Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Real Life Possibilities of "Fairy Tale Endings" (New York City)

(Picture Left: "Sporty" -- At last, his fairy tale ending!")

"When people do the right thing, it almost always works out right."

The above is a personal quote based upon what I have observed and experienced in over 20 years of work in the animal field.

The reason for the "almost" clarification in that sentence instead of the absolute is, well as said yesterday, there are no absolutes in life.

Sometimes the saying, "No good deed goes unpunished!" is also true. -- I've seen that in animal work, too.

But, for the most part, yes, when people do the right thing for the right reasons, it usually has a very good outcome.

Case in point:

Some weeks back, I was contacted by Animal Control and asked if we could take a very sweet Chow mix who had arrived at the city shelter with a deeply imbedded collar in his neck.

"Sport" (so named because the dog was such a "good sport" considering the egregious neglect he had suffered) was not really a "Chow mix" but he was everything else the shelter promised he was:

Endearing, sweet, very gentle and intelligent and of loving, gregarious temperament. (Well, some of that stuff I've obviously added since getting to know the black mongrel who is mostly Lab with perhaps a little "Chow."

We sent Sporty to our vet for neutering, as well as surgery to remove the collar and stitch up the wound.

But, even when all those things were done and Sporty was recovered and "ready to go" I did not have a foster or adoptive home to send Sporty to.

Sporty sat in a cage at my vet for more than two weeks while I attempted to advertise him and promote him to potential foster people or adopters.

It was surprising to me that no one seemed to respond to Sporty's special and sad story or even to the fact that here was a truly terrific "family dog" who would be a joyous addition to any home fortunate enough to have him!

Then one day a nice woman called inquiring on another dog we had for adoption -- Dutch.

But, I explained to "Dominique" that Dutch, due to various nervousness issues, would not be the appropriate dog for her particular situation which contained two adolescent sons.

I then told Dominique about Sporty and offered her the opportunity to "try him out" as a foster/trial adoption.

To my delight and surprise, Dominique accepted the invitation and came the next day with her sons to meet and take home Sporty as a foster dog.

That was a couple of weeks ago.

Yesterday, Dominique called to tell me that her family wants to officially adopt Sporty as he has turned out to be everything promised -- and much more.

What was particularly touching in all the good news that Dominique shared with me is that Sporty has turned out to be a kind of "therapy dog" for Dominique's elderly Grandfather who apparently suffers from a mild form of dementia.

"The whole family, especially my Grandmother has been worried about him," Dominique said. "Grandpa's been so depressed; kind of withdrawing into himself in recent years. But, oh, when he saw Sporty! You can't believe the difference! The dog totally brought my Grandfather out of his shell! He was so happy to be with a dog once again. It was so heartwarming to see!"

Additionally, Dominique's two sons totally love Sporty and he, they. One of them gets up an extra hour early each day just to walk Sporty. Its something the young boy looks forward to.

All of this is of course, wonderful news.

And like the story told yesterday only goes to prove once again how sometimes human and animal lives are turned around on a small and simple twist of fate.

But, when that "twist of fate" is combined with a willingness and openness to do the right thing as opposed to merely pursuing selfish aims and demands, the results are so often those "fairy tale endings" we so enjoyed hearing about when we too, were kids.

Yes, they are possible in real life, too. ;)


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