The story making the rounds several weeks ago about the aged Labrador retriever that had been adopted from a pound, returned and then readopted, caught my attention. It was a heart-warming story that, thank goodness, had a happy ending. A member of the Walton family -- they own Walmart stores -- read about the dog's plight. The dog is now happily ensconced on a three-acre estate in Florida living high on the hog.
This wonderful story reminded me of a similar incident that happened to me. Laura McIntosh, Jenny Kelly and I at one time had a business called Deer Tongue Trading Company in the old Deer Tongue Building now called Jack's on S.C. 46. We were often inundated with stray cats and dogs. One day, in the pouring rain, a gaunt-looking black lab mix appeared on our porch. We discovered that the dog was a "she," and I named her Sue. Sue made it clear she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, so I took her home with me because I was afraid she would get run over.
The odd thing was that Sue kept getting fatter and fatter even though she was only fed twice a day. Soon, to the dismay of my family, it became apparent we were going to have puppies. Sue got so big I thought she was going to pop. Well, pop she did in my closet one night. We now had 12 dogs instead of one.
For a week, everything went well and then the worm turned. Sue decided she had had enough of motherhood and refused to nurse her babies. I was beside myself. Puppies make lots of noise when they are hungry and sleep became impossible. One morning, I headed to a toy store and bought several doll size bottles and then went to a drugstore where I got several baby bottles and baby formula. For three weeks, I fed all 11 puppies night and day and got no sleep to speak of while Sue lay around watching the drama. As soon as the puppies were old enough, they were put on the screen porch with much hope they would grow up fast. I found homes, believe it or not, for all 11.
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Since it was obvious Sue was a lazy critter and just loved to do nothing, I decided she needed new living arrangements. I got her fixed and groomed so she looked like a million bucks and then put advertisements in The Island Packet: "Wonderful fuzzy, black, four-legged couch potato free to good home." I got several calls and one very interested lady wanted to come meet Sue, and I thought maybe if they liked each other I was home free.
The meeting was arranged one Saturday at the Deer Tongue Building. A four-door black Cadillac pulled into the driveway at the appointed hour. A very well-dressed lady got out and came over to greet me and the dog, who had a very angelic look on her face. It was love at first sight for both. The lady and her family lived part-time in Harbour Town in Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island and Ohio. When she opened the back door of the Cadillac, Sue did not hesitate; she knew a good thing when she saw it. That was the last I ever saw of either of them, for which I was eternally thankful. Good things come to those who wait.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.