Where did this all start? My obsession with animals and rescuing and liberation and behaviors... and, oh my!! I don't know why, but I've started questioning it as of late and then stepped back to take a look at my life and how I got here. What a journey it has been too!
In actuality, I haven't had that much of a variety of pets in my life, but they ALL have been rescues in one form or another. Beyond the miscellaneous bugs and lizard creatures my brothers brought home from the vegetable farms across the street, it really began with our childhood dog, Shamus. Born on St. Patrick's day in 1976, he lived to be 17 years old. Poor Shamus had gotten out of the back yard and was picked up by Animal Control about three miles or so away from home. I think he was on his last travels to find his own resting place away from the family so we wouldn't have to suffer in finding him. At that time we had to make that tough decision to end his misery and help him cross that great Rainbow Bridge.
Shamus was the runt of his littermates. His mom was a purebred Husky and his dad was a purebred German Shepherd. Talk about two very primal breeds mixing! Shamus had the coloring of the GSD, but the coat and curled tail of the Husky. He was a durable dog that LOVED to play rough and was extremely loyal and protective. My older brother had a paper route in the neighborhood and the owners were giving away their pups (very careless compared to today's standards of adopting out). But, those were definitely different times. People actually cared for and loved their pets. Nowadays, those people are in the minority it seems. But, I digress.
Shamus went everywhere with us. We used to go dirtbiking in the desert and one time, at a good distance away from camp, I saw this black shape out the corner of my eye. It was Shamus running at full speed to keep up with us. Needless to say, after that long romp, he refused to leave his blanket back at camp. His pads were so tender and sore.
Shamus had his ups and downs and his goods and bads. He was poisoned along with a few other dogs on our street. One very early morning I kept hearing a banging outside my window. My dad went out to see Shamus convulsing on the ground. We rushed him to the vet where they were able to stabilize him and he recovered. We were fortunate to have caught it in time and he was saved by his size... a mere 45 pounds. The miniature Collie nextdoor was, unfortunately, not as lucky. His name was Happy and his mate was Lucky. Hmmm, ironic. The other neighbor nextdoor had a beautiful Doberman along with young children. They found a sausage in the backyard laced with poison. Scary to think it could have been one of their children. We all suspected it was the gardeners that maintained the house behind us. They used to harass Shamus over the wall and most likely did the same to the other dogs as well.
I am so blessed with so many good memories of Shamus. I never thought I would have another dog let alone one as good as he was. I've been proven wrong. I've been blessed with an equally good dog... just not as feisty!!
My rescue adventures to be continued...