We arrived at the animal shelter at 8:30, kolaches in hand. Kolaches = delicious rolls stuffed with sausages. Dogs love them. People do too. Trade secret: this is how we train our shelter dogs to not be heathens. The staff calls them ‘high value’ treats. We just call them delicious.
I was about to tour the four wards to see how many dogs would be needed to be worked with, photographed, videoed, and have bios written for. This gives us an idea of how to budget our limited time until the shelter opens. This is easy for me because I don’t sleep anyway.
I didn’t make it past the first dog kennel till I got stopped in my tracks. He was staring at me with his soulful eyes. They were happy and sad at the same time. Happy so see me but sad to be sitting in a kennel, bored out of his mind at the shelter. His tail would not stop spinning around in circles. He just stood there motionless, other than his tail. His presence commanded me to stop, and I did.
I knew I had to do my walk through but he froze me. Of course I stopped everything I was doing and focused only on him. I pulled his kennel card: Mastiff/Boxer mix (however it was later changed to Blue Lacy – the state dog of Texas/Boxer mix. 53 pounds but boy was he skinny! This dude should be 80 pounds, easy. He was also approximately 8 years old. He definitely had some wear and tear on him, being a stray, but this dude was as handsome as they come. His gray eyes could easily burn a hole in your soul. He had no name. I named him Happy Meal because he was very happy and definitely needed a meal (or two).
I took him out of the kennel and he was a champ on the leash. As soon as I took him out he did his business. He definitely had a human of his own at some point in his life. All he wanted to do was hang out with the humans, be loved on, and receive treats. He refused to leave our sides. In fact, his favorite place was to stand between your legs while gazing up to your eyes. Total creampuff sweetie pie. He also got along well with his dog friends at the shelter.
We kept him with us for ten minutes and he was just in heaven. A perfect gentleman. A superstar. Unfortunately, we had to take him back to his kennel and he dutifully marched right by our sides back to his kennel.
I never saw Happy Meal again and prayed that he had been adopted, until Monday. A dog named Harvey, who looked exactly like Happy Meal had unfortunately made his way onto the euthanasia list. I looked more carefully and sure enough, it was Happy Meal. He was slated to be put to sleep because the shelter was overfilled – again and people passed up Happy Meal because he was a seasoned citizen.
I did what I promised myself I would’t do – again and called Jodie at Albert’s Dog Lounge and plead his case. Every other single rescue group had turned their back on Happy Meal. Jodie, who I call Red, said, “You know the routine. You pull him and keep him till our transport and we’ll take him.” Yes, I knew the routine, intimately. He was tagged late in the day just before he met his maker and the excellent shelter volunteers transported him to Sonoma’s Haven, where he is well taken care of and getting all of his needs met. Thank you Albert’s Dog Lounge and Sonoma’s Haven! He’ll be moving to Wisconsin next month to live however many days he has left with a human of his own, who he promises to unconditionally love for the rest of his life.
No, he doesn’t need a hot apple pie with that. Just the Happy Meal. He was a great save and this Happy Meal will definitely make someone extremely happy!