Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • February-March 2024 • Circulation 5000

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A Tribute to Rescued Pets

Love and Companionship at the Holidays and Always

Oscar. Joanne McNeal

Most of the pets I have had in my adult life have been rescues—they were either found, or given up by their owners for one reason or another. Our society discards many perfectly good things, and I feel that living animals should NOT be one of them. Loving them (along with food, exercise, and care) helps overcome most challenges. Especially at the holidays, we appreciate their company and affection, and I always made sure they had their own small portion of turkey and gravy.

My dog Oscar was found in a ditch with a broken leg, and a nice vet had fixed him up. He is an Australian Shepherd Cross with a funny freckled face and with one ear up and the other tipped over. I adopted him back in 2004, when he was five years old. He is loving and sweet, but didn’t know about play, and would hide under the table at first, where he felt safe. Someone had obviously abused him, and then left him to die or fend for himself.

Oscar was glad to have a home and a fenced yard where he could move around freely and feel safe. He loves his walks, but is now getting slower and slower as he gets older (he is now 14). He has lumps of various kinds all over him, so he will not last much longer.

In 2006 I adopted a Husky Shepherd cross dog, that had been given up by her family at the age of nine in Yellowknife. Lucky seemed to love children, but she was aggressive toward other dogs at first, and also didn’t seem to know anything about play. When we moved to McCauley, she mellowed out because of the fenced yard, and also the daily routine of walks, food, and attention that kept her happy. She was an outside dog, and would wait by the door for me every morning to take her for a walk, thereby keeping me fit.

Once in a while, I would see signs that she had been a sled dog, especially after my recent knee surgery when I tried looping her leash on to my walker and we walked very slowly around the block. Lucky went forward to the end of her leash and pulled very gently, not stopping to smell things like when we were just walking normally. She was sweet and mellow, happy to have a home and someone to care for her.

Unfortunately, she had arthritis, and later on had trouble getting up, but still she loved her daily walks. Recently, however, she could barely get up one day and then she staggered toward me when I called her for dinner, and she kept falling down. I could see it was horribly painful for her, so I took her to the vet and we decided it was her time to say goodbye. It was hard to see her go, but I didn’t want to see her suffer any more. She was 15.

I just want to pay tribute to the love, devotion, and companionship these rescued pets provide us. They become a part of our families and bring us absolute joy. Their personalities and affection get us to walk them and exercise ourselves too, when we might not otherwise. We miss them greatly when they are gone. And thanks, especially at this holiday time, to all the animal shelters and rescue organizations that help save these beautiful animals for us to adopt.

Editor’s note: Shortly after submitting this article, Joanne also had to say goodbye to Oscar, less than two weeks following Lucky. She will miss them both terribly.

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