Meet Crystal, My New Bundle of Love

The day we left the shelter

Who Rescued Who?

One morning in early February, while scrolling down my facebook wall, a post caught my eye. It showed a picture of a chocolate Labrador Retriever, gave her Animal Control ID number, and asked that her rightful owner claim her at the shelter. The person posting even described her paisley collar, assuming she had somehow wandered away. The dog was obviously older, but had a sweet face and I felt her family would soon figure out she must have been picked up by Animal Control.

Another month went by and the dog faded from my memory, but for some reason in mid March, her face re-appeared in my mind’s eye and would not leave. I tried to ignore it, as my Labrador of thirteen years had just died in December and another pet was not yet in the plan. Ah yes, the PLAN….the nice, neatly packaged plan...why do I bother?

As fate would have it, I found the post quite easily and there was the phone number to the shelter posted along with her ID number. It was after 5:00 when my fingers dialed the number and only a recording answered my inquiry. Oh well, I tried, was the thought that ran through my head…except the next day, she was still on my mind. My fingers insisted on calling again and this time, a friendly voice answered and upon my request, looked up the ID to find the dog was still at the shelter. I found she had been rescued from a kill shelter in North Carolina and had somehow ended up at this shelter. Her rightful owner did come to claim her, but ended up taking another chocolate lab instead. Once again, she had been abandoned.

Today, Crystal is snoring by my side and will never be abandoned again. As it turned out, she is a hospice dog, as she has mammary gland cancer, heart worms and several other problems, but for now, she is happy and not in pain.

Why would anyone abandon a dog that has been faithful and loving for so many years? It is a question that Animal Controls and SPCAs ask every day. Crystal was among a dozen older dogs at the shelter on the day I rescued her.

A wonderful volunteer named Wendy helped me every step of the way and continues to answer questions about Crystal’s health issues. I doubt this dog has ever been cared for, due to her condition, and it breaks my heart. When I made the decision to rescue her, I did it for one main reason. I want her to know what it feels like to be loved. She cannot be saved, but she can know what it feels like to wake up each day to someone who takes care of her, loves her, feeds her and plays with her. If you have ever owned a dog, you know, this is all they ever really want.

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Comments 24 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well bless you my friend. What a lovely gesture on your part. I'm willing to bet, although you are trying to help Crystal, in the end she will give you so much more in return.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

yep, Billybuc. I think you are right! Thank you for your comment.


Eliza57 profile image

Eliza57 3 years ago

Crystal was just meant to be. She will only know just how much you love her till the very end, and can give each other nothing but love, joy and happiness. Why some people can abandon their pets is unknown to me.

Sheila, give a hug to Crystal and you both take care. Love from a friend.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thanks for stopping by Eliza57! I will give her a big hug from a long time friend!


Vickiw 3 years ago

This is such a touching Hub, and really demonstrates the beauty in your heart! How lovely that Crystal can spend her remaining days with such love around her. You are an inspiration dear friend.


MarieAlana1 profile image

MarieAlana1 3 years ago from Ohio

Thanks for such a sweet story! I would love to hug that dog as well and wish I could get a kiss from her, but I'm not there so you might have to do this for me. She looks so sweet!


Larry Fields profile image

Larry Fields 3 years ago from Northern California

Hi picklesandrufus,

I loved reading the latest chapter in Crystal's story. Voted up, beautiful, and shared. If I ever get organized, I'd like to adopt a shelter dog too.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Delightful tale. Thank you and good luck on your adventure together.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thank you Vickiw

MarieAlana1

Larry Fields and

Mhatter99

My guess is that you too are animal lovers too. I will give her a big hug from her hub friends!! Thanks for your comments.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 3 years ago

To see Crystal in good hands and in a wonderful new home.You are every pets dream.To be loved unconditionally.You made my day and give Crystal one more hug for me.Your a wonderful person with a heart made of gold.I hope the weather is nice so you both can go for a walk.Please give us updates on the new chapter of your life.The Adventures of Crystal A Chocolate Labrador.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thanks for the well wishes Dream On. If my old girl ends up being an adventure, I will surely write about it!!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Oh pickles this is one beauitufl story. I guess that you will both learn to love each other and Crystal will provide you with so many treasured memories. This story has really touched me;voted up.

Eddy.,


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thank you so much for stopping by to comment Eddy! She is a very sweet girl who is so willing to please:)


travmaj profile image

travmaj 3 years ago from australia

Such a touching story - what a beautiful animal, I know you will have many wonderful times together. I identify, after my own dog died I wasn't ready for another. Long story, but we now have a rescue dog - she's the best, loved, cared for, owns the house, much like Crystal I'm sure.

I was surprised the original owners were able to take another dog after abandoning Crystal.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

I am so glad you too rescued a dog Travmaj!! There are so many animals in need. There was a mix up at the shelter and the man took the wrong dog when he came to claim her, but he never came back for her. Everything turned out ok though:) Thank you for stopping by!


Darja1981 3 years ago

Beautiful story and Chrystal is very beautiful, I believe that she is your best friend and you two are having such a blessed times together.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

Thank you Darja1981. I think you may be right! Appreciate you stopping by.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 3 years ago

Hugs to the both you wishing you a Happy Easter. I just had to read your story again.I love a story with a happy ending.


StoneCircle profile image

StoneCircle 3 years ago from Rindge, NH

I do know what you mean about giving love to a dog that was left behind. I was blessed to find a one-eyed pug named Jack. He was being fostered due to the animal shelter could not deal with his attitude. After spending 1 week with consistent love, food and the run of the house, Jack never displayed any of this issues I was told about. You are a great human!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

Thank you for your comment StoneCircle. I know what you mean about just needing to work with the animal. They have had no picnic of a life if they end up in a shelter. Crystal was labeled aggressive towards dogs, but we found that she was not at all. So glad you gave your pug a home. God bless you!


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

What a beautiful, generous thing you doing for Crystal. Everyone should be loved.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

Hi btrbell. You are right , all creatures deserve love. Crystal is still hanging in there, sleeping by my chair as I write. Thanks for you kind comments.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 3 years ago

What is Crystal up to these days?Probably taking lots of doggy walks and lots of naps later.Very nice story of companionship and friendship.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

Hi Dream On. Crystal is hanging in there. She does take lots of doggie naps and really looks forward to the next meal:) She is wonderful companionship. Thanks for checking on her!!

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