Published 8:38 pm Thursday, December 12, 2013


I almost titled this tale “Filling the nest.”  Shortly after we lost big Bruno, our brindle Boxer, we were down to two animals in our household, Tony, the gangster black cat, and Pablo, our Chihuahua-Papillon mix. We have five two-legged children who have left the nest and five-four legged kids seem to suit us.
We went down to Foothills Humane Society to pick out a cat for Tony and us, of course, and there were certainly plenty to choose from.
We came home with beautiful 10-month old Carol (Elaine’s pick) and I must admit she eased the mourning of my precious loved ones. Besides being cute she is frisky and lovable and it took all of one day for her to fit in with Tony and Pablo. While sitting at the kitchen table Carol dashed in jumped on my lap and began purring as she kneaded my belly. You know the type, “I’m here now, drop what you’re doing and pay attention.”  I laughed as I stroked her, “What is it girl?”  She looked up at me, batted her eyes and let out a soft purr-meow. I kissed her little pink nose and said, “You’re welcome sweetheart, and the pleasure was all ours.”
We now had three, two more to fill our nest and my Elaine was like a mother hen missing a few chicks.  My dear wife was adamant about a young female Boxer and I simply said, “I’ll know when the one I want comes along,” although Elaine’s choices would also surely fill my heart.121313-SpecialCases_Carol
On Dec. 2 in Mill Spring, a 6-month old Boxer mix was picked up walking the highway.  He was nothing but skin and bones; I’ve seen worse but he was pretty bad. He had scars and puncture wounds on his chest and front legs and the tips of his ears were fly bitten. I could pretty much size up the scenario of what his life had been and it certainly isn’t pretty.  He came into FHS just under 35 pounds, at least 15 to 20 pounds lighter than normal for his age and size.  The folks who picked him up called him Brownie but the shelter changed his name to Axle.  On the Dec. 5, after three days of holding and tending to him, I was called into view him.  His bones were protruding but his little nub tail never stopped wagging as he received attention.
Visions of my precious Allie flashed across my mind and heart.  I took him out for a walk and it was obvious that walking on a leash was foreign to him.  I was shaking with emotion and could not see where I was going as tears clouded my eyes.  I stopped often and wrapped my arms around him as I made him this promise, “Sweet boy, you will not live another day without knowing you are loved.”  I then asked God to please give me the strength to make it so.
I’ve changed his name to Marciano for three reasons: one is to honor the Larsen’s and their boy Rockii. two because I want him to be a fighter and be strong as he overcomes the past and three, after all, he is a Boxer.
My funds at the shelter will handle all his medical bills until he is strong enough to come home with me.  I see him daily and he’s already been for rides with his new daddy. That’s right; Marciano will be number four entering into the Rizzo nest.  I promised my bride that there’s still room for her Boxer girl when we find the right one.
Some of you may think I did a great thing by rescuing Marciano; this is why I always say the Lord knows my heart. I win far, far more battles than I lose, but it has been a sad year for me with some tough loses. The Lord sent me Marciano because He knew that it was the most perfect Christmas gift I could receive.
Thanks for listening.

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