Unfortunately, you just can’t save them all

Published 10:50 am Friday, August 7, 2015



Over the years I have often made life or death decisions for my kids. Unless the extent of the injury or illness was too vast for me to overcome, I always choose life. I just could not bear the thought of losing an animal placed in my care unless all avenues of success were explored.

Now and then I’ve been admonished for wasting money on a lost cause. Some I did lose, but I think of all the animals that are now in loving homes because I refused to give up.

Well, I was forced to give up on Mater, the emaciated pit mix. We fattened him up, treated his worms and gave him as much loving attention that was possible, but Mater’s attitude toward other dogs and some people was getting out of hand. I went into his cage and tearfully held him in my arms before I gave the okay to put him to sleep.

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Every single person who handled him tells me it was the right thing to do, yet I can’t get Mater out of my mind.

“Did I make a mistake? Could I have done more?” I asked. Mater is breaking my heart.

I went over to Dogwood Farms to visit the kids I have at R&R. The sight of them along with a nice visit with Josh, Astrid and the kids always lifts my heart. I have a deep affection for that family and much of it is returned to me.

I then went over to Foothills Humane Society. I had a great need to visit Granger, the young Mastiff. As I pulled up, I spotted Ashley outside holding Granger and a couple was also there finalizing his adoption.

When I walked over, Granger let out two deep barks, woof, woof. The barks were not of aggression but they were of recognition and friendship. Since our initial meeting when I commanded him to “sit and behave,” I had seen him twice more. I was thrilled with the greeting and proceeded to wrap my arms around him and rub him all over.

“We wanted to hear him bark,” the couple said. “He’s just what we’ve been looking for, a gentle giant with a big bark.”

“Well, you’ve come to the right place,” I said, rubbing Granger’s head as we spoke.

Granger kept a lopsided grin on his face, greedily soaking up all the attention. The day was a good one for me and though Mater remained on my mind, I was in better spirits.

I arrived home and listened to my phone messages. One of them was from Kayla Parrish and she simply said in a voice of condolence, “Lennie, you cannot save them all.”

I went outside on my porch and began to sob uncontrollably. I then looked up to the heavens and foolishly screamed, “Why Lord, why can’t I save them all?”

Thanks for listening.

Editor’s note: Join Lennie this Saturday for a book signing of A Voice in the Hillls, donuts and coffee at Larkin’s in Columbus from 8:30– 10:30 a.m. Then, at 10:30 the book signing will move to Purrfect Bark.