Thursday, February 7, 2013

Radar: Who Rescued Who?

Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday…

It was November 6, 2009.   I was with one of my rescue partners, Maria.  We had a hold on a few dogs at a local animal control so we were going there to pick up the dogs.   In the past, I had been sent to pick up dogs at animal controls, but I always ended up with extras because I have a hard time saying “no.”  On this particular day, Maria suggested she go in and I should wait in the car because we really did not have room for any more dogs other than the ones we were already taking from animal control and foster homes are hard to come by.  She was afraid I would come out with six instead of three.  I agreed and waited in the car.  

As I was waiting in the car, a young couple drove up and sat on the bench outside animal control, almost right in front of me.  I tried not to look, but I could see they were holding a white dog with really red skin.  They were holding the dog, hugging each other and were crying.  I turned my head and hoped they would go away.  After a few minutes, I peeked back and they were still there sitting and sobbing.  I thought least I could do is offer something, perhaps they needed dog food or were not sure what the skin problem could be and I would offer some advice.  I got out of the car and as I got closer, I could see how red the small Jack Russell’s skin was and how little hair he had left.  To me I thought it was just an allergy to his food or fleas.   I approached the couple and offered my thoughts.  They said they could not afford to keep him and could not afford the vet bills.  They were told animal control would probably put him to sleep so they were putting off taking him in.  We now we’re all crying.  I told them I was part of a dog rescue and I would be happy to take him if they wanted me to.  The couple was so happy and agreed.  They told me his name was Radar.  I took the lil guy, who was sweet as could be, got back in the car and sat him on my lap as I watched the couple drive away thanking me.

Shortly thereafter, Maria came out of animal control with paperwork for the dogs we agreed to take.  She took one look at me, threw her hands in the air and said, “You don’t even have to come in and end up with dog!”  Hey, what can I say?  She just shook her head and laughed saying, “Next time, you stay home.”  We all know how it is in rescue, it is just never ending.  I couldn’t quit laughing and neither could she.

As we took our other three dogs from animal control, Maria drove home, I with Radar on my lap and he seemed content.  He was a Jack Russell and fairly calm, well at least for now we thought.

We’ve taken in Jack Russell’s that have quite energetic, some that have been calm as can be and some in-between. They have a wide variety of personalities just like any other dog and people too. 
Radar proved himself to be a demure Southern Gentleman.  We started him on a fish-based food, flea control and got him vetted.  He did wonderfully, his skin cleared up, and he was excellent with people and other dogs.

In early June 2010, Carol called inquiring about Radar as she had seen him on Petfinder and fell in love with his picture.  Carol’s mom lived with her as well and had a Jack Russell too.  My sister, Cheryl and I met with Carol, her husband and Carol’s mom to meet Radar.  It was a perfect match.

Carol would keep in touch, let us know how Radar was doing and how great he was for her mother.  Her mom’s Jack Russell was much more active and Radar calm and loving.  He spent much of his time with her mom sitting on her lap and being loved, enjoying every minute of it.

Just today, February 4, 2013, Carol contacted us.  “Ladies, I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you (once again) for saving my baby Radar! He spent the last two and a half years of my Mother's life on her bed during the day and giving her the kind of loving that only a dog can give. I lost her on the 11th of January and he is missing her too. He is now helping me to heal and continues to sleep with me and stay right by my side. This little Jack Russell dog has certainly been a blessing in my life and I cannot express how much I appreciate all you have done and continue to do for all of God's special little innocent creatures. I love this little fellow more than I can tell you. Once I heal, I will have some additional time to do volunteer work, donate funds, etc. and will keep your organization in mind. The Spay and Neuter Coalition is also close to my heart. Thanks again and may God be with you both.”

Our email conversation went on to say:  “Thank you for such an inspiring testimony to animals. We are so happy Radar has done so much for you and your Mom. I am so sorry to hear about your Mom's passing but we are happy Radar was there to help her until the end. God has a way of sending us what many people think is an unwanted animal and then he sends a special person who needs the animal as much as the animal needs them. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Radar.” "Can we have your permission to post this?"

“Thank you so much Cheryl and Michele for the sentiments. Of course, you can post it. I hope through this posting that other folks will realize the love and peace that a pet can give to an elderly person who needs a lot of love and is often neglected by their families. Theirs was certainly a match made in Heaven as she ALWAYS loved animals her whole life. Her own Jack Russell was too wild to be around her very much. She would jump on Mother and hurt her. Radar was always so calm and sweet and lovingly giving her kisses. I originally adopted him for myself, but he quickly showed us that he could love more than one person equally.....”  ~ Carol ~ Hiram, GA


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