Hallie Mae’s Dog Blog
For the past couple of months, I’ve been writing here about a dog named Hallie Mae.
Initially, the idea was to blog from the perspective of Hallie Mae, a fictional rescue dog whose story embodies all the sweetness, the sorrow, and the light comparable to that of any real dog’s trials. Unexpectedly, it’s morphed into something very personal for me — something I probably needed.
I chose to use an image of Cupcake to serve as the face of Hallie. She’s a good representation of the sort of dog who is often overlooked at the pound: a pit mix, weird scars, kinda wiggly, recently had puppies. She was scheduled to be euthanized when I arrived at the shelter to retrieve a different dog for DFWRM, but after spending a few moments with her while the employee at the front desk processed our paperwork, any fool could’ve seen Cupcake was a jewel. Even this fool. Luckily, our group had space for her, so I was able to nab Miss Cupcake and give her a shot for a more charmed life. My heart will always hold a candle for this gal because she was the first dog who ever really chose me at Dallas Animal Services.
Over the next few months, Cupcake waited patiently, attended adoption events, always had a smile for every face. Eventually, her fosters realized they couldn’t fathom Cupcake leaving their family, so these days that desperate dog who was so down on her luck is living the high life in a nice home with a deaf Aussie and a very cool cat. Every time I see “Hallie’s” face on the dog blog, that candle in my heart flickers.
In Hallie Mae’s journaling, I’ve written about a few experiences based upon Sweetie, the dog who was dumped at the boarding facility. She comes from a dark beginning, yet Sweetie has inspired me more than any creature I’ve known. Like many dogs, she is forgiving; she holds no grudge against mankind for her shattered past. When we put food in her dish, she is gracious. When we fill her bowl with water, she leans over and kisses us. When we bring her bones and toys and fresh blankets, she’s delighted. Unlike many people, Sweetie never wants “more” or “better;” she’s content and even surprised by the most minimal of gifts and necessities. In the evenings with her full belly, she watches the sky and the birds and the trees, the setting sun, the neighbors in their yards, listens to the wind and the hammock’s rocking back and forth . . . and her world is complete. This dog makes me want to be a better person. Truly, what more could we require from life? Sweetie — a dog who could rightfully live the rest of her days bitterly blaming the beasts who beat her, ignored her, abandoned her — instead moves forward and is content. Kudos to her.
If someone’d told me five years ago I’d be writing in first person as a dog on a non-profit’s rescue blog, I would’ve thought s/he was smoking crack. Truthfully, though, it’s been therapeutic in a way I would’ve never imagined — an entirely unintended side effect. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed developing the concept with many ideas gathered from other volunteers within our group, along with the encouragement to push the idea further in order to provide readers with a unique perspective about rescue.
Semi-quasi fictional or not, there are a zillion Hallies floating around this world, and they’re all heroes with stories worth sharing.
For more about Hallie Mae, her foster sister Nova the Annoyer, her flashbacks to darker days, and her daily journey along the way to finding her new mom Shirley and BFF Bessie, visit here.