ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Her voice quivered, softened by many years on this earth – 80, if I heard her correctly – and shaken by many hours of worrying.
“I’m just concerned,” Harriet told me, “about that little dog.”
She was like many of you, fretting over the whereabouts of a scruffy white pup, tossed away, then rescued, then seemingly tossed away again.
In my Aug. 8 column, you learned about that dog, dumped in a Sandia foothills neighborhood until resident Emma Smith saw him. With just days to find him a home, she turned to Facebook.
Her search attracted dozens of responses, the post shared 129 times in two days across the country.
After considering each offer, Smith chose to give the dog to Marian Davis of Albuquerque and arranged for a “foster mom” to keep the dog until the Davises returned on Aug. 13 from a previously planned trip.
That’s when the story went awry. And that’s when folks like Harriet started calling me. Daily.
For reasons unclear at the time, the foster mom had reneged on her agreement to hold the dog for the Davises and instead gave the dog to some people at a park.
“What is so concerning and heartbreaking for me is not knowing if he is in a safe environment with people that will take good care of him,” a stoic Davis said.
Annette Dodge hadn’t seen the commotion on Facebook. She hadn’t read my column. She hadn’t known that people across the country were following the search for the shaggy pup in search of a home.
What she did know was that the shaggy pup had already found a home, and that’s because the home he found was hers.
Dodge said her grandson had texted her about how his wife’s friend was looking to find a home for an abandoned dog. He sent her two photos of the pup, and that was enough to get her to arrange to meet the dog and his foster mom at a park.
It was love at first sight, not just for Dodge and her husband, but for their dog, Tobi.
“Oh, he was a bit of a mess,” she said of the little white wonder. “There was a lot he needed.”
And so it was off to the veterinarian with him to be treated for a sunburned nose, to be vaccinated and chipped and have an appointment made for neutering. Her groomer washed him, shaved away the matted fur and transformed the shaggy pup into a spectacular one.
The Dodges bought the pup a dog bed, but he preferred their bed, and that was OK by them.
They named him Cody. But she’s more inclined to call him her baby.
“He’s very happy now,” she said.
Of course, he’s not the only happy one. Cody came into their lives at a time when the Dodges were still grieving the loss of their four beloved dogs, each of which recently died in quick succession – two of cancer, one after a lengthy battle with pancreatitis, one of old age.
“We were miserable,” she said. “They were so much a part of our lives.”
Rescuing Tobi had helped. But Cody made things just about perfect.
As to how the dog ended up with Dodge and not Davis – well, that turns out to be a big misunderstanding among the humans.
In text messages between Smith and the foster mom, Smith gave the foster mom the phone numbers of both Davis and Dodge, who could take the pup immediately.
Smith said she did that because she had gotten the impression that the foster mom wanted out of the deal.
But in her texted response to Smith, the foster mom wrote that while she preferred the dog go to a new home sooner, she was committed to keeping the pup as long as necessary.
The foster mom, believing that Smith had given her the option, chose Dodge.
Davis said she is fine with the way things turned out.
“All’s well that ends well,” she said.
Dodge said she appreciates the care and concern shown her shaggy pup:
“It’s amazing how dogs touch us so deeply.”
I hope that sets your mind at ease, Harriet.
But speaking of other dogs: One of the many readers who responded to the shaggy dog column was Cindy Layman, whose beloved dog Rose disappeared last November from a pet sitter’s home in the Sandia Heights.
Layman said she is working with the Bernalillo County Animal Services and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office to find her dog. Rose is chipped.
“My heart breaks for Rose every day, and it remains a very open wound,” she said. “I know someone in Albuquerque knows where Rose is. Please help me bring her home.”
If you’ve seen Rose, contact Layman at firstname.lastname@example.org”>href=”http://cindy.layman.nm”>email@example.com. Or let me know.
UpFront is a front-page news and opinion column. Comment directly to Joline at 823-3603, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @jolinegkg.