Heartache and Hope

Sometime yesterday, a dog was abandoned. How do I know this? Experience. Living out in the rural area of Troup County for 19 years, I have seen over and over pets – some brand new to the world, some in the late
years of their lives, some sick, some perfectly healthy wandering the back roads – and it breaks my heart each time. I don’t understand it.

Last night on my drive home from work, I watched the sun set, a brilliant scarlet against a darkening sky, until close to home I was enveloped in the blackness of night. On a long stretch of Rockmills Road not too far from
the Alabama border, I saw in the distance a car on the side of the road, headlights on. My first thought was that I could not stop to help in today’s world being alone on a not so traveled area; but when I passed by and saw a
woman bent at the waist with her arm outreached toward an area covered in brush, I knew, and I pulled over.

I turned my lights off since the other car’s were bright and walked toward the woman while saying, “Hi, I’m Elizabeth. Do you need help?” And as I suspected, this kind person was trying to convince a beautiful black lab
mix to trust her enough to take a treat from her hand. The dog appeared to be in good shape. Not really skinny, shiny coat which told us both that she was recently dumped. Why were we sure she was dumped? There is a difference between a dog who is just wandering; those usually display a wagging tail, a nose to the ground, perked ears, a purposeful walk. An abandoned dog sits and watches every car that passes hoping that the person they love unconditionally has realized the mistake and is back to take them home. If a car stops, the pup will come forward hesitantly and when realizing it is not who they thought, they tend to retreat.

My new friend and I stood for about 15 minutes and talked as we let the pup assess the situation. Occasionally, my friend would extend her hand again to see if the pup would come close. Like a few of my other friends, this
lady carries food and water in case she sees a dog in need. After a while the pup came forward slowly head down, walking close to the ground, tail wagging cautiously, and softly whining. As cars passed, the pup still
looked up to see. Eventually, the pup agreed to get into my friend’s car. That night, a post was made on a few sites for lost and found pets in Troup County. That night, this beautiful creature who may or may not be
pregnant, had a warm bed and food and was safe.

My friend will try to find her owner, but told me that if she could not, the pup had a new home. I have three dogs who were abandoned. I will never get over the fact that someone decided to leave them. If I were a millionaire, I
would pick up every abandoned pet and give them a home. I believe that if a dog were sick, and the owner didn’t have the funds to care for him, one of our local vets would help. I know there are spay and neuter events which are free or very reasonably priced. I also know the person who left this baby, will not see my post. I want to believe they hoped with all their being that someone with the heart and the means would see her and stop and take her to a loving home. I want to believe that so badly‚Ķ

by Elizabeth Sullivan