A Case of Canine Kismet
During Hurricane Sandy last year, the garage and basement of Christine O’Donovan’s house in the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens, New York, were flooded, and two cars, years of paperwork, and photos were destroyed. Still, she counted her blessings: Her husband, five children (ages 2 to 12), and an adopted shepherd–ridgeback mix named Buster had remained safe.
Six months earlier, she’d taken Buster home after finding the scrawny six-month-old mutt left tied to a telephone pole.
Just a month later, however, as construction workers repaired the house, Buster dashed through the open front gate and ran off. “I was devastated,” O’Donovan says. A string of neighborhood searches for him turned up no sign.
Weeks later, O’Donovan got a text from a friend, telling her to look at a Facebook page that lists animals scheduled to be euthanized at New York City shelters the next day.
Sure enough, when O’Donovan logged on to the site, there was a picture of Buster, who was apparently slated to be put to sleep eight hours later, at 6 a.m. The shelter was closed for the night and wouldn’t open again to the public until 8 a.m.
“I’m thinking, How am I going to get him before they do this?” says O’Donovan.
The next morning, she drove to the shelter with all five kids in tow. She asked the woman at the front desk if Buster was still there. When the woman replied yes, “it was like a thousand pounds lifted off my shoulders,” she says.
To prove her ownership, O’Donovan told the assistant, “Bring me to the back where he is, and you will see he’s my dog.” When Buster spotted his long-lost owner, he went wild, barking, jumping, and licking O’Donovan’s face. She burst into tears. The shelter worker needed nothing more—and Buster went home.
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