Reggie’s new owner was at his wit’s end. He and his new adopted dog were just not getting along.
Reggie wouldn’t listen to a thing he said.
He was looking for the shelter’s number to let them know that he would be returning Reggie when he came across a letter from the dog’s owner. A letter that would completely change his mind.
“They told me the big black Lab’s name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen,” his owner wrote. “The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I’d only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.”
He found that there was something missing in his life and saw an advertisement for Reggie’s adoption on TV. The shelter chose him to be Reggie’s adopted father and he brought Reggie home along with his dog pad, toys, tennis balls, dishes, and a letter from his owner.
It didn’t take long before there was a strain on their relationship.
Reggie wouldn’t listen to any of the commands that he was supposed to have been taught and he wouldn’t respond when his new owner called his name.
“This just wasn’t going to work,” the new owner said. “He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell.”
He decided to call the shelter and was looking for the number when he found the letter from Reggie’s previous owner which left him with a shocking surprise about his dog.
The letter explains that “Reggie’s” owner, Army Solider Paul Mallory, had no choice but to give his dog up when he went to serve in Iraq. He had every intention of returning to the dog, however, that wasn’t the case so he might as well clue the new owner in on some things.
Mallory explained that his dog loves tennis balls and warned that he will go after those tennis balls no matter what, so be careful near traffic.
He explained how he trained Reggie and all of the commands Reggie knew. Then he went over his feeding schedule and medical background.
“Finally, give him some time. I’ve never been married, so it’s only been Reggie and me for his whole life,” the owner explained. “He’s gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn’t bark or complain. He just loves to be around people and me most especially. Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.”
Then Mallory drops a bomb. Reggie is not the dog’s name. The dog’s real name was Tank.
“Again, if you’re reading this and you’re from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn’t make ‘Reggie’ available for adoption until they received word from my company commander,” Mallory explained. “You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could’ve left Tank with. And it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq , that they make one phone call to the shelter in the “event” to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he’d do it personally. And if you’re reading this, then he made good on his word.”
Mallory had one more request. That Tank’s new owner treat him like family and love him like Mallory loved him.
“Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight – every night – from me,” Mallory wrote. “Thank you, Paul Mallory.”
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Now that the new owner knew Tank’s real name and everything else about him, the two were able to restart their relationship.
Snopes reported that this story is not true, but despite the fact is still shows the profound impact a dog’s love can have on us and that everyone deserves “a little time” and a second chance.
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