Back in the spring of 2006, I decided to get a Boston Terrier from the animal shelter. I knew they had one, and I knew that I had to act fast because they're popular, and adoption would be swift. I called to have them place a hold on the dog in my name -- sight unseen.
The next morning, I went in and spent some time with that Boston Terrier that would soon thereafter become my best buddy. They labeled him "Rav4." What a dumb name for a dog.
After spending some time with him, I paid the adoption fee, told them to change his name to Humper, walked him out to the car and took him home. Our partnership had begun. He was rescued, and I was like a kid with his first dog (because he was my first dog). And, Humper was glad to have a new home and someone to hang out with.
Just a week later, a dog flu of sorts went through the animal shelter, and management decided that the only wise thing to do was put down all the dogs - more than 40 of them. That's exactly what they did. There was outrage in Cheyenne for weeks to follow.
As I got to know my little Boston Terrier buddy, it struck me just how lucky he was, and just how lucky I was. It still makes my eyes well up with tears. It was only one week. He missed being in the "kill zone" by only one week.
Now that I have experienced the joy that the Dude brings, I can't help but think that there had to be other dogs that could have been saved. There could have been other dogs that would have enjoyed a good home like I have here for the Dude. I'm certain there were other dogs that would have brought just as much joy as the one I rescued.
I often think of the wonderful opportunity that I could have missed if I had just hesitated for only a few days. I'm glad I acted quickly to investigate this dog. I'm glad I decided to rescue Rav4 and turn him into Humper Go-Play Lickerson (a.k.a. Dude).
I'm so glad that I have the Dude, and I know he's glad to be here too. We were meant for each other.