In these terrifying days, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to tell a happy story or at least as happy a story as can be said about a dog living in a shelter for seven years.
Angels get millions of prayer requests from homeless dogs a week. We want to say yes to all of them, but there are not enough yesses to go around. Saving shelter dogs usually work backward. We get a prayer from a human looking for a dog and then find the perfect one for them. It is much harder to get a human interested in a dog when they have no desire to add one to their home.
One of the many sad prayer requests we got from dogs living in shelters came across my desk last week. I popped into the pup's dreams to tell her we were doing everything we could. We both knew this meant there was nothing that could be done.
The dog looked a little bit older than most requesters. I asked her what her story was, and she said her name was Ginger and she had been in the shelter for seven years.
"Seven years!" I exclaimed. "How long have you been praying to us ?"
"I just started," Ginger said. I asked her what took her so long. "I felt there were other dogs needier than me." Right then, I knew we had to help this precious pup.
I met with my most trusted advisors, Tommy Tunes, Smoochy, Odie, Hattie, Lovey, Cooper, Geordie, and Hobo. We decided to take a multi-faceted approach to the problem. First, Cooper went into a shelter worker's dreams and gave her the idea to post Ginger on line with this caption: "Hi! I'm Ginger! I've been here waiting seven years, nine months, two weeks, two days. I'm a good girl! I promise! I just need a 2nd chance."
Then we went into as many humans' dreams as we could, convinced them to post about Ginger on Facebook and to ask people to share the post. It went viral in a good way. It was shared 36,000 times. The post really took off when a site created by Ellen Degeneres shared it called "Paws Up" on Instagram.
Ginger went from being a dog that no one wanted to a dog with dozens of people filling out applications to adopt her. The shelter worker picked the best candidate and introduced Ginger to her potential new parent. It was love and devotion at first sniff.
Her forever home has no other pets, a fenced-in yard, and a parent who has worked with unadoptable dogs for years: All the ingredients needed to give Ginger a perfect home.
Ginger is finally a happy family dog. I am so glad we got to help her, and a little sorry she didn't speak up earlier.