5.01.2011

A Home For Rufus


Rufus was an Owner Surrender. His family gave him up... because he “barked too much.” It’s funny… because ever since they dumped him nearly 4 months ago, Rufus has lived with me. And I’ve never once heard him “bark too much.”

I have, however, had a problem with Rufus being way too awesome for me to accurately describe in words. I’ve had the pain-in-the-ass issues of him being way too loving, far too sweet, and beyond freaking friendly. Damn… I hate when that happens. It’s like: "Umm... What the hell is wrong with you, Mister Nice Dog? You’re not even gonna bite my hand or anything? Useless!!!" (Hence, the SARCASM. It's the underlying theme of this post)

Rufus is a 100 lb., Lab/Dane mix. He’s HUGE. But I’ve never met a bigger teddy bear… there’s never been a more gentle, loving soul. Gosh… I really hate when the "sweet dogs "come in! A well-behaved, gorgeous dog with a great personality? Yeah… I’m gonna pass. I’m holding out for mischief, homely, and aggression.

With Rufus, it’s been a real uphill battle (obviously, more sarcasm). I’ve had to deal with a dog who loves to play with other pups… a real jerk who’s never met another dog he didn’t like. Well, okay... there was this one dog… of which Rufus wasn’t a fan. But in his defense, she ferociously humped him A LOT… and it was kinda scary for him. He likes it when women are more subtle… you know, play hard-to-get. So he’d run and hide from her… though she was half his size. What a vicious, mean, barking boy he is!

Rufus is such a bad boy, that he’s actually been my “control dog” for temperament testing other rescue dogs. His calm, submissive, friendly disposition was so "deplorable" ... that I didn’t have much use for him… other than to make him the most useful, treasured dog I had. But even with the additional responsibility of greeting the new guests, he never once complained. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to say: "Son, know your role! Whine already! Pitch a fit! Boycott! Or at the very least, freaking attack somebody! I signed up for a LOUD BARKING DOG! Friendliness and following directions will not be tolerated in this household, young man! Go to your room, and don’t come out until I hear you BARKING! Do you hear me?!"

Rufus behaves so well... it's actually super-ridiculous. Every day, I’ve had to watch him politely listen and obey as I said, “Sit.”
Ummm… what the crap was that? You aren’t supposed to DO the trick! When I say, “Sit,” you’re supposed to dance around, jump all over me, claw my face, then run away. DON’T YOU KNOW ANYTHING?!?!?! Ugh! The smart, well-behaved ones are the WORST!!!

Every time I’d say, “Rufus, Come,” he’d come. Every time I’d say, “Rufus, Stay,” he’d stay. Every time I’d say, “Rufus, Kennel,” he’d go into his kennel. Seriously dude, you gotta be kidding me with this crap... Where's all the "misbehavior" I agreed to take-on from you??

On car trips, he’d politely sit in the backseat and enjoy the ride… never once making a peep. I swear, the quiet ones are THE WORST! Bark, damnit! Whine! Cry! Howl at the moon, for freak’s sake! All this freaking peace and quiet… ENOUGH, ALREADY!!! (clearly, more sarcasm)

I've had to put up with all of Rufus’ love and affection… and let’s be honest… it’s just not necessary. Cuddle time on the couch with a sweet, happy dog? Um… yeah, I’m busy. Loving kisses and special snuggles? I prefer biting and hatred, but that’s just me. Fun, outdoor playtime with an awesome pup? Um… is death an option for me here… or no?

Every single day—that’s 7 days a week for almost 4 months—I have been with Rufus. And every day, Rufus has happily and lovingly greeted me, not with a bark, but with a kiss and a gentle nudge. I never once saw him without a smile on his face. I never once saw him misbehave. I never once saw any inclination of why a family would ever give-up this precious, amazing dog. I never once understood how they could do such a thing… especially not to Rufus.

Every single person who has met Rufus over the last 4 months—and there have been many—has said, “What a cool, awesome dog! He’s so sweet! So gorgeous! So well-behaved!” Those words were always followed by, “If I could adopt another dog, I’d take Rufus!”

I thought the same thing myself --on a daily basis.

