Just an ordinary girl

Published 3:08 pm Friday, January 21, 2011

Her name is Denali and I love the way it rolls off my lips. Denali, named after the majestic Alaskan mountain, that brings to mind its stark beauty.

Denali (photo submitted)

When I first saw her name on the board, I assumed we had a Husky or a Malamute, for these dogs are synonymous with the far north. I then did something I rarely do, I went to see her before looking at her chart.

To my surprise I was greeted by a little lab mix who tilted her head to meet me with one ear up and one ear down. Laughing I opened her cage and swooped her into my arms, “you’re misnamed sweetheart, they should have called you Cutie.”

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Denali is a stray who came to us in August. She was estimated at 10 months old, which brings her to around a year and two months today.

She is medium-sized with a weight just a few pounds shy of 50. She currently resides with Dasher, her young cage mate.

I have often spoke of the wonderful program we have, run by Kayla Parrish, where volunteers come in to help train and socialize our dogs.

It’s a beautiful scene to witness the joy both the dogs and their handlers derive from this interactaion.

I have also witnessed the joy and pride these volunteers experience when a dog they’ve been handling finds a forever home.

Jim and his lovely wife, B.J., are such volunteers. They are also supporters for Lennie’s kids and have over time become dear friends. Jim is currently Denali’s handler and I’ve seen him there often giving extra time to our girl.

When we last spoke Jim was concerned why his sweet little ward was taking so long to find a forever home. “She is so sweet and cute, Lennie, it doesn’t make sense.”

“I agree Jim, but you and I have looked into her heart, to others she’s just another ordinary common lab mix.”

As the months have gone by I have changed my mind about her name, Denali is perfect for her. Her character carries every bit of the majestic beauty her name denotes.

Come and visit our sweet little lab mix and climb that mountain as Jim and I have done. If you take the time to look into her heart, you too will witness the beauty that is Denali.

Thanks for listening.