It was a cold and rainy night. A nor’easter was coming up the east coast bringing rain, sleet and maybe snow. The back alleyway was dark and trash littered the pavement by the back doors and dumpsters.

He had been on the run for at least three weeks now. He was wet, hungry and scared. There were a few crumbs here and there but not enough to satisfy the ever present hunger he felt. A door opened and a man with a broom kicked him and chased him down the street. He tasted the blood in his mouth and he hurt all over. The sleet was coming down hard; the freezing wind was blowing down the alleyway. Trash cans were blowing over and the lids were in flight like metal Frisbees. The man slammed the door and went back inside leaving him alone with his pain. He ran as fast as his short legs would take him. Fear fueled his body with adrenaline taking him far down the street.

Eventually, his energy ran out and he found a front porch to crawl under. It was still cold but it was dry and he watched as a lady put a pizza box in the trash can beside the porch. At least now he could eat and sleep.

The next morning he made his way to the breakfast house. The trash bins there were like a buffet. He was deep into left-over pancakes and didn’t notice the police car parked at the entrance to the ally. The next thing he knew he was sitting in the back seat not knowing where he would go next or what would happen to him.

After a short ride, he found himself in a cell with only a dirty blanket and some water. He wondered where his mother, brothers, and sisters were. They all got separated during the storm. He was lonesome and missed his family. Finally, he put his head down and went to sleep. His dreams were filled with images of his family, meals and playing with his sister. He dreamed about green grass and swimming in the pond near the park.

The days were noisy and there were many lost souls in the other cells. Some were crying, some were angry and defiant. Then one day this beautiful lady with a big white poodle walked in opened the cell, hugged him and whispered to him that she would take care of him. She had tears in her eyes and the poodle sneezed when he sniffed him. He really needed a bath and a haircut.

The lady took him to a wonderful place way out in the country. She had lots of children, lots of food and soft beds. She gave him a bath and cut off his long matted hair. She placed a mirror in front of him and told him how cute and handsome he was. He still missed his family and home but he wasn’t hungry and he was off the streets. He had a warm place to sleep and lots of friends to play with.

Spring finally came and the air was warm. He was out playing with his friends when one of the farm workers took him to the office. His heart was racing because he had seen several of his friends go into that office to meet families and then leave the farm with them.

He thought the family was nice and they had a little girl named Markie with them who was very excited to see him. The couple asked him if he wanted to come and live with them. Joy filled his heart as he knew he was going to have a family.

It was a long drive to his new family’s home and he got sick several times. They stopped and got him water and let him walk in the fresh air. They got to their home late that night and put him to bed. They had a soft bed and clean blanket for him. They gave him treats and tucked him in. That night he slept without fear and free of bad dreams.

Point of View:

Even when despair ruled his life, and he lived each day with hunger and fear, he never gave up. He got kicked and beaten. People chased him and threw things at him, but they never broke his spirit. He has become a big part of our family. He loves to take morning walks and he plays ball better than any of his brothers and sisters. We thought we lost him once when he swallowed a marble. He had to have an operation and he came through it like the strong boy he is. The day we adopted him we were coming back home late in the afternoon. Traffic slowed down due to construction on the highway, and our car eventually came to a stop. The sky was clear and, as we sat there in awe, a single white feather drifted down and landed on our windshield. I guess it was Sparky’s guardian angel telling us that she would watch over us on our trip home or thanking us for taking him.

We have a family of rebels, renegades, and rogues all of them were left behind. They were dropped off on old dirt roads, dumped in alleyways, and trapped in a hoarder’s home with forty-three other lost souls.

If this story is sad and heartbreaking let me tell you that this little boy’s name is Sparky. He was picked up on the streets of Spartanburg South Carolina. He was rescued by Carolina Poodle Rescue and that is how we found him. Sparky is so strong and sweet. He is always happy and he gives us boundless love. He is a mentor to all our new rescues on the proper way to take a walk.

This story is not so different from the thousands of abandoned dogs and cats around the world. It happens every day. Give these pets a forever home, reach out and volunteer in the rescue centers. They are desperate for volunteers, supplies, and people to walk these dogs. They, in turn, will fill your life with unconditional love and happiness.

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”

Karen Davison


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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    • Thank you. This has been an important part of my life. I was able to get many dogs adopted, grants for animals’ shelters, Local TV documentaries and eventually I worked with six rescue centers.

  1. There is much talk of inadequate use of social networks.
    Here is an opportunity to demonstrate that we know how to use them in a healthy and useful way: since trying to convince those who inhumanly abandon animals, especially dogs, especially in summer, do not respond to the spirit of these people, then we try to exploit the virality of most popular social networks to try to involve more and more people towards abandoned animals, inviting them to adopt them, because only in this way can organizations that are committed to collecting them face this difficult and onerous commitment and collect new ones.

  2. Beautifully written, Larry, as always! The histories of our abandoned pets say a lot about the ethics of human beings. You only need to look into the eyes of a dog, or any animal, to know there is a feeling, breathing soul in there. Some animals need their space and freedom, others home and care. Dogs should not be blamed missing a family life, we developed them to be members of our safety network. ‘Sparkies’ are here to stay, loyal to the core.

    • Thank you Lynn they sure are a lot of sparkies. I volunteer at a shelter here and we see them all the time wonderful dogs abandon