Tuesday, March 27, 2012


A breeze is a puff of air, a gentle wind.  It comes softly and sometimes unexpectedly.  This last Saturday a breeze wafted into PetSmart. This 'Breeze' was a mistake.  She wasn't supposed to be there.  Her crate was loaded accidentally.  She was supposed to be in a line at the kill shelter to be euthanized.  You see someone decided they didn't want her anymore, put her in their car, and drove her to a facility and walked her in the door to be killed by injection in a cold environment. She would have to be euthanized immediately as there was no more room because there were more dogs with no homes, no one to love them, no one to honor the commitment made to them ~ once upon a time.  What did she do to have to die?  What kind of people could do this?

There are times when I can accept people's stupidity and then there are times when I want to hurt them, shake them, rattle their heads until they disconnect.  There is literally no excuse for this action taken.  There are alternatives to killing a dog, simply because it has become inconvenient or you are moving or it is a distraction from your busy more important lifestyle.

I first saw her in a line of wire crates lined with newspaper at the front door of the store. She was calm and quiet, as she sat with her back to people, people all looking at smaller, cuter, younger, more exurberant dogs.  With her head bent down, her eyes looked up and around for someone to notice that she too was deserving, beautiful, and maybe, maybe someone would tell her that she had the most soulful beautiful eyes ever. The only thing lacking was someone to love her and someone for her to love back unconditionally.

“Surely in this great big world somebody will love me. I never did anything wrong.”

People approached every other crate but hers. You see she was black and large and these are the last dogs to be adopted and the first to be instantly euthanized. Large black dogs are never brought to adoption events. Nobody wants a black dog, you see.  Her hair was silky and coal black with a beautiful white blaze on her chest. Her eyes were soft and pleading and yet full of fear and resignation. At adoptions such as this, or at shelters, large dogs are not wanted. Puppies are.  Breeze was scheduled for euthanasia that day. She wasn’t supposed to be saved. After all she was black and larger than a puppy and nobody would want her. She would quite simply be walked by, unnoticed, and ignored. But her crate was loaded accidentally onto the truck heading to the adoption event.

I watched and watched as people ignored her. Then I slowly approached her crate with a lump in my throat and reached through the wires of the crate. She sensed trust and gently sniffed, then licked, my fingertips.  As she looked at me, and I at her, there was a connection.  I could hear her longing, feel her pain, and sense the desparation and fear.  In the midst of chaos and barking and puppies, all unloved and unwanted, I could hear this dog speak to me. 

Yeah, perhaps a little bit much for some of you huh?  But nonetheless true.  If you don't believe it, perhaps you should be a bit more aware.  Open your heart and feel and see and experience and witness and perhaps someday you too will understand what a dog can do for a person and visa versa. I see it every day, with therapy dogs and service dogs for our wounded warriors with PTSD.  I see it in my own dogs when they can sense my every mood and accommodate themselves and adjust to make me feel better, with a love that is without judgement or condition.

Within five minutes a phone call had been made and paperwork filled out and the date set for her spaying, pick up day and time from the shelter.  Today this beautiful black dog whose name is Breeze is in a foster home, waiting for her wounded warrior. A wounded warrior who has waited for her to save his life, just as she has waited for him to save hers.

Do you understand what this means?  I hope so.  For one day soon Breeze will be snuggling every night with a warrior who is afraid to go to sleep for fear of flashbacks. She will awaken him from hell.  She will accompany him to the supermarket, to the drugstore, to the park without fear of snipers and IED's!  She will become his lifesaver...this dog nobody wanted...and accidentally was allowed to live at least another hour or two until they returned with her to the kill shelter. 

If you could just once see the look on a warrior's face as he snuggles his battle buddy, and realize that this dog would be dead were it not for TADSAW (Train a Dog~Save a Warrior) and now lives for a purpose and with great purpose...perhaps then you just might get it.



1 comment:

  1. I received this message from the trainer of Miss Breeze...... "Breeze is a blessing! I took her to the Alamo Heights Little League fields last night for some socializing, distractions and loud noises. She loves the kids and they call her over to the dugout for a pet before getting up to bat. She relaxes by the bleachers during the game, but is always available for some love and attention from anyone who might happen along her path. She even charms the umpires!

    The Warrior that has Breeze will have a wonderful companion for life. She is lucky and we are lucky. Many thanks to you and Bart for allowing us to participate in such an amazing organization. We look forward to many more wonderful canine companions in the future!"