APCI’s holiday classic for our animal friends and the selfless volunteers who rescue them
by Aggie Perilli
The $295 my husband Michael and I paid to adopt a 15-pound Poodle Bichon Frise named Raphie from the Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, covered the cost of vaccinations, deworming, neutering, and medication for the prevention of kennel cough and other infections. That’s what our veterinarian charges for vaccinations alone.
The Last Chance Ranch had rescued Raphie from a high-kill shelter, where he lay in a fetal position in a far corner of his cage.
When the Last Chance Ranch’s Barbara Maroney led Raphie into the lobby to meet Michael and me, the skeletal Poochon dropped belly-up at our feet.
Barbara spun Raphie playfully around on the concrete floor.
“He’s so sweet, you can really have fun together,” she said.
Wary, though, Raphie clung to Barbara.
Michael and I looked at each other and smiled. Raphie needed a home, and we ached to fill a gap as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon that had been left by the passing of our maltipoo two months earlier.
While Michael drove us home, Raphie sat in my lap and leaned over the center console to keep his paw on Michael’s arm. The three of us bonded instantly.
As Raphie settled into his new home, he chased his new ball with so much exuberance that he skidded into the wall, banged his head on the coffee table, then resumed running as if nothing had happened.
Happily, Raphie lives in the moment. No longer collapsed in a fetal position, our now 21-pound Raphie stands tall with his eyes bright and his tongue hanging out in a smile.
The Last Chance Ranch and other animal rescues could use your donations. One of the most rewarding and fun ways to donate is to adopt a pet. Share love that is unconditional. Adopt a pet.