In Favor of Older Women
By Miss Fancy Girl
When my human, Miss Ronni, asked me to write this guest article for Miss Liz, a big-hearted volunteer at the Husky Haven in Houston, I didn’t know what I should write about, especially since I’m a belly-rub-seeker by vocation and not a writer. But Miss Ronni seemed to understand my dilemma.
“Why don’t you talk about what it’s like to be a rescue?” she asked.
At first I didn’t understand what she meant. I don’t consider myself a rescue—those are usually scraggly-looking critters lurking on street corners, right?—and that’s not me. I’m a beautiful girl with a few years on me, and I think I’m pretty important in the overall scheme of things. At least, that’s how my humans make me feel…
Hmmm…Now that I think about it, that must be what Miss Ronni’s talking about.
Eight years ago I was born in a North Texas puppy mill that was raided by the police and shut down. A wonderful couple with the Alaskan Malamute Protection League in Bellville, Texas rescued me and I’ve never lived anywhere else. I was very ill and nearly died, but I never blamed anybody. Lots of folks came out to see all of us, but for some reason, no one ever looked at me twice. I didn’t blame anybody for that, either. I just figured that when the right people came along, everything would work out fine.
Then, a few months ago and out of the clear blue, Miss Ronni and her husband, Mr. Kevin, came out specifically to meet me. Their other rescue, Koda, was an incredibly handsome husky-mix they had adopted from Husky Haven. But he was young and a little rambunctious, so they wanted a young/older woman to teach him some manners and calm him down. When Koda and I met, we bonded right away and I haven’t seen my heart since.
Now, when dogs have been born into a home and spoiled from birth, their temperaments are usually kind of selfish. They don’t know what it’s like to be hungry, or lonely, or stuck outside on a chair while the family sits in the house watching television and doesn’t remember you’re there. They don’t know what it’s like to be hit, or yelled out, or thrown outside in the cold…
But many of us rescues do.
And that’s why we’re such good companions. We’ve been around the world a few times, so we’re smart, loyal, and very, very appreciative. We don’t take you for granted. Your love and attention is important to us. We don’t want to make you mad; we want you to like us. We’re never completely sure that we’re going to be accepted, so we try really, really hard—and when we love, we really, really love. We don’t put conditions on our love and we don’t hold grudges, either. We forgive immediately. We know how short and fragile life is.
As a rescue, I understand my job and try to perform it as well as I possibly can. Ronni works at home, so it’s my job to stay right at her feet and be sure she’s okay. If she’s upset about something, it’s my job to rest my head in her lap so she can scratch my ears until she feels better. If there’s a real crisis, it’s my job to roll over and get a long belly rub. Hey, it’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Ronni and Kevin wanted Koda to have an older woman as a companion, but they’ve discovered that an older dog is good for them as well, since they’re not all that young, either. Everyone thinks about kids needing a puppy—man’s best friend and all that—but an older dog is a much better companion for an older person. Older people who suddenly find themselves alone often talk about how they’ve lost their purpose in life; they no longer have a reason to get up in the morning and they have no one to take care of.
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, please take my advice: Turn off the TV right now, go to your nearest animal rescue and adopt an older animal. You could be saving the very life that will enrich yours.
Whether you’re thinking of getting a puppy or an older dog, visit a shelter before you spend your hard-earned money on a purebred canine. But if you do have a specific breed in mind, you can visit the website www.akc.org to see where the breed rescues in your area are located. There are so many dogs (and cats!) looking for homes, and so many people looking for animal companions, that you’ll definitely match up somewhere.
You won’t be sorry!