Sarasota County has a population of about 390,000 people but a friendly small town feel. This is a happy ending tale of a puppy and a small woman with a big heart. She has asked me not to reveal her name. She wants no accolades for what she does and she doesn’t need additional business.
Approximately a month or so ago Bob called me from the site of an abandoned farm. He was uncharacteristically upset. Someone had placed a 3-4 month old black Labrador Retriever mix puppy in an open kennel and left it. The week had been a scorcher and the puppy had no food or water. She was skinny with skin that just seemed to hang. She was invested with fleas and ticks. Furthermore the kennel was overrun with fire ants and the puppy had been bitten unmercifully. What a way for a puppy to start life!
Trevor and Bob didn’t know how long the puppy had been there but it seemed reasonable to believe she had been left to die. She didn’t act like she had been beaten or physically abused. She was thin and scraggly looking but despite this she was adorably friendly.
We didn’t want three dogs. We are all working up to 7 days/week and sometimes feel guilty for not spending enough time with the two we have. We take the responsibility of being a pet owner seriously. Our dogs live with us in every sense of the word – and have become part of our family. Our vet in Maine told us he had never seen such healthy dogs as our two.
We knew that living in a crate for up to 12 hours a day is no life for a puppy. However this little black puppy tugged at our hearts and there was no way we could just take her to a shelter so of course she came home for us to love her and nurse her back to health. She tore up our house and our lives but I looked forward to her jubilant greeting each morning.
We spent a week trying to decide what name fit this black bundle of energy who seemed to flourish under all the attention. Finally one day Trevor announced her name was Mojo. It fit!
One night at Dolce Italia we started talking to a couple at the next table. The gentleman spoke Italian to Pippo and Tiziana (the owners) and remarked that we had made great choices in both coming there as well as what we had ordered. His lovely and gracious blond wife explained that she was in the animal care business. This led me to tell her about Mojo and I asked her if she knew of anyone who wanted a puppy. She explained she had been very successful in helping others and promised she would help us find the perfect home for her.
This became the start of a friendship that I’m sure will last a lifetime. My petite and energetically compassionate friend began an exhaustive search for the perfect family for Mojo. She had me bring her to her place of business and no one went by without hearing about the puppy’s plight. Several wanted Mojo but were turned away as not being suitable. Mojo is going to be a good sized dog and she needs to live in a house with a yard rather than an apartment. My new friend said she was going to be sure that Mojo had a life that made up for the first few months.
Every evening I would pick her up from the business. Her little tummy was full of treats and her crate had an abundance of toys donated by my Southern Belle friend. We both decided that Mojo was probably a lab-pitbull mix. We discussed the wonderful characteristics of both breeds and decided that Mojo would of course have all of them. The small but big hearted woman told me that her father’s best dog was exactly this. He had loved this dog for 18 years and recently lost it. She briefly considered taking Mojo to him but he is elderly and frail. An exuberant puppy was NOT what his doctor would have prescribed.
Finally I received a call I longed for and yet dreaded. She had found a home! A single father had been looking for a puppy just like Mojo. He planned on taking her everywhere with him and promised she would receive all the love she so richly deserved. My friend brought him the puppy, a crate, toys, a 20 lb bag of food, heartworm meds and Frontline to keep away the fleas. All out of her own pocket!
It has been 3 days now. I can’t help but cry as I write this. I miss Mojo. Sometimes we have to do difficult things for the betterment of those we love.
This tale has such a happy ending. Mojo is being loved and treated like a princess. I have a good friend in Sarasota. And with any luck at all, I’ll get visiting rights with Mojo……
p.s. All pix of Mojo are “after”. A lady doesn’t deserve a photo shoot when she’s not looking her best!