Thursday, May 13, 2021

From Lost to Loved: A Stray Dog's Tale, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Pamela Schloesser Canepa, July 2017

This is a short story of a little dog who goes from home, to homeless stray, to teaming up with a homeless woman, and more adventures before landing safely. Along the way, Woofie/Poopsie/Bixby experiences both good and bad from people, and experiences the hardships as well as the "freedom" of being a stray.

He starts out as a puppy in an "oops litter," a pedigreed mom who managed to get together with a mixed breed male. Even though I could deliver a lecture on the dangers of "free to a good home" as a way to find homes for puppies, this family did find them homes--and Woofie was loved by at least the wife and child of the home. If the husband wasn't such a prize, well, he wasn't the one who wanted a dog, and Woofie stays until their house burns down. Living in someone else's home, with Woofie confined outside, isn't ideal for anyone.

What the man does then is inexcusable, but it's also the start of the rest of the little dog's adventures. We get a very touching, and realistic, picture of how a homeless dog and a homeless person can improve each other's lives. Having been homeless myself, and having experienced having to give up one of my two dogs to a good rescue, so that we could all three have what we needed, I know how much that surrender hurt, and how much keeping my other dog helped me survive.

I won't discuss what happens after, but the title is pretty clear that the little dog eventually gets his happy ending.

I'm not someone who says the only "good" way to get a pet is from a shelter. There are many reasons why someone might want or need a particular breed--of dog especially, but also sometimes of cat. I do say don't ever buy from a pet shop, or from any online "breeder" whose only real requirement for selling you a puppy or a kitten is that your credit card clear. Good breeders will want to meet you, maybe by Zoom these days, but meet you somehow, and they'll screen you as thoroughly as any good shelter or rescue does. It's not about profit for them.

But even more important: There are a lot of good pets waiting in shelters and rescues. If you don't have really specific needs, you  can find your best friend and save a life, too. Even if adopting from a No Kill shelter or rescue, you are still saving a life, because they can only take in the animals they have kennel space or foster homes for, and when you adopt one, that opens up space for another.

It's a sweet story, and a pleasant read.

I bought this book.

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