To thank the wonderful folks who provide intake, fostering, and adopting, I have created a $625 prize-filled Rags to Riches Contest.
I want those stories that capture a dog’s ‘rags to wags’ transformation—and am awarding an amazing 1/3 of the entries with prizes! The photo here comes from our most recent, 22nd entry, “Dina”.
We are taking only 30 entries so don’t delay in getting in your story. You can enter here: http://bit.ly/1uLnbY
Her kid’s favorite bedtime story, Dina was written by Nancy Freedman-Smith CPDT as soup for her soul.
Dina was a stray and my first rescue dog. She is the dog who changed the direction of my life. Her story is so interwoven with mine, it is hard to tell where her story ends and mine begins. Her story is my story too. Dina took me down the path of dog training, rescue, pet therapy, and stupid pet tricks. So many trainers I know became trainers because their dogs were difficult, but I became a trainer because my dog was wonderful. Dina took me places I had never been before. She was a once in life time dog, my heart.
In the spring of 1989 I was scurrying home from work to my apartment in East Boston to take Rollo, my wild child German Shepherd mix out to play at the little city park that the neighborhood dogs called their own. As I came up to the top of the hill, I spotted a small black and white Border Collie acting skittish and running back and forth clearly lost and in distress. From a distance I could tell she was in need of a meal, had no ID tags around her neck, and that she smelled faintly of skunk. She would not come to me and I hurried home for Rollo, hoping that if I had another dog with me she would let me catch her.
Minutes later when I returned with Rollo they were best friends at first site. The two took off in a flash to play herding dog games. The dog who would soon be my Dina darted, bolted, turned on a dime and she and Rollo romped until their tongues hung out of their heads with joy. When Rollo and I left for home, the little dog followed us, just out of reach. When I opened the front door, she flew up the three flights of stairs up to my apartment like she owned the place. After filling herself with food and water, she promptly fell asleep with her head on my lap on the living room floor and she never once ducked from my touch again.
When my boyfriend got home he took one look at her and said “no way”, so I took her for a walk around our neighborhood to see if anyone recognized her. Our next door neighbor, an older Italian woman came out of her house and exclaimed, “I know that doggie. She come-a evare day sam-a time. You gotta let her loose so she can go-a home. That soma bodies doggie. That nota your dogie.” On that day I bowed to the pressures of my boyfriend and neighbor, but if I had a do over I would never do what I did, which is set her free and shoosh her away.
I unhooked her leash.
“Go home” I insisted with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.
The dog and I sized each other up. That moment is frozen in my mind. With no thanks to me, Dina was in for a happy ending, but at the moment, she didn’t leave.