from Bulverde Area Humane Society Special Edition Newsletter, Summer 2011:
|Lady was abandoned|
by her owners.
Thirty years ago Bulverde resident Dolores Caldwell had a dream.
She and several other community activists recognized that the Bulverde community needed an animal shelter, a safe haven.
A place for dogs and cats to rest between homes.A place for animals to learn to trust again.
A place where our neighbors in need could find help.
A place powered by dedicated volunteers.
The Bulverde Area Humane Society officially opened on June 22, 1996. By 2011, with a downturned economy, unemployment, and foreclosures, BAHS found that our neighbors needed us more than ever.
Almost daily our helpline counselors received calls about pets wandering the streets or abandoned in empty homes by owners who could no longer make their monthly mortgage payments.
Although it was difficult, our counselors could handle these calls. Because for every horror story they heard, they could tell another kind of story, one of redemption and love.
|This note was in a ziplock|
bag attached to Lady's collar.
Let me share one such story with you.
In mid-April Bulverde resident Gloria discovered a big black dog in her back yard. The black lab looked well cared for, and she was very friendly. Surely she belongs to someone, Gloria thought.
Then she noticed the zip lock bag taped to the dog’s collar. Inside the bag Gloria found a note that read: “My name is Lady! I need a home, please.”
Gloria tried not to judge whoever wrote that note. Yes, it’s terrible to leave a dog to fend for itself. But maybe the owner thought Lady had a better chance of finding a home this way. Maybe the owner was afraid to leave Lady at a shelter, not knowing what her fate might be. Gloria and her husband wanted to keep Lady. However, their two other dogs had other ideas and wouldn’t accept the newcomer.
Desperate, Gloria called the Bulverde Area Humane Society. As is often the case, we were full, and we asked for her patience until we had an opening. A few days later we called Gloria to tell her we now had room for Lady. Gloria was relieved, but she was also a bit apprehensive. What would shelter life be like for Lady?
This is not an uncommon concern. People think dogs in a shelter are lonely and depressed, with little human interaction. But visitors to the Bulverde animal shelter find the experience to be uplifting.
|Lady and friend playing|
at the BAHS shelter.
When people enter our spacious, tree-shaded grounds, they see that the dogs are happy and well cared for. Some say the grounds are sacred; you can feel the energy of the love between the animals and their human caretakers.
You see, every morning at 7 a.m. a cadre of volunteers makes a pilgrimage to the shelter. Every day the dogs get out for hours of time romping with their play groups and splashing in their wading pools.
Every day they are walked, trained, groomed, and loved by volunteers. Nutritious food awaits them when they return to their pens.
Daily we see the trust grow, the human/animal bond develop, the light brighten in their eyes.
Gloria’s fears were soon relieved. She found that Lady had adapted well at BAHS. She splashes in her pool, wrestles with her buddies, retrieves her tennis ball, and bolts to her handler when called.
One day soon her new forever family will come for her. As she leaves, she will know somehow that here was a place where she was loved. One of us will wave goodbye with a tear and a smile as she moves out of our lives and into a new and better life.
There will be no regrets. This is why we are here. And other animals are waiting who need us.
When we went to press, Lady Luck had been selected for evaluation and training as a military working dog. She is currently at boot camp. A few days later we were informed that she was officially accepted into the program. She has what it takes: intelligence, eagerness to learn, and high motivation, namely, the reward of playing with her tennis ball! Imagine that a dog abandoned on the streets may now be in service to our country.
If you'd like to know more about the Bulverde Area Humane Society or follow Lady's story in the future, see www.bulverdeareahumanesociety.com.