We celebrated Labor Day in Virginia’s Piedmont, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. One night we sat in a screened-in pond house at sunset with wine and cheese and family, waiting for the night noises to begin.
It’s not unusual to have all manner of animals tiptoe down to the pond for their own nightly snacks and drinks, and we hoped to see and hear their exploits.
Unfortunately, the night was quieter than those in our suburban yard in Northern Virginia, which is a hop, skip and jump from the White House. I think we were much too rowdy, and the animals much too intimidated. My children swear there’s a beaver family enjoying life in the pond, and something is indeed felling the trees around it. But until I see the critters myself, I’m not a believer. Same goes for the regular bobcat visitation and the bears. We didn’t even hear bullfrogs.
We can always count on wildlife when the family gets together, though. This weekend we had four dogs happily in residence together. But it was a stranger’s dog, Mouse, who drew my attention. She like our Nemo (photo: www.tworingstudio.com), was a throwaway pup. We came across Mouse and the man who saved her at a nearby construction site where we had stopped to see how a neighbor’s house was progressing. Mouse and Nemo romped together as we compared stories with her new owner. Mouse was “dropped off” near the site some months ago, and by the time the contractor found her, she was nearly starved. She was obviously a throwaway since she’d had a litter of pups recently, apparently a good enough reason to get rid of her. Having experienced an identical scenario once with one of our dogs–only SHE was tossed out of a car on the Interstate–we were familiar with this story.
Mouse now has a wonderful home and she’s a corker. And our Nemo, is beloved, after nearly dying as an abandoned puppy before my son happened upon him in tall grass beside a country road. The contractor told us about another dog he’d rescued, who, like Nemo, was barely weaned and found not far from Nemo’s rescue site.
I can’t help but think anybody who takes the time to read my blogs is not a person who would ever dispense with a dog the way some people choose to. I’m sure every one of you neuters your pets, loves them, cares for them. You’re richer for the experience, and happier. You’ve told me as much.
Mouse and Nemo and all the other rescue dogs out there, just want you to know they are among the lucky ones, as are their owners. There are people who toss dogs out of cars and people who save their lives. If there’s a moral to this story, I’m still working on it. But for Mouse and Nemo, happy endings are alive and well.
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