Ode to an adopted dog

This week eleven years ago was a sad time… Our dog, a golden retriever named Zoey, had been diagnosed with a terminal tumor. Her last ten days were filled with squirrel chasing, rides in the car and anything nice we could think of to do for her. On Feb. 24 she died in her sleep.

A few weeks went by and it was kind of quiet around our house. Our other dog seemed a little down so I suggested we honor Zoey’s life and memory by saving a life and adopting a dog from an animal shelter or rescue.

I looked on Petfinder and Olympic Peninsula Humane Society had a dog that was maybe three years old, he was maybe a Lab-Border Collie mix, his profile info said he got along well with other dogs and cats, so I gave them a call. They had me fill out an application on their website and told me I would need to bring my dog in to meet him, his name was Tank.

On a Saturday morning Ashley and I headed for Port Angeles. Ashley loves to ride in the car, but about Beaver a look in the rearview mirror showed a dog face that appeared to be ready to go back home.

An hour later we arrived at the Humane Society and the staff retrieved Tank to meet us, the girl there said he had been at the shelter for five months, and they thought he had been mistreated because when he came in he had injuries and issues with trust.

As cars whizzed by on the highway Tank met Ashley, Tank acted normal Ashley was totally freaked out by the traffic, but as far as getting along it looked like they would be okay together. Ashley could not wait to get back in the car, and Tank and I finished the paperwork.

The first hurdle was to get Tank in the car; he didn’t really know what to do. He was too big to pick up so I got in first and then he followed, Ashley immediately got in the front seat. With Tank in the back and me and Ashley in the front we headed for home.

At about Laird’s Corner, Tank was overcome by the realization that I had sprung him from the big house, and what must have been real dog gratitude he came over the console between the front seats and began to lick my face to the point I was having trouble driving. Halfway around the lake, he decided he just really needed to be in the front seat with me and Ashley.

Ashley had smashed herself against the window, she wasn’t sure who this new dog was but Tank was livin’ his new life and he was liking it. We did make it home without incident. As we got out of the car I had Tank on a leash but now Ashley was like “Hey, new dog let’s play” and took off running and Tank took off too nearly taking my shoulder out of its socket.

Once in the house Tank felt at home, so much so he lifted his leg and marked his new territory, he only did that one more time. Another problem Tank was a duck and chicken chaser, it took some training and that habit was also curtailed.

It has been eleven years and Tank changed a lot, he even changed his name to Cub. Sadly there are lots of Tanks just waiting for a home. Sometimes people get a dog that shouldn’t and sometimes pet owners don’t get their pets spayed and neutered and shelters and rescues end up with unwanted puppies.

Feb. 27, 2024, is World Spay/Neuter Day, please be a responsible pet owner.

This column is in memory of Tank/Cub who passed away in January.

Christi Baron, Editor