Saturday, April 14, 2012

Where it All Began - Miss Lacey

To understand my love of senior dogs, I have to go back to March of 2002, where it all began ...I was serving as President of the Golden Retriever Rescue in our area. We found out from someone that there was a 14 year old Golden Retriever in the shelter of the county where I live.  She had been brought there by her owner because she could no longer walk up the steps to his second floor apartment.  The shelter was not yet working with rescues, and so I called as a resident of the county to ask about adopting her.  I was told that her health and temperament needed to be evaluated before she would be placed up for adoption.  I told them that I didn't care about her health or temperament, but would take her regardless. I was told this wasn't possible that I would have to wait until when and if she was made available for adoption.  Knowing how some shelters operated, a couple of my fellow board members and I felt strongly that they probably wouldn't put a dog of her age up for adoption, so we decided to try and find another way to get her out of the shelter.  Luck was on our side when a volunteer for the rescue contacted a friend of hers who worked at the shelter.  She confirmed that this senior Golden would probably be euthanized at the end of a hold time of 3 days.  But she gave us some hope when she broke a rule and provided us with the owners information.  She told us that the only way we could possibly get this senior girl out of the shelter, would be to contact the owner and convince him to reclaim her, and turn her over to the rescue.  That seemed simple enough to us.  

With time running out, a determined board member was finally able to reach the owner on her third and last day.  She roused this young man out of bed, and in her very best Mother voice, told him to go to the shelter, reclaim his dog, and give her to someone who would meet him in the parking lot. Thankfully, he did just that.  I was the person who met him.

I found out her name was Lacey.  She was a small, red Golden with a beautiful white face.  Her previous owner, whose name I don't remember was only 22 years old.  He'd gotten Lacey when he was eight years old. I later couldn't help but marvel at all the things she must've witnessed in her lifetime with him.  The boy who she first met and grew up with.  The young man who graduated from high school and went to college. Did he notice her growing old, or was she always that young vibrant puppy he had known so many years ago?  Did he feel any remorse or worry about her being left alone in the shelter?  I'll never know the answers to those questions, but I do know that in the end he did the right thing by giving her to me.

Miss Lacey, as I came to call her, was truly a lady; a lady that I thought should wear pearls and a scarf.  She was a quiet, gentle and affectionate golden that loved walks and laying in the warm sun.  She attended events for the rescue was a perfect example of dignity and grace.  She became an ambassador for the rescue and for senior Goldens like her who needed someone.  We had her with us until the end of May.  Our time was much too brief.  But I am grateful to have known her, and that her life didn't end in the shelter, but with someone who cared about her.  Miss Lacey ignited my love for senior Golden Retrievers, and our lives have never been the same.
Miss Lacey's paw-print