Editor, Daily Press:
About six weeks ago Lily, my puppy, disappeared. After checking with all the neighbors on Highway10 and the Illinois River Store to find out if anyone had seen her, I decided to check the city pound.
When I visited the pound, Lily was not there. As I inspected the lost dogs, I found a puppy that had been run over and dropped off at the pound. She was so tiny and heartbroken, I could not bear the thought of going home without her. Mind you, I was not looking to replace Lily; she was a rescue I took in two and a half years earlier. But my heart went out to this little 8-1/2-pound miniature pinscher. After discussing it with my husband, we adopted her.
As I left the pound, the gentleman who worked there thanked me repeatedly. He told me her allotted time was up (as it was with the other dogs in his care) and was obviously relieved that at least one had found a home. And this is why I am writing to you.
Every city has responsibility to its citizens to protect the children from stray dogs that might be harmful, but it is a job I have never considered before now. I had the old stereotypical picture of a dog catcher in my head, and that could not be further from the truth. I want the people in Tahlequah to know that although it is a job I would not want myself, someone has to do it. And this someone is loving and humane in the way he treats the dogs in his care, up to the very end. I just want to say thank you to Glen Ryals and Mike Fisher for the way they treat these animals, even though it is such a tough job.
This experience totally changed my opinion of the necessity, although sad outcome, of having a city animal shelter. It is only necessary because of the people who live here who refuse to take responsibility for their pets. If you are a pet owner, you are responsible for what happens at the pound every time you allow your pets to breed and reproduce when puppies are not wanted and cared for.
For the first week, we literally took turns holding this baby. All this puppy wanted was to be loved and fed - and she eats so little! We had plenty of food and plenty of love to share. As it turned out, that was all she needed. Within one and a half weeks, she was walking with her hind legs, her back was healing and her dandruff had cleared. She can now maneuver the porch steps and across the threshold. She now has a name – Isabel (Izzy for short) – and she is happy, and oh so loving.
This story has a happy ending: After 19 days, Lily found her way back home. She had lost several pounds and her ribs were visible, but has been home a week now and already putting on weight and recovering from her ordeal. Now we are doubly blessed with two little girls to love, and they are slowly bonding.
If any of you out there are considering a pet, please, please, please go by the pound and see if there is a stray there that will meet your needs. I am sure you will be blessed as we were.