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 Post subject: Rescue (A True Story)
PostPosted: Thu 28 May , 2009 3:30 am 
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Joined: Mon 24 Jan , 2005 12:43 pm
Posts: 2660
Location: Gone to the dogs!
Rescue


As the man unfastened the heavy eight foot chain from the big German Shepherd’s collar, he gave me some parting advice: “If he gives you any trouble, just show him a shovel.”

Too disgusted to respond, I clipped a leash to the dog’s collar, then with a bit of coaxing, enticed him into the dog crate for the long trip to his new home.

His journey had started several weeks earlier when I told my birth mom my 14 year old Shepherd, Tasha, was failing rapidly, and didn’t have much longer to live.

“What are you going to do when the time comes?” mom asked.

“I don’t know, but I know I can’t get a pup, because there will be no one home to help housebreak it now that Roger’s gone.”

“Well, if you want the most gorgeous 3 year old German Shepherd, you’d better speak now, because the owner says he’s going to shoot it!”

”WHAT?? Why? Is the dog vicious?”

“No, he’s quite friendly. The owner got him as watch dog, but he’s not happy with him, so he says he’s going to shoot him if no one else wants him. He doesn’t believe in keeping a dog just as a pet.”

I told my mom I was definitely, interested, and made arrangements to meet the dog. Several weeks later, Ranger was on his way to his new home.

Three weeks later, Ranger got to see that shovel, as I used it to dig Tasha’s grave. She had passed quietly in her sleep. He stood beside me and watched, as I dug the hole. When I stopped to rest, he crawled into my lap and licked the tears and sweat off my face.

“I’m so glad I’ve got you, buddy,” I whispered. Tasha’s death was just the most recent in a string of losses. Between May of 2004 and March of 2005, I’d lost my father, my husband and my mother. Now it was Tasha’s turn, the mischievous stray who’d wandered into my life shortly before my marriage to Roger. She’d been my link with the past, the reminder that I’d been single before, and could do it again.

Living alone was not easy for me. I have a severe hearing loss: 70% in the left ear, and 90% in the right, and when I take my hearing aids out for the night, I don’t hear much of anything. I had talked to the Lions Club about a Hearing Ear dog, but their rules said I’d have to get rid of my pet. Needless to say, that was not an option, especially with a dog as elderly as Tasha!

Then, shortly after Tasha’s death, through the magic of the internet, I met a lady named Anne Bussell, who’d trained her own service dog. I asked her for more information, and she directed me to some training resources. Soon I was teaching Ranger to be my ears. He caught on very quickly, and in no time, was alerting me to the smoke alarm, alarm clock, door, and kitchen timer!

I also began giving him public access training, using the guidelines set down by Assistance Dogs International.

In March, we put his training to the test, when we attended our first large public event together, a writer’s conference (Ad Astra) in Toronto. Friday evening was party night, and, Ranger, dressed in his orange service vest, wandered from room to room with me, taking the crowds and noise in stride, and completely ignoring the tempting displays of food.

Around midnight, I decided to turn in, but first Ranger needed a walk. The streets were totally deserted, and it was very icy underfoot. Ranger showed no interest in doing his business, so when we came to a small woods, I decided to take him off among the trees, hoping he’d lift his leg to one of them.

I took one step off the sidewalk, and my left leg plunged into an empty fence post hole. When I’d recovered from the shock of the fall, I realized I was in deep trouble. My left leg was buried well past the knee, my right leg was doubled underneath me, and I was up to my elbows in soft snow. There was nothing I could grab to pull myself out of the hole! How was I ever going to get out of this?

When I fell, Ranger scampered off a short distance, not sure what to make of my flailing arms. Now, hearing the distressed noises I was making, he came and plastered his big body against mine. I quickly realized I could use him as a support to pull myself upright and get my leg out of the hole. Carefully, I began to lean on his back. He braced himself, and held steady as I gradually pushed myself upright.

Once I was out of the hole, I hugged him tightly. “Thanks, buddy,” I said. “I rescued you, now I guess you decided you had to return the favour!”

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose[/size]


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PostPosted: Thu 28 May , 2009 11:32 am 
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Joined: Thu 24 Feb , 2005 10:34 pm
Posts: 3463
Location: Fall River, MA
That's very sweet, Sunny. :)
:hug:

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PostPosted: Thu 28 May , 2009 12:41 pm 
Aspiring to heresy
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Joined: Wed 23 Feb , 2005 6:54 pm
Posts: 17227
Location: Canada
He's such a sweetie!

Don't tell Sam I said that :whistle:

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Melkor and Ungoliant in need of some relationship counselling.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 May , 2009 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu 03 Feb , 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 7812
Location: MO
I'm glad he's working out so well for you, Sunny. :)

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PostPosted: Thu 28 May , 2009 3:33 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Joined: Thu 24 Feb , 2005 3:46 pm
Posts: 19844
:love: That's so wonderful!

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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun , 2009 1:05 pm 
Hasta la victoria, siempre
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Joined: Sun 13 Mar , 2005 7:49 pm
Posts: 3978
Location: Outer Heaven
Squee! I'd think it was schmaltz if it wasn't adorably, deliciously true. :halo:

-Pips-

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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun , 2009 1:20 pm 
Waiting for winter
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Joined: Fri 04 Mar , 2005 1:46 am
Posts: 2380
Location: Jr. High
That's beautiful Sunny. I can't count the number of times that I have been rescued from depression by my dogs. They are the most wonderful creatures in the world in my opinion. I'm so happy you've found one who understands your needs so well!

:hug:

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I am a child, I'll last a while.
You can't conceive
of the pleasure in my smile.


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