Saturday, July 24, 2010
Charlie, "Just another black dog..."
I knew that there were plenty of unwanted dogs at the shelters, and I told my husband that we should go to the shelter and let one find us.
We headed out to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, MN, and walking through the shelter's cages, we were greeted by a barrage of excited and anxious dogs barking in every cage, every cage but one. Surrounded by several dogs who were barking and growling territorially at each other was "Richard", a little black lab mix curled up in the back of his cage. I leaned down to his level and called out his name. His breathing was labored and his movement was slow, but gentle and willing. He wagged his tail and licked our fingers, staring at us with his dull yet gentle, hopeful eyes. It was just moments before I knew he was our dog, and my husband quickly agreed.
It was evident that "Richard", now named Charlie, had lived a rough life full of neglect and abuse. He came to the shelter with kennel cough, worms, scarred legs and shattered teeth from being kicked or chewing his way out of a concrete cage.
He stole our hearts, and is now nothing like that sickly, brownish, tired dog we saw before. He loves to go to training, give "hugs", sleep on his three beds, and go on long walks. He is the happiest, most well-behaved dog most people have met, despite his experiences. His companions are our rescued rabbit and blind foster dog, never to know suffering again for as long as he lives. He is not "just another black dog."