I think sometimes in life we must step out of comfort zone and act on an impulse and follow our hearts. You could say intuition. You could say a ‘hunch,’ but you know what I talking about. That nudging feeling that pushes you in a direction and you must follow.
This happened to me this summer with a senior Doberman I met at an animal shelter in June. I just happened to be at one getting my new ‘rabies collar tag’ updated for my own Dobie and just happened to ask if there were any Dobermans that the shelter at that moment.
I really hadn’t expected a ‘yes.’ When I heard there was, I had to go in the back of the shelter and just take a look around. When I found ‘Annie’ in her pin she was visibly shaking. Her longing eyes and little yelp just penetrated my heart. I gave her some love through the bars and spoke to her for a bit telling her she would be okay.
But would she?
That was what I kept wondering after I drove home that day back to toe comfort of my own home with my own Dobie. I couldn’t get ‘Annie’ out of my mind. So, I began calling each day to see if she had been adopted. Each day, the answer was no. She was after all, a ‘Senior Doberman’ 11 years old they thought and the prognosis didn’t look good for her.
After a few days of hearing “Yes, she is still here and no the Senior Dobie has not been adopted,” I began calling rescue groups in the area. The Rescue group I found my Dobie from were pretty booked and Helen Woodward had already taken a look at her and passed her up, because of her health condition.
Well, finally I got in touch with Little Paws and Dobies in Filmore, California. The owner there said she would take her from me in a couple of weeks! I was elated.
On a Sunny Thursday afternoon, I spent $39.00 to adopt ‘Annie.’ I can tell you with certainty, this was the best purchase of 2015. My two weeks with Annie made my heart sang and I fell madly in love with her. I took her to the vet afterwards and found out she was in better health than the shelter thought. And, maybe only 9 years old instead of 11 years. In the life of a Doberman, that’s a big difference.
Little Paws and Dobies found someone in Phoenix, a lovely Doberman owner who had experience taking care of senior Dobermans and really wanted Annie.
I spoke to the ‘would be owner’ over the phone and we determined that we could meet half way in Yuma, Arizona.
My girlfriend drove with me that day with Annie in the back of my car. I wasn’t sure how it would go since I had become so attached to Annie and her to me as well. But you know what they say, “A dog just knows and maybe knows more than we do,” and I believe to some extent that is true. I believe that these animals are like angels in our care and they take care of us by letting us be so lucky to love them back.
When we arrived in Yuma, it was almost 100 degrees. I was hot. Annie was hot and my girlfriend was unsure of the whole exchange.
I said to her, “I will know if it is right or not. If it’s not, Annie will return with us.”
Well, when Annie met the potential new owner at a Cracker Barrel in Yuma, she walked through a crowd of people sitting on the rocking chairs under the water misters right up to her and waged her tail. Annie didn’t look left of right at anyone else. She new just who this person was and stayed by her side.
We next went to a park for an hour to gage the situation. Annie did great. She just really loved ‘this new potential owner so much,’ almost like she knew this was her forever new mom. I watched them drive off together with a sticker on the back of her car, “Who Rescued Who” and knew that all of my hunches, nudging feelings had let me to this woman that needed an “Annie” in her life. (She had recently lost her Dobie.)
These two weeks were exciting, exhausting and worth every moment. This Dobie somehow knew I was her ‘person’ to help her. Trust me, I love animals and have been to shelters before, but never felt so ‘called to rescue’ like I did with her. So my little advice to you for the New Year would be, step out of your comfort zone. Experience something new. Risk something and give your heart fully. Loving and saving Annie for those few weeks in June were like the golden sparkles across my memory of 2015. Her youthful spirit and wobbly butt was just the cutest thing ever. I loved her so much.
I am still in touch with the new owner and they are doing so well. I even reached out for a play date in Yuma, but I think that might not be happening any time soon. Annie is home with her new person and she will always have a piece my heart with her. I am lucky I followed my intuition and lead that day. I was blessed with so much more love this year by experiencing and sharing the love from this exquisite animal. Life can be long. So make your moments golden. Soften it with a little love and a furry friend. You will definitely not regret it.