One afternoon in early June, Ginger -- no last name necessary; this story is about a dog! -- picked up her phone as she headed out the door for a trip out of town. One last check for messages and Facebook posts changed her plans and brought her home a little sooner than intended. It also was part of a series of events that saved the life of one lucky puppy.
The first time Ginger laid eyes on the puppy, now named Levi, was in a Facebook photo marked “to be euthanized.” A look into those sad puppy eyes brought to mind a friend’s recent request, “If you ever find a dog that looks like your dog but has golden eyes, I want it.” She had recently lost a dog like that.
The last chance to save Levi from being euthanized was just two days away. Ginger was on her way to Houston for several days, and Levi was in Nixon! A second look at that puppy’s face, his emaciated body, and the death sentence stamped across his photo led Ginger to call Patsy Scherrer, who routinely posts pleas to rescue shelter animals.
Patsy, a dedicated “miracle worker” for lost and abandoned pets, arranged with the high-kill shelter in Nixon for Levi to be spared until Ginger could pick him up.
In the heartbreaking photo on Facebook, Levi looked small and weak. In “real life” he was 40 pounds of energy when Ginger first met him -- excited, affectionate, and maybe just a little relieved to be on his way to what he must have sensed was his escape from “the big house.”
The family originally intended for Levi wasn’t quite prepared for a new puppy, so Ginger and her dog, Annabelle, welcomed Levi into their home until he was ready for his forever family. Levi gained strength and weight, played a lot, loved a lot, charmed everyone blessed enough to meet him -- and seamlessly made his way into Ginger’s and Annabelle’s hearts. Every day, the decision to give up Levi was tougher to face -- as, no doubt, is the case with most if not all foster arrangements.
The day did come, though, when it was time for Levi and his new family to find each other. Ginger had posted Levi’s photos and story on Facebook, in the Wilson County News, and in the La Vernia News. Levi also appeared as a La Vernia News “Furred, Finned and Feathered Friend.”
Barney, a La Vernia resident, called Ginger on Friday after Levi’s photo appeared in the La Vernia News to arrange a meeting. He and his wife, Tammy, met Ginger and Levi in the ballpark in Stockdale on Saturday to spend a little time getting to know Levi.
Levi was at his best! He even gave Ginger a hug -- he liked to put both paws on her shoulder and nuzzle his face into her neck -- and won Barney’s and Tammy’s hearts, while breaking Ginger’s, in a bittersweet sort of way. In just a little while, away went Levi with his new forever family!
Barney had wanted a Weimaraner mix, to run with him on his new place. He told Ginger that he typically doesn’t pick up a newspaper, but on one trip to town, he bought a copy of the La Vernia News. He opened it up, and there was Levi! When Barney got home, he opened the newspaper and said to his wife, “Look what I found!”
Obviously, it was a match made in heaven -- which, by the way, must be where Levi’s mind was in a photo Barney and Tammy sent of him in his plush new bed, surrounded by his new toys!
Thanks to Patsy Scherrer and Passion for Paws for the beginning of a happy ending for Levi and many other rescue animals, and thanks to Elaine Kolodziej and Nannette Kilbey-Smith of the Wilson County News and La Vernia News, and to Barney and Tammy of La Vernia, for a happy ending to this tail-tale!