In the Yard

By Joanna D. Samson, FOTAS Vice President

On a recent morning in the yard of the Aiken County Animal Shelter, a sweet, quiet dog named Alexa was basking in the sunshine when a dark brindle puppy named Terry scrambled to her side, volunteer in tow.

Alexa gave the puppy a friendly sniff. “Hey, little guy, you new here?”

“I am,” wheezed Terry, straining against his leash. “It’s all so confusing. I had a sister and we were on the side of a road and I don’t remember how we got there and then this man stopped and put us in a truck and brought us here.” Pant. Pant.

“And we were so scared and then we were in some room with other dogs and we got had to get shots and Oh! I hate shots and then we had to get a bath and Oh! I hate baths, too.” Pant. Pant.

“And then some lady took my sister and I had to sleep by myself and if that ain’t bad enough, I heard some volunteer say: ‘Every dog must get sprayed and tutored before they leave!’” Having worked himself into a frenzy, Terry rolled on his back and wailed, “I hate getting sprayed and I’m too young to be tutored!”

Alexa licked Terry gently on the ear. “Whoa, little man, slow down! I know it’s scary, but it’s going to be okay, I promise. That nice Kathy Jacobs, FOTAS’ new part-time staff person and program coordinator, will check on you every day. You get two meals a day and a warm place to sleep. That’s a big deal for me. I used to sleep in the dirt under a leaky porch.”

Terry stopped gnawing on his leash and cocked his head. “Hmmm … yeah, the food …”

“Plus, every day the FOTAS volunteers come and take us for a walk. They rub my tummy and scratch behind my ears – I’m talking world-class ear-scratching here. Sometimes they throw me a ball and sometimes we just hang out by the bench, watching the world go by. When we go back inside, we get a toy and a treat. Then it’s naptime. It’s a good place to wait for our forever family.”

Terry attacked a leaf fluttering across the yard, ripped it to shreds and spit out the pieces. “Family? What’s a family?”

Alexa wagged her tail. “A family is nice humans who take you to their home and love you forever. With your cute white leg and one blue eye, you’ll find a home in no time.”

She sighed, dropped to the ground, and laid her head on her paws, a little sad. “Me? Well, I’m a little older and kind of saggy. I’m also heartworm positive, but Dr. Levy says I’m not sick, and I’m being treated, and I shouldn’t give up hope.”

Terry eyed his volunteer’s shoelaces and sized up the odds of catching that one floppy piece on the first try. One should never give up hope, he thought, and pounced.

Alexa and Terry are ready for their forever homes. Alexa is 3 years-old, spayed, and very well-mannered. Terry is a neutered (not tutored) 10 week-old, happy, frisky puppy.

Please don’t wait. Their lives are in our hands.