But for nearly 4 months, no one ever adopted Rufus. Until now…

An amazing family in Cheyenne, Wyoming contacted me about Rufus, and honestly, I couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect fit for my big angel. Following their adoption approval, I worked on setting up transport from Lucky Dog Rescue in Meridian, MS to his new family in Cheyenne, WY. An amazing anonymous donor made that happen. Rufus was taken in a private shuttle, direct to his new home.

 Letting him go was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I said goodbye, with a tear and a smile. The tear was for me; the smile was for Rufus.

And today… Rufus arrived. Today, Rufus got home. Today, Rufus became a treasured member of the Opsal family… forever.
Today, my baby… became their baby…

Rufus has given me so many gifts along the way, and leading him home is the best way I could repay him. I was his bridge… from the forgotten to the remembered… and he was my constant reminder… of why I do what I do.

Thank you, Rufie, for always making me smile. Thank you for always kissing my tears. Thank you, for loving me so deeply, that I could always feel it in my soul. Thank you for accepting me, for all that I am, and all that I’m not. Thank you for making me a better person, just because I knew you.  

In case I never see you again, know this: For a girl in Mississippi, you changed everything. I didn’t give you away. I just decided to share you.
Rufus giving me kisses

41 comments:

  1. That's hilarious! Wow, how the hell did you get through?! Very glad he has finally gone home, he deserves nothing less.

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  2. Mark C KraushaarMay 1, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Woo hoo...what an amazing dog and even more amazing new owner!

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  3. Awesome ending!! Beautiful story!!!

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  4. YAY for Rufus!! That sweet boy is gonna make his new family SOOOO happy!!

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  5. A sociable dog will bark too much when when left alone too much. Obviously, Rufus needed to get out of there. Lucky him!

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  6. Just a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. And thank YOU for being you and showing such love for such a dog as this!

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  7. Way to go Rufus. I am so happy you got a forever home. And you had such a wonderful friend to get your there. I know you will always have a special place in her heart.

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  8. Awesome pup. Way to go Rufus!!

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  9. I am crying after reading this as I would have taken Rufus in a SECOND. I lost my Lab/Dane mix, Buddy, a few years ago. He was the most wonderful dog--a big huggy bear, just like you described. He was MY BOY.... I saw the picture of Rufus on FB and immediately guessed he was at least partly blue Dane. I have always wanted one--preferrably mixed with Lab. I'm so glad Rufus had you to take care of him, and I pray that he will be happy in his new home. I can't imagine having to let him go... Sending love from a girl who knows those big boys are as sweet as they come. <3

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  10. Such a bad dog. Shame on him! LOL.

    People are ugh sometimes. Yesterday, one of the stray cats I feed bit me. Somebody told me I should just send him to the pound or kill him for being such a nasty cat. What? No, that's normal for cats; they get nervous too. Please, pffffttttt.

    I'm very glad Rufus found his forever home! Please share some updated pics from his new home if his new family sends you some.

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  11. I promise to post the pictures of him in his new home as soon as I get them! They are IN LOVE with Rufus, to say the least :)

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  12. I'm so happy for Rufus that he got his fur-ever home! I don't understand how people can get rid of such amazing animals without a second thought! So glad he knows now that there are people out there with love in their hearts!

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  13. You are amazing - thank you for doing what you do!! I am so happy that Rufus (the horrible dog - lol) has a wonderful new home with people that will love him forever <3

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  14. Thank you for sharing Rufus' wonderful story, and for all that you do..

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  15. This is so sweet! I'm glad Rufus found a home. =]

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  16. that is just a lovely story. yay for Rufus and good luck with your new family, your new forever home. got tears in my eyes

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  17. Sooooooooooooooo happy that Rufus was loved by you and had 4 months to hang with Angel Ashley, but even more thrilled that he eventually found his forever home in Wyoming! He is going to love living up there with all the open space and with his new family that will spoil him silly! Great blog post, as usual! xoxoxoxo! Keep saving the babies!

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  18. Love this post! Somebody once said that dogs give off medicine. They heal us with their love, zest for life, and hunger for companionship. When I'm sick mentally or physically my pups are the #1 remedy! Thank you for posting, although I was crying @ the end. Love Happy endings!

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  19. Thank you for sharing Rufus with us. Please keepo us updated, he is such a wonderful, sweet boy.

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  20. Love reading your posts. Did you forward a link to the people who said he barked too much?

