In April of 2011, Sandi and Jerry lost their beloved blonde Shih Tzu, Sammy. Sammy had been part of the family for 17 years and was the couple’s second blonde Shih Tzu. Sandi and Jerry had both grown up with dogs and had owned one through four-plus decades of marriage.
Sandi was done. She didn’t want to go through the sadness of losing another pet. Their children were adults, living on their own. They had just remodeled and redecorated their house in Scottsdale, AZ. And Sandi wanted to travel without worrying about a pet left behind. Case dismissed.
But not quite.
Jerry spent months researching websites, looking for a third blonde Shih Tzu and hoping Sandi would relent. He found the Ruby Ranch Shelter in Phoenix, AZ. Owner Pam rescues unwanted dogs, many with special needs, and fosters them until finding them a home. On weekends, she shows them in a pen she sets up at Petsmart.
Sandi remained firm. No more dogs.
Cut to Yuma, AZ, 150 miles from Scottsdale. An elderly woman had two blonde Shih Tzus—one with bladder stones, one healthy. Unable to afford surgery for the first, the owner left both dogs with a vet. He called a local rescuer.
After almost 1 and ½ years, Sandy recovered from grieving Sammy. She began to think “it might be nice” to have a dog again. She gave Jerry her qualifications. No puppy. A female. (In case of an accident, she wouldn’t lift her leg on new upholstered furniture,)
That was all Jerry needed to hear. He emailed Pam.
Pam had both dogs brought from Yuma to Phoenix. She funded surgery for the sick one and contacted Jerry about the other.
Sandi and Jerry, who had seen and passed on a different dog, drove to Petsmart. They met a 5-year old Shih Tzu named Annie. They held her, walked her on a leash, and fell in love. Annie won Sandi’s vote. Pam agreed to keep Annie for a week while the couple took care of previous commitments.
Sandi says, “As we left, Annie was standing with her front paws on the fence of the pen. She watched us walk away. Her big eyes seemed to say: Where are you going? Don’t you want me?”
After a week with her new family, Annie stopped hiding under the coffee table. Now she dances on her hind legs when Sandi & Jerry come home, has taken over Jerry’s favorite chair, and sleeps snuggled in their bed. As Sandi puts it, “Annie, like Sammy, runs the household.”
Sandi says, “With people and dogs, there’s chemistry. You just know when something is right. Annie’s a perfect fit.”
Rescue dogs often don’t come with papers. Annie did. Looking through her papers, Sandi was startled. She realized that the exact time Annie’s former owner decided to give her up was the exact time she changed her mind.
In Yiddish there’s an expression, beshert, or meant to be. That’s just how Sandi and Jerry feel about Annie. As for Annie (sorry about this…), she thinks it’s bow-shert.
(Please send me your Godsign stories about subjects that bark, neigh or simply speak.)