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Home / Articles / Columnists / Dog World with Tina /  BEAUcoup Abundant thanks
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Friday, May 4,2018

BEAUcoup Abundant thanks

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  

Ten years ago, a family acquired a Shetland Sheepdog pup from a breeder in Georgia. Too big for the show ring, he was the puppy promised to a girl on her twelfth birthday. Beau was more the size of a Collie than a Sheltie, well-mannered and calm. They grew up together and were strongly bonded. Beau remained with his girl, even through her parent’s divorce. She grew up, got a job and an apartment. Inseparable, they enjoyed walks, going to the park and visiting her friends. One Wednesday, she left for work – never to return. The landlord let a friend in to feed and walk Beau. Family was notified, came to pay their respects to their beloved daughter and gather her things.

What would become of Beau? So few of us ever plan for “what if”, and certainly we don’t think of that in our twenties. None of her friends would take the affable ten-year-old dog. Her family returned to South America, unwilling and unable to relocate him.

I was leaving to photograph The Honda Classic golf tournament for a week, entrusting Bob with our furry, finned, feathered and scaled. Sebastian (rescued Yorkie) and caterpillars (I raise butterflies) would come with me and camp at Grandma’s. Resembling the Keystone Cops in rapid motion, I was preparing and packing. I got a text. Longtime fellow rescuer and friend Paula, at Florida Humane Society, said lady was there to surrender a senior Sheltie. The shelter was at capacity and had no available foster homes. His 22-year-old owner had perished in a car accident. Her mother was distraught, leaving in a few days and had no place for Beau.

My first thought was, “SERIOUSLY?! I can’t do this right now, I’m leaving town!” Then his picture came through. I could not say no to this sweet dog. I knew nothing about him. Was he ok with dogs? Cats? Flea- and tick-free? I knew it was all going to work out. Somehow. I asked Ned (who watches over us in Aussie Rescue) for his help, from above. I heard him say, “You got this, kiddo,” followed by his deep belly laugh.

Dear friend and rescue partner Christine received my frantic voicemail. I contacted Sheltie and Collie rescue groups. In true herder fashion, both stepped forward, offering assistance and to take him in. I would just have to arrange transport to Jacksonville or Gainesville. That could take days, which I didn’t have. Christine called me back and said, “Go get Beau. We will figure it out.” I called Paula and said, “Have her sign him over and anything to go with him (food, toys, a blanket/towel with the scent of his owner).” The shelter closed. Paula agreed to wait for me. All of this happened within an hour of the first text.

Beau was not alone. He was matted and full of fleas. Paula had given him a Capstar (flea treatment tablet) so they started falling off, dead. Paperwork divulged his last vet visit was in 2014. Sweet and calm, he was also intact (unneutered). I called the mom, to let her know I had him and that all would be well. I asked her daughter’s favorite color. Same as mine: purple.color. Same as mine: purple.

We got home, introduced him to my pack (two Aussies and the Yorkshire terror). Everyone was fine. We went for a walk to the park. Yellow, pink, orange and deep purple colored the sky. Beau allowed me to cut out some of the knots and clean his ears. He ate dinner and slept well next to me in bed.

Days later, Beau, Sebastian and I met Christine. Attached to his collar was a purple-beaded angel I made him, so he knows his girl is always with him. Christine fostered, bathed and groomed him. Within a week, one of her neighbors who had been dogless for a few months saw Beau and fell in love. She vetted him. The vet said Beau seems like he’s five- or six-years-old and in great shape. He needed to be neutered (enlarged prostate) and had a dental cleaning. Beau is northbound with his adoring new family. He’s a lucky snowbird now. Thanks, everyone who helped, hoped and prayed.

 

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