We found him on our morning walk yesterday. He was hanging out across the street from the trail that leads to the cemetery on Pair a Dice Ranch Road. When we approached, he hid behind a tree peering out. I don’t know what signal gave him the “all clear,” because in a split hair’s second he came bounding out. An enormous puppy with paws nearly the size of my hands (I have big hands), floppy ears, and a tail wagging so wildly it torqued his body. Joytorque. Surely this gorgeous boy was on an adventure from some safe haven of a home. He must have had a home, right? Save for the stickers scattered throughout his coat and a cut on his ear, he looked healthy. Brilliant white teeth and a mischievous twinkle in his eye, he must have a home that loves him. No collar. How curious.
Lenny walked with us. Lenny, this is the name we gave him. It just seemed to fit. Stella tolerated him, showing her Elvis snarl to keep his puppyness in line. She eventually relented to his joy and played, chasing and herding him through the fields of dry grass. He came home with us, Lenny. We cleaned him up, fed him (he sat for his food), found a comfy, shady spot outside, and starting making the calls. No “found” reports yet on a (presumed) 1-year-old male, Pit/Rottweiler mix.
I had to go to work. Scott dropped me off and took Lenny to the Humane Society to see if he was chipped. He was not. So he drove Lenny around the neighborhood inquiring if anyone was familiar with this pup.
Later, Scott came to the gallery where I work with some bad news. Lenny did not have a home in the neighborhood. But that wasn’t the bad news. Earlier that morning, an elderly couple saw a guy in an older, gray truck driving up the road and backing into the entrance to the cemetery trail. He dumped the dog and sped off. Lenny, galloping full speed with those lanky, awkward puppy legs, chased after the truck. This baby, despite the abandonment, still wanted to be with the human who did not want him. Such a testament to the unconditional love of a dog, willingness to forgive the pain caused by the one person who least deserves it. Or maybe being alone was a much scarier prospect than being with the guy who didn’t want him.
Lenny went back to the place he was dumped. Is it possible he was hoping the whole thing was a mistake and that his human would return? Do dogs think like that? Somehow he had the good sense to go back there and wait. But how long did he wait? An hour? Two? No matter. In dog time, it must have seemed like forever.
Living with a 91-year-old, we cannot bring a rambunctious puppy into the family risking our dear, old dad being knocked over. I say this knowing that puppies grow out of that bouncy behavior. And this puppy showed a desire to please, so he tried to contain himself. He walked surprisingly well on a leash only pulling us a few times and rode well in the car. A quick study, he sat (after I waited for about 3 minutes holding the bowl and telling him only twice “sit”) for his food, and each time after he sat for me when I asked. He received lots of love for his excellent listening skills.
Lenny will be an adoring companion for a family that enjoys the company of a big, goofy, dog. He is now at the Jackson County Animal Care shelter at 5595 S Pacific Hwy, Phoenix, OR 97535 (541 774-6654). The kind folks there guaranteed Lenny will be well cared for and put up for adoption in 72 hours after they fulfill a duty to make sure he doesn’t have a home. I also want to thank all the lovely folks at Pet Finder Southern Oregon on Facebook. Such a brilliant community of caring animal-lovers!
I stepped outside to say good-bye to Lenny before Scott took him to the shelter just as a couple walked into the gallery. I returned, tears in my eyes, chatted with the couple, they saw his photo, and looked at each other with that, “oh boy, we’re getting a new family member” smile. Add to it, the guy is a dog trainer. But sometimes my wishes and reality do not align. Will they go and check him out? I don’t know. Could this be divine intervention? Would such a thing be necessary were it not for ignoranus-like (my word) humans?
I recognize there may be a blessing in disguise here. No one wants a dog (or any animal) to be with someone who doesn’t want him. My pain comes from grappling with the fact that this sweet baby was not wanted to the degree that his person was willing to cause him harm. I think a dog’s worst nightmare is being alone, and abandoning a puppy in the woods by himself when he has no survival skills is just so.painfully.incomprehensible.to.me.
I wrote this post not only to help Lenny find a new human family, but also to find the person who abandoned him.
I have a few things to say to the guy who dumped Lenny (before he goes to jail):
In one (very) small way, my heart goes out you, because I recognize how it would take a hardened soul to carry out such a profoundly malevolent act. I mean, what has to have happened to a person to cause him to cause harm to a beautiful, innocent being? I may even find a little space in my heart to forgive if you are willing to take responsibility and make amends (tbd). And then there’s a part of me that thinks, to hell with you, may the wrath of karma bite you on the ass.
Had Lenny been a girl, we would’ve named her Karma.
If you live in or near Southern Oregon, please share this post. I want to find Lenny the best home possible, and also if you recognize Lenny and know his former person, please let me know or report him directly to JC Animal Care at 541 774-6654.
Thanks in advance for helping me help Lenny.
The only explanation I have for my tears is one, simple, four-lettered word, love. How it’s possible to fall in love with a furry, four-legged being in a mere few minutes? This I cannot explain.
~Kenda Swartz Pepper
“Dogs are always good and full of selfless love. They are undiluted vessels of joy who never, ever deserve anything bad that happens to them.”
“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.”