I work at home, as a writer and an editor and am generally on line. One day, a friend sent me an e-mail with a photo of a big blond chow. He looked very dignified and serene. The friend told me that he was in a high kill "shelter" in la and begged me to help him.
Since I already had two rescued dogs and four rescued cats, our small household was at its animal capacity.
But I couldn't get the dog out of my mind and so I e-mailed a friend who lived in LA and asked her if she was interested. To my delight, she said she would take him. So I e-mailed the dog's advocate and told her the good news. She was thrilled and said she would have him pulled from the shelter immediately.
Once the dog was safe, she called and asked where the friend lived. I told her Slidell. "Slidell?" she responded, "where's that?" It's a little bit east of New Orleans, I said. Isn't that where the dog is?"
"Um, Rose," my friend said quietly, the dog is in la." "Yes, I know," I replied, "LA, what's the problem?"
"Rose, la, as in la, California."
As a writer and editor, I had taken her writing too literally and thought la meant Louisiana, not Los Angeles, California.
Obviously, the dog could not be sent back to the shelter, nor could I afford to ship him to LA. So Bert joined our household and I promised my husband that I would adopt him out and he would only be with us for a short time.
Unfortunately, what I took to be Bert's dignity, was actually extreme terror of people. To say he was shy is the understatement of the century. He was so fearful that at best, we caught mere glimpses of him as he did his best to hide from us. It was clear that he would be with us for more than a little while.
It's been 18 months now and Bert has finally responded to our patience and friendship. He is still quite shy but is an integral part of our household and is now a beloved "forever dog".