I had just gotten home the other evening, and there he was; whimpering, scared, unsure of what to do. It was a puppy at the end of my driveway. I immediately decided I had to do something. Thinking he would surely run away, I began to softly call to him, encouraging him to come to me. To my surprise, he started walking to my car smelling it, wondering if he should risk all. I kept talking to him, and it didn’t take much. He came right to me. I’m thinking, “Now what?” I have 4 dogs of my own and a few yard cats that keep expecting the bowl to be filled, I surely didn’t want to take on another dog. But, knowing he was put in my way, I had to do something for him.

So, I picked him up and realized the first order of business was a major cleaning. Boy, did he stink! He was caked with dirt and who knows what else. He was a mess. We went straight to the bathroom where I gave him a long, warm, soapy bath with the Rapid Bath System for dogs. (I love the Rapid Bath System!) When he was finally free of the dirt and stinky smell, I dried him off and got a good look at my orphaned pup. What a cutie, as you can see from his picture.

As I’ve had to do before with strays, or adopted puppies, I once again turned my garden tub into a temporary nursery. I put a tiny crate with soft towels in the tub, along with a pee pad. But, before I put him away for the night, I fed him and gave him water. Knowing he had not been taken care of, I didn’t want him around my own dogs for fear he may be carrying the Parvo virus, which can be deadly for dogs. Also, most newborn puppies and kittens usually have some kind of intestinal worms. So, I had to be very careful. He certainly didn’t appear sick, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

I knew that first night was going to be a long one, and I was right. He whimpered off and on throughout the night leaving me with very little sleep. Even my sweet Maggie had to sleep in the “dogs” room in her own bed. She always sleeps with me, but I knew that wouldn’t work with the puppy in the adjoining bathroom. Needless to say, I was up and down all night caring for the little guy, making sure his place was kept clean, dry, and he got his water and food breaks. Come morning, I knew I had to start the long task of trying to find him a forever home.

Allison and I both posted on our Face Book pages, and I even emailed a dog rescue person we knew who lives in Soperton, GA. I also went to the Reidsville Vet Clinic and posted a printed out picture of him with contact information. I was determined to find him a home. (At one time, I owned 7 dogs, and I always said that I could not do that again. For me, it was just too many, even though I loved them all.) During that day, I went in my bathroom to be with the puppy for a little while, cleaning his area, feeding him, and playing with him (I’d bought him a rope toy from ALCO that day). I felt bad for him having to spend his time in my garden tub, but really I had no other choice. I was not going to put him back in the situation he had come from!

No luck the first day…no takers.

The second night we slept much better. He had become familiar with his “home”, and he only woke me up once. Again, I got up cleaned his area, fed and watered him, and then, propping on the tub, I played with him for about 5 minutes. He was so tired he went to his sleeping place and lay down. Happily, I quickly went back to my sleeping place.

The second morning, I printed out 2 more pictures of him. My first stop was the Animal Hospital here in Glennville. Boy, were they busy! They must have had 20 crates (that I saw) with a cat in each. I don’t know what happened to get that many cats at one time. It reminded me of those animal hoarding shows on Animal Planet. I felt sorry for them, but I can only pray they found homes for them. Seeing as they had their hands full, I just posted the puppy’s picture and a couple of my business cards on their bulletin board, and left.

My next stop was Dr. Deal’s, here in Glennville. There were no patients when I went in, only the employee staff. I asked them where their bulletin board was, and if I could post the picture. One of them took the picture and said it depended on what kind of dog it was, and I’m thinking, “Why would that matter?” But, I didn’t say anything. After they had decided the puppy might have some Lab in him, one of the women who works there said, “I think I know someone who might want him.” My heart kinda skipped a beat, both wanting to find it a home AND wanting to MAKE SURE it had the ‘right kind of home’. So, she called this older gentleman she knew. She told me that his 9-year-old Lab had died last September, and he actually cried about it. (I knew right then, this was the kind of person that this puppy needed.) We agreed to meet in an hour, me with the puppy, at Dr. Deal’s office.

All kind of thoughts were running around in my head: “I really don’t need/want another dog; Am I making the right decision; Would the dog be loved; Oh, I really don’t want/need another dog” …..over and over in my head!  UGH

Anyway, I packed the puppy up in the little crate I had, with a towel (for comfort), I also packed him a bag of food and a small bag of Milk Bone dog biscuits, plus his rope toy that I had bought and a PetsMart tennis ball for when he was a little bigger. I whispered to him that I hoped he had a good long life, and that I would miss him. Off we went.

I got there just a few minutes before the man did. I made sure the woman knew that the puppy had not had his shots, or had not been wormed. I also had asked her about what kind of life this puppy could expect to have. She reassured me, she knew the man very well, the puppy would not be chained, and although he would live outside,  it would be out in the country, in the farm fresh air, the older man’s “tinker” shop, and a few other animals like chickens, cats, etc. It sounded perfect for the older gentleman AND the little puppy. They both needed each other, and I would be part of that. It warmed my heart.

When I saw the man, and he saw the puppy, I knew the right decision had been made. He immediately took the puppy and held him in his arms. After talking with the man for a few minutes, it was time to leave.  I thanked the woman again for helping make this possible, and walked out with the man and the puppy. They had parked right beside my car. We said our final good-byes to each other, and as I was getting in my car, I heard the older man say, “Alright puppy, let’s go home.”

With the feel-good warmth in my heart and tears in my eyes, I drove home. I somehow knew those two needed each other, and that little puppy would have his forever home. Good luck little fella!