Hank and Sophie

Adopted by:
Susie Mahoney

We rescue dogs and they rescue us. Don’t you agree? Nearly seven years ago, we adopted a golden retriever puppy named Zeke. Zeke became an important member of our family, and the staff at Randolph Elementary as a Therapy Dog. More than once, Zeke helped a student calm down who was escalated, and inspired many students to read. Zeke rescued us. Two years ago, we rescued a one year old golden named Sophie from GRRIN. Zeke was only 4 years old at the time, but we knew somehow that Sophie would be important in giving Zeke “vacation days” as he grew older. The very month that she graduated as a certified Therapy Dog last September, Zeke grew ill with a tumor in his right front leg. The leg had to be amputated. Sophie filled in at school until he could return part-time, and then permanently when Zeke died last March. Sophie quickly became a “grown up girl” at school and filled our empty hearts at home after the loss of Zeke. Sophie rescued us. It became clear, after months of healing in our hearts that Sophie really needed a “brother” again. We put our names back on the GRRIN waiting list. We waited patiently, while they searched for just the right dog for us. I told friends “I’m not going to worry. We don’t have to search for the right dog, the right dog will find us.” When we were “inches” away from looking at the GRRIN dog we hoped for, the right dog found us. It seems a one and a half year old Golden named Simba had lived with an air force family at Offutt in Bellevue. They had to return to Venezuela, and gave Simba to a woman who lived alone on a farm. She wanted an “outside” dog, who would guard her and her property, and would live in the barn. Are you laughing yet? Of course Simba was a failure at guarding anything, and hated living in the barn. (He was so smart that he found a way to get into the cab of a pickup to sleep. No barn for him!) Simba was painfully thin, and had a skin infection on his legs. Through the help of the woman’s niece, who works in our Vet’s office in Lincoln, Simba (now Hank) came to fill up our hearts two short weeks ago. In two weeks he has learned to sit, shake, walk nicely on a leash, has gained 2-3 pounds, and he is happy beyond belief. Sophie adores him and is NEVER bored anymore, and we are learning that it’s okay to love again. Did we “rescue” Hank? Sort of. But one thing is certain: Hank rescued us. Susie Mahoney Sept. 2009