Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I'm going through old photos and just found one of Truman and my niece when she was little. This photo must have been taken about 13 years ago. At the time my sister and her family had been visiting the local shelters looking for a puppy to add to their family. They went to both the no-kill and kill shelters and hadn't found the right dog. Eventually a litter of puppies were brought into a shelter and they adopted a little yellow lab puppy who grew into a wonderful dog.  But during one of the shelter "visits" my sister saw this huge old black dog and she ended up mentioning him in a phone conversation to me. She said he was this big old sad lug but he was just not what the family was looking for. Her words haunted me and I ended up taking a drive down to the city shelter. The animal control officer said he was at least 7 and he had been there for the required amount of time and now his time was up. He would be put down on the weekend, just a couple of days away. I looked at him and he looked back at me through the chain link kennel door. He pressed the side of his face against it and I poked my fingers between the wire and stroked his temple. I asked what the huge golf-ball size lump was on his lip and the officer said she had a vet that would take it off for 20 bucks if I took him.
So the removal was set for the next day and I said I would be there after work to pick him up. When I arrived he was still out cold and they wheeled him out to my car on one of those things that mechanics use to lay on to slide under cars. I had a 4 door sedan at the time and it took three of us to push and pull his body into the back seat. I drove to my sisters with him passed out. When I got to their house they said to come in and have dinner and afterwards he should be awake. We finished the meal and walked to the car. He was still unconscious, but I thought I smelled "poop". He was just starting to let some "go" so my sister and her husband and I hurried and pulled him out. He was so wobbly he couldn't stand up on his own. We got a sheet under him and formed a kind of sling and started to walk him around the yard. He staggered slowly like he was drunk. After a while, he got his footing and stood by himself. We sat on the deck steps and looked at him. A big black old dog stumbling around the yard. They asked me if I was regretting my decision. I shook my head  "No".
 He and I drove home a little later and he walked in the house and instantly became part of the family. Never a problem. Never a moment of trouble. He would let my cat sleep on him and he was submissive to my other dogs.
I adopted Truman when he was 7 yrs old, he weighed a 155lbs and was a Newfie/Lab mix.
He was the most gentlest dog and shared his life with us for 5 more years....just a reminder to everyone that it's not just the puppies that need homes.
Who says you can't buy LOVE?
It was the best 20 bucks I've ever spent.


Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I am in love with the spirit of Mr. Truman! My brothers have siblings from the mixed breed and they are both just wonderful BIG dogs!!! Blessings, Mary Helen

tracy mooney said...

What a great story. I believe the best dog are shelter dog. I have a dog from the animal shelter and I love him to death. T

Garden Girl☺ said...

Such a heartwarming story! I volunteered at a shelter for a short time (I had to stop because I wanted to bring all of the dogs home) and I meet a little 13 year old beagle mix. She was the nicest dog and I knew she was never going to get adopted, but having 3 big dogs I didn't think she would fit in. After a couple of weeks I was seriously thinking about adopting her, but then a staff member adopted her. I always wondered what happened to her. :(

An Urban Cottage said...

Very sweet story with as happy an ending as there ever could be.

Anonymous said...

What a nice story :-)

From what I know we don't have shelters like that, most of these dogs lives in families that takes care of them until they get adopted.
Still we have very few dogs without homes or mistreated dogs (getting worse though) so very few get put down thankfully. It is a completely fifferent story when it comes to cats though.

Have a great day!