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October 18th, 2017

The Power of Paying It Forward

 

 

 

 

By Katie Moritz

Sometimes, it takes a stranger and two newly adopted dogs to remind us that kindness and selflessness really do exist. Angela Tash and her husband saw this first-hand the other night at dinner. When a piece of lettuce fell from the table, Angela and her husband watched in shock as one of their newly adopted Chihuahuas grabbed it, tore it in half, walked across the room to their other newly adopted Chihuahua, and offered it to her before returning to eat her own piece. Angela simply tears up at the thought.

 

It’s so good, especially in today’s world, to see even small acts of love.

 

Angela Tash loves dogs. She frequently goes to the Humane Society’s Facebook page, giving hearts and likes to the photos of all the pups looking for homes. Sometimes she writes “how cute,” or “what a sweety.”

Several weeks ago, she saw that someone had posted that there was urgent need: it seemed the Humane Society was hoping to adopt out more dogs and cats so that they could help with disaster relief down south. Although Angela wasn’t looking to adopt, she began perusing the site. At the bottom, she say two small black Chihuahuas that, because of their codependence, needed to be adopted together. “So of course I keep reading” she laughs.

Then she came across the adoption fee: $650. “I thought, wow, that’s a lot of money.”

Without much thought, she commented on their post, saying that “if I had six-hundred and fifty dollars, these two little girls would become part of my family.” She had no idea, really, why she did it. She was not looking to adopt. But she simply felt compelled, whether by instinct, or some higher power, she isn’t sure.

A couple days later, Angela received a message from her friend, Julie Sancibrian. She asked her to respond to a Facebook post from a woman named Jackie. Angela was confused: who was Jackie? Why had Jackie sent her a message?

At first, she couldn’t find the message. Finally, she found it in a response to her post on the Humane Society’s Facebook page. Jackie said she had a proposition for her, and asked her to message her privately.

Angela’s confusion continued. She went to Jackie’s Facebook page, and saw that she wasn’t even located in Vermont. And although they shared a mutual friend, Julie, they had no other overlapping connections. Angela felt awkward messaging a person who she had never met.

In response, Angela received a message asking if she was serious about adopting the two Chihuahuas. And if she was, that Jackie would pay the adoption fee.

Jackie was beside herself. “Why would she do this?” She asked. “You don’t know me, I don’t know you.” At first, she was speechless. When she finally messaged her back, she explained that she wasn’t poor, that she and her husband had good jobs, and like most people, she and her husband had to budget. Plus, she wasn’t actually looking to adopt a dog, let alone two dogs. But Jackie was patient. She told Angela to think about it and if it is something she wanted to do, she had to promise that the dogs would be well-cared and loved. And if the Humane Society found her to be a fit, that she would be on-board and pay the adoption fee.

Angela’s head spun for days. Her husband, who is in the National Guard, was away, and their conversation about the potential adoption was brief. Angela felt that the offer needed more discussion. Yet, her husband told her to do what she wanted. She laughs, because after adopting each of their three dogs, he always told her: No more dogs. Angela also worried about her older dog, Rudy, who is not always friendly with other dogs. How would he handle the addition of two new pups? She simply wasn’t sure.

She decided it couldn’t hurt to go to the Central Vermont Humane Society and meet the pups. When she told the folks there the story, they were as stunned as she was.

Angela then went out and met the dogs. Both were black and looked very similar except that the larger one had long hair and tuffs on the ears. With big brown eyes and wagging tails, Angela was instantly hooked.

After observing Angela’s interactions with the dogs, the Humane Society determined that Angela would be a great fit. However, another part of the process included introducing the new pups to the rest of her household. This meant Angela’s husband and yes, her other three dogs.

As she drove home, she thought that, although she did want to do this, she did want to adopt the two little pups, her older dog Rudy would ruin it. He didn’t like other dogs, and he would act out, and that would be that. When she brought the three dogs in though, including Rudy, they all behaved “as good as gold.” She was stunned. “Another sign” she laughs. “I was supposed to do this.” Even Rudy was extremely well-behaved, and after an hour, the decision was made: Angela’s doggie family would grow to five.

Initially the pups were named Isadora and Josephine. Before officially adopting the pups, Angela wanted to know more about Jackie, the woman who had paid for this to happen. She looked on her Facebook page, and found out that Jackie had grown up in the Barre area, and that her mother, who had recently passed, was a huge dog lover. Jackie had wanted to do something to pay it forward in her mother’s name. She used the small amount of money her mother had left to go towards helping animals to give Isadora and Josephine the homes they deserved. When Angela found Jackie’s mother’s obituary, she saw that she had had a dog named Lucy, whom she loved very much. And so Angela renamed the pups Jackie and Lucy, in honor of the people and pups who made their adoption possible.

Angela pulls out her phone and shows a video of her husband lying on the grass in their backyard. The two girls are running around him, each one taking turns to leap towards the camera, or roll onto her back and wiggle in bliss. He is laughing. The video shakes as Angela laughs herself. This is pure happiness. This is what can come out of the kindness of strangers.

 

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