by Anna Cooke
Jack lives his life believing everything happens for a reason. Four years ago, after his Schnauzer died, he knew he wanted to adopt another dog right away. He’d lived with dogs all of his life – a couple of Great Danes, a German Shepherd Dog, an Akita named Molly – mostly big dogs with big personalities.
After doing some research online, he found a rescue in Hernando County that pulled mostly smaller dogs from shelters. On the Petfinder.com website link for the rescue, there was his next dog, or so he thought. A friend drove Jack from St. Petersburg to Brooksville. As he finished filling out the adoption paperwork, a car with a family of four pulled into the parking lot. “Two kids jumped out of the car, saw me holding the dog and started crying,” Jack said. “Turns out the family had fallen in love with the same dog online as well. They had driven there, as I did, to adopt this dog.”
Jack placed the dog on the ground and asked the two small children if they’d like to pet him. When the dog ran over to the kids, wagging his tail, Jack knew. “It wasn’t meant to be. That dog belonged to those children. I wasn’t going to take that away from them. I figured my dog was still out there somewhere, waiting for me.”
Driving back home, Jack began humming a song, out of the blue – “Oh! Susanna.”
“Where did that come from?” exclaimed Jack’s friend, looking over at him.
“I have no idea,” answered Jack.
The next day, Jack visited Pet Pal Animal Shelter and met an unlikely dog that he would end up taking home. Among other health issues, the little Terrier-type female had a hernia, most likely as a result of overbreeding, starting as a puppy herself. She was also very shy. “The shelter volunteers surmised that she most likely had lived her entire life in a cage,” said Jack. She had been pulled, along with other dogs, from a hoarding situation out of Alabama.
The words to “Oh! Susanna,” the song Jack had been humming the day before, include the line: “For I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee…”
Jack named his new companion Allie.