All the Dogs

All the Dogs

A Story by Shelley Warner

All the dogs I rescued in Florida are dead. That's because twenty years have already gone by. That thought occurred to me yesterday while watching the news of the hurricane Idalia. Where did the time go?
My husband Tom had been pastoring churches in the Advent Christian denomination. He was going through a career transition and we'd been invited to stay at Dowling Park, a retirement village in northern Florida, where other former pastors and their families often ended up. Such a beautiful place with palm trees, year-round blossoms, and a trail along the Suwanee River.
But the highway outside of Dowling Park was hell on earth for dogs. That's where people abandoned them. I remember driving the stretch between Lake City and Dowling Park when I saw the bloated carcass of a dog. Other dogs wandered dejectedly alongside the two-lane road. Some of them made their way into the retirement village where, if they were lucky, they were rescued. I was able to find a happy home for a black lab and another dog.
Then one day I was working at the Conference and Retreat Center in the village when I looked out the window and saw a skin and bones dog peeing on a bush. I called my son who was home across the street. "Andy, come get this starving dog and take it home." He did. When I got home from work, I greeted the shy and scared boxer in our back yard. I offered him a bowl of food, but he lay down and refused it. I brought out some milk and dipped my fingers in it. He licked the milk from my fingers. I repeated this activity until the next day he shakily stood up and ate some food. He came back from the brink of death. He gained weight. He howled for me whenever I left the premises. I found him a good home with a couple who had five acres of fenced in property. I kissed him goodbye on the nose as he got in the pickup truck with the couple.
I've thought about those dogs through the years and the happy lives they must be having. It startled me yesterday to realize their lives have ended by now. I hope they had long and joyful lives. I'm glad I could help them.

© 2023 Shelley Warner


Author's Note

Shelley Warner
For everyone who has loved a dog

My Review

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Reviews

You are so compassionate toward dogs and the fact that you rescue them is even more important... finding a good home is so essential to a dog's happiness.....thank you for doing this for many years and paying homage to them even after they passed....
Thank you!
Warmly, B

Posted 8 Months Ago


Shelley Warner

8 Months Ago

Thank you for reading Betty; I appreciate your words. I remember reading a book by James Herriot, w.. read more
Betty Hermelee

8 Months Ago

I can see why…. You’re very welcome Shelley
Warmly, B
Dear Shelley, thank you for helping those poor animals to have a decent life. I don’t know how anyone can abandon a pet. They are family. We have Solo. She adores me. Is so loyal. A blue staffy who is 11 years old now. An old lady. I enjoyed the read. Hope you and yours are all ok.

Chris

Posted 9 Months Ago


Shelley Warner

9 Months Ago

Thank you Chris. I'm glad I could do it.
and they had long and joyful lives because of you...and are smiling down on you from doggie heaven.
j.

Posted 9 Months Ago


Shelley Warner

9 Months Ago

Oh I love that thought. Thank you.

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Added on August 31, 2023
Last Updated on August 31, 2023

Author

Shelley Warner
Shelley Warner

Camas, WA



About
I like to write about my life. Sounds a little narcissistic, right? But it's the challenges, the griefs, the joys, the faith struggles, and the enjoyment of nature that inspires me. I have published t.. more..

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