As a kid growing up we always had beloved family dogs, and as an adult I longed for a dog of my own. I knew all the reasons not to get one -- I lived in an apartment, I worked long hours, blah blah blah... Then I realized that any life I could give a dog was better than living in a shelter and maybe dying there. I went to rescue a dog and a skinny black lab climbed out of his kennel to get to me. It was love at first sight and I never looked back. I named him Wilbur after my favorite childhood book "Charlotte's Web" and so it began...
For the first time in my life, I was responsible for another living being besides myself. Wilbur was a unique dog with borderline-human intelligence and a strong will... So he taught me a few things, I taught him some things, the trainer taught us both a lot. For 12 years he made me laugh out loud every single day and loved me with an intensity that is hard to describe. He lived 12 glorious years and is in my heart forever. I ache every day when I think of him, yet I smile at a thousand memories. He changed my life in every way.
Adopting Wilbur opened my eyes to the fact that our shelters and streets are overflowing with great dogs willing to be great pets if someone would just give them a home, some love and time to settle in.
Three years later I rescued Sienna. She’d been abused and mostly hid under the bed. A trainer said she needed a younger dog to nurture, so I went to the shelter and brought home Oliver. He filled the house with youthful exuberance. And that was the beginning of a parade of more dogs than I can count. Some were fosters who stayed a short time before moving onto their forever homes, others lived out their lives with me, and some are still here.
I wanted to do more to help others who weren’t as lucky as my dogs. I became aware of rescue groups doing great work. I fostered when I could, volunteered at adoption fairs when I had time, gave money when I had it to give. I did what I could. When people ask, "how can I help?" the answer is -- Do whatever you can. Every little bit helps.
Starting ThumpingTails has been one of the great achievements of my life. It makes my life about more than just me. I've met wonderful people and amazing friends. We have found homes for over 500 dogs and we keep going. Yes rescue can be sad, frustrating, draining. But we celebrate the victories, we revel in the success stories, and as tough as it can be, if you save one dog, you will never forget it.
Five years after I adopted Wilbur, I sent a card to the shelter where I'd found him. I wrote, “I hope that all your adopters feel the way that I did when I took my dog home -- that I got the best one.” For 12 years, I whispered to Wilbur, "Hey Willie, I got the best one." We hope you feel that way about your dog too.
ThumpingTails Animal Rescue P.O. Box 1992 | Studio City, CA 91614 Phone: 323-828-3515 | Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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