We were planning to go into Tampa to the Bark in the Park walk this morning put on by the Humane society and find a rescue dog. But upon closer examination it was a fund raiser and by all indications there were not going to be dogs to adopt at the event.
So we received directions from Larry on how to find the Polk Co. Dog Shelter close to the city dump right past the race way. Not a single one of these landmarks made any sense to me. Its a handy cap when you are not from the area and hardly anything about Polk County makes any sense….but I will not get into that.
We followed his directions and found ourselves at the location and were greeted by the chorus of a hundred barking dogs. I immediately began to tear up. I almost just stayed in the car and let Joe look for a rescue and just bring the animal to me but that would have been unfair to him.
I wanted to pick the first dog in. A small black mutt. A second animal was a small thing, curled up in a ball and looked up at me with something that combined sorrow and terror. That is when the tears began to push behind my eyeballs.
For the record, I find myself tearing up very easily the older I get. It was not all that hard to get me to cry before I became an old crone, a bleached blonde harpie, but it is so bad now that I cry at commercials, people pushing shopping carts on the street, dogs running happily unaccompanied thru intersections, babies, rainbows, stories about dogs reunited with their soldier trainers, anything that smacks of emotional outreach and I am their target.
The next dog was a sorry looking character with one of those lamp shades around her head. I moved on.
She was the fourth one, a black lab mix who was standing up and barking HELLO PICK ME!
The man who was aiding the families who were there came over and open the cage, removed the animal and leashed her. “Listen to the reception she will get as she walks by”. As if on cue the caged animals all began to call to her in boisterous cheerful encouragement to be the best she could be and hopefully she would find a forever family.
Well, Sizzle was more interested in all the smells that were everywhere in the small paved back area of the shelter. Then into the cage for a play time period of which she took full advantage of relieving herself and then taking a big old dump.
She smelled all up and down the cage area (at least 25 feet long and five feet wide) and finally focused on Joe who got down on one knee to rub her around the neck and ask her if she wanted to come home with us.
I stood next to him and she stood up and put her paws on my chest.
That was all it took. I was not convinced that we made the right choice as she is slightly fat and obviously just had babies, she is short and kind of ugly. Just perfect I suppose.
All the other dogs started to look good….buyers remorse….and I wanted to take many of them with me. So many curled up and despondent it was tearing at my heart that they were so sad either separated from their owners by what ever reasons, they were nursing their own hurts in the only way they knew and that was to act disinterested to the people, the prancing dogs as they were escorted to the back area and the near hysterical bay of all the other dogs.
But Sizzle is ours, Joe renamed her Sissy because Sizzle is just dumb and is not her name anyway. She was a stray picked up a few days before St. Pat’s day and was on view since the 20th.
After she is neutered she is ours. Our lives will never be the same again. For the better.