Find­ing for­ever homes

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE -

CAM­BRIDGE — A happy Christ­mas stor y for a pair of dogs in North Carolina be­gan with a man and his pas­tor walk­ing into Bay­wa­ter An­i­mal Res­cue here.

As told by Bay­wa­ter Op­er­a­tions Man­ager Elena Gowe in an email, two men walked into the shel­ter the week be­fore Christ­mas.

CAM­BRIDGE — A happy Christ­mas story for a pair of dogs in North Carolina be­gan with a man and his pas­tor walk­ing into Bay­wa­ter An­i­mal Res­cue here.

As told by Bay­wa­ter Op­er­a­tions Man­ager Elena Gowe in an email, two men walked into the shel­ter the week be­fore Christ­mas. Gowe wrote that the man, who she de­scribed as an “hon­ored war vet­eran,” had lost his dog and was feel­ing lonely.

“He was look­ing for the same type of con­nec­tion that he felt with his beloved pet. He walked through the shel­ter on day one and didn’t find that con­nec­tion,” Gowe wrote.

The man re­turned twice more that week, but still did not feel a con­nec­tion, “not one pang or pull,” as Gowe wrote.

“As you can imag­ine, he was a lit­tle sad. I apol­o­gized and told him we would call when we found a dog that might fit,” Gowe wrote.

Gowe wrote that when the man came in for that third visit, she had been look­ing through a list of dogs slated for euthana­sia in North Carolina, as Bay­wa­ter is a res­cue part­ner to help dogs as it can.

“The man sud­denly ex­claimed, ‘That’s him! That’s my dog!’ And pointed to the dog on my screen. Fol­low­ing his gaze, we looked at the list­ing to­gether. Don­nie, the dog on my com­puter, was slated to be put down that Fri­day. He had been in the shel­ter too long and his time was up,” Gowe wrote.

With his face so lit in ex­cite­ment, Gowe knew that Bay­wa­ter had to help con­nect the two as soon as pos­si­ble.

“Our time was run­ning out as Don­nie only had a few days left. I promised to help but I was hon­estly feel­ing a lit­tle over­whelmed at this point,” Gowe wrote.

The chal­lenge was in trans­port­ing the dog up from North Carolina to his new home — and dur­ing the hol­i­days at that. Gowe called lo­cal trans­ports but they were booked for the hol­i­day. She tried friends and neigh­bors. She posted a re­quest on Face­book. No one seemed to be avail­able.

Gowe was just about to give up hope when she re­ceived a mes­sage from the North Carolina shel­ter say­ing they could have the dog in Bal­ti­more at 1 a.m. Could some­one meet the trans­port then? And, could Bay­wa­ter take a sec­ond dog also slated to be put down soon?

The “miss­ing puzzle piece,” Gowe wrote, was who could meet a trans­port in Bal­ti­more at 1 a.m.

“With the help of three amaz­ing vol­un­teers, many calls and emails, a few thou­sand text mes­sages, we made this mir­a­cle a real­ity for an hon­ored war vet­eran, com­mu­nity mem­ber and friend of Bay­wa­ter. We saved two dogs from cer­tain death,” Gowe wrote.

Gowe wrote that one vol­un­teer met the trans­port and kept the dogs at his home overnight. She wrote that an­other vol­un­teer left the shel­ter at 8:30 am and met the dogs in An­napo­lis for a safe ride home.

“Don­nie the dog met his new Dad on the same day he ar­rived. He went home af­ter many kisses and snug­gles on our couch. The man called me the next day, and tear­fully said that Don­nie was the best gift he had ever re­ceived,” Gowe wrote.

“The sec­ond dog, Co­manche, found his for­ever home the very next day with a lo­cal fam­ily who was blown away by his man­ners and in­tel­li­gence,” Gowe wrote.

For Gowe, the story high­lights why Bay­wa­ter is so spe­cial.

“It is our com­mu­nity of an­i­mal lovers, vol­un­teers and friends who reach out to pro­vide hope for our beloved pets and love for our hu­man friends who are search­ing for a new furry fam­ily mem­ber,” Gowe wrote. “My thanks to every­one who reached out and helped make this hap­pen for two lonely souls. Christ­mas Mir­a­cles do hap­pen, thanks to so many will­ing and able hearts.”

Bay­wa­ter An­i­mal Res­cue is the hu­mane so­ci­ety for Dorch­ester County. The shel­ter is lo­cated at 4930 Buck­town Road, Cam­bridge. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.bay­wa­t­eran­i­mal­res­cue.org.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Bay­wa­ter An­i­mal Res­cue, vol­un­teers and a vet­eran look­ing for a new four-legged best friend gave Don­nie, a dog slated for euthana­sia in North Carolina, a for­ever home just in time for Christ­mas.

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