Rescue is my breed

2 weeks ago

This one sentence says it all for me: “Rescue is my breed.”

I love rescue dogs and cats. I have always been this way. I will never pay hundreds of dollars for a certain breed of animal.  As a family, if we decide to adopt, then the money will be paid for the adoption.  It will be a pet I bring home, or maybe it is just a monetary donation to a shelter for a specific animal that needs extra care. I have done this before, mostly here at Central Aroostook Humane Society.

My husband and I built our house in 1982. A few weeks after we moved in, he went to the Central Aroostook Humane Society and adopted a pup, a shepherd mix we named Snoopy. Snoopy was a great first dog, a very smart true guard dog. Snoopy loved to run and play. 

One day when he was running around the yard with the neighbor’s dog, he ran into a tree headfirst. He was gone 30 minutes later. He passed away right in my arms and he was only 10 years old.  That was very hard to deal with. We were ready to take him to the vet’s office but sadly, he did not last that long. 

That was our first loss of a pet, and a hard one.  A few years before Snoopy passed my husband, Zeke, was walking up our driveway, and to the side of the driveway we had an old potato house, and he heard a crying noise in the bottom part of the potato house.  He proceeded to go into the bottom half and there were old potato barrels lined up there. The noise was coming from there, a puppy had fallen through the floorboards and landed in a barrel.  

Zeke retrieved the puppy and brought her into the house and said, “Look what I found. 

I said she must have come from across the road. Their dog had about nine puppies.  We called the neighbors and asked them if they were missing a puppy. They said they didn’t think so, so “Lucy” became ours, our second rescue.  She was so little — you could put her in the palm of your hand — and so cute. She was a terrier, wiener and lab mix, but only weighed about 18 pounds full grown.  She was a sweet dog and she and Snoopy loved each other.  

When Snoopy passed, she was upset for days, she would lay on his grave, and I would cry my eyes out. We decided that maybe if we got another dog that would help in Lucy’s grieving.  A few days later, Zeke was coming home from work and saw at the end of the road, “Puppies available.” We knew the people, so we gave them a call and they said to come down and pick one out, so that is just what we did.  

We picked the cutest brown and beige one that was feisty and roly-poly. They were only 5 weeks old. We brought him home, but ended up taking him back for three more weeks. He wasn’t eating, and he needed to be with his mama a few more weeks.  We named him Beau. He grew up to be a big boy at 125 pounds, a gentle giant. He was part Lab and part Chesapeake retriever.  A wonderful dog, I called him a porch puppy or an under-the-tree dog. If were looking for him he would be laying at one of the two places.  

Lucy was not fond of him at first. It took a few months, but they became best friends. Beau was our third rescue.  

As the years went by Lucy showed signs of aging. Her hearing was gone and her eyes were cloudy. She was sleeping more. One rainy night when my husband was working, Lucy lost all function, and I knew that it was her time to cross the rainbow bridge.  

My mother-in-law took Lucy and me to the vet, and Lucy passed at 19 years old.  This was the hardest loss; 19 is a long time to have a pet, and in this house a pet is family, always and forever.

Stay tuned for more of “Rescue is My Breed” showcasing the rescue animals we have loved and lost. 

If you are looking for a special animal, please try rescuing. These animals need you, and they will add so much to the quality of your life.  Check out the Central Aroostook Humane Society in Presque Isle. We have a lot of great rescues. 

Be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Gail Wieder is a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society board of directors.