What If


It was April 2011. I was picked up as a stray. People thought I had been hit by a car. Some nice lady took me to a vet clinic. The clinic called the pound and soon I was locked in a cage waiting to die.

I don’t remember how I got loose. Did somebody dump me off because I was old and stinky? Or did I finally manage to escape from a place where nobody cared about me?

I had a huge hairball full of pee and dirt. My front legs had been injured a long time ago and never been fixed. Maybe before I lost awareness I made one last ditch effort to get away from a bad place and find somewhere better to live.

Next thing I knew I was in the animal control shelter. The vet checked me out and decided I wasn’t worth saving. Since I was going to be put to death anyway, there was no point in treating my pee infection. They did give me a pain pill. That helped me sleep and forget about the mess I’d gotten myself into.

After I’d been at the shelter a few days I was put on death row. I was going to die on a Saturday. That makes for one less stinky mutt to take care of over the weekend.

While I was waiting to die I thought about how my life turned out. I remembered some fun times when I was young and cute. But my people lost interest in me. I was just another mouth to feed with old dog health problems. I cost too much and I wasn’t fun anymore.

I had seen that happen with other dogs. When you’re young and fun and pretty, everybody likes you. When you get old and smell and take some looking after, most people don’t want you around.

The last night before my execution I was all mixed up. I was angry that I was going to die alone in a shelter with nobody to tell me good bye. I was scared that maybe it hurts to die. I was sorry that I couldn’t have a few more months of life with somebody who might love me. Then I got another pain pill and fell asleep.

I dreamed about an old Aussie named Codie. She came floating in through big bright clouds. The sun was huge behind her. She told me I would not die at the shelter. She had made arrangements for me to go to Asherpark. Codie told me to keep my mouth shut and do exactly what the shelter people told me. She said she would visit me again once I was free.

The next morning a shelter worker took the death sign off my crate. She told me I was a lucky mutt. Somebody had spoken for me and I was going to be released on Monday. Then she said there was no point in saving my filthy butt and walked off.

Sure enough Monday morning a volunteer loaded me into her car and drove me to a drop point where I first met my new mom. I was with a young bouncy Lab mix. The volunteer asked my mom which dog she was going to take. Mom pointed to me and said, “The little Aussie.” The volunteer said that would be a waste of time, that I was incontinent and didn’t have long to live.

Mom just nodded and loaded me into the car. I was scared and excited at the same time. I knew I was going to some place called Asherpark. I knew a spirit dog named Codie had arranged for me to be set free. I knew forces were in play to change my life. I just didn’t know then what was waiting for me.

I’m an old tired dog. It takes a lot out of me to tell my story. I am falling asleep, ready to dream the dreams of a dog who has little time left. I’m lying next to my friend, Jack. He too was saved by grace. I will bark more soon. Perhaps Jack will share his story too.

Nellie and Jack





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