"Hi Marilou, a couple folks suggested I contact you about a dog I found May 12.
This was during one of our big rainstorms. My husband and I were heading up to Cambridge when we saw a dog laying in the dirt on the side of the road about 1/2 mile from my house. I made my husband stop to see if she was OK. She got to her feet but wasn't bearing weight on one of her hind feet. She was soaked. She wouldn't fit in our truck and my husband had an appt. to keep, so he continued on his way and left me standing there in the rain with the dog. The poor thing followed me home in the pouring rain, on a sore foot, 1/2 mile with just encouragement - no leash, no collar. Once I got her home I dried her off as well as possible with some towels, gave her a bowl of water and a piece of cheese. Then I called my vet.
Because she may have been injured my vet (East Central Veterinary in Cambridge) said I could bring her in and they'd scan her for ID and hold her a little while. I opened the door on my van and she calmly climbed in and settled right down on the back bench seat. This girl is incredibly mellow and cooperative. When I got to the vet's I just looped a leash around her neck and she quietly followed me into the clinic and laid down on their floor.
The dog is large and very overweight. A cute little face on a polish sausage shaped body. Maybe 70 pounds or so. She's mostly black with a white muzzle and some white socks. She has a long tail and short drop ears. Maybe a lab mix with border collie or springer spaniel? Maybe some shepherd? You know, your average country mixed dog. She has sad soulful brown eyes and seems very trusting. The whole long walk to my home she kept turning to watch every car that went by, as if looking for her owner.
East Central Veterinary Clinic kept her for a day, then turned her over to Marlene at Animal Control in Isanti. The dog's legal holding period is up but Marlene is going to keep her 2 or 3 days longer as the phone number listed in the local newspaper's Found ad was incorrect.
The same day I found the dog I put flyers about her in about 50 mailboxes within a 2 mile area where I found her. I put ads for her online at Animal Humane Society's lost and found page, Petfinder.com's classifieds (lost and found) and LostandPound.com's site. The Isanti County News and Cambridge Star ran Found ads for her. I notified all the veterinary clinics in the area. We also put 4 signs up along the routes leading to were I found her. If the owner is looking for this dog, I can't imagine how they would have missed all of my notices. I have been checking lost dog ads and haven't seen anything close to her description listed.
I talked with Marlene at Animal Control yesterday. Nobody has contacted her claiming to be this dog's owner. Marlene said she is doing well and is very sweet. She smiles and gives kisses. Marlene also thought the dog was very sweet and named her 'Smiley' because she smiles and gives kisses.
I put an email out regarding this dog's plight to some folks I know involved in various types of animal welfare/rescue and 2 of them referred me to you.
If this poor dog needs help, can you help her? Can you take her in? Thank you for your time and attention."
How could I not respond to this heartfelt email by a woman advocating for this sweet dog. I emailed "V" back. Unfortunately at Pet Haven (the rescue I am involved in) we had no open fosters. Fortunately Pet Haven is a part of an animal welfare coalition in Minnesota (www.mnpaw.org) and I spoke with my contact at the Animal Humane Society (AHS) and we agreed to bring this dog into AHS through the MnPAW partnership ... essentially it means that if AHS is unable to place the dog up for adoption that the rescues/shelters within the coalition will be contacted to work on placing the dog.
I emailed "V" that I was heading into the hospital for a heart procedure and wasn't sure how reachable I would be. I found myself thinking about this sweet dog the day after my procedure while I was in my hospital room and communicating with "V" and the animal control officer. I couldn't bear the thought of such a sweet girl being euthanized.
So after multiple emails and phone conversations we made arrangements to meet at the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society over lunch today. When I walked into the AHS intake area lobby I was greeted by Smiley and a huge warm hug from "V". I remember the phone conversation I had with "V" where I told her that I would find a way to help Smiley through the network of rescues and shelters that are a part of the coalition. She cried ... tears of joy. Smiley was blessed to have crossed "V"s path that rainy day and to have a beautiful spirit advocate for her. Smiley truly has the most soulful eyes. I got down to the ground and hugged her. She immediately wanted to show me that she knows how to shake ... and yes, she can shake with both her right front paw and her left front paw. As we are discussing the logistics of a dog coming into AHS through the coalition (MnPAW - Minnesota Partnership for Animal Welfare) a woman in the lobby stops by ... she falls instantly in love with Smiley. She had just dropped a bird off that was injured to AHS. She's been thinking about adopting another dog and Smiley reminds her of a dog she once had. Five minutes later she's calling her husband who says it's up to her if she wants to adopt Smiley. She returns to the lobby and tells us she is adopting Smiley.
Twenty minutes after I arrive at AHS and being greeted by this dog who was once on death row at an Isanti animal control simply due to space issues (saved first by "V", then by a kind-hearted animal control officer who simply could not euthanize a sweet, loving girl and kept her beyond the legal holding period) .... I am now saying goodbye to Smiley, giving her a hug and watching her walk out the door with her new mom. She's off to live on 20 acres with two other siblings.
"V" had left AHS before the adoption was final. I called her to let her know that the woman she met wanted to take Smiley home. She shared the following email with me ... I am reminded today of why I am so involved in animal rescue and in the power of working together ...
"OMG!!!!!!! This really went through?! My little Smiley has a home already! I am so happy and so excited and so relieved. You might remember I told you it just gets me how the life and future of these animals hangs by little threads of fate they have no control over. Well, today those threads of fate worked to Smiley's advantage. Who would have thought the person that really wanted her would walk through AHS doors while we were all there? What a great story.
I really liked "B". She seems like a person that takes pet ownership seriously and forever.
My sister and I both felt she could offer Smiley a terrific home. Thank you so much Marilou for making this happen. And thank you so much for letting me be a part of the happy ending.
I am touched by the animals we rescue (who in turn rescue us) ... and I am also touched by the incredible human beings like "V" who cross my path and who advocate on behalf of these beloved beings.
Thank you Smiley for giving me a reason to smile today.
Update from Smiley's new mom:
"She is doing really good. She follows me everywhere. The other dogs are fine with her. She is so sweet. I even brought her in the shower and bathed her. I feel very lucky to have her."