The giant, overgrown baby of a dog currently chewing on a toy at my feet is not the kind of dog I ever thought I would have. But he is, as it turns out, precisely the dog I needed, and I was able to find my best friend of a dog through Two by Two Animal Rescue in Helena, Alabama.
Helena is not the place I thought I’d find a dog to rescue. I live in Atlanta, Georgia and Helena is quite a haul for me. But after months of wanting to adopt a Border Collie puppy, I found a dog I fell in love with on petfinder.com. He was only three weeks old and his eyes were barely open. The story of how he ended up in a rescue was a sad one, but the amazing woman who rescued him had dedicated every moment of her time to ensuring that his life’s story was a joyful one. I fell in love with his photo and quickly e-mailed Sonya Smith, his foster “dog-mom” and the woman behind Two by Two rescue. I was so impressed with the loving care that she had provided for this little unwanted puppy who she had nicknamed Percy that I had to drive to Helena, Alabama and meet the pup in person.
I made the seven hour drive and arrived at Sonya’s house after midnight. But she was up and moving, as I think she probably always is. I was met at the door by a gaggle of happy and well-loved puppies, all of whom had been abandoned or mistreated in some way. Sonya was giving them their nightly bottle feeding and showering them with the love and compassion they so desperately needed.
And there, in the corner, sat the little pup who I would take home with me that night. He bounded up to me like he had known me all of his short life and managed to open a screen door to get me. It was love at first sight, and has been ever since.
Sonya chatted with me for over an hour about how to care for the pup, who I eventually named Brody. She carefully instructed me on his care. He was, after all, a young pup who had lost his mother. I was impressed at her knowledge and the concern she showed for Brody. She was invested not only in finding him a home, but in making sure that that home would be the right home for him. I distinctly recall explaining to her that I knew I would be able to deal with the boundless energy of a border collie, and I’m grateful that she wanted to make sure I would be a good fit for little Brody.
It has now been five years since I took Brody home, and both of our lives have changed dramatically in that time. Sonya Smith and the dog rescue she runs, however, have been constant support people for Brody and me. She has always been available to answer questions, offer training encouragement, and invite me to functions for the rescue. Two by Two Rescue treats the people who adopt its pets like family members, and once you’ve become a member of the Two by Two Rescue family, you’re family for life.
Brody has been a challenging dog at times, and that boundless energy of border collies that Sonya warned me about truly cannot be overstated. I’ve always felt fully equipped to meet the challenges presented by Brody, and I credit Sonya’s guidance and the excellent start she gave Brody for this.
Many rescues would not be willing to take on a newborn puppy. Dogs are hard enough to raise when they have mothers, and dogs who are not raised by their mothers offer unique challenges. Two by Two Rescue, however, does not turn dogs away. Regardless of their health, behavior, or unique problems, every animal gets a chance. But Two by Two doesn’t just pawn challenging dogs off on unsuspecting owners. Instead, they equip each dog adopter with the tools they need to help their dog succeed. Each dog is matched with the home that is right for them, and Brody was absolutely the right dog for me. We needed each other, and Two by Two Rescue helped us find each other. I have nothing but positive things to say about Two by Two Rescue, and would encourage anyone to adopt from them. If they’re not local to you, consider making a donation to Two by Two. Every dog deserves a second chance at life, and Two by Two makes sure they get one. I can think of no better charity to donate to during the holidays.