Great Dog Story and Well Worth the Reading!!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by fredball, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. fredball

    Vancouver, WA
    Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Sorry was unable to get pic's to post

    They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie,
    as I looked at him lying in his pen.
    The shelter was clean, no-kill,
    and the people really friendly.

    I'd only been in the area for six months, but
    everywhere I went in the small college town, people
    were welcoming and open. Everyone waves
    when you pass them on the street.

    But something was still missing as I attempted to settle
    in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt.
    Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen
    Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter
    said they had received numerous calls right after,
    but they said the people who had come down
    to see him just didn't look like "Lab people,"
    whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.

    But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me
    in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted
    of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were
    brand new tennis balls, his dishes and
    a sealed letter from his previous owner.

    See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home.
    We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter
    told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it
    was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too.
    Maybe we were too much alike.

    I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten
    about that. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see
    if your previous owner has any advice."

    To Whomever Gets My Dog:
    Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this,
    a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by
    Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it.
    He knew something was different.

    So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes
    that it will help you bond with him and he with you.
    First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier.
    Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hoards them.
    He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get
    a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where
    you throw them, he'll bound after them, so be careful.
    Don't do it by any roads.

    Next, commands. Reggie knows the
    obvious ones ---"sit," "stay," "come," "heel."
    He knows hand signals, too: He knows "ball"
    and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business.
    Feeding schedule: twice a day, regular
    store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.
    He's up on his shots. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet.
    Good luck getting him in the car. I don't know how he
    knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.
    Finally, give him some time. It's only been Reggie and
    me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me,
    so please include him on your daily car rides if you can.
    He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark
    or complain. He just loves to be around people,
    and me most especially.

    And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you...
    His name's not Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it
    and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't
    bear to give them his real name. But if someone is reading this ...
    well it means that his new owner should know his real name.
    His real name is "Tank." Because, that is what I drive.
    I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available
    for adoption until they received word from my company commander.
    You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've
    left Tank with ... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter ...
    in the "event" ... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption.
    Luckily, my CO is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon
    was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this,
    then he made good on his word.
    Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long
    as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that
    you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust
    and come to love you the same way he loved me.
    If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming
    to the US I am glad to have done so. He is my example of service and
    of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.
    All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter
    off at the shelter. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got
    that third tennis ball in his mouth.
    Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and
    give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.
    Thank you,
    Paul Mallory
    I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure,
    I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him,
    even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few
    months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star
    when he gave his life to save three buddies.
    Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

    I leaned forward in my chair and rested my
    elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.
    "Hey, Tank," I said quietly.
    The dog's head whipped up, his ears
    cocked and his eyes bright.

    "C'mere boy."

    He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor.
    He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name
    he hadn't heard in months. "Tank," I whispered.
    His tail swished.

    I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time,
    his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed
    as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked
    his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into
    his scruff and hugged him.

    "It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me."
    Tank reached up and licked my cheek.

    "So whatdaya say we play some ball?"
    His ears perked again.

    "Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?"

    Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room.
    And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

    If you can read this without getting a lump in your
    throat or a tear in your eye, you just ain't right.

    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in
    front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
    G. K. Chesterton

    'In God We Trust'

    Will be on every letter
    I send out from now on
    because, I don't want to
    lose our right to say it!.

  2. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
    PDX OR
    Member Emeritus Silver Supporter

    Likes Received:
    Near to blubbering like a baby. Former soldier, always dog guy. I found this story humbling and now I'm looking deeply inward. Bless everyone, human and canine, involved and bless our troops!
    fredball and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Slowpoke

    Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Excellent story. I did have tears in my eyes. I am also a dog person. Couldn't help it.
  4. Slowpoke

    Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Excellent story. I did have tears in my eyes. I am also a dog person. Couldn't help it.
  5. MarkAd

    Port Orchard
    Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    i have read the story many times. and like every other time tears roll down my cheeks.
    And I am happy to admit it. In todays world it is a blessiing to be a tender caring person whom is still a man.
  6. 3 fridays

    3 fridays
    New Member

    Likes Received:
    I have 2 dogs ....... best friends I could have.
  7. salmonriverjohn

    N.W Oregon coast, Gods country
    Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Yep, me too. Thanks.

Share This Page