Animal Rescue of Fresno: Zach

 by Wendy Hunter

 At the close of a long, hot summer, the appearance of the pumpkin heralds the welcome arrival of autumn. —Kari Spencer

A big bad “BOO!” to all you ghouls and goblins out there. Right now, Dracula is sharpening his teeth, the Mummy roams the roads, and every ARF dog is hiding from Frankenstein. It’s Halloween weekend as I bang out this article, and tomorrow evening the children of the night come out, donning their favorite costumes of super heroes, celebrities, rappers, and undoubtedly, Brittany Spears. Screams and shrieks will fill the air, as giant lawn spiders and bone-rattling skeletons come to life, scaring the bejeezus out of unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. Goodie bags will be filled to the brim as tykes make their way through neighborhoods decorated with sticky cobwebs, blinking Jack o’ Lanterns, tombstones, and the occasional grinning Grim Reaper. Yikes! But it’s all worth it when the booty is collected and strewn across living room floors; Skittles, Sour Patch snakes, Swedish fish, and Starbursts are just the sweet tip of the iceberg. Chocolate is the ultimate prize in this game of ringing doorbells for treats, with Hershey Kisses, KitKat, Peanut Butter cups, M&Ms, and Snickers. Dentists unite!

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Then autumn comes, with its first flush of youth gone, but ripe and mellow, midway in time between youth and age, with sprinkled grey showing on the temples. —Ovid

And though All Hallows Eve may be frightening, there are other things in this world that are just as terrifying. For example, pineapple on pizza. Horrors! Stupid Tik Tok challenges. Appalling! And the hideous costumes Tyra Banks wears on Dancing with the Stars. What in America’s Top Model hell? It’s so bad, I can barely tune in every Monday night. [Hey, don’t judge.] For some people, an eerie thought is getting older. Unfortunately, the hands of Father Time never seem to slow down; now, there’s a guy with an agenda. Hopefully, most of us will have loved ones and close friends to help out when we reach our twilight years. They will comfort us, hold our hand, and offer warm cups of tea and cozy blankets. That’s a pretty picture for human beings, but if you’re a senior dog, the truth can be somber. Like a good portion of elderly people in this country, older dogs are treated as second-class citizens. They’re viewed as a burden, and not worth the space they take up. And for one hapless dog named Zach, a senior golden mix, he was also seen as an object to be bargained with; a pawn in a menacing grudge game. Evil queen takes the king's best friend.   

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. —William Congreve

Now, I don’t want to hold a microscope to anyone’s marriage, let’s just say that Zach’s parents were unhappy. I was married for about twelve minutes, so I get it. Spouses have issues, words are said in anger, and soon both parties are at war. Who knows why? That’s none of my beeswax. Maybe somebody just didn’t follow the shopping list. Lord knows divorces have happened over dumber things than that. “I told you to get Sprite, not Sierra Mist!” “It’s the same damn thing!” “No it’s not, Sprite is fizzier!” “Your BRAIN is fizzier!” And before you know it, someone is stuck with twelve packs of soda and hurt feelings. For whatever reason, the wife got pissed off at Zach’s dad, and surrendered the dog to a local kill shelter. Yes, instead of taking the Carrie Underwood route and keying her husband’s car, she took out her aggressions on the one innocent party in this power struggle. I can only imagine what Zach was thinking. Why are you leaving me here? Did I do something wrong? What goes through the mind of a pet who is suddenly ripped from his home? Terror, that’s what. Even the Wicked Witch and her monkeys could not be that cruel.

Spring blossoms are fairy tales, autumn leaves are tragic dramas. —Mehmet Murat ildan

Now I know what you’re thinking; that wife makes Cruella De Vil look like Glinda the Good Witch of the North. And you’re also wondering, how the heck is that legal? Stealing someone’s dog and taking it a shelter without their permission? Even if that person is your spouse? Well, yes, if you don’t have any proof that the dog is yours. Especially if you and your significant other decide to part ways, and are arguing about who keeps the pet. Also, if your pooch wanders off and is found by some jerk not willing to return him, then having proof of ownership is vital. This also comes in handy if Fido gets picked up by animal control, or that new neighbor claims he was attacked by your five-pound Yorkie. Ruff! You can easily establish ownership rights through registration, veterinary records, microchipping, tags, adoption records, and photos. Be sure that your chip and tags both have current contact information. They won’t do any good if you list your old cell phone number from junior year at community college. George who?

I am a flower made of various hues of autumn leaves. —Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Zach is a beautiful boy, with shades of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Basically, he’s my favorite Christmas cookie in dog form. At eleven years old, Zach is no spring chicken, but he still has as much love to give as a younger dog. He’s friendly, playful, curious, and a complete couch potato. And just when he found himself in a holding cell, surrounded by other petrified prisoners, there were outside forces working to spring him from a certain death sentence. Lady Luck comes in all forms, my friends, and sometimes she shows up just in the nick of time. A neighbor couple that was acquainted with Zach’s distressed dad, heard about the sorry situation, and decided to take action. They quickly made a trip to the shelter and rescued the confused canine from his dire situation. And being the Good Samaritans they are, the couple also paid for Zach to be neutered, chipped, and brought up to speed on all vaccines. Go team! 

After fostering Zach for a bit, the neighbors wanted to find a permanent home for him, and reached out to ARF. Even though Zach’s parents have made amends, and the husband loved his dog, he didn’t feel the home environment would be safe. I don’t blame him; if the vindictive wife would take Zach to the kill shelter once, who says she wouldn’t do it again? I mean, that would be small and childish, and isn’t she a grown adult? Maybe she’s learned her lesson from this experience, and now sees the error of her ways. Perhaps she and her husband are making their marriage work, and turning a corner in their relationship. Apologies have been made, and the dust has settled. For all we know, life is all peaches and cream again in their household. Then again, the husband might just have a new ninety-pound hound named FANG.

If you’re interested in adopting Zach, please visit our website and fill out an application. One of our helpful volunteers will call you back to schedule a meet and greet.

We are so excited about our Celebrate a Senior Event this Saturday, November 6. Our doors will be open for anyone interested in looking at senior dogs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. If you adopted a senior, we thank you, no matter who you adopted from! 

 Animal Rescue of Fresno
4545 E Dakota Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726

 Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. Learn more about ARF on their website.

Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF for four years. She grew up in Fresno and recently became an Office Assistant with Fresno County. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.