By Barbara D’Amato
Woofy is a yellow Labrador, nearly four years old. At any rate, we think he’s a yellow lab. Woofy was sort of a stray.
Near Halloween three years ago, our friend Deb noticed a yellow lab wandering around the fields behind her house. She lives in the country, and people there do let their dogs stray, so she didn’t think much about it. The next morning, she went to her garage and found the lab and eleven newborn puppies.
“Eleven,” I said. “You must have counted several times.”
Deb put a “dog found” notice in her paper and posted cards in stores in her area, but nobody ever responded. Deb has labs herself, and we think that the mother dog may have smelled them and thought, rightly, that Deb’s place was a safe place to go. Deb raised the puppies and at twelve weeks started to look for homes for them. All were yellow and looked like the mother.
Shortly before Christmas, Deb came to our house with the three males she had not yet placed. Just for us to play with a little while, she claimed. She went home, of course, with two. Woofy is really my son’s dog, but he brightens all our lives.
Woofy is serene, not the sort of dog who barks at every falling leaf. He will chase deer that come into the yard, but not far. He doesn’t seem to want to worry them. When rabbits hop across the lawn, he watches as if thinking, “How nice. Rabbits having fun in the summertime.”
Woofy is pleased with almost everything, even the vet. We often remark that every day that comes along is the happiest day of his life.
He’s a watchdog in the sense that he barks when a stranger come into the yard. But he’s no guard dog. Woofy completely lacks a killer instinct. But we don’t want and wouldn’t have an attack dog. Woofy is just sweet. He will let you take a bone from his mouth—unless you’re another dog. That’s the only thing up with which he will not put.
My point, and I am getting to one, is that Woofy is very lucky his parent found Deb’s house. Had she not done so, Woofy and his siblings might have been dead by the side of a road somewhere or attacked by the bobcats we have around here in Michigan. If they had been found by someone who did not want them, the best that could be hoped for is that they would have been taken to the local animal shelter. Our local humane society animal shelter is no-kill and good, but that doesn’t mean that a dog wants to live out its life there.
Other good animal-helping organizations are People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the American Anti-vivisection Society.
So, two things:
If you want a pet, visit your local humane society.
Two, visit your local humane society or shelter anyway. See whether it’s pleasant and clean. If not, do something. Contribute.
Woofy has just told the UPS man that he may come to the door as long as he leaves promptly. Woofy is having a wonderful time. A lot of good dogs aren’t.