I’m a Charlie Brown Christmas tree kinda gal. I have an eternal soft spot for the underdog (no pun intended), especially when it comes to our furry friends. Introduce me to a three-legged dachshund or a chihuahua with a missing eye and I’m head over heels. I’ve never understood why people head to shelters (or breeders, for that matter) seeking out the “perfect-looking” animal. Perfection is an illusion, anyway, and seeking it is what leads to pet over-breeding and homeless animals. Those with special needs or the ones that look a little bit different are often the most exceptional of all, a fact many an adoptive family will attest to.
On a recent visit to MDAS, I had to scan the adoption floor seeking a specific dog our rescue was looking for. I HATE going back there – I cry every single time, and often leave in hysterics. Each of those beautiful creatures deserves a loving home, and instead the majority are doomed to die. I can’t save them all, and that knowledge is beyond heartbreaking. This time, one special fellow caught my eye. He was lying on his bed, away from the cage wall, decked out in a red t-shirt. I looked at his kennel card, and it read “DEFORMED but super sweet!” Deformed?! Why on earth would anyone write that on his card in the first place?! I called him over, and he walked my way with tail wagging. I sat with him and scratched his head. He was an absolute doll. His “deformity” was a body that looked to be squished. Instead of a long torso, as an American bulldog should have, his middle area was super stocky and compact. This “deformity” didn’t slow him down, however. Whatever judgments or labels humans might apply to him – he didn’t seem to know there was anything wrong with him. Adopters, though, passed right by his cage the minute they caught a glimpse of his description. But to me, Willy Wonka (as he was dubbed by shelter staff) was gorgeous, and I had to get him out.
The good news for this special guy is that I’m picking him up on Thursday afternoon. He’ll go into quarantine boarding with Southpaw, and then be ready to find his forever home. I have no doubt that a wonderful family is awaiting the arrival of this unique and incredible boy into their lives. And so, regardless of his imperfections, Willy will be saved. Miracles come in all shapes, sizes, body types and personalities. Deformed, my ass!