A Chance Encounter

Carrie looked into each set of eyes, and they all looked back at her longingly. One by one, cage by cage, she peered inquisitively inside each, hopeful that her search would be a success. It felt like a harrowing task to choose only one from all the shelter animals. Some were too big or too aggressive or too loud, and Carrie knew those would not fit into a home that included a baby brother. This was her third attempt to find a forever pet, and twice she had left disappointed. Just as she turned the corner and decided to return another day, she saw HIM.

There he was, waiting quietly, not making a sound, gently wagging his tail.  He was a young Dachsund-Beagle mix, and Carrie instantly felt he’d be a perfect fit for her family. Because he was so relaxed amongst all the barking and desperate dogs, she wondered why he hadn’t been adopted already. Carrie looked up at the label on his cage and discovered the reason. The big red dot on his cage card meant this canine was positive for heart-worms. He was the only one in the room with that designation, and Carrie realized if she didn’t adopt him, no one would. 

She noticed how he was too skinny with rib bones clearly visible on his long body. She stood in front of the cage for a long time, while he wagged and stared back at her. As Carrie reflected whether she was making the right decision, her assuredness faded. From what she knew, the treatment would be unpleasant and difficult, but wasn’t it was worth giving him a chance to stay alive? Carrie knew he might not even survive the ordeal. When there were numerous healthy ones in the adjacent cages, should she chance the heartache of losing this pet after bonding with him? Carrie finally decided that she would accept the risks, and that this serene, sweet dog was definitely the right one. She thought “Red” sounded like a good name for him, considering the hue of his light brown coat. Ironically, red is also the color of courage as referenced in literature, so it surely suited him. As if on cue, a shelter volunteer came over to tell her that the dog had lots of heart, was very obedient, and loved to fetch a ball.  Carrie hoped Red could recover and live a long lifetime, with the enjoyment of chasing thousands of tennis ball tosses!  

Share this story