and cats until adoption becomes an option.
Last night, HOPE for Animals had it's annual fundraising gala, which provides much needed funds to help foster animals, provide veterinary care, and low cost spay/neuter programs.
I felt compelled to help out in a small way after our recent adoption of McDuff.
So, I made.....what else.......a cookie donation towards their fundraising efforts.
Here are the cookies in the 2 dozen+ collection.
Both the feline and canine interests were represented.
So, please remember that your local animal shelter is a great place to go to give a wonderful furry little friend a second chance. And if adopting a pet is not in the game plan in your life right now, remember that animal shelters and rescue organizations, like HOPE for Animals, are always in need of monetary assistance and support.
I know this post was reeeeaaaalllllyyyy long-winded, and I appreciate it if you stuck through to the end.
If 'ya did.......here's a little treat for 'ya..........