A man walks through the door of the building pulling a reluctant mass attached to a leash; as he nears, it becomes clear that the ‘mass’ is really a dog! The dog is a mixed-breed of some sort, trembling with his tail poised stiffly between his legs and his overgrown claws scrapping against the unfamiliar tile floor as he tries to gain footing on its slippery surface. The man appears unmoved by his dog’s display of disorientation and simply pulls harder on the leash to drag him along grudgingly on the slick surface of the floor.
The woman behind the counter forces a smile toward the approaching man, already prepared for what is about to conspire. Unfortunately, she has seen this many times and is all too familiar with the procedures on admitting a dog into the rescue shelter.
The man looks to the woman and smiles, “Hi! I am here to drop off my dog, Diesel.”
“Great!” the women replies back to the man, straining her voice to sound enthusiastic. “I’ll just have to ask you a few questions and we’ll get started on the paper work. It should only take a few minutes. First off, do you know how old your dog is?”
“Oh, yeah!” the man answered, “I have had Diesel since he was a pup! Let’s see, he’ll be almost ten this year I should think.”
The woman looks down and the grey muzzled dog as he looks pleadingly up at her, shivering and confused. She knows that the chances of a family being interested in a dog so much older is rare and that his chances for re-adoption are slim.
They go through the paperwork together and within minutes, Diesel is ready to be escorted to the shelter clinic. In the clinic he will be poked and prodded by the shelter vet to test for various ailments and to administer proper immunizations. A ‘fun’ procedure for a dog that is already trembling and mystified.
“Ok! It looks like he’s ready to go!” the woman tells the man as she walks around the counter to take the leash from the man’s hand. “I can give you some time to say good-bye.”
“See ya Diesel! Good luck boy!” The man says seemingly cheerfully as he scratches his head and turns to head out the door.
The woman begins to walk Diesel back to the veterinary clinic when the man hollers out to her, “Oh shoot, wait!” She turns around smiling, hoping that the man was just trying to appear brave and really wanted to have a tearful good-bye with his loyal companion that had stood by him for the last ten years. “I almost forgot! I’ll need that leash back for our new puppy.”
“Oh, of course,” the woman stutters, caught off guard by what she just heard. She unclasps the leash and hands it back to the man.
Crafting a make-shift noose from one of the shelter leashes, she slips it over Diesel’s head. All the while, Diesel is preoccupied staring back at his owner’s vanishing silhouette as he leaves through the door.
Unfortunately, this story is not one of fiction, it actually occurred at our local animal shelter one day while I was volunteering there. Sadly, this story is not...