Sunday, 24 June 2012

Happy Ending for Rambo - He Adopted his Forever Family

By Colleen H. 

Lots of Love for Rambo!
I wanted to share The Story of Rambo. My husband and I are dog lovers and we have always had a dog or two in our lives. We have chosen to adopt rescue dogs in the past and this has always worked out well for us. Our most recent rescue was a Dalmatian that we adopted as a 12 week old puppy in l998.   Despite, or maybe because of, her insane energy we came to love this dog dearly.  She was a big part of our family. Unfortunately 13 and a half years flew by and we had to put her humanely down in December.   We were heartbroken, missed her desperately and were not even able to talk about getting another dog for months.

But time tends to heal, or at least soften, our pains and as the spring came I found myself searching the web for a furry addition to our lives. Our circumstances had changed, however, as we now had a 16 month old daughter to consider.  Obviously we now needed a gentle dog that would not frighten our daughter. A dog that was young enough that she could grow up with it, but who was not as demanding of our time as a puppy would be.   Eventually we found a dog that we wanted to go and meet through Manitoba Mutts. We made application on line and were approved to go and meet her at her foster home.  

She was a beautiful, happy and very energetic dog. In fact, she was too energetic for our new family situation.   We played with her along with the two other dogs that were at the same foster home.   One of the dogs had just had a front leg amputation 3 weeks earlier. That would, of course, be Rambo.  As the two other dogs were running around playing with each other, Rambo stayed back and was chewing on his bone, observing us. I now believe he was surveying the situation and trying to decide if he should put the moves on us, so to speak.   Eventually he must have decided we were worthy of his attention because he came up to my husband and leaned all over him, pawed him and even gave out a few kisses. There was a photographer in the foster house taking pictures of some of the other dogs for the Manitoba Mutts website, and she commented how Rambo seemed to have chosen us! In hindsight, I think she was right!

When we left the foster home, we drove home in silence, each in our own thoughts. Eventually my husband commented that the dog we had gone to meet was probably too high energy for us and for our daughter.   I agreed. But Rambo has a way of worming into your thoughts and your heart and later on in the evening my husband commented that he really liked that Rambo! I laughed - I really liked him too! So we thought about adopting Rambo and tried to do some research so we could make a rational decision with our heads and not just our hearts.   Would a dog with three legs require special care?  Could we take him for regular walks?   What if he hurt one of his other legs? Would his past life experiences have a detrimental effect on his personality?  And of course, how would he be with our daughter? In the end, it was futile. The photographer was right.  Rambo chose us.

So on Friday, June 1st, we went to pick up Rambo and bring him home. Here is this dog, who likely never had a home of his own, that just had his front leg amputated, and who has turned out to be one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs you could meet. He is wonderful with our daughter, patiently accepting the smallest food morsel she offers in her chubby little hands, sometimes deciding not to even hand it over after all!  Despite his brand new dog bed, Rambo loves the couch, especially the chaise lounge part where he can really stretch out. He loves the comfy red armchair that he somehow squeezes into and ends up leaving his fur all over. He loves playing in the backyard with all of us around, throwing the frisbee or the football or chewing on a bone. When he runs, he has such momentum you would never know he is missing a leg. Most of all Rambo is a snuggler. He leans all of his his 72 pounds against you, trapping you, and wants hugging, loving, belly-rubs and kisses. As much as you can give him. I think he is making up for lost time. You cannot make eye contact with him if you are not willing to share some lovin' with him!

We love Rambo and will do our best to ensure the rest of his life is peaceful, happy, fun and without any further tragedy. We feel very fortunate to have found him and we recognize how special he is. I must say, he really did choose well!

Having a Beer with Dad! 

Hanging out! 

Survivor Rambo got his Second Chance! 

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