Back story: Lance was born in November 1991. During the holiday season that December, he was thrown outside by his owners and chained, without food, water or shelter. A neighbor took it upon herself to provide him with a dog house and food, but he remained stuck outside on his owners’ property.
Lance spent the next ten Christmases the way he spent every other day of that entire decade — outside.
My wife and I rescued him in July 2002. The attached photo shows Lance enjoying Christmas inside a home for the first time in a decade. Now if that isn’t a rags to riches story, I don’t know what is.
P.S. We spent a small fortune on dog toys for Lance’s first Christmas with us. He had little interest in any of them. What he did have interest in was tearing up balls of wrapping paper.As you can see from the above photo, he was having a great Christmas.
What makes a dog extra special?
When I was a child, my pet dog Rex, a German Shepherd, was invaluable to me. I didn't have the greatest childhood and Rex was my most consistent pal and confidant. Many years later, Lance, a Border Collie, has had a significant impact on my adulthood. For decades I have been an underachiever and procrastinator, leaving many creative projects undone and discarded. Thanks in part to Lance, I forced myself to write and publish a book. Also, thanks totally Lance, I have been doing my small part to combat domestic animal abuse and help rescue/foster/ adopt programs (You know that old 60’s slogan: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”) Lance also has given me the opportunity (I assume unknowingly) to straighten out some personal issues that have "dogged" me for a long, long time.
I was just wondering if you might have had or currently have a dog that, besides being a great companion, has impacted your life in some way that is particularly meaningful to you? If so, please let me know in the comments section.
Walter Stoffel is a substance abuse counselor and GED teacher in correctional facilities. When not behind bars, he likes to read, travel, work out and watch bad movies. Major accomplishment : He entered a 26.2-mile marathon following hip replacement surgery and finished—dead last. The author currently lives with his wife Clara, their dog Buddy (another rescue), and cat Winky (yet another rescue).
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