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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Paws with a Cause: Tank's Story

I'm posting early today to tell you about a special guest post over at book reviewer, Jackie Burris's blog. I met Jackie several years ago on Goodreads when I noticed her profile picture of a precious chihuahua. I immediately sent a 'friend request' because honestly, you just can't say no to a cute chihuahua. We've remained friends since and even met once when we were both in the same town for a visit.

So when Jackie put a call out for pet stories, I knew I had a million of them. Rather than recount Tank's rescue story, I told what happened after he had settled in and how he became the most revered member of our family. Story here. Bring a tissue. I think you'll need it.

Tank almost didn't get adopted by us. I was still grieving for Isis, who had been gone a couple of years, and I felt I wasn't ready to add to the family. But Greg had been scanning the rescue sites regularly and had chosen Brutus. He was a big older rottweiler. Since we'd had experience with big dogs, he felt we could offer the best home. 

The rescue site agreed...but then came a strange heavenly intervention. Somehow, a mistake was made on Brutus's application papers and he had already been adopted by someone else. 

Greg was devastated because he'd had his heart set on getting Brutus. The lady at the rescue site apologized profusely and offered another dog, a long, lanky boy called Tank. But she had to warn us. Tank was an escape artist. They would have to examine our fence to make sure he couldn't get out.

We agreed and the lady brought him out to us. When he got out of the van, the whole vehicle lifted up. LOL! The first thing out of Greg's mouth was: "Oh, I see you've brought your horse."

Tank was young and hadn't yet filled out to his adult weight, but he was BIG. Greg fell in love immediately, but I was reluctant until Chelly, my best buddy, sniffed him and wagged her tail. She liked him--a lot. And that was good enough for me.

He settled in beautifully. He and I had only one altercation when he scarfed down a pan of freshly cooked liver off the stove. I'd never had a dog so tall he could counter-surf. But once corrected, Tank never makes the same mistake twice.

In the beginning he was Greg's dog, but then came the night that changed things between me and Tank forever. This is that story. I hope you'll stop by and share your experiences.

Note: That escape artist tag was a misnomer. Tank didn't actually climb the six foot fence to escape. He had noticed a big comfy couch in the breezeway on his way to the dog run. He felt that was a much cozier bed than concrete. 

***

Paws with a Cause is a site I've donated to regularly. Jackie will have more information on her blog on how you can too. With so many pets abandoned or mistreated, it's definitely a worthy cause.

Can you see the passage of time on your pets?


Young Tank


Tank 2012





32 comments:

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Even thinking of Molly or Lucy leaving my side breaks my heart. It's been 12 years since I lost my white GSD. I'd never been so loved, before her...until Molly came around.

I miss my Lucy so badly...(my wife understands...she likes Lucy more than me, I'm pretty sure) can't wait to get back to Tampa.

Molly hates the dirt here in El Paso. She's ready to go home too.

ahh...dog stories...I start blathering.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: Re: ...my wife understands...she likes Lucy more than me...

LOL. Why is it I understand this all too well?

I hope you'll get to go home soon. Any time away from loved ones is hard on the heart and the soul.

Jackie Burris said...

Maria Tank is a very special pet whose early introduction into your household had to have been worth a million stories at least, and now all these years later you shared the best one of the bunch and it really did make me grab for the box of tissues too!

God Bless our furry friends as they really do enrich our lives during the time we have them with us and take a chunk of our heart with them when they go.

Angela Brown said...

Having had a chance to be in Tank's presence, to experience his sage doggie wisdom and feel pet love from him, well...I'm a bit speechless now. Feeling the tears just thinking about he seems to look at you - straight in the face - and say, "I'm your friend. Don't worry 'bout a thing."

Okay, grabbing the tissue now becuz I can tell I'll be crying for general purposes since the pet story will involve Tank.

Jenny Schwartz said...

"brought your horse"!! LOL

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Greg and I know we'll never see his like again in our lifetime.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: On top of that he has the patience of a saint. I don't know anyone else who would put up with puppies pulling at his jowls. Poor old guy.

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: The first time we met him, it floored us because he was so big. We'd had rotties before but none this tall.

He is so good-natured though. He's only intimidating to bad guys.:)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My rottie was a wonderful dog. he still visits my dreams occasionally.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Your story did make me cry.

LD Masterson said...

I knew better than to go read that story but I did it anyway. Now my head's all stuffed up from crying.

And I borrowed you gang for my own blog today...but the photo's are mine.

Cate Masters said...

Only through photos do I notice my pets growing older. And I take a lot of photos! They really are like furry babies, and it leaves an unfillable void when they pass.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: It's such a bittersweet feeling when I dream of the dogs who have passed away. To see them but never touch them.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: And you left out the best picture and then try to blackmail me. For shame, Linda! For shame.


I knew I should've taken a picture of you and that chicken on MY camera. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: Even though I know they get older, I'm often shocked when I compare them to the their first pictures.

Of course, I look in the mirror and wonder what happened to that perky 20 year old. LOL.

Mike Keyton said...

Those two photos are wonderful, one, the louche teenager, the other almost Bismarkian in its seen-it-all grandeur. I also loved the term 'counter-surfing': )

Carol Kilgore said...

Tank is a happy dog :)

We once had a Great Dane who was an expert counter surfer.

Now I'm searching for a tissue before I go to Jackie's blog.

Mike Keyton said...

And I've just read Jackie's blog but couldn't find a comment box. Just to say I remember your grief at Chelly dying, but this account is masterful, and possibly cathartic even after all this time.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Throughout the years, what makes Tank, Tank remains the same, perhaps a little seasoned and sage from experience.

Thanks for popping in to Jackie's blog. I think her comment box is way at the bottom after the Paws with a Cause statement.

You are right about it being cathartic. Thank you for your kind words.

Maria Zannini said...

Carol: LOL. Tank is a very content dog. As long as he gets his meals on time and a soft bed for his bones, he is blissful.

Re: counter-surfing
I'd never had a tall enough dog to do that and it surprised me. I'll bet you had to put things way up high with a Great Dane.

Darke Conteur said...

I know my husband wants to get another dog, just to keep the cats on their toes, but it's so much work owning a dog, and I'm still not over Sara. I still get teary when I think of her.

Giacomo Giammatteo said...

Maria: great story on Tank. And so heartwarming. I can picture him counter surfing, as I have a few tall enough to do that also. It keeps you on your toes.

raelynbarclay said...

Awww...

Tank certainly is one-of-a-kind. I can tell it was blessings all the way around!

I hope I can meet him one day :) (So jealous Angela!)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, my gosh!! That totally brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful story. Tank knew exactly what you needed. So sweet.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: I know what you mean. It takes me longer to get over a death than Greg. Everybody grieves differently.

And you're right. It is a LOT of work. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Jim: With your Dane, I'll bet you need a ladder to get to all the things you have to put up. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: You have a standing invitation should you ever make it up to north Texas. --I need someone to give me cooking lessons. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: I've never met another dog quite like Tank. It's as if he can see into your soul.

Damyanti said...

Pets growing older is one of the reasons my husbands won't let me have any. I keep fish. Sigh.

Damyanti
Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

Maria Zannini said...

Damyanti: But you can't cuddle a fish. :) I did have Oscars that liked to come to the surface and take food from my hand though.

Thanks for popping in, Damyanti!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Can't wait to read the stories!
My George (he's 7) started going gray maybe two years ago, so you can definitely see the passage of time on his face. That, and of course, his ears weren't up when he was a bitty puppy. That took awhile before they were ready to stand proud

Maria Zannini said...

George will always be a young pup in my eyes. :)