Those of us on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other popular social networking sites have most likely caught up with old friends, established new business connections, snuck a peek at pictures of an old fl ame or have even avoided a friend request from someone we just didn’t know…or let’s be honest knew all too well! But we are also very aware of the power of the repost and how fast a story can circulate. Hence the story of Chunk, a little brown and white Boston Terrier who captured my heart in less than 24 hours. I first learned about Chunk via an email from St. Francis Society Animal Rescue in late October. Chunk’s bio was emailed along with a few other dogs who had limited time left at Polk County Animal Services. I scrolled down the list of dogs and promptly hit forward and typed in all of my “dog” friends and customers who I knew would forward the email along. Typically, someone in the litany of forwarded emails is touched by a dog’s plight and volunteers to be a foster parent or guardian angel. So, I was hopeful. The first week of November, I received another SOS on Chunk. This time he was the only dog in the email. For some reason, this little guy had not had anyone come to his rescue. His days were numbered. After an hour or so of attempting to send another group email blast, Yahoo decided to halt all sent email from my account. They thought I was sending Spam!! What to do? O.k. I thought, I am posting this guy on both of my Facebook accounts and Twitter and let’s see what happens. I typed in his bio, attached his picture and hit Share. Amazingly, in less than 3 hours, one of my long time friends, who now lives in Orlando, replied to my Facebook post offering a glimmer of hope. She said the owners of Pookies Bow Wow Bakery in Orlando were looking for another Boston to add to their pack. She would get back to me the next day.
Oh, the time crept by… the next morning couldn’t arrive fast enough. I couldn’t sleep, continued to check my Blackberry to see if a Facebook message had come through…had somehow snuck up in the last 30 seconds…but time and again nothing. Finally, the next morning at 8am the message from my friend said Yes, they are very interested in Chunk. Here is their number. YES! This was the first step he needed. Next was to organize the logistics, Chunk had to be “sprung” from Polk County Animal Services, brought to the vet in Tampa, then if he checked out o.k. he would be off to Orlando to meet his new foster parents. A lot to do in a couple of days. I had come this far, so I decided I would see this rescue to the end. On November 9, I drove to Polk County Animal Services to pick up this little guy. I found Chunk in the quarantine ward as he had been pulled out of an animal hoarder’s home (he was there with 67 other animals!!!) He had Demodex, which is a treatable skin condition and was receiving the most minimal vet care. When I approached his cage, he was immediately at the gate licking my fi ngers and looking at me with hopeful eyes. Is she here for me? Really me? After about 30 minutes of paperwork and speaking with Animal Services officials, I walked Chunk out of his concrete jungle and to my car. As soon as I opened the car door he was ready to launch his compact 20lb body right in. His crate was set up with comfy blankets and a furry toy which he immediately began to love, shake and paw. As I started the car, he was nuzzling his bedding and getting comfortable for the ride. As we headed West on I-4 with the windows rolled down, I couldn’t help but stare at him through my rearview mirror. What he was thinking as the wind whipped across his face and he watched the scenery fl y by. Did he know this was his chance? His second chance at life? We pulled in to Bayshore Animal Clinic that afternoon and I left him there for a few hours. After a great report he came to my home for a night of playing, walking, eating, snacking and overall good snuggling. A bath was certainly on the agenda. He was a joy to have around. Chunk loved our yard and the walks around the neighborhood, but he most loved hanging out in his bed gnawing on a turkey patty.
The next morning we hopped back on I-4 and headed east to Orlando. This time, Chunk was snoozing in the back seat…I mean really sleeping, head thrown back, mouth open and peeking at me with bleary eyes every once in awhile. A lump was building in my throat the entire drive. How did this little dog, skin infection and all, touch my heart so quickly? I wished for more miles between Davis Islands and Winter Gardens. We made it to our destination, the West Orange Veterinary Hospital where Chunk met his new moms, Melissa and Marcia. It was love at fi rst site. After a quick once over by Doctor Fink, she asked Melissa and Marcia if they were in fact going to move forward and foster Chunk….Marcia quickly said, I think we are keeping him. It was time to say goodbye and I cried like a baby all over Chunk’s head. Melissa and Marcia couldn’t have been any happier and Chunk, the little boy who had been in a 5’x5’ cage at a shelter for three weeks, looked right at home. A simple post on Facebook brought him from Pasco County, to Tampa, then to Orlando…his fi nal destination. I received my fi rst Chunk report on November 14 and learned that Chunk has a new lab mix girlfriend, loves his new raw food diet and most importantly has been accepted by the family matriarch, the house cat! Success!