Dear valentine

15 February 2015

Dear valentine

By Joanna Dunn Samson, FOTAS Vice President

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” – Karen Davison, Author & Dog Trainer

Our dearest Ricky,

You were the handsomest dog in the shelter by far: all white with a buff colored triangle on your forehead, a devilish look in your eyes, and vibrating with pent-up energy. Your dad and I thought long and hard about taking you home, not because of the devilish look in your eyes (although in retrospect, perhaps we should have paid more attention to that), but because we were barely a family ourselves and nervous about taking on the responsibility.

In the end, we did adopt you, and it was the best decision we ever made. You made us laugh, you made us love, and you made us a family. Over the next 13 years, despite the countless hours we spent searching for you in the woods, by the river, at the dairy farm and even in the backyards of a suburban neighborhood in the middle of the night while you tormented a skunk; despite the multitude of apologies to our forbearing neighbors for stampeded cows, an expertly excavated hole under a pheasant coop and the missing, prize Chinese pheasants, and untold numbers of traumatized barn cats; despite the small fortune we spent on a state-of-the-art electric fence that couldn’t contain you; and despite the time we spent with you in obedience and remedial obedience classes, we loved you more each day. You will always be our most beloved Valentine.

Your two devoted humans

Dear most worthy humans,

I can’t say I remember the first time you came to the shelter, because there was a lot going on there with my new pals – like who could bark the loudest and the longest without stopping, which modestly speaking, I would have won paws down but for Sparky the terrier in the next aisle. See, in my past life, I had been chained to a stake in a yard, so the shelter was okay by me: two square meals, a warm place to sleep, and lots of friends.

I do remember when you took me for a walk around the play yard that first time. I loved the soft sound of your voice, the way your shoes smelled, and the way you scratched behind my ears in just the right spot. When you took me home, I confess to being a tiny bit worried there was a back yard and a chain waiting for me. Then you gave me my very own wubba, a blanket by the fire and a spot on the end of the bed, and I knew I was the luckiest dog on earth.

Whoa! Did we have fun or what over the next 13 years or what? While it’s true I had a nose for adventure after being chained up for so long, I always came back to you – every single time (except for that one unfortunate incident when you had to bail me out of the city pound for treeing that blasted cat – hardly worth mentioning now).  Plus, no matter what time I came home or how bad I smelled, you never left me outside by myself, and that meant the world to me.

You are the only humans I ever loved. If I knew what a Valentine was, believe me, you’d be mine.

Your adoring Ricky


Adopt the love of your life at the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Remember, their lives are in our hands.

God Bless you and your family, and Happy Valentine’s Day.



DANTE   Male, American bull dog, 3 years old, 64 lbs — $70.00


BRADY   Male, Domestic short hair, 1 year old, 9 lbs — $35.00