Too late, my time has come. Sends shivers down my spine. Body’s aching all the time. Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go. Gotta leave you all behind the face of truth. I don’t want to die. I Sometimes wish I’d never been born at all…
I just love that song, Bohemian Rhapsody by Thin Lizzy. Don’t you? That’s all I could think about when I got the email plea from my friend, Steve Halpert, asking someone to please save this little girl at a local animal shelter, BARC. The Lyrics just kept running through my head. I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to. Thank goodness I was able to control myself from singing out loud. No need to embarrass myself, right?
I headed over to the shelter to do adoptions. As I often do, I walked back to Baydock. I hate Baydock. You can just smell death lingering in that place. It is palpable. Baydock is where the dogs are marched off to end their existence on Earth. They are put in kennels and one by one, they are marched off to meet their maker. Did I mention I hate that place? Well, I do. A little trick some of my fellow volunteers and I do is we sneak the dogs out of Baydock, hide them where no one will find them, and work with them and show them the love they deserve – at least for a day. I like to think of it as cheating death. More times than not, that dog never returns to Baydock, because we work our butts off to get them rescued or adopted. And before you get mad at the shelter, it’s not their fault. They are literally overrun with turn-ins and strays. Blame the owners if you need to blame someone.
I entered Baydock and there was only one dog waiting to be called home. It was Lyric. She was scrunched up in the very back left corner of the kennel. She’s a smallish, little, jet-black furry dog. She stayed low and was shivering uncontrollably. She wouldn’t lift her head at all but suspiciously eyeballed me. She was completely shut down. Some people call it pancaking because they flatten themselves on the ground. I don’t use that term because of my love for pancakes. Not gonna ruin that for myself. In fact, I may just go to IHOP right after writing this and order a short stack. Yes, I think I will. Lyric thought if she stayed low to the ground, I wouldn’t see her. But I did.
I opened the kennel door and sat next to her. She wasn’t budging and the shaking got even worse. I gently stoked her fur but that helped nothing. I thought of singing Bohemian Rhapsody to her but she was already super scared, so I didn’t chance it. I didn’t want to make it worse. So, I gently spoke to her instead. Slowly, very slowly, her shivers transformed into nervous glances. Progress! I picked her up, put a leash on her and she marched her cute little self out to a dog run. Yes, I was for sure going to squirrel her away to hide her from her due date. How could I not?
Outside she slowly came alive. Five minutes later she was prancing around like a champ. And she couldn’t stop kissing my face or wagging her tail. Someone walked by and said, “Be careful, she’s a biter.” I laughed and said under my breath, “Oh, no she’s not,” while she continued to lick my face. And she wasn’t. I made the usual phone calls and walked her inside to declare this dog would not be put down today. I felt like Gandalf in the Lord of The Rings movie. “You shall not pass!” I didn’t say that but I wanted to. I probably just needed a Snickers Bar, but none were handy. Brenda, a very caring and wonderful BARC employee, pet her on the head and said, “Shhh, I already put a hold on her. I wasn’t supposed to. Go work your magic and get her out of here by the end of the day – or else.” Lyric almost seemed to understand because she nuzzled Brenda’s hand.
A few calls and emails later and Rescued Pet Movement was on the way to pick up Lyric and place her with a foster family until she heads to Colorado to receive a human of her own. Now Lyric is frolicking with other dogs, loving people, and fetching balls. No more pancaking for this gal. Dang, I am seriously getting hungry after using that word again. I didn’t take her but five minutes to become a dog again and receive and give love. And she has a lot to give. Sometimes the shelter just brings out the worst in dogs – especially owner surrenders. If people only saw how their pets can completely shut down, maybe they wouldn’t turn their dogs in. At least I hope. The dogs have no clue what is going on. It is so stressful on them that oftentimes they become physically ill. I’ve seen it. And most of the time, a kind gesture is all they’re longing for to bring them back to being a happy, healthy dog. It’s just that simple and doesn’t take much time. If you’ve never volunteered at a shelter, I high recommend it. Sometimes people say, “How do you do that? I could never do that.” My response is always the same, “How could you not?” Just focus on the positive change you are about to make. Anyone can do it.
By the way, I know it’s not a Thin Lizzy song. It’s Queen. But thank you for reading this blog all the way through.
Can anybody find me someone to love? Each morning I get up I die a little. Can barely stand on my feet. Can anybody find me someone to love? – Somebody To Love by Queen.
Yes, Lyric, we can find you someone to love. Yes, we can.