Talk About a True Life Feel Good Story Just in Time for the Holidays!

If you’re a regular Greater Good reader, chances are you’re looking for uplifting and cheerful content that provides some semblance of a happy ending. This sort of reading material seems harder and harder to come by with everything going on in the world, so you have to get it wherever you can. One additional source besides Greater Good is and always has been Reader’s Digest. While many people might be blown away to know they’re still around, the fact is they are, and they’re still providing content you can count on. Here’s a story we couldn’t resist sharing that will put a smile on your face right where it belongs.

Swapping Mary & Joseph for Pepper & Cooper

Written by Derek Burnett, it starts out as “The story of an expectant couple and a wise man (but not the ones you’re thinking of).”
 He continues to write, “Their names were not Mary and Joseph, but Pepper and Cooper. Nor were they man and wife, but rather a pair of beagles. And the place was not Bethlehem but Bethel, Ohio, on a ­rural highway outside of town. But, like the biblical couple, they were to be blessed by an act of compassion this night, eight days before Christmas.”

beagle in snow
Photo: Pixabay/ievutina

The 8 Days of Christmas, Not 12

He goes on to tell of a gentleman named Gus Kiebel, a county wildlife officer, who was on his way home one evening in a blinding snowstorm when he spotted what appeared to be two dogs trudging along in the deepening snow. He was driving on what was described as a stretch of wooded road. It was difficult to make out exactly what he was looking at, but he pulled over to check on the freezing animals.

Both were wearing collars with tags, but it was snowing too hard to read them properly, so he decided to put the shivering animals on the floor of the passenger side of his truck. When he hopped back in, they’d managed to hop up onto the seat instead and waited patiently for him there. He called the number listed, but the man who answered became defensive and said the dogs were no longer his before abruptly hanging up.

beagle sleeping
Photo: Pixabay/stuzinty

The Road to Bethel

Gus then tried calling the county dog warden’s office. Being after hours, the best he could do was leave a message, but what to do next? The story includes the information that Gus had always wanted beagles as pets, but he and his wife already had a dog and couldn’t take on two more. With nothing left to do, he called Katie. Straight off the bat her response to his dilemma was, “You cannot put them back out in the snowstorm. Bring them home,” which is probably what he was hoping to hear anyway but just wanted confirmation.

Once there, the good-hearted couple prepared a bed for Cooper and Pepper on their warm, enclosed porch. They also set out food and water for them to replenish their energy. The exhausted dogs snuggled together, Cooper lifting his weary head from time to time to fuss over Pepper. The two would spend the night there, safe and warm, until morning came.

Photo: Pixabay/masch

League for Animal Welfare

Gus had a contact at a nearby no-kill shelter, the League for Animal Welfare in Batavia, so he called them. Katie ended up taking the dogs there to drop them off, but on one condition: she wasn’t signing the dogs over to them if they were going to separate them. After assurance from the staff that they’d be kept together, Katie left them in their care. Concerned, she phoned the shelter repeatedly over the coming days to check their progress. Shortly after Christmas, Katie was informed the dogs were adopted together into a loving forever home.

As Burnett put it, “It’s a simple story — people who practice kindness give shelter from a storm to a vagabond couple — but it speaks to the best of our nature. And when kindness and love triumph over cruelty and the elements, it can feel like the greatest miracle of all.”

People, Pets & Planet

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