Man ready to return his new dog back to shelter, finds out something unexpected that leaves him in tears.
Love, compassion, loyalty… these are some of the words that come to our heads when we think about dogs, dogs are indeed the most friendly and faithful creatures they care for their owners in a way.
Nobody else will and are the most cherished part of their lives, bringing a dog into your home acts as a major source of positivity and happiness.
Keeping the same thought in mind, Anthony decided to adopt the dog to get rid of the loneliness he felt after moving to a new town, little did he know the dog he would end up adopting from the shelter will be far from his expectations of a pet.
It had been six months since Anthony moved into his home in the city. Six months period is not that long, except for him, it didn’t feel that way. From the moment he moved here he felt at home. The people were incredibly hospitable and no matter what the time of day was. The city never slept.
Despite the friendly neighbors and the lively city, Anthony had one struggle, the feeling of loneliness he was single and living alone was gradually starting to take a toll on his mood. He decided he wanted some company and what other company could he ask for when the local newspapers were flooded with ads about shelters and animals needing a home?
It was a bright sunday morning, Anthony was on his way to an animal shelter eager to adopt a pet. He could barely contain his excitement, as he spotted the shelter from his car. It was a faded gray-colored building with a rustic fence around it, Anthony parked his car and reached the reception. The moment was finally here. Anthony was browsing the cages for a while.
Now he knew he wanted a dog, but he couldn’t decide which one to get, they were all adorable, but something didn’t seem to fit. Anthony was about to turn around when he spotted a cage at the far end of the aisle, as he got closer to the cage. He spotted a dog inside.
Anthony kneeled in front of the cage and took a look at the dog inside. He was a black labrador curled up in a corner. When the dog’s eyes met anthony’s, he approached him slowly and looked up to him with his beautiful but sad eyes.
Anthony assumed living at the shelter is the reason behind the sadness in the dog’s eyes. He needed a home to be loved and cared for. Anthony came to know that the dog’s name is Reggie. He couldn’t point out what the reason was, but he knew that this is the dog he is meant to take home.
The shelter was more than happy for Reggie. Apparently, a lot of the people were interested in adopting him, but for some reason they thought he is not the right fit for them and backed out.
At the last moment, the shelter told Anthony that it might take Reggie up to two weeks to adjust to his new home, so he should be patient with him. They packed all of Reggie’s belongings, which included a sleeping bed, a food bowl and a bunch of his toys, and the duo was on its way home on the drive back home.
Anthony was extra careful with Reggie, as he seemed to be on edge. Any sudden movement would make him jump and tremble in fear, Anthony concluded that the dog might have dealt with abusive experiences, which made him this scared and disturbed.
The only thing that seemed to put Reggie at ease was a tennis ball He found among his old things. He liked to sink his teeth into it, but other than that Reggie was not a fan of this car ride away from the shelter.
Anthony was hopeful once they reached home, the dog would settle in nicely. He could not have been more wrong as Anthony pulled up in his driveway. He realized the dog is becoming restless again.
He opened his side of the door, but Reggie didn’t make any movement. Anthony had to carry him inside the house, because he was trembling with fear and unable to step inside. Reggie spent the entire evening trembling in the corner underneath the sofa.
Anthony couldn’t understand what he was so scared of. He knew this place was unfamiliar for the dog, but it seemed like there was something else too, which was bothering Reggie, but he was simply unaware of it.
Anthony decided to buy all brand new things for Reggie in hopes that he will bring a fresh start for the dog as staring at the old stuff will only remind Reggie of the bad experiences he had. Anthony decided to put all of his old things in the back of the garage closet because somehow throwing it all away didn’t feel right. Unfortunately, the new things made no changes in Reggie’s behavior.
He was still a sad afraid little dog who didn’t like to be seen. Anthony was getting concerned. By this point, he expected a happy addition to his life after adopting a dog, but Reggie was quite opposite of that he kept to himself and didn’t seem to be interested in anything.
Disappointment lingered in Anthony’s life as his hope of getting rid of loneliness didn’t deliver. He expected to bring home a happy playful dog who would keep him busy, but Reggie was quite opposite of that.
As a result, Anthony was still lonely and Reggie didn’t seem happy to him either. He kept wondering what he was doing wrong. Anthony had no idea what to do to get rid of Reggie’s sadness, so he did what he knew, how to do. He gave him food water, shelter all of his attention and took him for walks, but Reggie didn’t seem to care for much. His eyes were still sad and he didn’t want to go out or eat or do anything he liked to be left alone.
Despite Anthony’s countless efforts, Reggie did not show any changes. He would rarely follow general instructions like sit or stay that too, if he was in the mood to top that he didn’t seem to respond to his name either. He acted like he was a lost soul who didn’t know where he belonged. Two weeks were now over and Anthony had seen no change in Reggie.
He had a feeling, this problem runs deeper than he thought. The shelter asked him to give him two weeks to adjust, and now the time was up Anthony’s ambition to help the dog had failed. He was still in his shell and refused to come out no matter what he did.
