This is another dog rescue story with a very happy ending!
This October a very large, black Lab arrived at our farm. I watched out the window as he made a left hand turn directly into our driveway (as if this was his planned destination) and walked right up our path. As many of you know Smokey is our guard dog and protector and does not easily tolerate visiting male dogs on his property. Smokey barked a little at the black giant but seemed comfortable with him and showed no aggression. I was pretty sure this dog had a home so I loaded him into my tiny car and drove all over looking for someplace that might seem familiar to him or find someone searching for him. He wore a dingy, old collar but there were no tags. When I saw that, my first thought was that he had been dumped but I held on to the hope he had a home. Days went by and he fit right in to our life like he had always lived here but I continued my search for his people, running newspaper ads and posting signs. I talked to dozens of people in a large radius of us but no one knew a thing about him and most didn’t care much about a lost dog out in the cold.
I took him to a local vet to see if he had a microchip. He did but it was not a brand they carried so they could not help although they could read the number but they could scarcely be bothered to write it down for me. I called around and found a vet that could read this brand and we drove there only to find out that it had not been kept current and so there was no information available. I wasn’t done yet! I contacted the company but they could not help since the chip had not been kept up. However, they did give me the name of the actual manufacturer. They were in Baton Rouge and I lucked onto someone interested in this lost dog who looked up the original purchaser. It was a breeder in Sandpoint, Idaho. I felt like I was finally making progress and placed the call. Darn, if it wasn’t an answering machine but that evening I received a call back. After looking up the number they found the original buyer and told me the year he was born and what a smart litter he was from. They said they would contact the buyer and get back to me. I id not hear anything so in a few days I called and they said the number was disconnected but gave me the buyer’s name. Later that day I had a call from a person who saw our ad and knew the dog. They told me his sad story and his background and the abuse he had suffered along with 2 siblings. It was heartbreaking to hear these details.
I called the breeder back thinking that they would/could help me place a pure bred Lab that they had brought into this world but suddenly their tone completely changed and I was told that I was on my own.
Meanwhile, we had named the dog Champ. Actually, that was the 2nd name we chose. The first name we picked was actually his real name which I learned from the breeder and we changed it so that he could have a new name for his new life. He loved riding in the truck or car, he was happy doing anything that he could be a part of. Some dear friends bought him a new bed and brought over toys and food. Champ took to that bed right away!
Champ was a great dog. He loved us and our dogs, was good with the donkeys and goat (Jimmy was always trying to get him to play) and was great in the house. By now we had had Champ here with us for almost 3 months. He was such a joy to have around and was such a part of our life. Smokey and Champ were always together, playing or napping - they were best buds. But we knew we needed to find him home. He is a very large dog and we have a very small house. I also felt absolutely sure that this beautiful boy had come to us to help him find the home he was destined for. All his sad history could be forgotten with the love he would share with his new family and I was working hard to find him that home. We worked on manners and commands, changed his diet to a premium food and gave him lots of exposure to people and animals and took him on long daily hikes with our boys. He never left our side on these long walks, always keeping us in sight.
A friend who has an animal rescue in Spokane suggested I ask a friend of hers to post Champ’s info at work. I contacted her and within hours of the ad being posted our phone was ringing. So many people called - kind people who cared about his plight and wanting to adopt Champ.
Champ found his family. They walked into his life and he never looked back. He is warm and happy, well fed and loved. It is a home truly sent by the angels. A miracle for a black dog in a sea of unwanted black dogs.
Things often happen in life that are ‘wow’s. Things that we need to open ourselves up to, to truly experience. Champ gave us that wow by giving Smokey the gift of friendship, and above all giving us his instant, unconditional love and showing us the goodness in others. We become jaded in our rescue work by mankind’s cruelty and indifference but Champ brought out the best in so many with his sad story. We were blessed to have had Champ in our life and feel even more blessed to have been able to place him in such a perfect home. The angels were truly watching over this big, black Lab.