Friends, do you believe in miracles? If you don’t, read on and you will. If you do, read on because this was a miracle:
I hear the train a comin’. It’s rolling round the bend. And he ain’t seen the sunshine, since he don’t remember when. He was stuck in doggie prison, and time kept draggin’ on. But that train keeps a rollin’ till I’m almost gone.
It all started on a cold, rainy winter day. I can’t tell you how much I’ve ALWAYS wanted to start a blog off that way. Mission accomplished! On that day, about a month ago, a large black and white dog wandered into our pipe yard. It’s a ruff part of town. Stray dogs don’t last very long out there. In fact, he had already been bitten on his face. Other than that and being a little skinny, he was in pretty good shape.
Our eyes locked on one another. I knew he was lost. I knew he needed help. A human can can tell these things about the canine. I opened the office door and he walked right in. He went to sleep next to my desk. I studied him as he slept. What would I call him? I was so tempted to name him Michael Jackson, but seeing as he couldn’t really do the moonwalk, I opted for one of my favorite artists. The man in black – Johnny Cash. What was I to do with him? I already had two rescue dogs. I fed him a hamburger and took him to the BARC animal shelter. I didn’t want to, but I had to get him off the streets.
For a month I took pictures of him. I played with him. I marketed him. I summoned up all of my used dog salesman skills, and for the very first time was unsuccessful. It really killed me. It was probably because that sweet boy, Johnny Cash, had heartworms. And he had a big, kind heart, the size of Texas.
And then, I got the email. “I just want you to know that Johnny Cash is on the LOS (length of stay) list and will be PTS (put to sleep) today at 4:00. The shelter is over crowded.” For once, I was going to loose one. I tried EVERYTHING. But no luck. I answered back, “I am so sorry, I have failed Johnny Cash. I am out of options. I’m so sorry.”
No, that’s not the end of the story. Far from it.
Flashback: A week earlier, a City of Houston inspector walked in our office and asked for our occupancy permit. I answered in my usual fashion: “No speaky English.” He was not amused. He slapped me with a citation and I marched down to city hall to get a occupancy permit. #Unpleasant much? If you don’t know what an occupancy permit is, well, it’s a tax you have to pay to be in your own office. #Surprise!
Well, inspectors would be coming to look at the building to give us their blessing (and permit). So, we decided to be proactive and fix anything they might not like. I called my cousin, the plumber. Because we’re related, he gives me a great deal – usually double what others charge. No problem, he fixed up all of the plumbing. But what of the electrical? He heard me say I need the electrical fixed as well, and recommended someone he knew.
I called his electrician and she (yes, I said she – don’t be a chauvinist) came out. She inspected the building. I hired her.
Back to the future: After I hired her, she saw the email on my monitor about Johnny Cash. His picture was as plain as day. And she was a dog lover. I told her he wasn’t long for this world and she said, “NO! I will take him.” I emailed the shelter: “Hold the execution of Johnny Cash.”
He kept a close watch on this heart of mine. He’ll keep his eyes wide open all the time. Because he’s fine, he’ll walk the line.
But I still needed the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place. I needed a rescue group to tag him so he would be safe till he was picked up. I called several groups but they weren’t in the position to help. Johnny Cash was screwed. At the very last minute, Friends Of BARC (FOB) stepped up and put a hold on Johnny Cash. And they didn’t stop there. They sponsored Johnny Cash’s heartworm treatment. FOB is pawsome and I highly recommend we all support them. The picture above is Johnny Cash inspecting his parole papers drawn up by the amazing Dr. O’Toole – she was great!
Here’s the miracle: If the city inspector never nailed us for not having an occupancy permit, Johnny Cash would have been called home. If my plumber wasn’t there and recommended the electrician, Johnny Cash would have been called home. If BARC hadn’t taken the time to alert me that Johnny Cash’s time was up, he wouldn’t still be here. If I hadn’t hired the electrician and she wasn’t there at that exact moment, seeing that image on my monitor, Johnny Cash would be called home. If FOB didn’t step up and tag Johnny Cash when no one else would, he would have been called home. There are just way too many moving parts and variables that came together to be coincidence. It was a Christmas miracle – just several months early. And my friend, Johnny Cash, he lives to see another day. Have a great life Johnny Cash.
Well they freed me from this prison. Now my doggie life is mine. I’ll move a little farther down the line. Far from doggie prison, that’s where I want to stay. And I’ll let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away…
Me and Johnny Cash…