A bleeding heart skips
In the middle of a triple-digit Sunday, Zach and I decided to take a long bike ride.
The breeze-like sensation of your body slicing through the air at bike speed does make the experience somewhat preferable to walking or standing still on a hot day. But a 15-mile bike ride over hills in the punishing Missouri heat is always going to be a sweaty, exhausting experience. (That’s what people like about exercise, right?)
Our route took us on less-traveled roads bordered by thick woods on either side. We took the long way to Swope Park, a huge swath of wilderness in the heart of Kansas City. There’s a mountain biking trail within, but by the time we arrived we could see why most people who brave that trail don’t ride there – they park their cars at the trailhead and hop on their bikes all fresh and ready.
We followed a steep, paved main road I had once walked with the KC Pittie Pack and then turned toward home.
Somewhere between the park grounds and the interstate we crossed, I heard a rustle in the brush, followed by a menacing bark. I turned my head in time to see a big, black lab-like dog rushing toward me.
I pedaled harder, and he did not give more than a few steps’ chase.
When I turned back to look at him from a safe distance, he was nosing some refuse in the road. The area we were in is polluted. Broken computers, fast food bags, bottle shards and a lot of lonely shoes littered the shoulder.
I don’t know if that dog lives off the garbage or is just a neighborhood visitor. He was wearing some kind of chain collar, which suggests he has a home somewhere.
In that moment – six miles from home, sans leash and on a bike – I wasn’t equipped to help him get back to it.
And if I couldn’t find his owner? Well, anyone who reads this blog or knows me personally understands how great I am at rehoming black dogs that can at first come off a bit scary… (Sorry, Charlie Machete, 12 months later, we’re still shopping you around.)
I get the same sinking feeling every time a photo of an adoptable dog speaks to me. By this I mean that I see a lot of pictures of shelter dogs, foster dogs and dogs generally at risk of being euthanized.
I have a perpetually bleeding heart and so I want to save them all, but the images of certain animals seem to resonate with me a little more.
Most of the time, sharing their plight is the best I can offer them. With that in mind, here are a few images of adoptable animals whose faces have appeared in my inbox lately.
Maybe you, dear readers, will be struck by their faces, too, and can offer them hope.
Until recently, Doug (or as I like to call him – Luke Jr.) was stuck at the animal shelter in Moberly, Missouri. He’s a corgi/golden retriever mix available through Second Chance Rescue. (Link forthcoming.)
Starbuck is a Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dog who cannot stay in his current foster home. He is in desperate need of a new foster or forever home as soon as possible.
This black kitten was one of two rescued by a coworker of mine, who also managed to catch his wild mother and get her spayed. His calico sister was adopted, but he’s still on the hunt for a patient home. Contact me for details on making him yours.
To see more adoptable dogs now available in the Kansas City area, check out the Adoptable page.
My foster dog Charlie Machete and many others are available for adoption through Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.
Don’t live in Kansas City? Check out the adoptable pets available at your local animal shelter and rescue organizations. You can save a life by fostering or adopting.