One small dog, one large message

By Haven Lindsey  in  blog  on  08.18.2014


Astro was not born perfect. His jaw was slightly deformed and as he neared his first birthday, the deformity was not acceptable which spells doom if you happen to be a little dog bred to be perfect. Because of his imperfection Astro’s breeder decided to have him euthanized; thankfully a big-hearted group of folks who scurry all over Texas rescuing dogs from abuse, neglect and pending death scooped up little Astro and brought him to Austin. The little Dachshund needed a home and it wasn’t long before he was adopted.

But moving isn’t always easy and adoptions can be tricky, throw in an energetic weiner dog and all bets are off. Astro had not been in his new home long when somehow, some way a door was opened and the little dog was off and running. Astro disappeared into the nearby woods just as storm clouds began to take hold of the sky. Within hours the city of Austin was receiving record rainfall, parts of the city were flooding, branches littered the streets, leaves were strewn like confetti blown this way and that in the storms moody, chaotic frenzy. The storm raged all night – thunder, lighting, downed trees, rain, wind and a little dog with a deformed jaw was lost.

There wasn’t a lot of optimism that Astro survived the night. Whether it was from the substantial storm or from a coyote whom Astro would merely be a $4 appetizer on a Happy Hour menu, the odds were stacked against him. Signs were posted throughout the neighborhood but no one had seen the little dog. Hundreds of calls were made to alert neighbors to look out for a little lost dog. A couple of days later with Astro still missing the search was all but over. The dog was too small to survive and didn’t stand a chance against a coyote.

When bad things happen we’re often told to,“let it go” and sometimes that is suitable advice. But not always. Sandy, for one, wasn’t ready to let it go. My intelligent, generous friend who must have gold lining her Texas-sized heart wasn’t ready to let this go. Having paid for the calls to be made on Astros’ behalf, having been very involved with the original scoop and rescue operation, the little dog had touched Sandy’s heart. He looked remarkably similar to Lilly, her little Dachshund who had changed her world. As Austin was finally feeling the heat of summer – scorching temperatures and high humidity had set in – Sandy was traipsing through the woods, looking for Astro…dead or alive…not ready to let go.

As I sat, grounded at home waiting for a furniture delivery, Sandy and I talked about how animals touch us, open our hearts and change our worlds; Astro had not yet had his chance to do that for someone. As she trudged through the woods, Sandy was tearful and wanted desperately to find the little dog so he could share his unconditional love. Repeatedly Sandy explained that he hadn’t had a chance to change a family’s world and she wanted that for Astro. And as Sandy talked, full of emotion, I felt for my friend, I felt for the little lost dog and I realized as I sat with tears rolling down my face that Astro had indeed already touched us. We didn’t know what happened to him, or how afraid he must be, how scary the storm must have seemed and how impossible it would be to survive a meet and greet with a coyote. Our conversation gently segued to the acceptance that we may never know but to have faith that Astro’s life was worthy, that we can’t know the answer to every question but we knew he had touched us and had touched people who had never known him.

The weekend came and went and as I arrived home Monday from work, I heard the familiar ‘ting’ of a text message. It was from Sandy.

“Guess who was just found!”

Tears of joy, relief and wonderment filled my eyes as I waited to hear more from my friend.

Astro had survived the storm, the heat, the coyotes and traffic. One person saw a little dog who looked like the one Sandy had posted on Facebook. She posted a message…someone else who was close by saw the message…and so on and so on…messages and texts and calls were being tossed back and forth as strangers talked with strangers all coming together to scoop up the little dog with the imperfect jaw. “I’m heading South, just saw him turn East”…”Ok, I’m on foot and heading that way”…”We’re coming in from the West, I think we saw him behind some houses, he’s tiny“…”Wait, I’m around the corner, I see him, I’ve got him!…We got him! He’s ok!” …the little dog was no longer lost.

Astro is safe and sound in his new forever home where imperfect jaws are accepted and his unconditional love has already touched his new family.  We’ll never know where Astro was or how he survived all those days and nights on his own. What we do know is Astro is getting a chance to change someone’s world, but the truth is, he had already accomplished that. Astro brought strangers together and opened hearts. His absence showed us the depth of love and care that strangers can have for a little dog deemed unworthy by a breeder and quite possibly he showed us that maybe…just maybe…in our increasingly isolated world where “perfect”  is the new norm and it’s more common to focus on our differences than our similarities that a little dog with an imperfect jaw showed us that coming together is actually far more rewarding.

Not bad for a one-year old.

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

Source: New feed