Tagged for euthanasia the next day. This was the fate of a beautiful shiny black and tan australian shepherd. Had it not been for a lady named Nancy, I would never have known the dog that has been mine for the past 8 years. The little Aussie had been named Sadie by the workers at a Fort Worth, Texas, animal shelter – a kill shelter. The animals that were not adopted after a certain length of time were put on the list to meet the grim reaper. Sadie’s fate lay in the hands of a lady named Nancy who “pulled” dogs from the shelter when ever she had room at her home for a dog/s.
Nancy belonged to a small rescue group who used their own money to foster dogs until the dog could be placed in a forever home. Nancy was allowed by the shelter to take any or as many dogs that were doomed for euthanasia as she could manage. Nancy personally could only handle up to four dogs and generally she only took small dogs because she had life threatening medical issues. and these were easier for her to foster. However that day she happened to see Sadie as she made her way through a maze of huge cages. Nancy had met her personal quota of dogs to “pull” but decided at the last-minute to take the dog named Sadie, because, “her eyes spoke to me as if begging me to take her.” So that day about 8 years ago Sadie went home with Nancy. That afternoon, Nancy began making phone calls to her “dog friends.” The first call was to her friend Shirlene, another rescuer of dogs. Shirlene an acquaintance, of mine, in turn called to ask if I would foster an Australian Shepherd.. She said the dog was one day away from euthanasia. Of course I was not going to turn her down after she told me the dog was destined for euthanasia. “Sadie” so named by the shelter staff was believed to be about 1-2 years old. I spoke to Nancy in Ft. Worth on a Wednesday and the next day, Shirlene arrived with Sadie, at my house, 100 miles south.
Shirlene opened the back of her vehicle and a black dog lay curled up near the door. The dog was wearing a tiny collar with a small frayed leash attached. I called her name and with a gentle tug of the leash she jumped to the ground. As Shirlene and I stood talking, Sadie began licking my hands and then my shoes. Finally she stopped, looked directly into my eyes. lowered herself to the ground and began crawling on her belly as she made circles around and around my feet. I had never observed a dog exhibiting such total submission. Finally I said, “you know Shirlene there is no need to foster her. I’ll adopt her but I am going to change her name right now to Dancer. The name popped right from thoughts. And, Dancer still dances around me to show her happiness.
I felt a strong connection to Dancer and her bond to me was immediate. She has shown her gratitude by being incredibly loyal and obedient. I only have to call her once and she is at the back door.
I really did not need to train her to do anything. She possesses high intelligence and is very quick to learn whatever I choose to teach her.
How could a person be so cruel and release her to the shelter? I will never comprehend man’s inhumane treatment and total disregard for a lesser creature, who has been a part of one’s life. How do you make the decision to dispose of the animal as if it were nothing.
I think this is a good place to include one of my favorite quotes.
“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
by Immanuel Kant
Dancer is much more laid back than my other dogs. But she thrives on my attention. I’ve taught her to sit, roll over, and of course to crawl since this was a natural proclivity. She will absolutely crawl for yards until I tell her to stop. Dancer has proven to be one of my best watch dogs. She has keen hearing and usually barks before the other dogs hear a new sound. She becomes very agitated at the sight of any man. Possibly she was mistreated since she is especially distrustful of men.
I am eternally grateful to Nancy for listening to her heart the day she pulled Dancer from the Ft. Worth kill shelter. And, whoever took Dancer to the shelter that day was the loser for I consider myself the winner, the day I gave her a forever home.
Post and photographs: Yvonne