I met a really cool dog not long ago. He was, of course, at Starbucks. Something about Starbucks people. We like our coffee and our dogs. My Starbucks even has a bowl they keep for us to bring water out for them. This day as I was sitting there, a man came up with his dog. He was tall (the dog), multicolored, his hair slightly wirey and longish. He had a beard and a white tip on his tale that the man swore glowed in the dark. His eyes were huge and smart (dog owners know what I mean), and he had a calm and friendly demeanor. His name was Hutch. Perfect name for him.
Being a lifelong dog lover, I get all up in the business of people and their pets. What kind is he? How old is he? Is he always this sweet? Is he good with kids? Do you have any other pets? I mean, really – it’s fortunate that pet owners understand the grill and drill or I’d be in all sorts of trouble.
But Hutch’s owner’s answers surprised me: Don’t know how old he is, maybe two or three. Not sure of his breed, maybe some collie or terrier? My confusion showed and the man explained: He had adopted Hutch from “the pound” just a few months earlier.
Whoa! Hutch?! The pound?! This amazing dog was given up by someone? The new owner explained that Hutch appeared to be a runaway or stray, was picked up and never claimed by anyone. I was dumbfounded. I’d’ve walked for days to reclaim that dog. He was that awesome.
And it got me to wondering how many more Hutches there are out there in the shelters. I looked up some statistics. There are 6-8 MILLION animals in shelters any given year, 25% of which are purebreds. Of those 6-8 million, about 1/2 are adopted, meaning that 3-4 MILLION animals are euthanized each year in the 3500 or so shelters in this country.
How many of them were a Hutch who just weren’t lucky enough to be found by a nice, Starbucks-lovin guy?