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Dog Marked “NEXT” to Die Gets Surprise Visitors

Dog Marked “NEXT” to Die Gets Surprise Visitors

The Great Animal Rescue Chase is delighted to bring you this extraordinary story of how the simplest acts of love can yield the most tremendous rewards.  What happens when someone stops to take a look at the nameless dog in a shelter whose only marker is the one that indicates that he is “next” for euthanasia?  This is one story you won’t soon forget.

By Karen Gleason of New Hampshire

My dog Abby had recently passed away and my other rescued dog, Copper, was visibly as sad as I was.  He didn’t want to eat or even play in the yard without his companion.  I had been taking Copper along with me to visit shelters and dog pounds for a couple of weeks.  I looked into many sad eyes, but no one had spoken to me, yet. 

One Saturday morning, we had only an hour or so before we had to go to a friend’s wedding, but my husband and I stopped by a humane society in the next town.  As my husband looked at the dogs in the first few cages, I immediately went to the end of the row, not knowing why.  I looked into the last cage, and I got my first glance of Ben.  I couldn’t really tell what kind of dog he was, but he was very big (about 90 pounds), cowering in the back corner, and shaking.  His black fur was so knotted that it formed dreadlocks all over his body.  His elbows were covered in thick, raw sores.  I looked on his name tag to see if any more information was listed, but besides his name, there was only one word: NEXT. 

Was He “Unadoptable”?

I got a leash and coaxed him gently out of the cage and guided him past my husband to the man on duty.  My husband looked at me, wondering what I was doing, but he knew me well enough to be able to tell what was on my mind.   The man explained that Ben had been there for three days, but that was long enough for them to determine Ben was unadoptable.  He would be put down that afternoon, as he certainly wasn’t going to find a home, no matter how long he was there. 

I was told that he was surrendered by his former owner because “he was a pain” and was about one and a half years old.  They guessed he was a mix between an Irish Setter and a Black Lab. 

I then went to talk things over with Copper.  He hadn’t been overly receptive to any of the other new prospective brothers or sisters I had introduced him to.  I looked into his eyes and pleaded with him to give this dog a chance, and that he really needed to come home with us.  Copper gave Ben the once-over and wagged his tail in approval. 

The Love We Shared….Priceless.  More Photos

I told the man at the counter I would take him.  He asked me if I was sure I wanted him.  I told my husband to give him the $35 adoption fee, and we were on our way home.  

Well, Ben was a very heavy breather.  He smiled and panted loudly all the way home.  After his bath, I couldn’t get the knots out of his coat, and most of his fur had to be shaved. 

Well, he spent the next 12 years keeping me company, taking care of me when I was sick, bringing me on great adventures and showing me how grateful he was that I brought him home that day.  Copper and he were the best of friends.  In twelve years Ben never asked anything more of me than to be by my side.  I am convinced that dogs are the most noble and loyal of all God’s creatures.  There is no doubt in my mind that I did not save Ben or any of the others.  It was me who was saved. 

The image above is one of Karen’s favorites and depicts her daughter Bailey with Ben.  See more photos of Ben here.

Have You Ever Helped An Animal?

Sometimes it’s as simple as helping a slow-moving turtle cross the road.  Or perhaps you helped a bird with a broken wing.  Whatever your acts of kindness, we want to hear about them.  Join in The Great Animal Rescue Chase’s worldwide event to empower everyday animal lovers to save more lives.  Simply logon to our website and share the story & photos of your rescue.  You never know who you might inspire!

Related Stories:

Family of Fallen Soldier Adopts His Bomb Sniffing Dog (Video)

Rescue of the Week: Igloo Dog Leaps into Warm Car

Pets Teach Science: 16 Golden Retrievers Explain Atoms (Video)

 

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Photo credit: Karen Gleason

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374 comments

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9:04PM PST on Jan 10, 2014

Thanks for helping Ben

9:28AM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Fantastic story. Bless you.

12:37PM PST on Dec 22, 2013

I rescued a cat about a month ago maybe two and she is a very affectionate little creature. She wasn't feral because she was so friendly and talkative. I am adjusting to her because I am mainly a dog person. I lost my baby last year and I truly miss him, had him for 16 years. But Nellie and I are getting to know each other. I really didn't know that cats were so vocal as this one. It just amazes me how people can just go away and leave an animal to fend for itself. My sister had been feeding her all summer long and one day when I was over to her house I saw the little scrawny thing and felt sorry for her. I didn't do anything right away because I like dogs....but she was having a hard time running from my sister's dog all of the time, but when it started getting cold outside my heart wouldn't let her stay out in the cold and elements so I brought her on home with me. My only problem with Nellie (that's what I call her although I doubt seriously that she cares about a name. She just comes out when she hears me come in) is that this little minx won't stay off of my sheers. I have told her that I was going to let her go back to running from the crazy dog if she doesn't stay off of my curtains. But she is a sweet cat and I guess she will learn to stay off my curtains. Although I threaten her I couldn't put her back out in the cold.

But I am so glad that Ben found a wonderful forever home and for sure HE isn't swinging on her curtains!!!

7:54PM PST on Dec 21, 2013

Wonderful story!

6:35AM PST on Dec 20, 2013

Great story!

6:31AM PST on Dec 20, 2013

Brilliant story.Thanks.

4:25PM PST on Dec 19, 2013

Great story. thank you

5:41PM PST on Dec 16, 2013

What a wonderful story, thanks for sharing

4:49AM PST on Dec 15, 2013

Definitely a heartwarming story but ending is rather vague... always hoping for happy endings though!

1:49PM PST on Nov 14, 2013

Wow!!! Thank you for seaching until you found Ben...guess he was waiting for you!!! God Bless!!!

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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