I was there to make a donation, not pick up another dog.
Almost Home is right around the block from me, and Barbara was manning the desk that day. I follow the animal shelter on social media and I love seeing all of their animals get placed in good homes.
If you've ever felt disappointed (or disgusted) in mankind's treatment of animals, a quick trip to a caring animal shelter will set you right. For every sad story you hear, you realize there are just as many Helpers. They work quietly behind the scenes to rescue, repair and generally make better lives for these abandoned animals.
A smaller dog was on my radar for mom, but all I saw were large dogs. Mom turned 80 this past summer, and she wanted a lap-warmer. 'I want an older dog,' she kept telling me. As a dog owner all her life, she missed having one. Her last rescue, a snaggle-toothed dachshund named Maggie, had passed away about a year ago.
"Never again!" mom initially declared, "that's it, I quit- I can't take the heartbreak, anymore!"
But life is a series of dogs, am I right?
And then, from a room in the back, shielded from view and further injury, Barbara carried out a little Pomeranian. She was wearing a protective cone around her head, had one only eye, and a conspicuous underbite. Francesca looked battle-weary, and she was perfect.
The little dog had been suffering for sometime with a grave injury to her left eye. Despite having been hurt, and then given up at 12 years old, she seemed a pretty happy little girl. The animal shelter had tried to save the eye, treating it everyday according to their vet, but to no avail.
She finally had it removed on December 6, and my mom brought her home about a week later.
They spayed her at the same time of her eye surgery. She had been bred and had given birth to multiple litters of puppies. I suppose her usefulness had run it's course.
But those hard days are over, and it's all downstream from here for this little love bug. Retirement's in the works, and it's all about lap-time and cookies.
It's really no wonder we love dogs so much. The gifts they give, and the things they teach us make it all worth eventually having to say goodbye. Even perfectly imperfect, gaining a loyal friend trumps everything.