Monday, December 10, 2012

To Save A Life...

Last week I, um, borrowed an idea from another author (I swear I'll make it up to her somehow.)

After a few tweaks, it went like this: Like my author page on Facebook before 10pm Wednesday, December 5th and I'll donate two bucks to the Broken Arrow Animal Shelter.

Since the challenge only ran a few hours I was surprised by the results: Fifty eight dollars. Way to go, Facebookers! Even better, my cousin, Tim--a devastatingly talented West Coast actor--matched the donation at his local shelter. (I'll try to post the link to his experience on my FB page.)

Friday I went to our sparkling new animal shelter and whipped out my writing account checkbook. The manager gratefully accepted the check, and said our donation will go to buy toys, fluffies, and treats for the animals until they're adopted.

Afterward, an officer showed me around so I could take pictures for the blog.

My first impression: Clean, nice-smelling (shocking, right?) and well-managed. Cats have a cool jungle-gym setup with lots of glass. Dogs have four indoor kennels with solid-poured floors, which means easy cleanup and no odor. There are skylights in every room. And the officers do a tough, heartbreaking job with empathy, professionalism and kindness.

Surprisingly, most shelter cats eventually find homes. Cats are easy to care for, and who can resist a fuzzy-haired kitten?

So I asked to see the dogs. We entered the first kennel and met three lovely boys: A chihuahua cross, an elderly Rottie, and a slick-hair spotted creature of mixed heritage who quietly watched us walk by.

"How about that one?" I pointed to the big black-and-white, who looked as if he'd fit in at a biker bar.

The officer shrugged. "You're the vet."

"Hey buddy." I bent down in front of the run. "I can't take you home, but how 'bout posing for some pictures?" At this point the dog, who'd been the only one not to raise Cain when we arrived, reared up on both hind legs and let out a fusillade of ear-piercing bark/howls that made my brain hurt. He was a head taller than me--and a good twenty pounds heavier--and had no problem letting me know what he thought of me.

"He says 'No Thanks'," the officer said, trying not to laugh.

"What?" Biker Dog hadn't finished letting us know he was Large and In Charge.  The officer pointed to the door, and we beat feet out to the hall.

"Next kennel?" I resisted the urge to explain I've always been an equine veterinarian--a horse doctor. When my dogs get sick I take them to my husband's veterinary clinic.

The officer grinned and led us to the second--mercifully quiet--kennel. That's where I met Goldman.

Gorgeous dog. A youngish yellow Lab with deep brown eyes, soft coat the color of milk-with-honey, and a thick tail that lazily waved the air as we walked by. We stopped in front of his kennel and Goldman politely sat down, tail grazing the floor.

Then he smiled.

If you're a dog person, you know what I mean. For those who aren't, a dog smile is a wide-open, trusting grin that says, "We're going to like each other, aren't we?" It's irresistible, and before you know it you're smiling back.

"You're a good boy, aren't you?"

Goldman's grin got bigger. He stood and did a little dance, looking expectantly at the gate latch. The officer wanted to go in first, just in case the Lab tried to rush past. He slipped inside without trouble, and the dog greeted him joyfully, winding around his legs, nuzzling his hands.

"He's fine. I'll hold him and you can come in."

The next fifteen minutes made me wish we could adopt a third dog.

Sadly, we're already at maximum rescued-dog capacity. But as I write this, I'm getting tears in my eyes. Because Goldman is the kind of dog who rides shotgun in your pickup; who leans against your legs and looks up at you like you're a dead-on genius; who licks your daughter's bare toes and makes her giggle in her high chair.

Goldman is the kind of dog who becomes family.

Anyone interested in a lifelong romance with a gentle, well-behaved yellow Lab should contact the Broken Arrow Animal shelter 

And if you're on the run from the mob and need a rambunctious, ready-made bodyguard, drop by Kennel #1. Bring an industrial-sized bag of treats, a strong leash...and earplugs.

And don't mention my name.

Cheers...and Happy Adopting!



  1. Sweet babies. Rescues are the greatest, aren't they?

    But, um, I didn't know there was a LIMIT. I don't guess we've reached our personal limit yet. We had six at one time and would've taken another who looked at us pitifully and rubbed against our legs. LOL.

    Wonderful idea, T!!

    1. We're trying to keep the non-human/human ratio at a manageable level (especially since I'm the cook!) As it is, humans are outnumbered.

  2. It is unfortunate that that beautiful new spotless building allows animals to be adopted without first being spayed/neutered (it is my understanding that they have an account with 30-40k in it for that very service). You pay their $50.00 adoption fee and then bring in your receipt for the spay/neuter and they will re-imburse you. I just think that is irresponsible, we have too many people in this society that "put it off" and then wonder "how did that happen?" when they have a litter of puppies or kittens to deal with...take them to the BA the cycle continues. :(

  3. Lisa,

    The folks at the shelter were very kind to let me come in and take pictures. They do a good job under difficult circumstances. I agree that spaying and neutering is the best for every pet, and I encourage anyone who is passionate to spread the word. Other cities have successfully dealt with the problem. Perhaps we can learn from them.

  4. Awww. He is a sweetie and I sincerely hope he finds a forever home. I'd love to adopt him but my hubby would probably strangle me. We have a 5 to 2 animal/human ratio as it is.


Glad you're here!