Stories

"That Dog Ain't Worth a Damn" Randy Skaggs-May 2006

Well, I suppose to that “good ‘ole boy” from eastern Kentucky – the tired, old, lost hunting dog wasn’t worth much – but to me, she was a real sweetheart; I named her “Honey Dew”…

It was about four or five years or so ago when I heard the dogs barking and making quite a commotion. When I got to where all of the excitement was taking place – I could see on the other side of the chain link fencing, a very emaciated hunting dog – hunkered down, frightened and looking very, very hungry. Immediately I stopped whatever it was I was working on and went to her, gathering her in my arms and carrying her to one of the secluded, empty dog runs. Soon, I had a full bowl of either Iams or Science Diet dog food for her to eat; she was simply famished. Truthfully, over the years, several times “hunting dogs” have wandered in – lost, looking for their “masters” or someone or something of recognition. Moreover, most of the time, the dogs are wearing collars which have metal identification tags on them; this Walker Coon Hound was no different from the rest – she did indeed have an attached metal plate on her collar.

Within a few minutes, I had called the number that was on the dog‘s collar and soon found myself talking to some middle-aged guy from a rural, southeastern Kentucky county. When I told him about the dog that had just wandered in – he said, that he no longer “owned” the dog – that he had recently sold it to his hunting buddy for fifty dollars. Then, he went on to elaborate about how the dog was afraid of the sound of gunshot and wouldn't hunt. Or, to put it into his own words, “That dog ain’t worth a damn.” A few minutes later – after he had finished trashing the dog – he gave me the telephone number of the dog’s new owner. Telling him that I would contact the fellow, I hung up. And, it was about that time I suppose, I went back over to where the old dog was now sleeping and resting. Looking at her peacefully lying there – seeing how contented and safe she was – with plenty of fresh food, cold drinking water and a nice warm dog house to stay in – I thought to myself – how unlikely it was that she would ever receive this kind of treatment from her new “owner”. To him, she would probably just be a “thing” to be used – and then thrown away or traded when she failed to live up to his expectations – or even worse, beaten, for not adequately performing. I guess it just didn’t matter to him that the old dog had feelings too. Her life with him, would probably be one of sorrow...

It’s hard not to remember things like that from the past. My guess is that most people would have simply telephoned the new owner, had him come and pick up the old dog and never given it any more thought – “out of sight, out of mind”. Instead, I took the collar off of the tired, old forlorn dog’s neck and just threw it away – along with the new owner’s telephone number. On the morning of this past Sunday, April 30th – with Honey Dew’s aged white and tan head resting thankfully, lovingly on my right shoulder – I couldn’t help but let my mind fleetingly race back to that day years and years ago – while my sweet, gentle, beloved angel was drawing her last breath, dying in my arms...

Truly, it’s beyond me, how that man could have ever said, “That dog ain’t worth a damn...”

 

"Three Little Babies" Randy Skaggs-September 2013

On Monday morning, recently, The Trixie Foundation’s founder Randy Skaggs was running errands - ‘out and about’ picking up necessary building supplies, dog and cat food plus other needed items. After pulling into a BP service station in Ashland, Kentucky where he ‘gassed up’ - upon finishing and walking towards the building to pay the cashier for his purchase - he saw a young woman with a small puppy who was standing outside the door asking an unconcerned, confused patron that was in the process of getting into his car if he would take it. Of course, the bewildered man just ignored her pleas and slowly pulled away into the traffic…

Realizing that maybe ‘fate’ had once again played a part in his ongoing quest to help the defenseless, unwanted animals of Appalachia - Randy then began talking to the woman who was on the verge of tears. After a few minutes, he found out that she was moving to Pennsylvania and was unable to take the three ‘pit bull, Chihuahua, dachshund mixes’ she dearly loved with her. As a matter of fact - she said she had already found two different individuals to take the other two tiny puppies the day before. Furthermore, that it was the first time the ‘babies’ had ever been separated from each other since birth. Seeing for himself just how afraid and confused the small pup was which she was holding - Randy realized that more than likely, the others were just as unhappy and scared also. After speaking with the woman further - Randy told her to go and get the other two (a brother and a sister) and to telephone him when they were all ready to be picked up and taken to their new home at The Trixie Foundation’s care-for-life no-kill animal sanctuary, Eden. Three days later, the happy, reunited pups were welcomed by our rescued boy Nick at Eden. So, what do you think - do they look happy to be together again? Oh yeah, we know so...