The day before the Phoenix story broke, Diesel, a shepherd mix, peers up from a photo. According to the description, he was surrendered when his owner could no longer afford to care for him, and came in with a bad case of tape worm, which the shelter treated. His dark-brown face and perked ears have that vaguely hopeful look dogs do so well, and I can’t help but hope he found a home.
The photos and the names and the descriptions continue, dogs and cats alike. Cricket. Autumn. Silver. Kipofu. Palmer. Holly. Melville. Midnight. Crystal. Duke. Lily. Sebastian. Tyler. Cassie. Elvis. Milton. Shamus. Lenny. Diva. Mournful-looking shepherds and wide-eyed tabbies and even another Jack Russell terrier, an older, unscarred version of the pup that drew so much attention.
Go over to the page for the SPCA Serving Erie County; it’s the same. Max. KitKat. Titus. Twitch. Arlee. Abbie Rose. Pit bulls and dachshunds and domestic shorthairs and calicos. No less in need of their own happily-ever-after than one Jack Russell puppy.
I hope Phoenix gets that wonderful ending to his tale, the good home he deserves so much. And then I hope that all those who’ve followed his sad story and his recovery use some of that sympathy and compassion and consider opening their homes and hearts to another of the area’s homeless pets, whether another pup, or an older dog, or a kitten or cat.
Because, in the end, they’re all underdogs.
Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.