This week’s rescue story is by our social media writer, Kara Ogushi. Her tale is about a sick puppy that no one wanted, but Ogushi knew better and took the puppy home with her. We hope you enjoy reading her story as much as we did.
If you are the pet parent of a rescued dog, we want to share your story, too! For information about submitting your story, click here.
5 Simple Words That Changed My Life
By Kara Ogushi
I have always had an affinity for dogs that resembled German Shepherds, due to the effect the first two dogs I met as a child had on me. One was a police dog that belonged to my best friend and the other was my neighbor’s neglected dog. So when I decided I wanted a dog of my own, I set out to find a German Shepherd-like dog.
After convincing my mother to go to the Carson, Calif. shelter to “just look around” (works every time!), I circled the kennels three times before getting frustrated and giving up.
Somehow, I had missed him in my rounds. When he and I met eyes and I asked him, “Hi baby, are you my puppy?” he immediately raised his head and weakly wagged his tail. I crouched down and gave him some of the treats I had brought, and he gobbled them up right away.
I asked one of the shelter workers if I could spend time with him. We were led to an empty pen with a bowl of dirty water. He immediately went for the filthy water (he always loved dirty water, to the day he passed away) and I shooed him away from it.
While I was sitting in the pen watching this sweet, 4-month-old puppy, the worker monitoring me callously said out loud, “Oh, you don’t want this dog.”
I looked back at her with anger and then I uttered the five words that would forever change my life: “Excuse me?! ..Yes, I do!”
After that it was like a whirlwind. I paid the adoption fee and was told to come pick up my dog the next day.
I had finally found my perfect dog and promptly named him Snoopy. We later found out that he looked sickly because he was starving and had contracted kennel cough at the shelter. Our vets took wonderful care of him and he recovered quickly.
From there on, Snoopy grew healthier and happier. His grayish brown undercoat blossomed into a reddish fox-like fur that became the envy of all other dogs in the neighborhood. His stick tail that used to wag in circles like Astro, the cartoon dog on “The Jetsons,” turned into an elegant cinnamon bun-like tail that made him appear more regal. We think that Snoopy actually may have been a mix of German Shepherd, Akita and Norwegian Elkhound.
Snoopy instantly became a member of the family: insisting on being in the middle in every hug and at the center of every circle; opening sliding doors with his muzzle; and learning the word and spelling of the word “Walk!” We never really called him by his real name — he was always Doober, Dublus, Dublai Khan, Oobie, Stinkball and Doobie to us. He comforted me when I was sad, loved me when I was alone and made me laugh when I didn’t want to.
Snoopy lived his life to the fullest, savoring every meal, challenging his arch nemesis “The Chow” (a neighborhood Chow Chow he terrorized), never missing an opportunity to give what-for to the beetle that invaded his yard and nose bonking small children to say hello. He never liked any other dogs, but he loved my bunny, Fluffy, and treated her like she was his baby.
We shared eight beautiful years together until he passed away in 2006 from complications of Cushing’s disease and diabetes. I miss Snoopy and there is not a day that I don’t think of him and how different my life would have been without my bunny-loving, honking, non-licking, “too-smart-for-his-own-good” dog. I’m always so grateful that because of those five simple words I once uttered at the Carson shelter, I was able to share eight years of warmth, laughter and love with Snoopy.
PHOTO: Kara Ogushi