Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Rescue (Part Three - Conclusion)

[This the conclusion of a three part story. If you haven't read PART ONE, please CLICK HERE. It will link you to PART TWO, which will bring you back here. Or you could simply scroll down.]

She pulled into her driveway just as the mail man stepped onto her porch. "Hey, Doug! Want to meet the new rescue? I just picked her up."

The mail man walked over to the van and reached in his pocket for a biscuit. The dog in the van stood in her crate and wagged at him, accepting the treat with glee. "She looks like a sweetie. And she doesn't mind the mail man," he laughed. "Remember Joe? I'll never forget that dog. It sounded like Armageddon on the other side of that door every time I tried to push your mail through the slot, and I thought we'd never win him over."

"Yup, good old Joe. He shredded my bills before I paid them. By the time he left here he loved you though, Doug. Amazing what a treat and a kind word can do, huh. He was a good dog, that Joe."

"Well, here's your mail. Good luck with the new one."

The woman said, "Thanks. She'll be easy to place. Her owner died in a car accident, so she's a little lost right now. I'm sure I'll find a home that will be just right for her in pretty short order."

She sat in the doorway to her van and leafed through the mail. One little envelope made her heart jump. "Well, speak of the..." She opened it with a broad smile and began to read.

I want to thank you for the joy you brought us by trusting us with Joe for the last thirteen years. He has brought so much to our lives. Thank you for letting me call you those million times for advice. When he chewed up my shoes that first week, and you said how hard it is on a dog that had a good home to be abandoned because they had known love. You told me he didn't know anything about expensive shoes, "he only knows they smell like you."  Thank you for helping us get his I.L.P. number, and thank you for celebrating with us when he got each of his Agility titles. Did you ever know a dog who loved Agility more? How much I learned from him!

He was so good for Toby growing up. When Toby was mad at the world, Joe was always there, doing something crazy to make Toby laugh. Remember the time he ran around and around the yard with Toby's underpants on his head? I don't know which one I worried over more when Toby left for college: the kid or the dog. But they were both fine. And our house wasn't empty. Joe was there.

I write with both grateful joy and a terrible sorrow. We had to let Joe go today. His fifteen year old heart just got too big. I have a confession to make. That day when we came and got Joey from you, you were so brave, and I even wondered what kind of person you were, that you could give up a dog you had literally brought back to life. But after we had turned the corner, I thought of something I wanted to ask you and we backed up the car. I saw you, crumpled on your lawn, face in your hands, sobbing. We drove off, not wanting to intrude. I've never shared that with you, in all these years. But I realised that you had given us a piece of your heart.

I wanted to give you that piece back. In the form of my deepest gratitude, and this little token. It came from you, thirteen years ago.

I could never, ever thank you enough.

The Rescuer turned the envelope over, and an old dog tag fell into her lap. She always had the new homes keep the tag with her phone number on their dogs until they got their own. It was Joe's old tag from when he was with her. A scuffed up, red metal tag in the shape of a heart.

She held tight it to her chest, while images of a good dog danced through her heart with each beat. She wiped her face on her sleeves and turned to the dog in the crate.

"Come on, girl. Let's get you cleaned up and settled. I know someone who needs a good dog like you right now. I need to make a phone call."

hug your hounds


  1. Your story was perfect, I now have a major crying headache...

    HJ & The Whippet Gang

  2. Crying too hard to see the screen. That was beautiful, and I read every word.

    Thanks for all your kind words in my blog. You are wonderful.


  3. YOur stories should always be accompanied with a Tissue alert - great writing, as usual.

  4. Ahhhhh. How very sweet.

    I read this thinking of my sister Emma -- how important she was for her first owner, but how very important she has become to my parents.

    Dogs are the best medicine, even when they take our hearts, too.

