My brother Chris is a fellow animal lover and rescue volunteer, recently joining forces with Our Pal’s Place here in Marietta (I use the phrase “joining forces” advisedly because my brother is a force to be reckoned with!). Among the many tasks he takes on for them is being K9 coach, trainer, and friend of Lexie, a pit bull mix that many other rescue groups, even “no-kill” ones, would have deemed “unadoptable” and had euthanized.
Chris has been chronicling his adventures with Lexie both at his own blog and on the Our Pal’s Place website and newsletter. I have followed the story with great interest, particularly when in chapter 2 a small, fearless orange and white kitten introduced himself to Lexie. Lenny, as the kitten was soon named, and Lexie have become the best of friends and live together in the Learning Center at OPP.
On Saturday, Chris and I finally meshed our schedules and Gary and I traveled to OPP to meet the pair. I freely admit I am a cat person rather than a dog person, but both dog and cat won my heart immediately. In the hour we spent there, I saw exactly what my brother has accomplished in the months he’s been working with Lexie. It’s a facet I’d not seen before of the man I still think of as my “baby brother.” Her trust in him and love for him is so clear! I also got quite a nice little introduction to the nuances of dog behavior, as well as my own share of slobbery dog kisses (something which I do NOT allow from just any dog). Of course Lenny was not omitted — he got as many rubs and ear scritches as he would permit.
Watching the two of them interact was so cute! Lexie is a good-sized and rather rambunctious dog, while Lenny is a small-to-average sized cat; yet Lenny is clearly in charge but lets Lexie THINK she is. I’m used to seeing very bonded cat pairs, but I’ve never seen a dog/cat pair quite like this.
I also could tell what a challenge Lexie has been, and still is. Given the “hard cases,” medical and behavioral, we take in at Good Mews (including this year’s socializing of three completely feral adult cats), I really applaud groups that don’t just concern themselves with the easy rescues, but are willing to work with the challenging animals as well. A dog like Lexie is well worth the effort!
Oh, and since it’s almost Christmas, don’t forget the animals — your local animal rescue group would really appreciate a gift from you. If you don’t have a favorite group of your own, you can donate to either Our Pal’s Place or Good Mews. Better yet, become a volunteer and really get involved — Chris and I will both tell you that it’s an incredible experience.