Before we can introduce my parents’ new dog, Nelson, we need to first revisit an event from 13 years ago on a country road near Harrisonville. A farmer by the name of Bill Miller, and his wife Mirian, lived on that country road at the “bridge with no exits” by 71 Highway. This was a popular place for some irresponsible people to dump pets that were no longer wanted. The couple had adopted a few dogs and cats that had been left near their property. In 2004, they found a black lab puppy that had been abandoned and they gave the black lab to my folks, who named him Sammie.
Sammie was a very kind and gentle lab; he gave my parents 13 years of joy. They took great care of him, including his last year when he required help to navigate their front porch to go out during the day. In late June of this year, Sammie unfortunately lost his energy and my parents knew it was time to say goodbye to him. I joined my parents at the Pet Vet Animal Hospital in Harrisonville. Mirian Miller, who had found Sammie, joined us there for the final goodbye. This was the first time I had experienced this and it was very difficult.
The next two weeks I could tell my parents were sad without their friend around the house. This was the first time their house had been quiet without a dog in 30 years. I researched several animal shelters in the area and found Wayside Waifs, headquartered in nearby Grandview, Missouri. Wayside Waifs is a charitable animal shelter that does not euthanize adoptable animals; it is a no-kill shelter.
I convinced my dad to accompany me to Wayside Waifs a couple weeks after saying goodbye to Sammie. My parents wanted to find a mid-sized dog that was a few years old. My dad found an energetic and friendly white pointer and decided to adopt her. He placed a 24 hour hold on the pointer, and planned to take my mom to the shelter the following day for final adoption.
I was impressed with the professional staff and volunteers at Wayside Waifs, and the questions they asked adopting families to ensure that they were a good fit for their dogs. The following day I received a call from a manager at Wayside Waifs with the news that the white pointer had been reclaimed by her owner; they gave us the choice to proceed with the adoption or to find another dog to adopt. My parents chose to adopt another dog in need of a new home. Wayside Waifs apologized for the mix-up and offered to waive the adoption fees for the other dog.
My parents spent most of that Saturday at Wayside Waifs and found a rambunctious, one-year old, boxer; they named him Nelson. The staff at the animal shelter provided my parents with everything they needed including dog food, leashes, and toys. My parents temporarily quiet home is now active again with an energetic, slightly destructive, loving, addition to their family. Meet Nelson the Boxer!