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  21. Quit making me cry...... Oh that is such an awesome ending i am so glad he got his forever home. I wish i could take all of them.

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  22. patricia folgarMay 1, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    ugh! more happy tears. deliriously happy for rufus :) thank you just sounds so hollow at this point but what more can we say to someone who saves so many lives? thank you dear girl. you have the biggest heart of anyone i know!

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  23. What a precious baby~thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences..they make me cry and have hope in my heart for all the precious dogs in our world(all of 'em)..much love~

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  24. Hey thanks...I think you just made me tear up, lol.
    Very nice story...Thank the Goddess for a happy ending. They ALL deserve one, but so few get one.

    Nicely done.

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  25. Ok, I just stumbled upon your website..I read your blog...I am crying uncontrollably right now! Happy tears and such sad tears that anything like this happens to such wonderful creatures, and I know there are SO many of them, and sad for the fact that I cannot help. I am facing criminal charges right now for telling a lady that it was cruel to leave her dog in the car with no windows down in 70+ degree weather last August...long story short, after verbally & physically assulting me, I fell into her door and a piece of her ear was severed...horrid, I know, but now I am facing 5 to 7 years of incarceration because SHE is ignorant and rude...so, please, all of you that CAN help ANY animal, be careful. And Ashley...you are my heroine, don't know ya, but I love you..sorry this is sooo long!

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  26. Crying happy tears now; What a beautiful story! God bless you always!!

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  27. love it and Rufus I am so glad you found someone who loves you unconditionally.

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  28. Crystal JacksonMay 1, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Ashley, this is such an adorable and heartwarming story. Thanks for giving Rufas love and a home, until he could find his loving forever family. I am sure you got as much as you received from your four months with that beautiful boy. Bless you for your never-ending kindness. You are a blessing to so many.

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  29. Another of the few success stories. I Loved reading it. Such happiness. Ashley you are the greatest. You give so much of yourself to those that need someone so badly. You are an angel on Earth. Thank you for all you do. You give me hope for the dogs in a very dark world. :)

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  30. What an awesome boy! So glad he got a good home!

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  31. so,so thankful for what you do. so many of us want to do something and you are actually doing it, thank you for sharing your story.

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  32. LOL, yeah, those well behaved, nice dogs are the WORST! Good thing someone took him off your hands ;) Congrats on your new home Rufus. You were lucky to find Ashley, but sounds like your new family is lucky to have found YOU.

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  33. spiritstorm2008@yahoo.comMay 1, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    ALL PAWS UP FOR ALL YOU DO, HAVE DONE, AND WILL FOR ALL THE ANGELS WHO COME INTO YOUR LIFE - AND YOU IN THEIRS... WOOF!!!

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  34. spiritstorm2008@yahoo.comMay 1, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    I FORGOT WHERE TO CONTACT "PATRICK"... HOW IS HE COMING ALONG? 'BOUT TIME FOR SOME UPDATES I SHOULD THINK... HE'S GOT TO BE LOOKING LIKE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT BOY BY NOW...

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  35. Over the weekend I took my wonderful yellow lab foster to her new home, she was very much like Rufus - basically a perfect dog that someone ditched. But, she too is going to have the best life! Summer on a lake in Minnesota and winter in Arizona. A retired family to spend lots of time with her. Dog cousins to come visit her on occasion. When she first came to my house, she stared at the front door and cried for her family and she cried herself to sleep at night. When I left her at her new home, she was dragging her dad toward the lake so she could check it out, with a big smile on her face and her tail wagging! I know how you feel Ashley, and it's sad for a minute, but it feels good forever!

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  36. R23, I couldn't agree more!
    Woman in Love, if I kept every foster dog, I'd never have room for new dogs who really need help. The best thing I can do for these amazing dogs is find them equally amazing families... and then save another in their honor :)

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  37. Good thing those wackjobs who gave you up gave you the opportunity to find YOUR family who will cherish and love you like you deserve! The finger to the wackjobs, and happy trails and blessings in the rest of your AMAZING new life Rufie.

    Ashley - on to the next one :) Rufie would have it no other way.

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  38. At first I was disgusted with the people who gave him up, but as I got to the end of the story, I realized that it was probaby a Godsend that they did, because now Rufus has an amazing home!!

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  39. Wonderful story. Rufus rocks, so happy for him!

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