“She was my companion. She was the love of my life,” Brown said, talking of Huldah. “That was hard losing her.”
Her second dog disappeared—the victim of a theft, she suspects.
Her home, a small wood frame house, felt empty now.
Lupe Valdez, head of animal control, knew of her plight as he has been keeping eye out for the missing dog.
Her story though kept tugging at his heartstrings.
So, on Wednesday afternoon, he and Officer David Reilly headed over to Brown’s home with a special gift.
“We are waiving the adoption fee,” he told Brown. “We strongly believe in saving lives.”
Waiving fees is seldom done but this case was different.
“Her being elderly and on a fixed income, it is good pet therapy,” he said
Pedro, or as he will now be known Elijah, had been at the shelter a month now.
He is a Schnauzer mix best described as scruffy, but in the way that warms hearts and endears people to him.
“We hold them longer than people think we do,” Valdez said. “Animal control is not what people think it is.
“We are all about helping animals.”
This was one of the pups that Reilly had become fond of and who gave him his briefly held name. And, yes, Reilly made sure that Pedro had his shots before he left the shelter.
Valdez cradled the dog in his arms and gently passed him to Brown.
“He is yours legally now,” he said, smiling as he saw the look on Brown’s face.
Brown covered her mouth with excitement.
“I love him. I hope he will love me back,” she said. “I cannot replace a dog I lost but I can take another one in to love.”
While she doesn’t know the story of how Elijah came to be at the shelter, she doesn’t care.
“I have never had a dog that hasn’t been abandoned,” she said.
The name Elijah is part of a longstanding tradition for Brown.
“I name all of my dogs from scripture,” Brown said.
She chose Elijah because he was “a prophet that was very special to God,” Brown said.
As the crew loaded up to leave Brown’s home, Elijah scampered about inside.
He couldn’t wave goodbye but his wagging tail seen through the home’s glass front door was enough of a farewell thanks.
Valdez reminded that many of these homeless dogs are on Facebook under “City of Beeville Animal Shelter,” as are notices of missing animals.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.