I say she was a rescue. Technically, I guess she was. Truth is she rescued me.
At that time in my life a lot of my dreams weren’t working out, although, on the surface, everything seemed okay. I was enrolled at Nashville tech to finish my associate’s degree, and my grades were great. I was making money, landscaping part-time. While on the outside I seemed generally content, on the inside I was extremely unhappy.
Friends didn’t exist for me anymore. I was lonely. Very lonely. After I was done with homework or digging holes, I would drink and drive. Literally, I would get into my ’89 Cadillac, fill the car up with gas, buy two twelve-packs of Coors Light, and cruise, throwing each empty bottle out the window. Looking back, I have no idea how I didn’t kill either myself or someone else. Or at least get a DUI. This went on daily from August to November 2005.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving changed everything.
After some early morning Christmas shopping with my mom, I headed for the gas station. While I was filling up the car, I noticed a beat-up truck that didn’t belong in ritzy, upper class Green Hills. On the way out of the store, beer under my arm, the truck’s owner got my attention.
“Hey, you want a dawg?” he asked.
“What kind?” I answered.
“German Shepherd,” he said.
Something told me to look. Peering into the truck bed, I saw six or seven puppies. They were covered in poop and pee. He said he wanted fifty bucks for each and that they were pure bred. I doubted that, but it didn’t really matter. I told him no thanks. He got in his truck and squealed the tires onto Hillsboro Road, puppies tossing around the bed like pebbles in a tin can. Those poor puppies. I drove in the opposite direction.
I barely got out of town before I had to turn around. I had to find that guy. I needed to save those puppies.
Traffic is always bad in Green Hills, but on the Saturday after Thanksgiving it was exceptionally bad. I searched all the stores on Hillsboro, then back roads, parking lots. No luck. While I sat in traffic, I decided that if I ever found him, I would buy all the dogs and take them to the Nashville Humane Society. I tried the mall. Bad idea. I didn’t think I would ever get out of there. But then, taking a left, almost out of hope, I saw him. I found him!
I stabbed the gas.
Thank you, red light.
I pulled up next to him and told him to meet me down the street at the Bank of America, where I withdrew enough money to buy the whole litter.
“I want all of them,” I said.
“Can’t have all of them,” he said.
“I have the cash.”
“I’d lose money if I gave you all of them,” he answered.
“But I want to buy all of them.”
“Can’t have all of them. Only one.”
Ok, dude. He obviously didn’t understand what I was saying. I looked at all the puppies jumping up at him. Except for one. One puppy sat alone, staring at me.
“I want that one,” I said.
I put the puppy on the floorboard, turned the heat on full blast, and called my mom.
“I just got a dog,” I said.
“What?!” she said.
After I explained what happened, she told me to meet her at the vet. Besides being covered in pee and poop, the dog’s tummy looked bloated with worms. I told my mom that I wanted to help the puppy get healthy, then take her to the humane society. While waiting for Dr. Rogers, my mom asked me what I was going to name her.
That’s when I changed my mind.
Holly. I’d call her Holly. For the Christmas season.
Coming soon…Part 2: How Holly rescued Katherine from her self-destructive path