Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tails: …And T(he)y lived happily ever after

Well, it is about 7 weeks from the 3 year mark of rescuing Thorp from the shackles of being a breeding dog in an Amish puppy mill in northwest WI. I remember that day like it was yesterday. It is burned into my brain like no other memory I have.

Amidst hundreds of dogs – all of whom had horrible fates – this one little dog, the oldest, ugliest, maybe sickest of the lot, looked into my eyes and I could feel my soul open up. For a mere $65.00 I took him home and so started a journey that changed my life.

It has taken almost all of that time to help Thorp adapt to being a “free” dog. But yesterday, yesterday, all of that changed and Thorp became what he was meant to be all along: a therapy dog!

He, actually, earned his certification last year – but finding him a job proved to be just as hard as it is for the rest of the American people – even though he was willing to work for free. The Woodstock school system turned him down and the local library said its past “read to the dog” program had failed. So, Thorp found a way to live unemployed – I suppose we acted like the US government and allowed him to live for free.

Anyway, fate steps in when you least expect it and while my parents were in town – they took us to dinner where we met friends of theirs from Florida as well as their daughter who lives here in IL. She works as a teacher at a special needs school right in Woodstock. After thinking about it later – I texted her the possibility of Thorp working at her school. She loved the idea and immediately put me in touch with the principal!

Yesterday, Thorp had his interview – and like anyone on an interview – he was a bit nervous and I was a bit nervous (that he would lift his leg and pee on the cafeteria table or the library book shelf) but the principal loved him – most of the staff loved him and they “hired” him on the spot – especially after they heard he worked for free!

It was momentous day for both Thorp and me. In the last three years we have both fought a hard battle. I faced things I never really thought I would see in my lifetime and Thorp grew in ways I only imagined on that day I rescued him.

Yesterday serves as confirmation that there are times when fate and hope intersect – when something in your heart speaks to you – when your soul feels alive – and you impulsively act on it because you just feel like you have to. Common sense and reason don’t play a part in this chance occurrence – you just know to trust it.

That is what happened on March 12, 2008 for me and for Thorp. Our lives crossed and both of us are better creatures because of it. Thorp was meant to do this kind of work and I can only hope that the lives we touch now are just as positively affected.

*On a side note – it is important to mention that this story also proves the age old saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and thanks to Mary we had an in!”*

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