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A year ago this January I adopted an ancient dachshund named Barney who had almost expired on a rural road with the winter temperature and evening falling. He had less than an hour left to live under those conditions, but a couple found him and brought him to Wetzel County Animal Shelter in New Martinsville, WV. They rescued him and then gave him a home with me. Meanwhile, around the same time another dachshund named Andy was on his way to a shelter. He was not likely to get adopted being 12 years old already, but one of the founders of All Mutts Matter Foundation in Delaware stepped in to save him. And a year later he was still in foster care; most shelters don't have the ability to keep animals that long so probably wouldn't still be alive without her intervention. When this January came, I planned a special party for Barney, knowing he was declining in health and not likely to see the coming of spring. I called it a "Spark In The Dark" party to mark Barney's one year anniversary and 16th birthday; I knew he wasn't going to make it to Spark Day, a holiday created at Wetzel Shelter for a special old dog they rescued named Sparky. We celebrated with zest and Barney got his very own birthday cake. And then he left me a month later, 9, 480 hours longer than he would have had if left on that cold lonely road in WV. In my sadness over his loss, my friend, one of the founder's of All Mutts Matter, mentioned Andy. He was still waiting for a home of his own. No one wanted him because of his age. Well, I did! And so a month ago today, Andy came home to me and brought joy to my halls once more! He will get to celebrate Spark Day for both himself and Barney. To find out how to join him in the festivities, visit the Facebook page of Wetzel County Animal Shelter and see the page of All Mutts Matter for happy updates!

Michele Krause
Huntington, NY

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