Happy news arrived this week when I learned of about a sweet little black-and-white shih tzu named Abby I first met 13 years ago.
When Abby's family moved to Cleveland from Texas, they could no longer keep her. In Texas they'd owned their own home. But when they came here they moved into a condominium where pets were not permitted.
They had become friends with a beautician here who adopted Abby. However, this lady lived in an apartment and when the apartment manager spotted her walking Abby he quickly told her that no pets were permitted there either.
At this point a friend of Cathy Blocker of Exclusively Shelter Pets, told the beautician than Cathy might take Abby into her foster care. Cathy immediately agreed to take Abby into her home to foster her until a screened home could be found to adopt sweet Abby as a forever four-legged family member.
Meanwhile, a friend of Jennie Mullinax knew that Jennie had been pet-sitting two of her niece's dogs during her niece's cancer treatments and that when the niece took them back to her home Jennie had greatly missed them. So she told Jennie about Abby, and suggested one day at a meeting at a church where both were members that Jennie might want to meet precious little Abby.
Cathy suggested just meeting Abby "for one hour."
So Jennie went to Cathy's home and rang her doorbell. Abby had immediately run to the door and when Jennie saw her through the glass storm door, she recalls, "It was love at first sight! Cathy let me adopt her right then and there. And when I took her home,” she says now, "I knew this adoption was meant to be."
At that time Jennie was caring for a friend in her home who was undergoing dialysis due to kidney failure. When Abby and her friend met, Jennie says, they instantly loved each other. "Abby loved to sit by her on her lift chair and at night she slept with her, which was such a comfort to her."
Abby, who is now 16 years old, is "on dialysis three days a week at Taylor Animal Hospital, where she is being treated for kidney disease.
"She has been such a wonderful little companion all of these years," said Jennie, who also has a much-loved, grey-and-white male shih tzu, Baxter Boy, "who loves food and who keeps Abby company."
We discussed the high-maintenance required by shih tzus’ beautiful coats. "I get [her dogs’] groomed every two weeks. Abby's black-and-white fur is so fine," she said.
Through the years Jennie has had a poodle who was her first dog and then she had two schnauzers, all of whom lived good, long lives.
"I am thankful every day for my dogs. I like to say ... 'Anybody who can't love a dog, can't love!’" said the caring lady as she held Abby close.
Many paws up to Jennie and to all who give their pets the good, long lives that all pets so richly deserve!
More paws up this week to: Rubi Porter; Susan and Giggy Bivens; Jennifer Rogers, Cleveland Animal Shelter secretary; Cristy Smith; and all who rescued a pet with the assurance of providing a long, wonderful life in a forever home. Call me with your pet and wildlife stories, 728-5414, or write to: E.S.P, P.O. Box 4864, Cleveland TN 37320.