When my daughter’s (Ariel’s) aged shelter-rescue passed, their family of four was awash in grief. They had experienced the benefits of having “the perfect family dog” and chose to bide their time looking for a new one.
For months, they scanned www.PetFinder.com and local rescue shelters. Then they spotted “Nacho,” a Mexican Dalmatian mutt rescue who had been moved from a Southern California shelter to an Oregon foster home and delivered to theirs with the words, “He’s a runner. He does not know where his home is. Keep him tied to you for three weeks!”
Not exactly the words a mother already tied to a one- and four-year-old human wanted to hear. Did Nacho even speak English?
He did not tell them.
Did he like cats?
They were about to find out.
The day Nacho was led by leash into his new home with my daughter’s family, I watched him spot one of her four friendly cats and lunge at it like an open-mouthed crocodile, snapping it closed like the Nestle’ chocolate milk commercial’s dog trying to bite its head off.
It was a scary scenario, but fortunately he was tied by his leash to his new mother; the four cats kept a safe distance after that.
The dog did not respond to the name Nacho, so as I sat on the couch with the dog tethered to me while Ariel purr-pared dinner, I began saying different names like “Spotty,” “Bingo,” “Bailey,” and finally “Buddy.” It was when I said Buddy that the dog looked interested. At dinner, I brought up the name and the family voted “yes” based on their feeling that, “He is going to be our best buddy.”
Having a dog tied to you is not a picnic. At night, the cats were kicked out of the bedroom because Buddy took the place of honor between his new mama and papa. Trying to cook with two hungry kids at your feet and a dog tied to you took some planning. But it paid off in spades. A few weeks later, my grandson announced: “Buddy is my best friend.”
Now, in almost every photograph that Ariel texts, Buddy is cuddled up in bed, on the couch and on the floor with her children. Everyone looks happy and relaxed.
And what about the cats?
Before the first month was over, Ariel sent a photo of Buddy peacefully sleeping with two cats on his bed. It appears he is everyone’s best buddy because, the next day, a photo arrived of him sleeping on the couch with two more cats; he now knows who his family is, he is happy and he does not run — unless it’s after a ball.
Reasons why they chose an older dog? A senior pet’s paw-sonality is “fixed,” and this dog came house and leash trained. He is good with — and doesn’t jump on — young children.
Ariel’s family is in love with the rescue who traveled hundreds of miles on his life journey to find them.
Deeply frustrated Janetta Overholser, president of The Humane Society of Cottage Grove, said, “Some kind souls saw a hugely pregnant cat crossing the road in an area with no houses. They stopped, the kitty came right up to them, and they brought her into the shelter. Hours later she delivered eight kittens! If this domestic cat had a microchip, we could be looking for her parents and then they — not us — could look for homes for these cute babies. Please spay or neuter and microchip your pets so they don’t wander, get lost, starve and suffer. Thank you to the good Samaritans for helping this new family.”
Share your fur-avorite pet memory or adventure at [email protected] Visit Pet Tips ‘n’ Tales on Facebook at/www.facebook.com/PetTipsandTales Humane Society for Neuter/Spay Assistance Program. 541-942-2789