Mary Campisi
Mary Campisi
Mary Campisi

Second Chance Dog: Dallas and Annie's story

Since I write about second chances, it seemed fitting that I include the following post about a rescue dog, written by my sister. She likes people to think she’s a tough girl with a crusty exterior, but she’s never fooled me. Annie has a big heart and is a champion of the underdog, especially discarded and abused animals. She is the one who helped me grieve the sudden loss of my twelve-year old lab, Molly. And she is the one, who months later, guided me as I opened my heart to a scrawny, lab-pointer mix named Cooper.
Annie’s latest rescue is the last dog she ever would have chosen, but he has proven the perfect one for her. This is their story; unedited, heartfelt, pure.

“People acquire an animal like a hand bag. They think when they are tired of it or it no longer fits their lifestyle, it is disposable. It is not. An animal is a lifetime commitment.” Annie, dog rescuer

Here’s Annie’s story:

Dallas was purchased on Craig’s list because he was a “Pit Bull”. When the owners went to see him there were two Pits there. A female that was in a very large crate that was well maintained, and Dallas in a much smaller cage with nothing else. The owner purchased him in fear that he may be used as a bait dog. So, Dallas was “rescued” by his new owner who had him a couple months and found himself without a place to live and asked if I could “hold on to him”. Knowing nothing about this breed and having three dogs of my own, I was very hesitant to take on another dog. I went to meet Dallas and saw a very sweet boy. The only problem is that he was not neutered. I told the owner that Dallas would need to be neutered and I would need a copy of all his vaccinations. He agreed and within the next couple of weeks Dallas was neutered and was up to date on his shots. The greeting at his temporary home went well. I took Dallas to a neutral place so we could get used to each other and I could build a trust factor with him. The introduction began with my female Siberian Husky. She is Alpha… after that the rest was easy. Dallas enjoyed the company of the other dogs and blended well. He ran like he’s never run before…… It did my heart good to see this breed that gets such a bad rap because of irresponsible pet owners or just ignorant people acting like goofballs.

I must confess at this point I had no intention of keeping Dallas, but as the weeks went by I fell in love with him. Then it hit, they wanted him back. They had a stable home and professed their love for him. I didn’t want to give him back. He was happy and healthy and at the best place he could be. He had plenty of room to run free with three other dogs. But they came for him and took him. I was heartbroken. This was at Christmas. For the next couple weeks I made all types of offers to get Dallas back. Repeatedly, they told me no. I didn’t necessarily want or need another dog. I had just put one to sleep after seventeen years. However, there was something about Dallas. I wanted that particular dog. I finally came to the realization that I would never see Dallas again and it was heartbreaking to me but I had three other dogs that were healthy and happy and I was thankful for that.

I received a call from Dallas’ owner in early February. He was losing his place to live again and wanted to know if I would take Dallas. I told him I would take him but this time he would sign a contract stating he would never get him back—that Dallas was my forever dog. He agreed and the deed was done. I thought I would come out of my skin and couldn’t sit still until Dallas arrived. It was like we never missed a beat. He looked very thin and timid but in no time with the help of my pack, he was his old goofy self once again. Dallas just turned one February 14th. (He is my valentine.)

We love each other unconditionally. Any dog can be mean and aggressive. Many people buy a dog because they think it’s cute or has pretty eyes or their grandfather had one like it. They don’t understand the history behind the breed and the commitment involved to properly train the animal. Dallas is big and powerful, yet sweet and gentle all wrapped up in a “Pit Bull” suit.

Dallas is not only my second chance dog, he’s my forever dog!

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Stephanie Zoccolillo
Stephanie Zoccolillo
10 years ago

I have been watching the progress of Dallas’ drawings. Something about his expression completely captivated me, he is noble, sweet, true and loving. All this I saw in his eyes as Vicki drew him. It must have been hell on earth to have him ripped away from you so suddenly. I can imagine exactly what you felt as I had the same thing happen to me with my soul dog a German Shepherd. I waited 2 years to get him back and I never knew peace until he was home, also in bad condition. I am so very happy Dallas… Read more »

10 years ago

Hi Stephanie: Thank you for sharing your story and for the kind words regarding Dallas. Readers of this blog don’t yet know that he’s the subject of a very talented artist. Victoria Watson pencil sketched my dogs; first Molly and later, Cooper. Molly’s sketch was invaluable to me as she died a few months after I received the sketch. Vicki captured those soulful eyes and I couldn’t walk past the picture (it hangs in the kitchen) without crying. Still, it gave me great comfort to look at it. My sister will be so pleased to hear your story had a… Read more »

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