|Phyllis relaxes in sun room chair with Sissy (left) and Beau.|
Last week was sad, devastating, informative, and finally happy. We lost our dog, Tyler.
It may be difficult for someone who is not a dog lover to understand the loss and devastation we felt when Tyler got lose from his leash for a minute and was killed by a car.
Tyler, a Teddy Roosevelt rat terrier, was my best friend. He went everywhere with me. I could tell what he was thinking, and he could tell what I was thinking. For some reason, he didn’t like it when I sneezed, and I could tell from his reaction, he often knew I was going to sneeze before I knew it.
My wife, Phyllis and I cried. She had difficulty sleeping. I didn’t want to eat. We knew immediately, we needed another dog. We also knew another dog would never replace Tyler. Just as Tyler could never replace, Augie, our rat terrier before him. Each has its own place in our hearts.
We decided we wanted a rescue dog. Most rescue shelters take dogs from “kill” shelters where the animals must be euthanized when they aren’t adopted in a relatively short period of time.
I have been aware of rescue shelters, but knew very little about them. We have always had dogs, but all came from someone we knew. So getting involved with a rescue dog and shelter was a learning experience.
Needless to say, Phyllis and I were anxious to find a dog to love and one that hopefully would love us. What we learned was obtaining a rescue dog can take a bit of time as nearly all rescue shelters are operated by volunteers; people’who have jobs and respond to telephone calls and emails as they have time.
Rescue folks also are dog loving people who make sure the people who adopt the dogs will provide them with good homes, love and care. Most require adoption applications, some quite extensive. One required a home visit.
We set out to find a rat terrier or rat terrier mix. We found a number at pet finder internet sites. We made a trip to Lafayette to see two dogs. The shelter manager was very helpful and straight forward, and pointed out both dogs needed special care that we probably couldn’t provide.
We continued our search, and found another rat terrier type at a shelter named Rescue Farm near Poland, IN.. His picture was really cute, but we found he also had a problem. He had learned to climb chain link fences to escape and make his rounds. We have a chain linked back yard, but knew we could never have a climber. But, there was good news.
Rescue Farm has an adoption room, and Jodi brought in a small female dog believed to be part terrier and part dachshund. The dog acted rather shy, but we liked her. She was really cute and well mannered.
Jodi told us she was going to leave the little dog with us a few minutes while she brought in another dog to be with the first. When she brought the dog in she said it was the first dog’s brother. The female quickly became very happy.
Both looked like great matches for us. But, which one should we choose.
Jodi asked if we ever considered adopting two. She said she was just asking and that they often must separate dogs.
I told her we have had multiple dogs at the same time in the past, but at our current stage in life and the expense of properly caring for dogs, we had decided we couldn’t do it.
However, as the little bundles of energy put their paws on us seeking to be petted, Phyllis said, “There is no way we can split these dogs. If we can’t take them both. we can’t take either one.”
The brother and sister were called by the shelter, Sonny and Cher. No one knew there names, and Sonny and Cher are now Sissy and Beau and settled into the Junker household in just five days.
If you are considering a dog, consider a rescue dog. Be aware the process may be a little more involved than you might think, but it is well worth the effort for the pet and you.
As I finish this column, both Sissy and Beau are sleeping at the side of my chair.