Where there is life, there is Hope

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016



About seven or eight years ago there was a beautiful female yellow lab wandering around Tryon and surrounding vicinities. The community had named her Stevie and for over two months everything that could be done to catch her up was tried, but Stevie was just too quick and too wily to be caught.

More than once she was nearly struck by a vehicle and it seemed the whole community was concerned and had her in their prayers.

One day Stevie finally gave up the trust and today she resides with my dear friend Lani (Bulldog) and her name has been changed to Asha. An event occurred last week that brought Asha to my mind and I went to FHS to speak with Lani and ask how she was doing. 

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“She just turned 10 years old Lennie,” Lani said. “She gets along with my three other dogs and she’s doing just fine.” I smiled and gave Lani a hug and told her what brought Asha to mind.

Two weeks ago I received a call about a dog that had been cared for by a community for years. It seemed she had developed mange and was chewing at her paws causing bleeding. 

“What kind of dog is she?” I asked.

“We don’t know,” came the reply. “Maybe some kind of lab mix.” 

“How old do you think she is?” was my next question.

“We’re not sure of that either but we think she’s about 10 years old.” 

“Okay, if I can help her, what’s your plan for her future?” I asked.

“We’ll keep her Mr. Rizzo, you have our word she’ll have a good home.” 

“Alright then, get her down to Landrum Vet first thing tomorrow, I’ll call ahead and advise them that she is one of Lennie’s kids,” I said.

The next day, a Monday, I had dialysis and didn’t get to Landrum Vet till early afternoon.  When I arrived the little girl had already been examined and sent home. I got to speak with Dr. Donna Raines to get the low down on what was going on with her. 

“First of all Lennie, we believe she’s not much older than 4. She had a micro-chip from Columbia that had been canceled years ago. Now as for her health, she’s in pretty good shape, no heart worms which as you know is pretty good. Her skin problem isn’t mange and it’s not contagious. I’ve put her on a special diet, some antibiotics and lotions for her skin. We’ll keep checking on her but she should clear up. Lennie, she’s a sweet girl worth saving.”

That last line alone will tell you why I love Dr. Donna so much.

I went home and made a phone call to the Tingle family making an appointment to meet them all and my new kid the next morning.

When I arrived the whole family was there to greet me and my new kid on the block also came over, tail wagging. 

“She is sweet!” I exclaimed as I leaned over to give her a kiss. “She looks like she might have Pharaoh hound in her.” 

I was then told how they’re going to care for her with the special foods and ointments. 

“Bless you folks,” I said. “You are lucky to have her.” 

“No, bless you, Lennie. We read your column all the time and we can’t thank you enough.” 

I smiled and said, “Have you given her a name?” 

The young man said, “I call her Little Girl.” His wife said, “I’d like to call her Asha, it means Hope.” 

I laughed and said, “There’s another stray from years ago that belongs to a dear friend and she named her Asha, but I have an idea if you’d go along with it.”

At this time I’d like you to once again look at the photos of this sweet little girl; we will make her beautiful one day just as we did for Soldier and in some way, Asha. I will now reveal the name I have chosen for her. I have done what I can to give her life, dear readers, I give you Hope.

Thanks for listening.