Tanner adopted me in September 2011. Like most rescues, no one knows his background. The tag on his paperwork just says he is a hound mix. Most people that meet Tanner guess he is part yellow lab and I think the other part is Jack Russell. He has the personality of both dogs; high energy, very inquisitive, smart, bored easily, and just as sweet as he can be. We just affectionately call him our Jack-A-Loupe.
Tanner's story was a sad one.
I lost my beloved Shar Pei / Pitt mix in August after a 3 month battle with Lymphoma. Moroni was the greatest dog I had ever had the privledge to know and I was devestated to lose him at the young age of 8. I was completely heartbroken. About a week later I visited our local SPCA to find out if there was anything I could do in the way of volunteering. That day I met Scooter. Scooter was just hanging out in the lobby of the place and when I got closer I realized that Scooter's hind legs were paralyzed. He was so excited to meet and play and seemed not to have a care in the world. My heart immediately went out to him and I wanted to take him home. I talked with the staff and they told me that Scooter was not adoptable and that he had a home at the SPCA as long as he was of this world. I had this overwhelming need to save a dog (because I could not save Moroni) and thought it very unfair that Scooter could not have a furrever home of his own. I left word for the director that I would be back and that they could call my vet if they needed a recommendation. I called several people because I was so excited about possibly bringing home Scooter. Everyone, including my vet, thought I needed to step back a minute and really think about what bringing home Scooter entailed. The next day I went back and talked to the director who had heard of my visit the day before. She believed the best place for Scooter was with them. He requires 24/7 supervision, needs daily therapy and is incontinent. She suggested that if I really wanted the most desperate dog there, that I should meet Tanner. As she spoke of Tanner, her tears flowed. Tanner was at the SPCA for 1 year and 1 day and this was his very "last" day. She said he was so sweet and that he had to find a home that very second. Without even meeting Tanner, I had her start the paperwork while another associate got Tanner ready to meet me. Boy-o-boy was I unprepared for the gift that just dropped into my life, Heaven sent straight by Moroni.
Apparently Tanner was adopted twice during his time in the pen and returned both times (geesh, he is not a pair of shoes people!). Tanner is said to be two years old. He was at the shelter for half his life and the year before that was assumed hellish. When he came to the SPCA he was near death starved and obviously abused. What dog wouldn't need an extra helping of love, patience and understanding after all that? The first 2 months were definitely a challenge to say the least, the third month I wondered if he would ever really bond with me and by the fouth month, BLISS. I think he finally feels like he has a home, a family, food to eat and unmeasurable love and attention. He still has moments of anxiety but I have learned how to help him through them. He responds well to a calm and soothing voice.
I still (and probably always will) look at him and cannot help but think that he was so close to not being on this planet and what a loss that would have been. It makes me sad for all the dogs that were not so lucky.
More pics of Tanner are in my photo album. I am curious to hear what you all think he may be besides the cutest little critter ever.