I H.A.R.T. My Dog | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

I H.A.R.T. My Dog

Shadow, as she looks today
Shadow, as she looks today

And why wouldn't I?  She's AWESOME!  Dogs like this aren't going to be found in any puppy mill or behind the glass box of a pet store. She doesn't have fancy papers or a snooty name.  I found her at H.A.R.T. 

The local Heartland Animal Rescue Team is a wonderful place to find a new pet.  These dogs & cats (and other animals) have come to this place for various reasons (sometimes you just don't want to know the history). There is a misconception that Shelter animals are defective in some way. Far from it - they are simply displaced looking for a new home. Regardless of how they arrived, this is a place for starting over - to help them find a loving family.

When I found Shadow, our family had just lost a pet.  The kids weren't taking it very well, so on a whim I wandered down to Brainerd's animal shelter.  Walking up and down the aisles was heartbreaking.  I want to save them all.  I was able to save one.  When I walked past her kennel, there was something in the way she looked at me, head cocked to the side. I thought to myself that this one is smart, wicked smart. And she's cool, just hanging back taking it all in. You could see it in her eyes.  I actually drove home without her, but I couldn't get her out of my head. As soon as I got home I called back to the H.A.R.T. and told them I wanted her and that I would be down first thing in the morning to pick her up. BEST DECISION EVER!

Shadow is, near as we can tell, a Border Collie/Spitz mix.  When I picked her up, they guessed her age at 2. That was in 1996.  We could not have dreamed for a more perfect dog.  She used to love following along when we'd take the horses out on trails.  She was very patient with rambunctious kittens that the girls would bring home. She loves swimming and   "knows" when we're headed to my folks place on the lake. She doesn't take "no" for an answer as she jumps in the back of the car to claim her spot. She likes eating ice cream off the cone - and does so ever so politely.  The only time she gets irritated with me is bath/brush time. Yea...she's not such a fan of personal grooming so I try to be gentle. Today, her hips are starting to get creaky, she's deaf as a post, she doesn't move quite as fast and her eye sight isn't what is used to be - but dang, she's hanging right in there! She still loves sitting out in the sun, patrolling the yard, and treats at bedtime. If I could clone this dog, I would. 

I am highlighting my dog-pound find because H.A.R.T. is having their annual Hoofin' it for H.A.R.T. Walk on Saturday May 7th at the Nisswa Community Center.  It's a wonderful event where pets are welcomed with open arms.  Walk the Paul Bunyan Trail, enter your dog in the King/Queen contest, visit with vendors and enjoy the day.  All proceeds from this event go towards helping H.A.R.T. sustain their services in our community.  If you can't make it, I highly encourage donations to H.A.R.T.  Anyone who has ever visited the facility and acquired a new family member there knows what wonderful work these folks do. 

Stop by their Dellwood Drive, Baxter location or visit their website at: www.hartpets.org