Recently, I got an unusual email with the subject line “Lab purchased from you?” It was from a woman named Maryann in New Jersey explaining that she had tracked me down as the possible breeder of a dog whose original owner had died and the current owner was critically ill. When she went on to state the original owner and dog’s names, I knew it was one of my puppies from three years ago. I don’t breed very often and I take it to heart where my puppies go.

Maryann is the hero of this story. She stepped in to help the four dogs left in the house when the owner was hospitalized. She went to all the trouble to find me and look for other breeders. She warned me that the dogs were not in good condition. I responded to her immediately that I would get my puppy (now adult) and bring him home to care for him. I contacted a friend of mine, Georgann Syphard of Loveladies Labradors to see if she could go and pick up the dog. Without a second’s hesitation, she agreed to do so and then I drove to get the dog from her.

The original emailer was right. The dog, Shinook, is very thin. Apparently the man had no food for himself or the dogs. Such a sad situation. My contract for a puppy states that the dog is to be returned to me for ANY reason it can no longer stay in its home. I guess when people are dying, the last thing they think about is the puppy contract. While the original owner did make arrangements for his dog, the next owner developed health problems. I am just grateful I have this dog back in my care.

Shinook’s future is bright. He is eating well, gaining strength and has a terrific attitude. He will stay here with me during his recovery. And one day, will go to a forever home to be loved and cared for.