A Dog Named HopePosted by Tom Linney, Animal Law Program Staff Attorney on August 29, 2011
Many of us at some point in our life have pulled over our car to help a stray or lost animal. We call phone numbers on tags, provide water, food and shelter, and sometimes reunite families. Or for the skittish ones that are too fast or agile to catch, we often corral them off busy roads preventing what is likely death or painful injury. I think the saying goes, saving one animal may not change the world, but it will surely change the world for that one animal. And I learned it doesn’t just stop with our actions.
My neighbor, a social worker and overall great person, recently stopped to visit a thrift store on a 100+ degree day. As she walked in, she noticed a little, dirty, matted, white dog panting heavily as she sat under a truck in the parking lot. She decided to pick the dog up and bring her inside the store. “Does this dog belong to anyone?” she asked. The clerk responded, “No, and she’s been outside all day.” My neighbor wanted to help the dog cool off and let her ride happily in the shopping cart as she shopped. Upon leaving the store, my neighbor decided to bring her home. She said it was because of what I do for a living. She said I inspired her to rescue the dog. I was honored and frankly, surprised.
Working for the Animal Legal Defense Fund is obviously rewarding, but to know it helped her decide to rescue a dog is certainly icing on the cake. She said she usually would have just kept walking. But instead she brought the dog home and cleaned, comforted and fed her. A quick trip to the vet for a checkup, a few trips to the park and before she knew it, my neighbor was in love. She didn’t grow up around animals and never really knew she could love one. She named her Hope. While her landlord ultimately wouldn’t allow her to keep Hope, we found a new guardian for her. Hope now sleeps in her guardian’s bed with her poodle friend, Lolly. And hope is what she was given.