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They all thought Howie might get up and try to eat the fish. Boy, were they ever wrong! Out of the blue, a white-and-gray cat came streaking by and grabbed the fish. Howie saw that, jumped onto his three legs, and started to chase the cat. They had barely recovered from being terribly worried about him and his near-drowning experience. And now here he was running as fast as he could, chasing the cat.

They had more to fear as the cat ran right out into the traffic, and they thought Howie was going to chase the cat out into that traffic. But when the dog saw a big yellow bus approaching, he stopped dead in his tracks, and that gave them enough time to catch up to him. They put a leash on him and breathed a huge collective sigh of relief that he was safe and sound once again. Boy, this dog had used up almost nine lives in the short time he had been around. Losing his leg, almost drowning, chasing a cat into traffic. They never knew what would happen next with Howie. They all said a huge thank you to his guardian angel for keeping him safe. Howie gave that silly grin again, and they all sat by the side of the road laughing and giving another huge sigh of thanks and relief. It seemed to them that as long as they had their health and people to care about them, they had everything they needed and much to be thankful for.

Captain Jackís life so far had not been that bad. Sure, the puppy lost his home and original family in a horrible natural catastrophe, but he gained so much more. He gained a new family, friends, and a safe place to live. He got a meal every day, got out to be exercised, visited with friends, and traveled to fun places. What more could he ask of life? Every day was a new adventure living with his family. They always seemed to have something fun to do and always welcomed people and animals into their lives. They were very warm and caring people. They didnít worry about anything and seemed to always find a positive solution for any situation that came along. If more people could be this way, dogs and cats would have much better lives.

Captain Jackís new family knew the importance of responsible pet ownership and taking their pets to the veterinarian once a year to make sure they were healthy. They also spayed and neutered their pets to help decrease the animal population, hoping that someday there will be no more homeless pets. They also knew the importance of taking their dogs to an obedience class so they could learn better manners. They also volunteered at the local animal shelter once a week. There they walked dogs and took them on overnight sleepovers to help them get out of the shelter setting.

Captain Jack was very thankful that he didnít have to go to an animal shelter. He wasnít sure he would have been able to have survived that type of life. It was pretty scary for dogs that lived there with hundreds of other dogs, some of which were not very nice. There was barking all the time, and there were many scared and stressed dogs. Sometimes a nice dog came into the shelter, but within a month of living in those conditions, that dog became stressed too. Then that dog developed antisocial behaviors that made it hard to adopt.

Captain Jack was very happy to live with a family that had such a balanced view of life and looked for ways to help others. They knew they had much to be thankful for and showed their gratitude in a multitude of ways, such as taking donations to the animal shelter like blankets, pet food, treats, pet shampoo, clothes detergent, and bleach. Shelters always have needs for these consumable things, and their staffs are always very thankful for people who bring donations in to help them care for the animals.

The last time Captain Jackís family took a donation to the shelter, the puppy went on the road trip with them and saw all the shelter animals. He heard them say there are millions of animals across the country that are in need of homes. Captain Jack was very, very thankful for his new family and friends that day and each and every day.



Story Discussion Tips:
  1. What types of things are you thankful for in your life? Can you describe them?
  2. What are some ways you can show your gratitude? Can you tell about a time or times when you showed your gratitude?
  3. How did Howie express his gratitude for having been saved from nearly drowning?
  4. How did everyone express their gratitude that Howie didnít follow the cat with the fish out into the traffic?
Humane Education Follow-up Activities: Create a gratitude journal. For the month of September, each day list three things that you are thankful for in your life.





Organization of the Month:
MidAmerica Rottweiler Rescue (MARR)

MidAmerica Rottweiler Rescue (MARR) was founded in March 1999. This rescue organization was formed because we saw a need for a rescue network in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. While some of these states have strong and successful rescue groups, there are gaps in area coverage and some states have no rescues at all. MARR is supported solely through charitable donations and the fundraising efforts of its members and is a nonprofit corporation, recognized as a public charity with federal nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by the federal income tax code. We are always looking for Rottweiler enthusiasts of all experience levels who are interested in the breed and a desire to help. There is something for everyone to do!



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