Inner Dearborn: Rescue Me

When someone adopts an animal, who rescues whom?

It’s hard to say who rescued whom. Certainly the little long-haired dachshund with the deep brown eyes needed a home, and surely he won the family lottery when Judge William Hultgren and his fiancee Julie Pucci found Lars at the , but the overall winner has yet to be announced.

He had them at “arf.” 

During some difficult and challenging times, this couple found immeasurable comfort and joy in each other, and in Lars, who sits like a tiny sentinel by the front door waiting for his folks to come home–Bill from his career of nearly two decades sitting as judge in Dearborn’s , and Julie a human resources analyst with the city of Dearborn. Yipping happily, Lars greets them each day, rushing outside and excitedly circling the front yard. 

The beauty of a dog is that he or she always greets with a vigorous tail wag. They never tire of homecomings–every day is a family reunion. Cats are glad to see you, too, but way too cool to show their feelings so blatantly.

A few years ago, I ran for public office. That meant I knocked on nearly every front door in town. It also meant I met nearly every canine and kitty in town. Dogs eagerly announced my arrival; a few even galloped right through the screen door in greeting. My proper husband will never forget one very friendly pit bull. Even met one potbellied pig named Doris.

One front door I missed–until recently–belongs to the Dearborn Animal Shelter. During our visit, we met plenty of dogs and cats waiting somewhat patiently to go home. The shelter is a bustling place efficiently run by the animal lovers from the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter. 

The animals enjoy decent clean accommodations, are well fed and exercised by loving shelter volunteers. New arrivals are quarantined until they receive all necessary shots and medical attention.

On our arrival, two energetic puppies wrestled together in a pen set up under a shade tree, supervised by Navine, a volunteer. “They need to learn to play nicely with other dogs,” she said, smiling.

The playful puppies were having a ball tussling with each other. Ralph, who had to wait in the car, looked longingly at the fun.

The shelter volunteers are friendly, and readily invite guests to tour the back room where dogs available for adoption sniff longingly at extended hands.

The shelter also has a Puppy Room as well as a Cat Room. Every animal has a card pinned to the outside of their pen describing the breed as well as any idiosyncrasies noted such as “needs a home without small children or cats” or “prefers Manolo Blahniks.” Check out the “needs list” in the waiting room. The shelter could use everything from blankets to milk bones.

It’s hard not to fall in love. It’s even harder to leave empty-handed.

Ask Judge Bill and Julie. Reluctant to commit after the loss of a dear pet, Friends Director and matchmaker Elaine Greene gently insisted they meet 5-month-old Lars. It was love at first bite. Times are now good for all. Watching Lars race eagerly after a golf ball, Bill and Julie look on and laugh. Life is good. 

Check out the Dearborn Animal Shelter's website. Your new best friend eagerly awaits.

Join the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter at their annual fundraiser Megan’s Dreams Golf Outing on June 10 at .


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