A lucky dog, instead of the usual dead one

I’m fighting tears as I write this, my beloved dachshund by my side. I’m very grateful it never happened to her, though it was close. And I sense she’s grateful, too.

AP/Courtesy Marcia Machtiger

I’m talking about the so-called miracle pup who survived not one, but two euthanasia attempts.

He and his siblings were left in a cage outside a small animal shelter in rural Sulphur, Oklahoma. The shelter, a dumping ground for unwanted animals, was filled to capacity, and the latest shipment appeared to be sick, so the directive was given to euthanize them.

An animal control officer jabbed the puppy with what was supposed to be a lethal injection to the leg, than to the heart. The dog was declared dead and was deposited in a dumpster, along with his siblings.

The next day, the officer returned, and to his great surprise, found the dog very much alive and well. The pup was taken to a vet. Now, this yet another John Doe of  canines has a name: “Wall-E.” He’s a celebrity, and suddenly everyone wants him.

Why? According to one woman who first heard of his story on a pet adoption site and donated money for his upkeep, “… It’s a resurrection and a will to live …”

Oh, please. This dog was plain lucky. The injections worked just fine on his siblings. Wall-E was supposed to be just another dead, unwanted dog.

There are millions of dogs and cats euthanized every year, and millions of others ignored in shelters, trying to survive with a quiet dignity, destined for the same fate. You see their sad faces on endless pages of Web adoption sites, or in adoption commercials during the chichi Westminster Dog Show,  a showcase for only the so-called “best.”

The only difference between the pampered Westminster pooches and the abandoned is circumstance.

Our dachshund, Ginger (momentary pause to give her a hug), would never have made it to Westminster. She has scraggly fur hanging from her ears and a cowlick (horrors!).

She was found wandering along I-95 in North Carolina. Now 14, she’s The Queen. She has no idea she’s ancient; in the early stages of kidney failure; and has a back so bad that at one point, the vet thought she’d never walk again. She acts like a puppy. Doesn’t ask for much — Pupperoni, a daily walk, a belly rub. A real snuggler, who constantly teaches us to live in the moment. Never mind that I’m allergic to her. She’s worth it.

She’s no different than the others, except she was spared the nightmare of the pound. You’ll find all breeds — including many abandoned purebreds — at shelters and on rescue sites like Petfinder.com.  Save one of those innocent, loving animals, and you’ll be doing them, and the humans that struggle to keep them alive, a big favor.

If more cared about dogs and cats like Wall-E before the syringe, there would be less of these hapless creatures in that predicament.

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