Updated: Feb 16, 2021
October's pet of the month could not be more fitting for the month. I met Ranger and his mom at the dog park in September when we were asking dog parents for photos of them hugging their dog for Suicide Prevention Awareness Week (and month). While explaining what we were working towards that day many people opened up about how suicide had personally effected them. I was truly in awe of the openness and vulnerability so many people showed me that day. It was quite a nice reminder that I am not alone, that we are not alone. Suicide effects so many people on many different levels and talking about it is just the start to working through it together. I thank each and ever person who opened up to me that day.
One story that particularly touched me was Shelbys. And her dog, Ranger.
October brings awareness to another plight. National black dog. Black dog syndrome is a problem that animal rescue has been aware of for years, but most people haven't heard of it. Black dogs are last to be adopted from shelters for a number of reasons, the two biggest being that 1, as a society we associate dark colors with evil. (Think Malificent or Loki or even Death) and 2, they are very hard to photograph and in a world where we do so much research digitally, their future is largely dependent on their online exposure.
So! As a person who's favorite breed is often viewed as evil, and as someone who struggles with mental illness and relies on a dog to help me, this particular story really touched me. Here is Rangers story:
"October 4th 2019, I was admitted into the hospital for a suicide attempt. I was there in the psych ward for 5 days and all I talked about was adopting a dog. When I got out, I applied to adopt 3 and ended up being too late for all of them. I gave up and decided if I couldn’t adopt, I’d volunteer. I volunteered at the Sumner humane society where a litter of puppies was brought in. They were all adopted except for this little black puppy. He was scared of everything and needed to be socialized, so I would carry him around as I talked to people. We became best buds. A couple came in to adopt him and I was shattered. The owner of the humane society looked at me and said “he’s taken for.” He came home with me that day and we’ve been together ever since!"
Congrats Shelby & Ranger. May your days always be a little brighter with each other, even if its raining.