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When I took my 5 month old Golden Retriever puppy to the dog park this morning, my intention was to let her wear herself out so that I could have a nice, productive day here at The Dogington Post.
But things don’t always work out the way we plan them, do they?
I had just settled down on a bench and begun reading my emails when a little boy with a tiny Chihuahua plopped down next to me. I’ve seen this boy at the park before, many times. And many times I’ve chuckled at how he always brings his tiny dog, Coco, into the “big dog” side of the park to play with 120 lb. Labs and German Shepherds instead of the “little dog” side with the other, well, little dogs. Apparently Coco thinks she’s the biggest dog of all – isn’t that true of many Chihuahuas?
Today, though, the boy wanted to talk.
“You know what?” he asked. And, before I could reply, he continued, “there’s a Beagle over there without an owner. He’s been there for 2 days.”
Now, being an editor for Dogington Post and a dog lover (like you, our readers) I couldn’t just ignore him. I immediately scooped up my things and had him show me. Sure enough, wandering around alone in the fenced in portion, of the “little dog” side of the park, was an adorable, frightened, muddy little Beagle.
You see, here in Florida, we have two types of weather this time of year – scorching hot or torrential downpour. The reason the little dog side of the park was otherwise vacant is because it’s ankle deep in mud right now.
And just outside the gate, there sat an empty dog crate, a collar-less leash, and a tupperware container of food. I dug through the crate’s contents expecting to find an ID tag, a note, something – anything that would make this all make sense to me.
How could someone just dump their dog at the park?
The only answer I can come up with, is that this sweet dog’s owner knew in their heart that someone like me (someone like many of you) wouldn’t be able to just walk away and leave him. That by dumping him at the dog park, he’d stand a better chance of getting placed in a loving home, something that wouldn’t happen if they surrendered him to our local animal control.
Isn’t it a sad state of affairs when dumping your dog at the park is a better option than surrendering them to the shelter?
After a few moments of letting him sniff me, I had earned his trust enough to loop his leash around his neck and walk him (and my crazy bouncing puppy) out to the car. My little helper, with his tiny dog, Coco, carried the crate and his belongings for me. I took the Beagle (which we’re now calling “Cooper,” Ugh, I didn’t want to name him for fear of becoming attached!) straight to my vet. He appears to be between 2 and 4 years old, male, neutered, skin/teeth/coat all look great – but no microchip and no identifying tattoo. No way to track down his owner. And, poor Cooper is suffering from a moderate eye condition called “Cherry Eye,” a congenital eye defect where the gland of the third eyelid prolapses and becomes visible. He’ll need surgery to correct it.
Is that why he was abandoned? His owners couldn’t afford the care he needs?
Did I mention, he’s in desperate need of a bath?
So, I’m asking you, our readers, to help me find this dog a permanent home. A home where he’ll be spoiled and cuddled and loved forever – never again left to wonder where is family is, why he’s alone without food or shelter, or without a soft dry place to curl up to sleep at night.
Since having him here at home with me today, I can say he’s completely housebroken, likes other dogs, ignores cats, thinks gerbils are interesting to watch, likes bully-sticks, doesn’t like his feet being messed with, and doesn’t seem to have one of those sweet spots on his belly that make his legs kick when you scratch it.
And he’s one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met.
So, please, please help me find this Beagle a forever home with someone that can get him the surgery he needs. I’ll take wonderful care of him until his permanent home is found.
Cooper and I are located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Email me at [email protected].