It was my youngest son’s birthday weekend and my mom was in town to be part of the festivities. We were cleaning up empty cake plates and shredded wrapping paper when my mom’s cell phone rang.
She’s on the board of the animal welfare society in her small town. Someone called to alert her that a dog had been found limping down the street, apparently shot in the leg, and had been dropped off at a local vet. The vet didn’t think the leg could be saved and plans were to euthanize the pup on Monday.
She was extremely disturbed after hanging up. Her plan was to call the veterinarian first thing Monday morning to stop the euthanasia and get the whole story.
In talking with the vet she learned the dog was not only perfectly healthy, neutered, and friendly, but also heartworm negative. “Heartworm negative?” my mom screeched. “There’s no reason to ever put a heartworm negative animal down. Can you save the leg?” He thought he could after all. “Do the surgery,” she said. “I’ll pay for it.”
About two months later I was visiting my mom for the weekend. I walked to the guest room to set my suitcase down and was greeted by a black and white dog with ridiculous Shrek ears and a bandaged front leg. *cue thunderbolt*
I was in love.
You don’t understand, I’m not really a dog person. That’s not to say I don’t love dogs. I do. But I’ve always thought of myself as more of a cat person.
But this dog. Something about this dog. I mean, he was mine. That’s all there was to it.
They had named him Gunner (because he’d been shot). Aside from the fact I thought that was kind of sad, I wasn’t crazy about that moniker. But that’s okay, cuz I knew the one that belonged to him the minute I saw his little face. MILO.
Don’t think for a second I took Milo home that weekend. No-o-o-o. I still had to get it past my husband. My very stubborn husband who was adamant we couldn’t have another dog. But we women are smart. And resourceful. That was Memorial Day weekend.
Milo was home with us by Labor Day.
Rescue stories are not always positive. After all, they potentially come with baggage. You really have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Well, lemme tell you. We were one of the lucky ones. He’s perfect.
He’s kind of a cat-dog. He’s not a barker. I can get on my bike and he’ll just follow me anywhere. You’d never know he almost lost his leg, he’ll run for hours. We can leave the front door wide open – he won’t bolt. The kids can roll all over him, yank on him, dress him up. I shudder to think what could have been his fate had it been someone else on the other end of the phone that day.
He has a kind, gentle soul. He’s….he’s…