He’s one of ours

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 20, 2016



Last night I watched a Humane Society commercial, something I rarely do anymore. Looking into the soulful eyes of these poor, neglected animals tears at your heart, especially for those of us who deal with them daily. The problem is just too vast, and though I am not indifferent to it all, I’ve learned I can do the most good if I keep my efforts local.

On Friday, Oct. 14, Lani and I went to Upstate Veterinarian Specialists in Greenville to pick up Johnny, the chocolate lab pup from last week’s tale “The least of these.” This brave little boy has already touched dozens of hearts. There wasn’t a dry eye at the clinic, this from people who deal with severe trauma of one sort or another daily. 

Johnny had been in surgery for nearly three hours one day after he received a blood transfusion. Three different breaks were mended and the ball joint in his hip had to be ground out so the bone would fit in the socket. It’s called an FHO.

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When Johnny was brought out to Lani and me, he had staples on both sides of his rear legs and up on his right hip. 

“He’s stolen all our hearts,” Mary, the vet tech, said as she proceeded to explain what was needed for his recuperation and recovery.

“God bless you, Mr. Rizzo, for helping him.” 

“He’s so cute,” Lani said as I cupped his face in my hands and kissed him between the eyes. Johnny used the occasion to sneak in a lick, which caught me right on the nose. I promised myself I’d hold it together but a teardrop slipped out and landed right on the poor boy’s head.

$5,000 more was released from Lennie’s Fund at FHS and Lani and I brought Johnny back to the shelter with all his meds and instructions for Kathy Toomey who would be fostering him.

The next day I was at the Photo Gala put on by Paws, Prayers and Promises for the Po’Kitty Program. A few folks asked me if I would put my address and phone number in the next article so they could help Johnny, which I will do at the end of this column.

I also saw an email that came from Kathy Toomey telling everyone what a great boy Johnny is. 

“He does his business outside each time he’s brought out. He allows his exercise without any complaining and he loves to cuddle,” she wrote.

I have a feeling that whoever is lucky enough to wind up with this precious boy will have to share him with the whole community. We can all look at Johnny and know deep in our hearts, he’s one of ours; we all had a hand in saving him.

Here is my contact information: Leonard Rizzo, 245 Ioka Hills Rd., Columbus, NC 28722, (828) 859-5835.

Thanks for listening.