Jim and Susan Metzger
My wife, Sue, and I sat in our living room sobbing uncontrollably, the tears just would not stop coming. Just a few short hours before, we held our wonderful Welsh Terrier, Gunner, in our arms, a happy, healthy beautiful 4 year-old Welsh Terrier. He was the love of our lives. He was the first thing we touched when our day began and the last thing we felt as we drifted off to sleep. He was with one of us 24/7 always there. But now, he was gone, just like that, gone. The reality of all we lost would not sink in for days, but now, we just wept. Our house and hearts so empty, our lives so changed. It would never be the same.
We could not know that, at almost the same time, only about a hundred miles north of us another drama was taking place. Scout, another handsome, loved welsh terrier was being loaded into a pickup truck, with his bed and all lace. He was taking a ride away from the only life he had ever known. It had not been a terrible life, but the last year or so had been the low point. Scout belonged to an elderly couple. About a year before, his “mom” had passed away and his life had changed. His “dad” was also ill and although he loved Scout, he just could not provide the care a young welshie needs. Gone were the long walks and the rides on the tractor. There were no play times anymore, just plenty of food and a warm place to sleep, in the garage. As time passed, it became clear that his dad would not recover from his illness and would soon be unable to provide even the most basic care for Scout, so a call was made to the breeder where Scout was born. The breeder, who also rescued other unwanted welshies, agreed to take him back and find him a good home, preferably on a farm, like where he had lived.
As Sue and I grieved the weeks away, it became clear we simply couldn’t leave the void left by Gunner unfilled. We simply had to fill the emptiness. It had only been three weeks, but we had not slept or smiled since. We had been discussing the possibility of a puppy, but I was set on a rescue, as Gunner had been a rescue.
With our minds made up, we were disappointed to find that all of the welshies available for rescue were located thousands of miles away. We were doubly sad, now that we had settled on having another rescue, that none were available near us. Then, while returning home from a convention, I thought we should call the breeder who had rescued Gunner from the Humane Society and adopted him to us. I was surprised to tears when she said that yes, three weeks ago, she had taken in a 6 year old male, and he needs a home where he could run. Sue and I could barely sleep that night having made an appointment to see him the next day. He had not had a grooming or a bath in over a year, so I asked the breeder to please give him a haircut, He was so shaggy in the photos she had sent us, we couldn’t tell what he looked like!
Finally the morning arrived and we started our trip. I seemed to take forever but finally we arrived. And there was Scout. He was at least 10 pounds overweight, still smelled a bit and his teeth were yellow. But he wanted to go home…..with us. Knowing he grew up on a farm, we drove our pickup truck to get him. He settled right in.
He had never slept in a bed and only knew how to play with himself at first. He would throw a ball or other toy and then chase it. We had to teach him to play with us! He was also so overweight and out of shape that he couldn’t jump in the car or up on a couch and could not go up or down stairs without a lot of effort. At night he struggled with sleep apnea and couldn’t lie on his back without struggling to breathe due to the amount of fat around his neck. We taught him to ride in cars, put his head out the window, and not to potty in the house!
I am happy to report Scout has lost nearly 10 pounds. He plays like a puppy and LOVES hanging his head out the window and jumps in the car or couch easily and the stairs are no longer a problem. Sleep apnea is gone and we now catch him sleeping on his back. He looks great, his teeth a sparkling white and he snuggles tight against us every night. He also easily adjusted to our 9 year old female Wire Fox Terrier (Whitney), the WT puppy (Griffon) we got a few weeks after Scout and the iguanas and parrot. He is such a gentle and easy-going soul!!
I am a pilot and airplane mechanic and operate a small airplane repair hangar on a country airport. Scout spends every day with me, running around on the grass, just like the farm!
What a wonderful blessing he is! Our life is full once again. We will forever remember our beloved Gunner, I still know what his breath felt like on my neck as he shared our bed. But now Scout is there, not a replacement for Gunner, but a completely new experience. We are still learning the mysteries of Scout and he is learning to love us. It is a remarkable journey that we are on together. Each day brings joy, to all of us! We are blessed to have such an amazing pet, he seems to know that our love is real, his life safe and secure.
In the end, I am not certain who rescued who. We truly needed each other. If not for a caring person, the breeder (Barb Decker of Snowtaire Kennels), willing to take on responsibility of this little guy and wait for just the right home, we would still be waiting for our remarkable Scout, to heal our broken heart.