Shot Through the Heart, Part Deux: The Return of Shooter

October 30, 2010

You remember Shooter, the little pup I found on Labor Day weekend and enrolled in the SPAR (Saving Pets at Risk) program here in Shawnee, Oklahoma. I was convinced that I couldn’t afford a second dog, so I became Shooter’s foster while taking him to SPAR adoption events on the weekends until the inevitable happened and he found an adoptive parent. Perhaps you saw my Facebook posts during the subsequent weeks, or my post on this blog three weeks ago. Perhaps you already know that I cried for weeks over letting go of the little guy. In any event, my sorrow at adopting Shooter out is no secret now.

Then a funny thing happened last Thursday. I got a call from the young man who had adopted Shooter. It seems the pup was a tad too much of a handful for someone who lives in an apartment. The adoptive dad tried his best, but he had to give Shooter up. He wondered if I would take Shooter back.

Er, HELLO!?!

We met the young man that evening after I got off of work. Shooter went wild when he saw me. I think some of the young man’s sorrow at giving Shooter up was assuaged by how happy Shooter and I were to be reunited – at least I like to think it was. “You two belong together,” he said. Then Shooter went wild when he saw Mickey and Mickey wasn’t much more composed, truth be known. Then Shooter went wild over seeing Slevin; Slevin’s reaction was rather aloof, lol.

So Shooter, a little bit bigger and a lot more wild, is back with us. He was neutered during his absence (yay!) and he smells terribly of urine (boo!) like a dog who’s been left in a kennel and had to lay in his own pee. I don’t blame his adoptive dad – what can you do with a wild pup when you have to go to work and leave him unattended? Kenneling dogs is all the rage now, it seems. It’s what dog parents are told to do (although I’ve always refused to do it) and so of course that’s what Shooter’s temp dad did. Unfortunately, it left Shooter with a bad smell and an even more undisciplined pattern of behavior.

What can I say about my happiness? There are no words. What can I say about how many kisses we’ve exchanged and how many promises I’ve made to him over the past two days that he would never, EVER leave me again, that I’ll be right here for him until the end? Again, there are no words.

SPAR is an amazing organization. Shooter’s stint as a SPAR-sponsored puppy was the reason I was introduced to so many wonderful animal lovers. Their adoption fee is only $95, which is one half or even one third of what other rescues and some local animal shelters charge. They are all about the animals and yet their kindness to me, just a human, has touched me beyond belief. Trust me, you don’t find that level of kindness to humans among a lot of animal rescue organizations. I know this for a fact. Much to my retroactive chagrin, I know it from my own behavior.

Tonight, Mickey and I sat on the back porch and watched the dogs play in the grass. Shooter was his typical wild self, doing zoomies around the yard and attacking Slevin. At one point I turned to Mickey and asked, “What could God possibly have in mind, sending us this dog?” The answer flashed on me in a heartbeat. Mickey and I simultaneously said, “It’s a test.”

It is indeed a test. If we can transform this demon of a dog into a well-behaved member of the Mills-Blood pack, then we will have passed the test.

I promise Shooter and Slevin and Mickey and myself to do my best by Shooter. And in the meanwhile, there’s no doubt that I will love him past the stars, past the sun, past the farthest reaches of the universe and back, regardless of how many Halloween tombstones and Styrofoam crows he eats.

The little hellhound sleeps between us every night. That has got to stop. But not right away. Soon. I promise.

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2 Responses to “Shot Through the Heart, Part Deux: The Return of Shooter”

  1. Evelyn Says:

    How wonderful for all of you!

  2. TRISH Says:

    SAWEET!!..I promise Shooter and Slevin and Mickey and myself to do my best by Shooter. And in the meanwhile, there’s no doubt that I will love him past the stars, past the sun, past the farthest reaches of the universe and back, regardless of how many Halloween tombstones and Styrofoam crows he eats…
    I HAVE SHOOTER’S “FATBOY COUSIN” KEEPG MY BUTT
    WARM DURING THE LONG WINTER…& BONES NEAR ALL
    FURNITURE…”KIDS” ALWAYS RETURN=)..?TEST OF PARENTS LUV??

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