Written by Edith Stafford of Louisiana
One afternoon in the summer of 2010 my husband was at work and I was watching Marley & Me on TV, when suddenly I heard a puppy whining in my apartment. We were newlyweds and my dogs were not with us just yet. After I heard it a couple of times, I decided to investigate, which brought me to open the front door and, lo and behold, there was a yellow Labrador pup no more than 6 weeks old cornered in our door.
At first I thought it was a joke as I saw some kids playing around in the parking lot. I picked her up and asked them if they knew who this dog belonged to. The kids said they had seen some older kids “playing” with her on the other side of the parking lot. Apparently they hit her with a stick, so she ran away trying to find a place to hide. Such kids had said to them that the pup made her way there after a man dropped her off.
Terrified to hear the story, I checked her all over and found fresh blood and a small cut behind her left ear. It made me so angry that someone would harm such an innocent creature so I held her against my chest and told the kids “if you see someone asking for her, tell them I have her.” I knew whoever did that would have to hear me and would be reported to animal services if they dared to come and get her, but no one came.
Now Where Would We Keep Her?
That afternoon my husband came home to find his wife and a new puppy and asked “what did you do?” I told him the story and he agreed we needed to do our best to help her. Being newlyweds in the process of saving money to move into a bigger house, we knew we couldn’t keep her, as we already had my three dogs waiting to move home with us. We called every no-kill shelter in town and no one had room for her. My husband is active duty military, so the next step was to go to responsible people he knew and ask them if they would want a puppy. We took pictures and posted on Facebook, sent e-mails and text messages and waited. Four days later, as we were driving to a shelter that said they could probably take her, we got a call from one of my husband’s Sargeants who said he would take care of her until we moved to a bigger house, so that she didn’t have to go to a shelter.
We were so happy and blessed to have someone with the heart to do that. Three months later, we found a home and were in the process of moving in when my husband’s Sargeant asked him if there was a chance for him to keep the dog as his children were already too fond of her. We knew she was happy and well taken care of so, of course, we said yes.
Her name went from Sookie to Crackers and finally to Gumbo. But despite all her name changes, one thing that stayed true to her story was she found a loving forever home and all we had to do was to open our home to her when she needed it most…and make a few calls. As a result, she is now the happiest Gumbo you’ll ever find down in Louisiana!
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