Happy pet tales were reported this week by caring people who went above and beyond the call of duty to help two sweet dogs in dire need.
The first story came from Richard and Nancy Hughes, who had rescued an obviously lost dog who found her way to their home. They not only took her into their home but got her examined, spayed, heartworm checked, put on heartworm preventive, vaccinated and groomed.
They named her Pearl.
Then one sad Sunday around midnight they awoke and discovered she was suddenly missing.
They scoured their neighborhood, called friends, told their mail carrier, visited and posted flyers at the at the municipal Cleveland Animal Shelter, checked at veterinary hospitals and searched their entire area in desperate attempts to find her.
Then last Sunday when her picture and story appeared on the Cleveland Daily Banner's weekly pet page, three weeks after she had disappeared, Richard and Nancy got a telephone call from Melissa Wilson. Melissa told Richard she was standing on the steps of Georgetown Baptist Church petting a dog that she was certain was their Pearl! She said had been was going up the church steps when suddenly this sweet dog came up to her wanting attention. She quickly got on her phone to call the Hughes home, because just before she had left for church she had seen Pearl's story and picture on the Sunday Banner's pet page and instantly felt she recognized the dog.
"I've always loved dogs. Mark and I have a dog, Xena, who we dearly love," Melissa said. "I was determined to find this sweet lost dog's family."
She succeeded! Just 15 minutes after her phone call Richard arrived at Georgetown Baptist Church to take Pearl back home and to give heartfelt thanks to Melissa. Smiles were everywhere along with many sighs of relief about finding dear Pearl.
A second inspiring story was reported to us by Cleveland's Joyce Hodges after she received many phone calls from her cousin, Debbie LeVan of Knoxville about a tiny 8-month-old, 9 pound terrier-mix named Scrappy.
Scrappy had been adopted by a family in Debbie's neighborhood, "on a whim, without realizing the needs that innocent pets have. They just ignore him," Debbie told Joyce time and again. "They leave him outside on their cold concrete porch. But he is slowly easing his way to our porch. I've begun feeding him when I feed our two dogs, Feeby and Allie. I make sure he always has water and I'm also letting him inside our home and house training him. He loves it."
Time and again Debbie said she'd asked Scrappy's owners if she could have him. The reply would be that they would ask their son who was in kindergarten. Their young son, much too young to understand a dog's needs, and also sometimes roughly handling Scrappy, would "always say he wanted to keep Scrappy."
Finally, after a long winter Scrappy's owner called Debbie. "The wife told me we could have Scrappy because he liked us better. She said I could just take him to the pound or somewhere if we didn't want him," Debbie exclaimed, in amazement that anyone could be so cold-hearted. "I wish you could meet Scrappy," Debbie told Joyce, and know how special he is and how lucky I feel to get to make him comfortable, safe and happy now. ... His coat is shiny, his eyes are brighter and he is beginning to stop hunkering down in fear when we reach down to pick him up. He was so used to being mistreated and now he is beginning to know we won't hurt him," she added.
After Debbie had Scrappy neutered, completely vetted and groomed, and after she felt his socialization in her loving home was a complete success, she began a careful search for a new forever home for him. "She eventually got a call from a nice man whose beloved 15-year-old dog had died eight months ago." The man met sweet little Scrappy, "fell in love with him and promised to keep him happy forever. The man works from his home so Scrappy won't be left alone," Debbie told Joyce, following her intense, successful screening of this gentleman.
"Debbie cried a lot after Scrappy went to his new home but she told me since she and her husband already have three dogs the cost of vetting yet another one would be outrageous for them," Joyce explained. Then Joyce added in conclusion: "I can't help wondering what a person is thinking when they bring home a pet and neglect and abuse it. If anyone observes an animal being mistreated, please step in and do what you can to help. We can experience so much joy knowing we made the different in an animal's life," she declared.
This Sunday we send a million paws up to Joyce, Debbie, Richard and Nancy for caring so much and for letting us share their stories of saving precious lives which, hopefully, will encourage other to follow their wonderful examples.
More paws up this week to Angela Cornett; Max and Shirley Holden; Janice Allen of Bradley Healthcare and Rehab; Bob and Janice Tate; Margie Carter; Bob and Joanne Berger; Debbie West; and all who rescued an innocent pet and saved a precious life! To reach the municipal Cleveland Animal Shelter, call 479-2122. Call me with your pet and wildlife stories at 728-5414, or write to: P.O. Box 4864, Cleveland TN 37320.