By Cathy Best
Two years ago, our son, Thomas rescued Bultaco, a male Blue Heeler. Due to Jodot, his year-old female heeler, Thomas was familiar with the breed. He knew they were a sturdy, smart, headstrong, and energetic breed that loved to work and play. He also knew that, if not properly trained and socialized, they were a handful.
While visiting in Dalton, Thomas, and his girlfriend, Ashley, found Bultaco on a nearby farm. The dog, whose age was estimated at a year or two, was wary of people and not approachable. Apparently, he was fed and watered but had no interaction with the family who owned him. Tender hearted, Thomas couldn’t stand to see the dog in its current situation. He inquired about him and the owner volunteered, “If you can get him to come up to you- you can have him.” Challenge issued, Thomas got a few hotdogs and spent the next two hours getting the dog to trust him. At the end of the exercise, Bultaco was in Thomas’s lap breathing hotdog breath and smiling. Returning to Tifton on Sunday, Bultaco was in the backseat with Jodot. The same dog that would not go near people, less than 24 hours earlier, was leaning between the seats, with his head right next to Thomas, grinning and panting with excitement.
As a college student, Thomas was on a tight time, and finance, budget. There wasn’t much room in either to train and care for a second dog. The intention was to socialize him, with other dogs and people, then find him a good home. That didn’t last long. Bull, as he was affectionately called, wouldn’t leave Thomas’s side. While his roommate’s dogs and Jodot played Frisbee, and retrieved whatever was thrown, Bull was all about the love. He stayed by Thomas, smiling and happy, venturing away only long enough to get a little petting from a roommate. Socialization, as it turned out, wasn’t as hard as he thought it would be. Once Bull trusted Thomas and received love he was all about sharing it.
Thomas took a chance on a dog, most people would never attempt to rescue, at a time when it wasn’t convenient or affordable for him to do so. He did an amazing job of giving Bull all the love, nurturing, and training it takes to make a dog the best they can be. Our whole family, pets included, were blessed by Bull’s love and devotion. Of our three grand-dogs, Bull was always the first to greet us at the gate; he was the first nose on the back door in the morning, and the last nose we saw at night. To say Bull’s heart was bigger than his smile is an understatement. He was a heeler by breed and a healer of broken hearts. During difficult times, we could count on Bull to lift our spirits.
This past weekend, once again visiting in Dalton, Thomas and Ashley took Bull and his heeler siblings, Jodot and Enzo, to swim and play at the lake. At the end of the day tragedy struck and Bull was killed instantly. They are broken hearted, we all are. We loved loving him. I don’t know how we get over losing Bull; it’s very hard. We can’t replace him; we can only share the love he gave us.
Mid-week, our son, Joseph was mowing the lawn, at his home in the country, when he looped back around to the front yard and standing in the driveway was an adorable male puppy, smiling a big goofy smile. After taking him to neighboring houses to find his home, he established the pup had been abandon. Joseph already has Alfa, a precious retriever spaniel mix, and two cats; he says he’ll find the pup a good home. Last night, when Joseph called Alfa in at bedtime she was running happy laps with the puppy. He named him Dunge. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? It’s about taking chances. I can’t help but believe Bull is still sharing the love and healing broken hearts.
Best of the Best
The Humane Society of Morgan County: humanemorgan.rescueme.org
Georgia Rescue and Rehab: www.garescueandrehab.com
Companion Animal Rescue: cari.rescueme.org