Washington Irving said, “A kind heart is a fountain of gladness…”
Kind hearts called law enforcement and animal rescue when they witness an all-too-common scene; a black lab, a yellow lab, and eight puppies-being neglected, starved, and then abandoned at a rural property.
This whole motley canine crew had found their way to this couple’s house-as word had spread through the doggie grapevine that there were hand-outs up the road. This kind hearted couple had already acquired several abandoned dogs of their own and were overwhelmed. We were able to make foster care arrangements for the puppies and called to notify the couple that we were on our way. The woman told me that a kind-hearted gentleman,who lived a few miles up the road, came by and offered to help with the puppies. He took four of them. Call me a skeptic, but I’m a little suspicious of a guy who just comes by,takes four puppies,and admits he already has nine permanent strays of his own.
Helen and I set out over hill and dale to find the neighbor’s home tucked somewhere back in the hills south of us. We could not find the address we were given. We passed several properties along the way and noticed a man working outdoors. I gave him the name and address of the people we were looking for and told him what we were about. He grinned and escorted us to come out to a workshop, where three puppies sat in the doorway. We’d stumbled upon the person that had taken the other four puppies. His eyes got misty as he told me that one of the puppies died over the weekend, just too weak from malnourishment to eat and recover. His wife came out of the house to greet us. She told stories of how they acquired their furry family that gathered around our feet, all of which had been abandoned over the years. Had we not come along, they would have given the puppies the best care they could. Her husband’s heart was just too tender toward these dear creatures to turn them away if he had the means to help them. The man choked with emotion as he expressed deep appreciation for what we do. As we loaded the puppies into the Jeep, he handed us a generous donation.
When we finally arrived at the house we’d initially been looking for, four puppies came bounding out to meet us. Their distended bellies hung on little boney frames. Their mama greeted us carrying her favorite rock in her mouth. Puppy Daddy escorted us in the drive with a happy tail wag. We scooped up the four puppies and reunited them with their siblings in the car. The kind hearts who had kept these animals alive said they would keep Daddy Dog. They would get him neutered and vaccinated. He could live out his days with them. They asked us for help to find the yellow lab mom a good home and then told us there was another little white dog that was keeping vigil at the abandoned home. They’d tried to get her to come to their house for food but she just wouldn’t. We found her warily peering around the corner of some bushes watching us when she heard the car pull up to her drive. The poor faithful dog was so matted that she could barely walk or see. The little ragamuffin eventually got brave enough to come out to us. We blinked back tears at the sight of the shape she was in. Helen wrapped her in a towel and held her close.
We settled the puppies in their new accommodations and I took the little white one home for an unveiling. Underneath all that filth and matting was an adorable little white dog-and sweet-hearted to boot! She endured the grooming process like a little trooper! This grateful little dog is sleeping at my feet today as I write this story.
Proverbs 3:3 says, “Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Most dogs have that proverb imprinted on their hearts. It’s great when we meet people who do too.
Written by Leanne Williams, president of Faithful Friends Animal Advocates