Zeke... My Path to My Passion
In March of 2014, my son, Tommy, saved a dog from getting hit by the city bus, right in front of our house. The dog was a black unaltered male bully breed mix, a bit on the thin side, was wearing a choke collar and had a few scratches and scars on him (does the description sound familiar?)
Tommy networked the dog with friends and family through email and other social media sites. He contacted the local shelter/ACO trying to find his owner. He also reached out to our local rescues to see if anyone had space for him. While waiting on return calls and emails, Tommy took our lost pibble to PetSmart to have him scanned for a microchip. None existed. We were running out of options.
During our search for someone to take him, we reached out to many of our local rescues, but each time we were told that there was a very long wait list (sometimes months). We were learning very quickly about how overwhelmed the rescues and shelters were for resources to help these dogs.
I was feeling a bit hopeless. I didn't know what we could do for him. We couldn't keep him, as the timing was terrible! My son was leaving to go out of town and would be gone for several days, and I was leaving in a few days for a work trip and I would be gone for an entire week. We already had two dogs, and I was travelling as much as 3 weeks out of the month.
The one thing we both agreed on was that no matter what, we were absolutely not turning him over to the local city shelter. We were so afraid of him not making it out alive because of how many bully breed type dogs were in there already and the fact that he was a black dog! He was too sweet and well behaved, we just couldn't let that happen.
We affectionately called him "Mr. Potato Head" because of his block head. He was such a well behaved dog. He knew his basic commands like sit, down, stay and come. He didn't jump up on people, he listened really well. We kept him out in the backyard, and I donated a big warm comforter for him to lay on.
He never tried to enter our house (we have a doggie door in our glass sliding door). Occasionally he would poke his head through the doggie door and Daisy, my Chihuahua, would growl and bare her teeth at him. He would immediately back out of the doggie door and looked like his feelings had been hurt.
He seemed to get along with my son's Beagle, Sid (who was about 2 yrs old at the time). They were curious about each other and would follow each other around the yard but didn't really engage in play. He was a good dog, but I just wasn't comfortable leaving him here with our dogs unsupervised, and there was going to be about 6 - 8 hours from the time when I would leave and when my son would return from his trip where the dogs would be by themselves. I know that things can happen when dogs are not properly introduced and supervised, and since we were not going to be home to supervise the transition we had to come up with some other option.
Finally, one of my son's friends, from the Air Force, offered to take him. In fact, this friend wanted to give Mr. Potato Head a forever home. The only challenge was, he lived like six hours north of us, in Weed, CA. So, I arranged to drive Mr. Potato Head up to Sacramento, so he could meet his new "dad" and find his new home.
The next morning, I loaded Mr. Potato Head up in the back seat of my car, and drove him about 3 hours north up to Sacramento. He was awesome in the car! He stayed in the backseat and was very calm. Mr. Potato Head actually seemed to enjoy the long car ride.
By the time we got to our designated meeting spot, Mr. Potato Head was ready to meet his new "dad". He went right up to my son's friend and gave him all kinds of kisses and then jumped right into his new "dad's" truck. Off he went. Happily wagging his tail!
Although I was very happy and relieved that we had located a new home for him, I felt empty as I drove off. I felt like I had just let go of one of my own dogs, and I had only known Mr. Potato Head for a few days. I just couldn't shake the emptiness that I was feeling all the way home.
Fast forward about 10 months....
My son gets a call from Zeke's dad telling us that he has gotten a job offer overseas and that he's leaving soon. We immediately wanted to know "what are you going to do with Zeke?" Zeke's dad said he would have to re-home Zeke. Well, it really didn't take a lot of convincing from my son, I just knew I was supposed to go and get Zeke and bring him home.
So a few days later .... off I went up to Weed CA, on January 16, 2015 to pick up Zeke and bring him home. Now I would not recommend driving up through Mt. Shasta in the middle of January without first checking the weather and road conditions... but that's exactly what I did! LOL But the Universe provided for me and Zeke and our trip home was mostly dry and clear. Thank you Universe!
Seems like I always knew, even when I had dropped him off 10 months earlier, that Zeke really belonged with me! He is my heart, and the heart of our pack and he has helped so many people change their minds about his breed!
Zeke stole my heart and if you ever meet him... Watch Out! He'll steal yours too!
- - Pawsitive Gratitude