jayellebee's Blog

April 27, 2010


Filed under: Musings — Joanne @ 11:28 am

     The opening sentence of the mission statement for Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) reads, “ARF saves dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters and brings people and animals together to enrich each others lives.”  This bringing together is not a simple thing.  The committment of staff and volunteers, financial backing, veterinary services, logistics, and a whole litany of other issues I cannot begin to know, is staggering.  The end result is miraculous.

     When my husband and I first adopted our beautiful black lab, Shadow, I was haunted by the question, why did someone take this wonderful dog to the pound?  She had been spayed and micro-chipped.  She had even received surgery to correct a problem with her eyelids.  She had not been neglected, someone obviously cared about her to have taken these steps.  My imagination created possible scenarios.  Perhaps a young couple had a baby with allergies.  Perhaps an overseas job transfer left no alternative.  Perhaps there was a horrific car accident in which she was the only survivor….

    Three years have passed since Shadow joined our family.  I no longer obsess about her past.  Now I look to our future, planning hikes and adventures that include her.  Recently, we went to explore the Nevada County the fairgrounds.  Shadow nosed around the vacant animal enclosures, circumnavigated the duck pond, pranced across the amphitheater stage, devoured a hot dog at a bike-a-thon fundraiser benefitting the local preschool (Headline:  Dog eats dog as young children watch), and introduced me to some new friends.

     People are drawn to Shadow.  One girl of about ten approached us and asked if she might pet my dog.  Shadow is always happy to oblige such a request.

     “I’m a dog person,” my new friend confided.

     “I can see that,” I said. 

     We talked about Shadow’s name, breed, and favorite places to be scratched.  The girl told me about her dogs, a Chihuahua and a Terrier.  I thought she might be interested in how I came to have this wonderful animal in my life.

     “Shadow was a rescue dog,” I volunteered.

     A minute passed, the girl giving full attention to Shadow as though she had not heard me.  I let it go.  Then this child, kneeling beside my pet, looked up at me.

     “Did Shadow rescue you?” she asked.

     I smiled at the innocence of her question.  The term “rescue dog” was not in her vocabulary.  Then I realized she might have recognized the joy this sweet black lab brings to my life. 

     “Yes,” I said, “I guess she did.”



  1. Precious story Joanne – it brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of sweet Tassie and how she changed our lives.

    Comment by nina bucchere — April 27, 2010 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  2. I’m sure there is a special place in heaven for all those that chose a rescue dog & provide a forever home. We get more than we receive with each & every one. It always amazes me how love expands & grows with each & every addition.

    Comment by Vivian Hermann — April 27, 2010 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

  3. A very touching story about a loveley canine person. Loved it!

    Comment by Bee Hylinski — April 28, 2010 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

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