  5. Oh my...I don't have time to cry but can't stop...blurry screen and all, thank you

    barb (aka Gussie's muzzer)

  6. What a great ending to the story! We are going to make dad read this story!!

  7. Thank you for a wonderful story. It may be fiction but it holds a treasure of truths. Thank you for sharing with others the joys and the sorrows of rescue - for the dogs, for the rescuers, and for those who have been blessed by the love of a rescued dog.

  8. How do you manage to make me cry and feel so good at the same time? What a wonderful story.

  9. Great Story - Thanks for sharing, and bless you always

  10. Kari & Kijsa have recommend your blog to me, what a wonderful, wonderful story, yes the tissues definetly came out...I hope if you pop over to visit my blog you'll enjoy seeing some artwork featured in my latest post created by my younger sister Cass, after seeing her paintings I don't think I would even have to tell you how much she loves her Whippet. I've had a wonderful time looking into your links...WOW, the artwork is stunning, I look forward to many return visits
    thank you ~ Gail

  11. Oh that was so beautiful and sad. It made me think of my old dog Jazz and her daftness and wise old eyes.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Great story, we be very teary eyed. Thank you Patience.

    Cassidy x

  13. Oh no! My ma ape is leaking--from the eyes and nose! Gross.


    ps. I've been to two blue rocks games! We've gone on doggy day twice and I love the half pound hot dogs! My ma ape loves the Celery mascot. She's a bit off.

  14. Patience-
    Another perfect story!! Teary eyed here!! Kijsa left a message for Barb yesterday, fingers crossed!!! Hope you liked Cass' artwork- Gail McCormick had featured it, and thought of you immediately!! Lovely!

    kari & kijsa

  15. You need to post a warning: may cause tears, do not read at work. What a beautiful story.


  16. Now I'm crying...

    It's a beautiful story.

  17. Beautiful story, Patience.

  18. Heavens - I came by here from Laurie's log. Now I look like Alice Cooper after sobing at this story. Damn need to wear waterproof mascara when I pop by your blog. Fabulous writing.

  19. That's it...I'm in bits.

    Lovely, lovely story. And thank goodness it's not just fiction but does happen in life too.

  20. My whippets are trying to figure out what they did to make me cry. Hugging my girls!

  21. Crying at the library again! Dear P,what a wonderful story-martha and Phantom

  22. What a beautiful story, I had tears.

    I love reading your stories

  23. Thanks, Patience! Now I need to reapply mascara!
    What a fabulous story!

    Sue, Maggie and Mitch

  24. What a great and touching story. Brought back memories of dogs I've placed. Sniff.

  25. We loved your story. Grammie got leaky eyes.

  26. Just beautiful. I've had a rescue here since December and now he's just about ready to go to a new home. Its so hard when you've put so much work into seeing the flourish to just let them go.

  27. P, you did it again! Grabbed tissues before I read and needed them!

    Such a great story. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful talent.

    Linda (sniff, sniff)
    Daydream Hounds

  28. Terrific story, Patience. Thank you.

  29. Dear Patience,

    I had seen your story a week or so ago, but decided to save it for a treat after I finished my deadlines and could get back to being a normal (?) person. So now, my treat has turned into sobs and that awful hear-wrenching feeling I get whenever I think of all the dogs out there who need love and compassion.

    Sub-prime -- it's more than a mortgage crisis. I think that's what we should call the greedy folks who got us into these messes to begin with.

    Your story is classic. It carries hope beyond the tears. And I do understand how you couldn't resist Humperdink!!!



  30. what a beautiful story...thanks for the good cry!!

  31. Oh Patience. That is my story, 81 times over. Yours words are magic when expressing the way we feel about our beloved pets. How is Elsa? Cara

  32. I really love your story.. so inspiring and it made me cry.... my heart was really so touched.... and I can see that it's a real story....I'm so blessed that I have read this page.....

  33. What a wonderful story!

    I appreciate what you do. I am trying to do the same thing. I currently have a foster dog I am training for a forever home.

    Gypsy has her own blog so stop by sometime to vist.

    If I cannot adopt Gypsy, at least I hope to make people aware that rescue dogs are good dogs.


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