Rambo and I met online. It was love at first sight. And before long I arranged to meet him.
It was my friend Amanda who first introduced me to Monika’s Doggie Rescue, a no-kill rescue shelter based in Ingleside. She found her two gorgeous dogs Mondoe and Alfie there. So, before long, I was browsing the website and came upon a tiny dog called Tappy.
I decided to meet Tappy. He was hesitant and slow when we went for a walk – not at all like the bounding, playful dogs you see in TV commercials. I stopped on a park bench and picked him up to sit next to me. He looked up at me, a total stranger, and crawled onto my lap. He was already 12 years old – it’s tough for mature dogs to find a forever home. And I got the feeling that many people had considered Tappy in the past and decided against him.
But I knew that he should become part of our family. I went home that day to think about it, got written permission from our body corporate and then went shopping for a comfy doggie bed. Returning to the shelter the next week, I decided his name would be Rambo. It sounded strong. A name that this tentative, delicate creature could grow into.
When Doggie Rescue got him, he was a mere 1.8kgs. (He was about to be put down at the pound when he was rescued by Monika’s team.) Tiny. Bony. His fur was thin. He had no teeth. I thought he was the most beautiful thing in the world.
For the first six months, Rambo didn’t lift his head once. He used to stand in the kitchen or lounge room, looking forlorn. Too scared to look up, always facing downward, just staring at the floor. He barely walked, not because he wasn’t able, but it was as if every step was going to take him to a scary place.
Then one day he came around. One day, he got a spring in his step and bounded down the street like a playful puppy. He put on weight. He spent his days happily following me around instead of staring downward all the time. He would smile. Yes, really smile. You know when a dog is happy. And that made me smile too.
It’s been four years since Rambo came into my life. Welcoming him into my family – adopting a rescue dog that had been abandoned by someone – was one of the best decisions of my life.
Monika’s Doggie Rescue does amazing work with little funding. Its major fundraising activity for the year is the sale of its Christmas Calendar. Despite the fact that Rambo is not a star in the calendar (it’s ok, he’s been in other calendars!), I encourage you to support this wonderful organisation by purchasing one. It’s a great Christmas gift. You can order one here.
Posted on 7 November 2012