It was time to decide. Anthony decided to return Reggie to the shelter. It was a heartbreaking decision because Anthony wanted to keep him, but he knew that he is unable to help him in the way Reggie needs it.
Anthony was still lonely and Reggie was still unhappy. He figured the shelter will find him a different home one which will help nobody’s business. I trained Reggie with small food, treats nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dogs, so it was clear to Anthony that Reggie was trained by his previous owner. The previous owner also warned Anthony about something which didn’t come as a surprise. He wrote be forewarned.
Reggie doesn’t like the vet. Good luck getting him in the car. I don’t know exactly how he knows when it’s time for him to go to the vet, but he can somehow sense it. The owner suggested how Reggie should be showered with lots of attention. Finally, be patient with him, I’ve never been married, so it’s only been me in his whole life he’s used to going everywhere with me, so please take him on your daily car rides.
If you can, he loved to be around new people, especially me, which means this transition is going to be hard with him going to live with someone new. This letter was slowly helping Anthony in understanding Reggie, better his fear, his lack of interest, his mood to be left alone. It all made sense to him.
He lived with one man, his whole life, so, of course it was difficult for him to live with a new owner. Anthony was truly surprised by what the letter said.
Next, I need to share one more bit of info with you. His name is not Reggie. I don’t know what made me do it exactly, but when I dropped him off at the shelter I just told them, his name was Reggie, so the dog was not called Reggie, but why did the owner give a fake name at the shelter he’s a clever dog He’ll get used to it and will respond eventually, but I couldn’t bear to give them his real name, for me to do that, it would feel so final that handing him over was admitting that I’d never see him again.
Anthony realized how painful it must have been for the owner to give away his dog the letter read. If i end up coming back and tearing up this letter, then everything is fine, but if someone else is reading this, then his new owner should know his real name. It will help you bond with him, who knows maybe you’ll even notice a change in him. If he’s difficult, his real name is Tank, because that’s what I drive so the dog’s real name was Tank.
Anthony could tell, by reading this letter, that the owner loved Tank immensely, which is what confused him. Why did he put the dog up for adoption if they loved each other so much out of all the possible reasons, Anthony could imagine the truth turned out to be far from his expectations.
The letter read, I told the shelter that they couldn’t put my dog up for adoption until they received word from my commander. There was no one I could have left Tank with. It was my only real request of the army upon my deployment to Iraq that they make one phone call to the shelter in the event of to tell them Tank could be put up for adoption. Anthony found himself getting emotional now.
This was too depressing. He continued reading, though well, this letter is getting depressing, even though I’m just writing it for my dog, but dogs can be like family and he has been with me for the past six years, almost as long as the army has been my family, that unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things. If I had to give up tank to do it, I’m glad to have done so he was my example of service and love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.
Anthony’s eyes were blurry now he didn’t even realize when his eyes welled up. The owner thanked Anthony for taking care of his dog.
I have to drop this letter at the shelter now. I don’t think I can bear another goodbye to Tank, though I cried so much. The first time, maybe I’ll peek in on him and see if he finally managed to get that third ball in his mouth. Good luck with Tank, give him a good home and give him an extra kiss good night every night from me. Thank you. Paul Mallory.
The name Paul Mallory ringed a bell in Anthony’s head. He had heard this name when he first moved into the city. He was known to be a hero amongst the people who lived here. Unfortunately, he passed away during his deployment in Iraq. He was on a mission to save three team members later on. He was rewarded with a silver star for his noble endeavors.
Anthony was completely sobbing by this point, the letter was so saddening. He needed time to gather himself now, every time he looked at the dog he remembered Paul and how much he loved tank, he knew he can’t send tank back to the shelter. The poor thing had already lost a home. Anthony called out to the dog, hey Tank, the dog’s eyes immediately opened and he came running towards Anthony. He couldn’t believe his eyes. It felt like calling him by his name was all it took to remind him of who he is.
Tank didn’t feel lost anymore and took notice of his new owner. Anthony petted him lovingly. Things would never be the same for either of them.
From now on, Anthony knew he can’t return Tank to the shelter not after knowing his story. He wanted to honor Paul’s wish and love and care for Tank just like he used to. “I can only hope and pray that you make him a part of your family and that he will adapt and come to love you the same way he loved me”, Anthony will remember these words forever.
Soon enough, Anthony earned tank’s trust. Tank felt safe around him and was more happy to play ball with him accompany him on his car rides and just be the normal happy ball of sunshine he always had been.
Anthony would even let him roam free in the park because he knew tank will come back to him. Anthony knew Paul was watching over Tank and would be extremely proud and happy of his progress. Tank was back to his normal playful self.
He was no longer the scared puppy hiding in the corner of a room with sad eyes. He was happy again and Anthony had Paul to thank for it. He admired the love he had for his dog and promised to love Tank.