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After four months of enduring the grief of losing my husband of 33 years, I had to put our beloved 15-year-old doggie to sleep. What a bad year!

I really wanted to adopt a dog that needed a loving home, so I searched the rescue sites and the shelter sites. No success!

When I learned that my next-door neighbors were going to return their Lab-Heeler mix to the "Dog Pound" less than a year after they had adopted him, I just couldn't bear it. They couldn't keep him because they "couldn't control him," and one of their children had an allergy problem. In the few months prior to this, he and I had become good friends through the fence. It wasn't HIS fault he'd been ignored and neglected for the previous 7 months, nor his fault that there was an allergic child.

So I became Blackie's owner in May 2008. He was TRULY a "wild dog," and I looked like an assault victim for the first three weeks that I had him here in my home.

Fortunately for both of us, he's become a WONDERFUL DOG! Because I could not give up on him, I endured the scratches, bites, bruises, anxieties, and dreaded encounters that were evidence of ignorance and neglected training by his previous owners. At one point I even considered returning Blackie to the dog pound myself. I'm so glad I didn't.

I am proud to say that Blackie, who would likely have been euthanized because of his age and behavior, is now living happily with me, and he's making great strides as he learns his requirements to earn his "AKA Good Citizenship" certification.

The interesting part of this is that I had been rejected as a candidate to adopt a rescue dog because I have to work.

Tucson, AZ

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