From Wayside Waifs to Beloved Pet

Meet “Casey Stengel,” aka “Casey,” our family pet. Named for the baseball legend who managed the New York Yankees when I was growing up and Mickey Mantle was a star, the name perfectly suits the dog. Both dog and man are very charming, even charismatic, but not willing to follow anyone’s rules other than their own!

We adopted Casey from Wayside Waifs, a no kill shelter that places over 5000 animals a year in Kansas City homes. It is a wonderful place to visit and the staff and volunteers are very helpful and enthusiastic.

When we adopted Casey in May of 2008, the shelter had just completed a huge adoption event that seemed to have nearly emptied the building. Casey was one of the first animals to be brought into the shelter and I met him in the shelter’s clinic shortly after he had been neutered, vaccinated and treated for heartworm. Needless to say, Casey probably wasn’t feeling his best. Two days later our family came to meet him and took him to our “forever” home.

Casey was scared of everything. He was afraid of the car, the garage, the kitchen, the back yard. He had no idea how to climb stairs. He seemed afraid of grass and was certainly afraid to cross the street. But from the beginning he was gracious and accepting of love and attention.

That was nearly two years ago. He now goes with us everywhere we can take him. He loves our Sunday drives and willingly visits the nursing home where dad lives. He receives lots of attention, which he accepts with grace. I am often asked his breed, because he is a beauty. I’ve also been asked if he is a designer dog, since he obviously has the characteristics of a Tibetan breed. I have finally decided to think of him that way, as a designer dog. Like other mutts, he has unique physical and personality traits that are particularly endearing to me. In that way, at least, he seems to have been designed for us.

If you are looking for a pet, before you go to a pet store, or the classified ads in the paper, how about considering a shelter pet, or a retired greyhound. They need homes; most are wonderful pets and almost without exception will dedicate their lives to giving you unconditional love.

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