I had the best dog on the planet. She was a yellow lab named Daisy and she was my best furry buddy. This past April at 14 years old she crossed the rainbow bridge and left a gaping hole in my heart. I have been more depressed than usual in these past months and never thought I would be able to open my heart again to another Lab. Then as I was scrolling through Facebook my Wife tagged me in a photo of a Lab up for recuse through Lowcountry Lab Rescue (LLR). His name is Dublin. It was the first time since April that I had even paused to look at a Lab or any other dog. Something spoke to me and I don’t why I stopped and looked into him. After seeing his pictures and reading about him, something was yelling at me to go get his dog, but I just blew it off. SOMEONE would snatch him up before I could even apply.
A week went by and I looked again and he was still there. My wife said I should apply for him. We don’t have a fenced in yard so I thought for sure they would say no but I applied anyways. Three grueling days went by and after a very intensive background check, yes folks they REALLY do check you out, I was finally approved as an adopter for LLR. I immediately checked and Dublin was STILL there so I asked about him. I still had this nagging dread he would be gone before I could get him. I just knew we would hit it off given the chance… A few more days and I got the e-mail that I was approved to meet and possibly take Dublin for a two-week trial period!
Dublin was with a foster family up in Greenville, a paltry three-hour drive from me. On Tuesday, I called and spoke to his foster Mom, Gretchen, and she told me all about him. He was picked up as a stray and she, through LLR, picked him up from animal control. She told me he was a mess, and that he was covered in fleas and ticks and looked pretty sad, but he was calm and a good dog while the vet techs scoped him out, gave him all his shots and micro-chipped him. He never complained and was just so mellow. She took him home and he started to settle in to a life of love and being taken care of. Our plan was my daughter and wife would go up on Thursday to get him. I had to work and really wanted to go but I couldn’t. All Tuesday night I could not get all the great things Gretchen told me about him out of my head and I barely got any sleep. I went to work but was so distracted it was hard to function. I did work a half day before my schedule allowed me to go home early.
As I walked in the door my wife looked at me and said, “You know its only three hours to get there right?” with a smile.
I immediately contacted his foster Mom and asked her if we could come get him that day. It was fine with her and we hit the road. I was so excited. As the miles clicked away and we got closer the more excited I got. We finally arrived and met Dublin. He was a happy Lab and looked magnificent. The two months in foster care had done him well. We all sat and talked as I petted him and his foster moms other two labs. We went outside and watched him chase a ball. As I watched him play it was like I was watching my Daisy all over again.
We went back inside and I signed the papers that said we would take him for a trial, knowing full well this was my new furry best friend, and we loaded up for the ride home. He hopped right in the truck and found his seat in the back and sat there, smiling and wagging his tail. The entire ride home he watched out the windows, tail wagging, or he napped. When we did get home, the other dogs we have instantly greeted him. He wasn’t all that sure what to do. After a few minutes of sniffing and a few sideways looks the other dogs started playing and he just laid down and watched. I went into the living room and sat down. He jumped up on the couch next to me and snuggled up against me, a smile on his face and tail wagging. Our other dogs came by and sniffed and he didn’t look happy, but everything was so new. When bedtime came around he hopped up on the bed and curled up at my feet and went right to sleep like that was his spot all along. This was the best night of sleep I have had in a long time. He has been my shadow since he came home and as I write this he is curled up next to my desk, napping and snoring.
We explored the yard the next day and he looked at the pond and looked at me. I unclipped his leash and he was off to the races. He jumped in and swam around, his otter tail behind him steering and his paws just swimming along. He stepped out of the water and shook himself off and came right back to me.
It’s been a few days now and I have told LLR I want to keep Dublin. We have bonded and it’s like he has been with me our whole lives. I can’t wait to finish the papers and get him his new collar that is HIS. As I write this all I can think of is what a great organization Lowcountry Lab Rescue is.
From their website:
“Lowcountry Lab Rescue (LLR) is a 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization that rescues and re-homes stray and unwanted Labrador Retrievers from life-threatening situations. LLR promotes responsible Labrador ownership through breed education and spay and neuter advocacy to prevent abandonment and homelessness of Labrador Retrievers.”
They are an all-volunteer organization rescuing Labrador Retrievers from all over South Carolina that are in danger of being put to sleep for various reasons including something as simple as the dog is black incolor. This includes everything from requiring medical care needed that is greater than a shelter can offer to just a lack of space at a shelter. They are the only Labrador breed specific rescue group in the entire state.
While LLR does not take in owner surrenders, they do have a vast network through the shelters and will do what they can to help any Lab that needs help.
While LLR is not an end all be all answer for all unwanted Labs they do what they can. You can find their website HERE and you can look at how you can help this great breed and the abandoned and unwanted ones. You can donate money to them, knowing full well 100% of the donation goes to helping the Labs. With some training you could become a foster family for these Labs, or you can volunteer time other ways. If you are travelling from one part of the state to Charleston, there may be Labs that need a ride here to meet a Furever Family. They are always looking for help with event planning, PR and Marketing, and business partners. All these options and more info are on their website HERE.
If you are looking to fill a hole in your heart, a new best friend or a great companion I urge you to check out Lowcountry Lab Rescue and you too may find the Lab that you were meant to be with.
PS: As of this date the final contract has been signed and he is officially a Bergmann now. He has been fully adopted into the Pack and is learning how to play more and more every day. He is a shining spot in my life and filled a small part of the hole left there by Daisy.