Merry's Christmas story
'Twas the night before the night before Christmas Eve...
My husband and I were walking our three dogs (two of whom are rescues) around our gated condo/townhome community about 8 p.m. when we came upon this little guy with no collar and no hooman.
He ran up to our crew, his little tail wagging, he sniffed our pups and jumped on our legs. My husband scooped him in his arms, greeted with a kiss on the nose. He set off to see if a person he could find, while I finished our stroll with our own canine pack.
When back at our house, on the porch we did place the new guy with some food and water to drink. He ate enthusiastically and drank a few sips, prancing around and high-fiving our girls behind the glass door. When he ran back to me and jumped on my leg, I picked him up with a close hug and started to slowly rock. Two big sighs later, we thought he may be out, he just lay in my arms a limp pile of fur.
With posts and messages on the Ring, Neighbors, Facebook a few shelters and rescue groups, we went to sleep hoping the next day would glean more.
When morning came it was time to get to work, "Merry" needed to be placed before the pending holiday. While our girls took to him quick and I'd love to give them a brother, we couldn't take on a fourth furbaby. I just had to make sure this little guy would be ok. We walked down the street to the nearby animal clinic, but they said he wasn't chipped, and no one knew who he was.
Perhaps, they said, a near-by clinic that accepted walk-ins would be the fastest way to know the health of this boy. With time to spare before office hours began, we walked back home for a warm flea and tick oatmeal bath to shine and freshen his wiry coat.
A pop in a crate and quick 1 mile car ride, we were at the front door to find "12/23—no more walk-ins accepted." My heart sank and I took a deep breath, pushing through the door, standing before two techs and pleading my case.
The vet came from the back and heard my story, saying “we are booked solid and closing early, but if you wait I will take a quick look.” My heart leaped with joy, as I took a seat with new patient paperwork and a nice tech to chat. She asked if I had options if I couldn't find his person and had to give him up myself, I teared when I said no, but had some messages out to rescue groups and shelters I knew. She gave me a page of helpful numbers, from emergency clinics to vets to shelters and more. She went through them in order, sharing her experience and knowledge from ones she'd worked -- a kill shelter was not an option of mine.
The vet, who turned out to be the owner, called us back shortly, coaxing "kiddo" from the crate and greeted with a kiss on the nose. The pup was checked head to toe—ears, skin, nails, teeth, tush, tummy, and more. He was a young’un' just barely a year from his perfect little teeth. He was well fed with no diseases or skin issues, just "dingleberries in the bum" treated with a bidet-style bath to match his previous body bath. "He's good to go," the owner said, "now you just have to decide what to do next." My heart was full, and I gave a big smile, but the next step would be hard, whichever I chose.
We drove the quick mile home, with much gratitude and thanks, and got to work before holidays neared. Finding a spot after our first call, we whisked Merry to Citizens for Animal Protection that promises homes. Upon arrival he was carefully inspected for fleas, ticks, bites, wounds, and other matters of "danger" to others. He was quite pleasant with the tech, more kisses and tail wags for him,
Merry kept looking from me to my husband with grins and soft brown eyes ‘til the tech finally said, “we’ll take him.” With tears in my eyes, I shared his personality, temperament, attitude with other pets and people – we all agreed he’d be great for a family and easy to adopt. I watched him pop into a cage near the staff door, and just like that, although bittersweet, I knew we had given the gift to Merry of a second chance.