I was at a city animal shelter for a night meeting. During a short break, I walked through a kennel aisle. It was dark and quiet because the pound was already closed to the public, and nobody was around. Many dogs were intently looking at me, and my heart ached because there was no way I could save them all.
Among them was Archie, an older Lab mix. Because he’s not a spring chicken and because he looks like a Pit Bull (although he’s more like a Lab/American Bulldog), he probably had no chance of getting out of the pound alive. He gently gazed at me as if he knew his fate.
An old soul with the sweetest heart. As I approached him, he looked straight into my eyes. When I kneeled down and reached out to him through the cage, he melted and turned into a puddle.
This was already two years ago. He is still in boarding, and it breaks my heart to watch him spend his golden years in a kennel. He loves car rides. He loves cushy beds. He loves cuddles and being brushed. None of these, we, as a rescue group can give him often enough because we are all volunteers with fulltime jobs.
Can you be the special person who will let him enjoy all of these every day? Archie is no trouble at all. He’d even be a perfect apartment dog because he’s a total couch potato who wants to cuddle with you more than anything else.
His info and video are available at this link: Archie
=== UPDATE ===
Shortly before Thanksgiving, we received an e-mail with an adoption application for Archie. Everything on the application was A+ and in fact, too good to be true. I called him right away and scheduled a Home Safety Check for the following day. I drove him to San Diego. 220 miles round trip, well worth it!
When we arrived there, his adopter was standing in front of his house, waiting for us. We walked in, and to the back yard. Archie started marking in the immaculate yard. I’ve heard many adopters say that the dog was going to have only a specific area in the side yard, but he said, “Pee wherever you want. It’s yours!”
While “we” know what a cutie Archie is, you’d wonder why Archie. It was not like we asked someone to adopt him; he found Archie on his own on Petfinder. He said there were hundreds of dogs whose thumbnails showed up. He eventually narrowed down to several, and among them, he chose Archie because he wanted an older dog and Archie seemed to be the hardest to place.
He wanted to adopt a dog, not only for himself, but for the dog’s sake. This is the only way rescues like us have adopted our dogs, but most people shop for a dog who suits their needs and convenience.
Archie has some medical issues that we are still in the middle of finding out what’s going on and there’s a potential surgery to remove a mass, as well as possible skin cancer. I was about to say that since these are existing conditions, we would of course take care of them, but before I got to say any of it, his adopter quickly said, “I can take care of his medical issues.” Moreover, he even gave us an additional donation to the adoption fee. I looked at him and became speechless and my eyes welled up.
He has a nice reading chair by the fireplace, and in front of it is another dog bed. He reads there every night. I was picturing a cozy winter night with the fire softly lighting up Archie’s face, right next to his master peacefully reading a book.
Archie is home! He’ll be loved and cared for the way we dreamed! Now I believe that dreams do come true, and miracles do happen. This Christmas, he will drive with Archie to his parents in San Francisco. He showed us the photos of their home with also immaculate yard. He said his parents are very excited and can’t wait to meet Archie.
His new master held Archie next to him, and said, “This is exactly the dog I wanted.” Archie is adopted by a saint!
Marie Atake is a former Commissioner on the Board of L.A. Animal Services and Founder & President of Forte Animal Rescue.