Gus and I were on a long walk at Chestnut Ridge Park, located in Orchard Park, NY when we ran into the people who literally saved Gus’ life more than 12 years ago! I almost didn’t hear the man call out, “Is that Gus?” Fortunately, my friend did hear the comment and we turned around to see Charlie and Denise looking at Gus. I honestly don’t know if Gus recognized them, but he went up to this wonderful couple and gave them his usual, nonchalant greeting as if to say, “Hey what’s up?!”
For those of you who are not familiar with Gus’ story… he was about 6 months old when a man in a truck pulled up and dumped him off on the side of the road in Rushford Lake, NY. Did I mentioned that it was January 21st and it was about 20 degrees with two feet of snow on the ground!! Gus was Cryptorchid (testicles never descended) so the theory is that the owner dumped him as Gus was defective and couldn’t be sold.
Charlie and Denise were staying at a cabin with their two young children and their 100 pound foxhound mix in the middle of nowhere (Rushford Lake). The children were playing outside in the snow when a strange man opened his truck door and let Gus out near the them… really the only nice thing he did!
Long story longer… Gus’ new friends were getting ready to return home that day and Charlie couldn’t leave Gus behind as he knew he would surely freeze to death all alone in the wilderness. Awe!!
Fast forward a bit to that Saturday night… My husband, Jim, was leaving to play hockey at the same time my friend, Cheryl, had just arrived to hang out and watch some movies. Out of the darkness… a cute goofy hound dog literally ran into Cheryl’s car as she was getting ready to come into my house. Cheryl thought that I was dog sitting this playful puppy that just would not leave her alone. Gus ran right into my house. My three cats and I were a bit surprised by this strange energetic bundle of energy running around the house (okay, that’s an understatement…let’s just say there was a lot of hissing and my cats all puffed up to double their size!).
Once the dust settled, I brought Gus down to the basement to settle in for the night. I gathered several warm blankets to keep him warm. Gus wasn’t wearing a collar and by the smell of him, he had never experienced a bath either! I ended up snuggling up with him for the night and fell asleep listening to his loud snoring!
The next morning I called the dog warden to see if anyone was looking for a sweet hound dog mix. Gus looked to be a cross between a Beagle and a German Shorthair Pointer, or so we thought. The dog warden arrived and told us that he would take Gus to the Hamburg pound (a local vet’s office) where he’d stay in a kennel, then he’d be taken to the SPCA if he wasn’t claimed within one week. I just couldn’t see Gus caged up for that long, so I asked if I could keep him in our home until he was claimed and the warden agreed to let us hold him.
Jim and I were trying to think of temporary names for Gus… I chose Gus and Jim decided on Rex which I thought was totally wrong and didn’t fit his personality! We decided to take Gus for a walk to see if someone in our neighborhood recognized him. We didn’t get more than 50 feet when we heard children screaming, “Rex…they have Rex!” OMG if that wasn’t the strangest coincidence ever! Our neighbors then told us the story of how Gus was dumped in the country and they brought him home… and I could see the relief on Denise’s face that he was now in our hands…
I would have to say that the look on Jim’s face was the complete opposite!! More like shear terror and the realization that this sweet dog that I was already madly in love with had no home and was now an orphan!
The next day I took Gus to our veterinarian for an physical exam and to get his required vaccines. My vet mentioned that Gus was most likely a Coonhound and would have a very distinctive “voice” some day! Hmmmmm?? I also took him to the pet spa to clean him up and get the stink off of him! I was already head over heals in love with this hound dog, but Jim wasn’t as convinced that we should have a dog. So, I found three very loving and deserving families who wanted to welcome Gus into their families. We literally had “meet and greets” with all three families and all of them wanted to adopt Gus!
It was decision time now… We’d had Gus for almost a week and there were three loving families wanting to take him into their lives. Of course I wanted to keep Gus, but I used the old “reverse psychology” with Jim. I said, “you know I want to keep Gus, and you know there are three families who also want to adopt him… it’s totally up to you…it’s your decision.” Well either Jim totally fell for my plan or he had also fallen in love with this very special dog…
As the old saying goes…the rest is history!