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Happy Birthday, Lady!

My Tribute to My Lady
by Susan Weber

"A Special Dal!"
My beautiful Lady turned 13 today. Unlike the other dogs we have rescued over the years, I know Lady’s exact birth date because I bought her from a pet store in Dallas, Texas when she was six weeks old.

Yes, I once did not know that millions of beautiful dogs, purebreds and mixes alike, were being killed in shelters due to lack of homes and irresponsible owners. And I did not know that buying from a pet store promotes horrible puppy mills that sell dogs purely for profit, showing no regard for their health. Nor did I know that at six weeks of age, Lady shouldn’t have been taken from her mother so young.

But now, thanks to my Lady, I am one of the lucky few who has found my passion in life – that of saving unwanted and abandoned dogs. Dogs that aren’t as lucky as Lady. Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay is the result of many years of working at rescue.

I fell so in love with Lady that I started volunteering at an animal shelter on weekends – awakening me to a world vastly different from that of the corporate luxury I worked in during the week. After my first weekend at the shelter, I cried every night for three months and lay awake endlessly thinking. Thinking of those poor homeless animals begging silently with their eyes at the cage doors….pleading for someone to love them and take them home. And knowing that most never would go home again. Thinking of how terribly unfair it all was. Thinking of what an absolute horrible waste of precious lives it was. Thinking of how much I hated people for doing this to these helpless animals….dropping them off when they no longer wanted them and knowing but not caring about their ultimate fate. I almost quit because the emotional turmoil was so great. But I couldn’t. I knew I couldn’t let Lady’s friends down and I vowed that trying to help as many of them as I could would become my life’s goal.


The past thirteen years have been filled with lots of happiness and lots of sadness. Happy times when one is saved and given another chance at life with a loving new family. Sad days when you have to say no to yet another one because there just isn’t anymore room. Happy times of meeting some of the best people on this planet…people who truly love and care for their animals and wouldn’t ever dream of abandoning them. Sad times when the phone keeps ringing with yet more excuses of why someone can’t keep their pet.

But, in Lady’s name I’ll keep trying. Trying to save just one more life – one Dal at a time. I know there will come a time when Lady will not be here to celebrate another birthday and I will be truly and utterly devastated.

But for today….Happy Birthday Baby Girl…..I love you and owe you so very much!<