i Love Dogs is excited to present another amazing rescue story from one of our readers.
This week we are featuring a Schnauzer named CJ who was found tied up outside of a restaurant on one of the coldest nights in Southern California. We hope you enjoy reading CJ’s story as much as we did.
If you are the pet parent of a rescued dog, we want to hear your story! For more information, including how to submit your story, click here.
My Family Took ‘Claim’ of a Little Dog Left Behind
By Theresa Sanchez
CJ came into my life when I was least expecting it, but I couldn’t have needed him more. Two weeks prior to finding him, I had lost my dog of 13 years, Rambo. He was a German Shepherd and my first dog. He taught me how to love unconditionally and was my best friend. I cried and laughed with him. Rambo was the first one I took for a ride when I got my driver’s license. Even though I knew he was getting ready to pass away, I wasn’t ready to let him go.
Sadly, Rambo passed away while I was at work. During my shift my mom called me and told me that he was gone. I immediately went home to say goodbye and just sat on the grass sobbing because I already missed him so much. I didn’t think I would ever be able to go through that pain again. Unfortunately, we would soon lose another family member.
Exactly one week later we had to rush our other German Shepherd, Nena, to the emergency room because her face and eyes had swelled like she was having an allergic reaction. Our worst fear was that she had been bitten by a black widow. She was still healthy, running around, eating and drinking water, so we didn’t think it could be anything else.
It turned out we were very wrong.
Our vet told us that Nena had cancer and it had already spread to her lymph nodes. There was nothing we could do. We were devastated because we had just lost Rambo, and now Nena. That afternoon we said goodbye to another friend. We had her put to sleep and cried all the way home. I couldn’t understand how this could happen, one right after the other. It wasn’t fair!
Little did I know, our family would have a little surprise later that night.
My mom told me her boyfriend had taken her out to dinner because he knew how sad she was. While they were sitting outside the Claim Jumper restaurant, waiting for a table, a little dog came out from behind the bench and rested his head in her lap. He was tied to a tree, so my mom assumed he belonged to someone inside. He tugged at her heart, but she was dealing with the loss of two dogs, so she went inside and ate dinner.
When they left, the little dog was still there.
My mom pet him and said goodbye. Later that night she asked her boyfriend to drive by the restaurant to make sure he was gone. It was an unusually cold winter night in Southern California, only about 30 degrees.
The little dog was still tied up there in the freezing cold! My mom went inside and asked if he belonged to anyone. The hostess said he had been there all day and they had called the animal shelter, which wouldn’t be able to pick him up until the next day. My mom untied the dog and brought him home.
That was the night I would meet my new best friend.
He was a shy, scruffy little dog with big, expressive brown eyes and a docked tail. The next day my boyfriend and I drove around looking for any fliers someone may have posted, but we didn’t find any. We also took him to the animal shelter to see if he had a microchip or if anyone had come in looking for him, but the answer to both was no.
That afternoon I took him to the pet store and found out that although he didn’t look like one, he was a Schnauzer. I also found out that he was underweight, had a severe rash all over his body and his coat was matted.
I took him home, gave him an oatmeal bath and fed him. That was the first time he gave me one of those famous Schnauzer hugs, which I had never experienced before. That’s when I realized we had a special connection.
It’s been almost two years since he melted my mom’s heart, and since he’s come into my life I’ve never felt better. I’ve gotten into shape, and we’ve traveled all over California and done things I never thought I’d do. He is my pet, my road dog, my workout buddy, my biggest supporter and my best friend.
CJ came into my life when I least expected it but needed it most. I don’t know if you believe in God, but I do and I truly believe He or She sent CJ to be my angel here on earth.
PHOTO: Theresa Sanchez