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One Year Ago…

One year ago today, I decided to take my Molly for a walk.

We’d scarcely gotten down the road when an uncollared, skin-and-bones puppy ran up to us, friendly as could be.

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My neighbor stood outside and explained that he’d been allowing the puppy to sleep on his porch and had been feeding him, but that the puppy had not let anyone pet him.

I spoke a few words to the puppy and then proceeded to walk Molly around the neighborhood.

The little guy stuck with us and walked as if he were part of the family.

When I stopped, he stopped.  When I started up again, so did he.

The Mr. and Rooster came outside when we got home and admired the puppy’s markings.

He had tiger stripes, and being Auburn fans, we liked that.

The poor guy looked hungry, so we fixed him a bowl of food.

He gobbled it right down, along with a couple more bowls of food.

He also drank down a couple of bowls of water.

The evening promised to be cold, so we set up a pallet in the garage and turned on a light for him.

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We returned to the garage many times that night to check on him, and he looked up at us each time, wagged his tail, but stayed on the towel we’d set up for him.

In the morning, we fed him breakfast and took him to pee.   This was his first introduction to our other dogs.

Molly had already met him.

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Aubie and Pele were curious but accepted him immediately.

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To his credit, the puppy was docile and quickly rolled to his back…his act of submission.

We decided to take him to the vet to get him checked out.  He was healthy, but we’d found a tick, so the vet gave us a prescription for any kind of infection he might have and also administered one vaccine.

He was also checked for a microchip.  We figured someone, somewhere was missing him.  He didn’t have a chip though, so back home he went until the next day, when the local animal shelter would be open.

Our plan was to take him there, where a good home could be found for him.

We did, after all, already own three dogs.

Meanwhile, we’d begun allowing the puppy to stay inside.

He and Rooster quickly bonded, and we knew it would be difficult to tear them away from one another.

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The day after New Years, we loaded up the car and headed to the animal shelter.

It was closed, but a worker was there to feed the dogs.  He checked the puppy for a microchip but could not locate one.  He also explained that there was a dog fighting ring, and the dog had probably not performed well and was, thus, dropped off on the street.

The Mr., usually the tough one in the family, made an instant decision.

Honestly, I think he’d been waffling about what to do ever since he’d laid eyes on the little guy.

He gave the green light to keep the puppy, so we drove straight to the pet store and bought the puppy a collar and his own food bowl.

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He was officially ours.

We allowed Rooster to select the name, and we trucked ourselves back to the pet store and had “Gambit” etched on a name tag.

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Thus began our first year with our new puppy.

What a blessing this little guy has been.

To be sure, he’s wreaked havoc on the home.  The first day he was here by himself after we went back to work and Rooster went back to school, he tore up EVERYTHING in the living room, including a set of vertical blinds…

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One new crate later, and that problem was solved.

He has slept with one of us nearly every night that he’s been with us, and I must say that he is the BEST snuggler of all four dogs.

He wakes us up by laying his big head on our faces.

He has no regard for personal space.  Wherever you are, he thinks he should be as well.

He is smart, though, and eager to please.

It’s obvious that he was abused because he still shies away when he sees us wielding papers in our hands, despite our assurances that we’re not going to hit him.  We’ve never hit a dog.

He gives as much love as he gets, making our decision to keep him one of the most rewarding we’ve made in a while.

One year later, this little four-legged bundle of fur has brought nothing but love and joy to our family, and I can’t thank the Lord enough for putting us together.

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