You’ve read about how I rescue treasures from the trash heap on the curb or from a thrift store. Today, I’m talking about a different kind of rescue.
Today I’m going to talk about how I rescued the Dog Who Doesn’t Eat Pizza, Bear Cooper. (To be completely honest, her full name is Bear Bryant Dog Cooper. Dear Husband named her. There you go.)
I have always been a “dog person.” Growing up, we had two dogs, a mutt named Coco and a yellow lab/golden mix named Rocky. Coco came from the pound; Rocky, from a friend whose dog was galavanting around the neighborhood one day and came back knocked up.
Rescuing animals has always been a passion of mine. In 7th grade, at Sunday school, we had to pick a charity to donate our contributions to each week. I lobbied hard for the Memphis Humane Society and eventually won the day. In law school, I would go to the humane society and walk the dogs. It was good for me and for the doggies.
I’ve rescued a kitten, too. I found him in the bushes outside my house and eventually earned his trust with tuna. He now lives with my former neighbor.
Anyway, let me tell you about Bear.
When Dear Husband married me, he knew that we were going to get a dog. He had grown up pet-less (I think he might have had a fish at some point) and didn’t know how much joy a dog could bring to his life. But he agreed that I/we could get a dog. The deal was that we could get a dog, but he got to name the dog. I agreed. No problemo. “Bear” would be the name of the dog.
We signed up to adopt at Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta. We filled out the application, we had a phone interview, we had a home check. All good. On New Year’s Day, we traveled way out to the country to meet a dog they thought would be great for us.
The dog they wanted us to meet was a male lab puppy. He was WILD. Crazed. Nutty. Totally freaked out my formerly pet-less husband. No thank you, we said.
We met another dog, a big black lab adult. He was sweet, but still, something told us he wasn’t “the one.”
Then the foster parent brought out this gorgeous leggy blonde. She had a pink nose. She wagged her tail, she looked up at him lovingly, and she did what he said. She was beautiful and sweet. I met her and she was ours. I just knew it.
And here’s the crazy part: the foster parent had given her the name “Reba.”
If you rearrange the letters, you get “Bear.”
It was fate.
We took her home right then and there. She was eight months old.
She’s now 12.
She is the smartest dog I have ever met.
She knew I was pregnant before I knew. She knows when it’s going to rain before the weather channel does.
And she’s just sweet.
So, what’s Bear’s story? How did she end up with a rescue group?
No one really knows. A woman in a small town south of here found her running down a rural highway and picked her up. She called vet offices and hung signs to see if anyone claimed her, but no one responded. They think that the former owner moved away and just left her behind, and she dug her way out. Anyway, the nice lady turned her in to Golden Retriever Rescue, and ten days later, she was part of our family.
Hank is also a rescue, but I’m going to save his story for another day.
If you are considering getting a dog, please, please check out your local rescue groups first. There is a rescue group for every breed of dog and in almost every area of the country. Rescue dogs just want to be loved, and they appreciate you so much for loving them and giving them a warm, safe home and a family. Their devotion and love truly know no bounds.
Just ask Bear. (But no pizza, please.)