Best medicine #8 – Blair meets Baja

Published 3:36 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

A few weeks ago while visiting Tiny at the Landrum vet, I was meeting and greeting some of the people and their kids in the waiting room.&bsp; I very much enjoy doing that – meeting such great animals and their loving owners.

I spotted an older gentleman sitting in the waiting room with an even older (in dog years) Golden Retriever sitting at his feet.&bsp; He was gently stroking her as she sat there with a magnificent aura of dignity and beauty about her.&bsp; Years of joy, love and companionship passed through my mind as I walked over to meet them.&bsp; Is she alright? I asked, adding my hand to his, stroking her head.&bsp; I dont know, he replied, were here to see Dr. Maiola.&bsp; Well shell be in good hands, I said, leaning over to kiss her forehead, it was an honor to meet you Princess, Ill say a prayer for both of you.

Now at F.H.S. we are literally inundated with beautiful adoptable dogs and cats with an extremely high count of kittens and puppies for this time of year.&bsp; Because of this fact, many wonderful and viable future pets get passed over and stay with us for longer than normal.&bsp; I have personally witnessed many fine people viewing at least a dozen dogs that they loved but unfortunately they can only choose one.&bsp; Many great dogs get passed over because their prospective owners have perfectly legitimate preferences, the most common of which are size, age, gender and breed.&bsp; I could choose dozens of beautiful dogs for the purpose of this tale, but for reasons I will make clear, I have chosen Baja.

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Baja is a three-year-old Golden mix whom I believe is almost pure Golden.&bsp; His coat has a luxurious reddish tint to it and he is handsome as all get out.&bsp; He was turned into us in early September and we had every reason to believe hed be adopted quickly, for his demeanor is equal to his beauty.&bsp; He passed all behavioral tests with flying colors and the least bit of attention paid him would elicit the most engaging doggie smile youve ever seen.&bsp; Right about then the F.H.S. deluge began and day after day this beautiful boy was passed over.

Two days before our open house party, celebrating our 20th anniversary, I received a call from F.H.S. informing me that a gentleman had called and asked if I would help him find a dog.&bsp; I was intrigued by the request, so I took his name and number and called him that evening.&bsp; His wife, Marie answered the phone. May I speak with Blair Fletcher?&bsp; Its some gentleman for you, she said, handing him the phone.&bsp; Hello Blair, this is Leonard Rizzo, answering your call, how may I help you?&bsp; I read every one of your articles and I so enjoy and appreciate all that you do.&bsp; Thats kind of you sir, I replied.&bsp; Im the man you met at Landrum vet with Princess, our Golden Retriever.&bsp; We lost her last week.&bsp; Im so sorry to hear that, unfortunately God only lends them to us.&bsp; She gave us a good life, he went on and I detected a slight crack in his voice.&bsp; Weve always had a dog in our lives and I , like you, believe a house is not a home without one.&bsp; Youre a man after my own heart, I said, trying to lighten the mood.&bsp; As are you, he replied chuckling.&bsp; Weve been down to the shelter, he went on, but were overwhelmed by all the animals, can you help us?&bsp; I am super busy this weekend, how about we meet up on Monday and in the meantime, Ill try to find a match for you.&bsp; Thank you Mr. Rizzo.&bsp; Call me Lennie, I interrupted, and after a few more pleasantries, we rang off.

On Saturday, midst the festivities, I was approached by this older couple, Hi Lennie, Im Blair Fletcher and this is my wife Marie, we couldnt wait till Monday, I hope you dont mind.&bsp; Smiling, I shook their hands, You wait right here, I have someone I wish you to meet.&bsp; I grabbed a leash and went in to fetch Baja.&bsp; Okay handsome, I have some wonderful people for you to meet, youll have some pretty big shoes to fill so give it your best.&bsp; He answered me with his famous smile.&bsp; Outside I handed Blair his leash.&bsp; This is Baja, I want you to take him for a walk and see what you think of him. Ill answer all your questions when you return.&bsp; Blair got down on one knee to greet Baja and my eyes filled with tears watching the interaction, it was as if Baja was purposely passed over for this moment.&bsp; Baja was adopted that very afternoon and on Monday hell be at the vet to begin his heartworm treatment, which I will handle.&bsp; Two days of rest and by midweek, hell have a new forever home.&bsp; Ive no doubt that once again, Ive witnessed the best medicine both for Blair and Baja, not to mention a pretty healthy dose for this old man too.

Thanks for listening.