Sometimes life deals you a bad hand – through no fault of your own. Fate can kick you in the butt or it can renew your faith in The God of your choice. I borrowed that God phrase from my friend, Kinky Friedman. It makes perfect sense.
Here is the story of Bagheera. Named after the panther in The Jungle Book, he found his way into the BARC animal shelter as a stray. He had a gorgeous red coat and was just a gem. He loved life and had great manners. Never came a time when his tail wasn’t wagging.
BARC staff and volunteers worked extra hard (just like we do with every deserving dog) at photographing him, promoting him, and getting him adopted. And true to our amazing talent, we did. A couple came in and adopted him. Just as we always do when a dog walks out of the front door with his humans, we rejoiced.
Then, the photos were posted all over the internet. He was seen hugging people, sleeping in bed with people, sitting on the sofa with people, walking with people, and kissing and hugging people. It was a great adoption – we thought.
Several weeks later Bagheera’s owners were posting pictures of their newly adopted cat. Something didn’t feel right. No more pictures of Bagheera. Then, the bombshell. “We don’t want this dog anymore. He’s no good and tears up our apartment. He pees in the house.” (BTW he was completely house trained before they picked him up). “We’re going to turn him loose to live free. He was only $5.00. No big deal.”
Can you believe that? He was only $5. They purchased this outstanding, handsome boy at a $5 Adoption Event. And they did turn him loose.
A month later, battered, bruised, starving, and with hair loss, he was picked up as a stray. He didn’t have a scratch on him when he got adopted. He was only looking for a human to love him. He was brought back to the shelter and stuck in Evaluation for up to 10 days because he was microchipped and needed to be held for his owners – who no longer wanted him. They wouldn’t even contact BARC to release him. Poor boy!
We all stepped up for him. I contacted Rescued Pets Movement and told them what was going on and how this boy was a must at getting a rescue. They were more than happy to help. But we didn’t need it.
The next day, I took him out of Evaluation and gave him a warm shower. I used my dogs lavender mint shampoo on him to sooth his dry, beat up skin. He looked 100% better and his coat (what he had left) was shiny again. I moved him into adoptions right up front so that everyone would see him for the true gem he is when they walked by. Because he was beautiful inside and out, it made it hard for anyone to walk past him.
One day later, I received a telephone call from an over-excited BARC employee. “You won’t believe this! Bagheera got adopted to a great home. And he even got a sister to play with. They adopted that cute little Husky, Maddie too. Bagheera and Maddie love each other!”
I couldn’t contain my joy. I’m not gonna lie, it was a good day!
When you adopt a dog, whether it’s for $5 or $2500 – you are dealing with a life. A life you hold in the palm of your hands. That dog will ask for nothing in return except for your affection, and maybe sometimes a hug. Life is precious and often times short. We want as much as we can get and we want it to be good. Your canine companion is no different.
And Bagheera? Through it all, could not stop wagging his tail or wanting to show how much he loves humans. Because he has a Texas-sized heart of a champion. In his mind, there are no bad humans. I would love to believe that for his sake. Maybe one day we’ll get there. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their animals. Am I right? It was a rhetorical question. I am right. #BeGood. Have a #GoodHeart. And a #LovingHeart.
Everyone deserves a second chance. Wouldn’t you agree. #SecondChances