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Re: RC: Rescues... what is Sam's story?

Dear Linda;
What a wonderful story.  Thanks for sharing.
We own many rescues, also.  In addition to the three horses(two
rescued), we have four cats(two rescued, one a Target give-away, one
actually on purpose purchased), and four dogs(two rescued, one
purchased, one giveaway).  My oldest dog, now 14, was rescued as a young
puppy when his "owners" abandoned him with his littermates and left them
in a field to die.  A kind family took them in, got them healthy, and
spent the time to find them good homes.  He has been a wonderful dog,
and with the help of a book by the Monks of New Skete, I became a good
owner.  One day soon he will have to leave us, though.  He is deaf, his
hips are bad, and he is slowly going blind.  He still likes to play and
leap around a bit, but spends most of his days laying in the sun,
enjoying the remainder of his life.
I would be really sad, but there comes a time for each life to pass on.
I am not too sad, because I know that when Travis leaves there will be a
replacement dog...probably within a week, there always has been.  It
will be a rescue dog.  My husband spends his workdays in the valley
driving, and he says each day he could bring home at least five good
dogs, left abandoned or running on the city streets, ignored by most and
usually run over or left to die.  He said the saddest one of all was a
beautiful Foxterrier type dog abandoned way out in the middle of
nowhere, in the hot summer, that was too scared to come to him when he
stopped and called.  He knows that he can't bring them all home, tho it
breaks his heart to leave them.  
I know that when Travis leaves we will be able to let another dog live.
PS  I always neuter my dogs and cats and encourage everyone else to do
> The posts about the nice gelding that Dawna rescued have been very
> touching. I hang onto my two pasture pets (of four horses) because I've
> seen firsthand what can happen to even great horses.
> I've rescued horses too, but we aren't all able to take on that much. It
> isn't only horses that need rescue... let me tell you about Sam.
> I adopted Sam on Monday, three days ago... How did Sam end up in the
> pound?
> Sam is a 4 year old Australian Shepherd mix... he's a typical aussie,
> but has a black tongue, slightly fuller muzzle and larger, deeper set
> eyes that hint at Chow blood. He's a beautiful sable color, has a great
> build, and is VERY smart and well trained.
> Sam stays close, within 4 feet at all times but never under foot. He
> isn't a "touch hound" that has to have contact or attention all the
> time. He's very affectionate and extremely devoted, but not insistent or
> demanding. He's very well trained, won't eat the cat food that he
> prefers to his own, "stays" even when he doesn't want to, knows all the
> basic commands. The only time he chased a kitty was when the kitty spied
> on him intriguingly from many vantage points for many minutes... and
> when he chased, it was a laughing "herd the kitty up a tree" type chase
> from a respectful distance... no intent to hurt shy Forest. Forest
> hasn't quite forgiven him.
> He doesn't bark, doesn't dig, doesn't chew, doesn't lick, doesn't lift
> his leg to mark territory incessantly. He gazes adoringly, refuses to
> accept a challenge from any dog, cat or horse to engage in dominance
> games. He doesn't cringe or cower, has an enthusiastic carriage and much
> doggie dignity. He doesn't even comprehend shame, and "Bad Dog" is met
> with a laughing but respectful glance that has shown he understands good
> and bad, didn't intend to be bad... he's this very honest dog that has
> yet to do a 'bad thing" once he understands it's bad.
> I'm training myself not to say bad dog, because there isn't anything bad
> about him... "Don't do that, Sam" is all he needs. He exemplifies "good
> dog".
> He accepts affection from all people, but from the first time I led him
> out of the pound kennel to introduce ourselves in the play yard, I was
> Sam's human to be venerated, the One to be adored. Some dogs are warm
> and loving to anyone, but for Sam, I'm very special. I'm The One. The
> Only One.
> Now? He's the Only One too... there is nothing that compares to being
> that special in the eyes of another creature.
> At the pound, Sam let all the dogs in their runs know that he'd found
> what he wanted by trotting up and down past the runs smiling at them,
> inspiring barking, and returning to sit at my side an gaze up at me
> proudly. "See - I'm a good dog! I know this one will take me home! I
> "come", "heel", "sit", "fetch" and "stay", and they love that! This is
> how to catch a human!" He did that four times in a row... funny guy....
> I read a lot into it, don't I? It's more fun that way, silly or not. It
> is how he acted.
> The first night he stayed with me, I woke up to see him sitting in the
> moon light a few feet away, leaning back against the wall with his
> laughing smile, watching me with very tired eyes and ears lifted to
> listen... guarding me, watching me, adoring me...
> How the hell did a dog like Sam end up in the pound???? What happened to
> the wonderful home that nurtured such a fine dog?
> Samuel. Sam Shepherd. What a good dog.
>   -- Linda Cowles, Gilroy CA
> There were three other great dogs at the San Martin, California, Animal
> Control that I can't adopt but wanted to... a pure rhodesian ridge back
> male, a stunning border collie mix...
> The hard one to leave was a herd-dog Heinz 57 mix speckled clown who
> stands on her hind legs and spins in circles to make you laugh till you
> and she both drop in hysterics!
> They all had great personalities and were very trainable. The other
> dozen dog there were neat too... but I'm picky about dogs, and those
> three? My family's a big one- 3 cats and 4 horses and Sam - I don't need
> a second dog but... these are nice dogs. I'm very tempted.
> If you are in this area and want a fantastic dog, drop me a line.
> There are swinging doors at either end of the kennel isle at the pound;
> one door to the vet lab, the other to the front door and good homes. How
> many dogs like Sam have left the pound through the back door? Oh geeze,
> folks, way too many...
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