Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Room in Your Heart for One Sweet Dog?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Room in Your Heart for One Sweet Dog?

Article excerpt

It was obvious that the mixed-breed dog lying in front of the

Atlantic Beach Elementary School was in trouble. The two young

boys who had watched her wander around the school grounds said

that she lay down on her side 30 minutes earlier and hadn't

moved since.

When I approached, all she could do was raise her head. Then

she put it down again. Her big, brown eyes were vacant and

hopeless.

She didn't move when I went to pet her. I thought she had been

hit by a car or, starving and exhausted, she had chosen this

place to die.

The two boys and a neighbor stayed with her when I ran back to

the house to get a bowl of water and some food. By the time I

returned she was beginning to respond to the attention she was

getting. We were all very encouraged when she sat up to eat and

drink.

Then she got up. Started walking around. Slowly. She looked up

at me with her big, brown eyes pleading for more to eat. I

returned home to get a collar, a leash and more food.

She ate.

She was coming back to life.

Her painfully thin body was scarred in many places from life on

the run, but she didn't wince or growl when I felt her body for

injuries. Judging from her reaction, I assumed she was not

severely hurt.

She did not resist when I put the collar on her and hooked it

to the leash. We slowly walked across the street and into my

house as if we had been doing it for years.

Both boys followed us home. They wanted to call their mothers

to ask if they could keep the dog. I knew how unlikely that was,

but I let them use the phone anyway.

They called. They pleaded. They were refused.

My dog and cats are accustomed to me bringing home rescued

animals, but that doesn't mean they like it. The cats fled

instantly, and when the mixed-breed boxer came into the house,

Nikki growled at her from a distance.

I called Diane Dyal, a neighbor who agreed to keep the dog in

her back yard and shed for a while. …

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