In 2010, I was at my store near closing time when Kelly from next door came over and asked if she could borrow a card table. I told her I was sorry, that I didn’t have one, but I asked her what it was for. She replied that she was having a fundraiser that evening for an animal rescue organization that she and her partner were starting up. Then she mentioned that she had a dog that had literally been forced on them the previous day at another fundraiser by a man who was really sketchy on details. She didn’t know what to do with it because they weren’t ready to receive animals yet! She told me it was part Border Collie, and that piqued my interest because I have a real soft spot for them.
I told her that I would like to take a look at the dog. I locked up my store and went to meet the dog that was to become Cinder. She was huddled and timid in their office, but I was immediately stricken by how much she reminded me of our dog Shadow that had passed away from cancer two years before. They didn’t look anything alike, other than being black, but there was something about the way she held herself that caught my eye! I told Kelly that I needed to do further investigation. I called my wife and had her come over to meet Cinder. No sparks, nothing. I wasn’t willing to let this drop!
The next day, I called Joey who worked for us part-time and was intimately connected to our dogs, as we brought them to work everyday. I asked him to come over to meet Cinder. He walked into the rescue, took one look, and said, “That dog reminds me of Shadow!” I was sold, I adopted her that day!
Cinder was about 6-months-old when I adopted her, and it quickly became apparent that she had suffered from mental abuse. That didn’t happen at my house. This is where it gets sort of spooky. Thirty-six hours after arriving at my house, my wife took the dogs for a walk, Cinder included. There was a wardrobe malfunction when Cinder’s collar fell off, and she escaped when they were blocks away from our house! My wife hurried back to the house frantically to get me to begin a search, only to find Cinder on the top step of the stairs on the sidewalk leading into the house!
Whenever strangers came to visit us, Cinder would hide and not come out until they were gone. A year later, my daughter came to visit us from Seattle and I went to pick her up at the Charlotte airport. On the drive home, I explained to her that she would have to get used to Cinder hiding from her. My daughter is a huge animal lover and she and Shadow had a very special relationship.
When I pulled up in front of the house, Cinder was at the front door going absolutely nuts. We have a full length glass storm door that we leave open for the dogs to see out. Cinder was jumping five feet off of the floor! When we went inside she was all over my daughter. This continued for her entire visit. You tell me, was this Cinder or was it Shadow?
Sadly, we lost Cinder to kidney failure in 2020, but the way I look at it is I had Shadow back for an extra 10 years.
Story submitted by Michael Atkins from Hickory, North Carolina.
This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!