I can't go anywhere without meeting a dog.
I'm not picky. It can be any kind of dog.
I am a sucker for a wagging tail.
I cannot resist big, beautiful brown eyes.
(There, I've said it. The unstoppable urge to pet, kiss and make friends with all of the canine patrons of every rest stop between Pittsburgh and Charleston, SC is what delayed me arriving in Charleston!)
I've met 10 dogs since I left Pennslvania yesterday morning. I guess when you're on the road and travelling by yourself, more often than not it's pretty safe to assume that a person with a dog, is probably gonna be pretty friendly!
Rest stops are wonderful places to meet dogs and their humans. And of course, they've been in a car for hours, so they're more than agreeable when it comes to meeting a new human when she comes towards them "oohing" and "ahhing".
Yesterday, right after crossing into North Carolina, I pulled off at a rest stop to stretch my legs. As I was walking back to the car, I couldn't help but notice across the road, an absolutely adorable basset hound- nose to the ground, tail wagging! Of course, I had to choke back the tears as the little guy ran towards me, short little legs and big, strong tail wagging wildly. And when he howled, well, it was all I could do to contain myself. His name was Beethoven, and he was a beautiful 3 year old hound dog with a howl that really made me pine for my little Nicky. His owner was more than happy to tell me the entire story of Beethoven, and every other dog that he and his wife had loved in the 30 years of their marriage. Beethoven had a big black heart on his side, which his owner was more than happy to point out to me! I've gotta hand it to the little guy, it was a perfect heart!
As we were chatting, a beautiful beagle caught the attention of Beethoven, and he couldn't be contained. The Human attached to the beagle explained that they had rescued the Beagle about 10 years ago, and estimated her age to be about 13. He said that they didn't know much about her because she was rescued, but that it didn't really matter to him and his wife! She was absolutely beautiful, and I was genuinely happy to hear that despite a rough start in life, she had found an obviously wonderful forever home! I could tell that little beagles human, adored her... No ifs, ands or buts about it.
I eventually said goodbye to Beethoven, the beagle and thier very friendly humans. I could have stayed there all day, but of course, I had a destination that I needed to get to!
This afternoon, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a lady crossing the street with a dog that I was sure was at least part boxer. The dog was beautiful, sharp, bold colors, and a very shiny coat. I couldn't resist, I had to meet the dog and it's human!
By the time I had crossed the street, the dog had been temporarily tethered to a tree outside of a coffee shop, and I approached her cautiously, speaking softly to her. She wagged her tail, and I walked closer. Her owner noticed the interaction and came out of the coffee shop to introduced me to "Grace."
She explained to me that she had found "Grace", injured and abandoned on a busy highway, lying in the median and took her right in, patched her up and proceeded to shower her with love and attention. Grace's human couldn't believe how well she responded to me. She told me that she's not very good with meeting new people, and usually just backs away, but she licked my face and wagged her tail, and we were instant friends. I wasn't mistaken, Grace's human is pretty sure she's part boxer and part lab. Her beautiful brindle coloring gave her boxer lineage away!
In the last couple of days, there have been pictures on the "Friends" page of the boxer mailing list of beautiful rescues that have found forver homes after being fostered by the kind people who open their homes and hearts to these sweet little boxers.
All around me are these wonderful "happy ending" stories about pups that have had the unfortunate luck of ending up in bad homes, but thankfully fate intervenes and these little pups find their way into homes where they are loved and nurtured back to health and given chances at wonderful lives. And while it would seem that it's the dogs that are being rescued, I'm pretty sure in a lot of these situations, the dogs are doing some human rescuing too!
In a perfect world, there wouldn't need to be rescue organizations or foster homes for dogs. But, it's not a perfect world, and I'm sure glad that these organizations exist!
To all of the people who follow this blog, who rescue, foster or have adopted rescue dogs, I applaud the care and concern that you give to these animals that have found themselves in very unfortunate situations. I commend the courage that you exhibit working tirelessly to encourage these animals to trust and love humans. I applaud you for opening your homes and hearts to these rescues.
As for me, I can't wait to rescue a boxer... Or should I say, have another boxer rescue me!