In honor of the ASPCA $100K Challenge and all of the unsung heroes of community shelters nationwide, this week's Happy Tail is a story from a local shelter in the great state of Texas.
Texans have a reputation for thinking big about everything, but Midland resident Frank Behnken and his wife had their hearts set on a small dog—ideally, a Pomeranian like their beloved Princess, who passed away in June.
Finding the right canine companion proved tougher than the Behnkens had expected. One early visit to a shelter left Frank in tears. "I cried...because most of the dogs were larger than we could accommodate," he notes. But Frank got his lucky break at the Lone Star SPCA when Garth Brooks, an 11-year-old Pom, was placed on his lap. "I stroked him, talked to him and assured him that I was okay. In 10 minutes, I knew I couldn't walk out of the shelter without Garth," Frank recalls.
The sprightly senior Pom, it seems, felt the same way: During the adoption process, Frank realized he needed to visit an ATM before paying the $90 adoption fee. "I lifted Garth from my lap and put him in the adjacent comfortable chair. I looked him in the eye, told him to stay and that I would be right back. When I got back from the ATM some 15 minutes later, the staff told me that Garth never moved an inch from that chair and had continued to stare at the door, apparently watching for my return. He'd never sat in a chair that still before, always jumping down at the first chance," Frank reports.
These days, Garth goes by Charlie, a name Frank says fits his new pooch's bubbly, energetic nature. "He is the most precious dog. He is my shadow," Frank says. "I tear up when I think what he experienced prior to our adoption. He has given us so much more than I could ever imagine."
To read more heartwarming stories of furry fate, please visit our Happy Tails Archive.