by Jonathon Hart
Leonidas was a great dog. I'm sad to say that he recently passed away on May 2nd, 2011 but his legacy will always live on.
I got Leonidas at a pet store, typically enough; not that I condone puppy mills in any way but i DO however condone the saving of puppies that ARE in those situations.
I walked in with my girlfriend at the time to visit with the doggies (we regularly visited to play with them) & upon walking to the back of the store, a little mustache & 2 googly eyes are what caught my attention. There he was, ears down, sitting & looking me right in the face.
"Rachael, mark my words; if I ever get a dog... He'll look like this."
I had never had a dog before, but he was gorgeous. We go to play with a few of the puppies, all while that little guys face was in the back of my mind. I removed the thought each time at the thought of the price tag that was on him, as he was adorable; & this pet store was known for being expensive.
Right as the thought leaves my mind, an associate of the store walks up... "Hey, you guys like dogs?"
"Yeah, although i've never had one..."
he says "Well why not?" i responded "too expensive."
He then looks around & says "I have a couple dogs I could give you at a cheap price."
I gave him a strange look & said "Well why are they cheap? are they sick? is there something wrong with them?"
He shakes his head & says "No, it's just that we've had them for awhile & they're getting older than we like them to be."
So i thought... "Why not?" & asked him to bring them out.
The first dog he brought was a Boston Terrier. Cute, yes... But too hyper for me.
The second dog he brought out was the very schnauzer i had in my mind. Miserable, head down, so nervous he couldn't even move; My little Leonidas was so worried he would offend us. I picked him up. "Hey little buddy. Do you want a home?"
His ears perked at the word "Home."
"I'll take him."
My girlfriend looked at me with her eyes wide open, thinking exactly what i thought: "We can't afford him!"
or could we? The pet store manager then said "Your total is 264 & some change."
I gladly paid him, & as he gathered my puppies paperwork; I looked over at my girlfriend & Leo, and noticed that his ears were up, & his tongue was hanging out of his mouth, happy as can be. He knew what was going on.
He was 1 1/2 old when I got him, & I couldn't have asked for a better first puppy. He was perfect, & we had a connection I don't think i'll ever find again.
He was smart, good-natured, fun, adorable & more affectionate than any dog i've ever come across.
He passed away from heart problems or allergies, the Veterinarian was unsure of the exact cause. I do know that the little guy TRIED surviving, not even for himself; but for ME i think. His eyes would glaze, his tongue fell out of his mouth; & i'd say "Stay with me buddy, please stay with me." and he would TRY to survive. He would gasp & try to breathe, but ultimately he was needed elsewhere.
He had no signs of bruising or internal bleeding, & the vet said all she found were low glucose levels.
Good news is that I hunted down & contacted the breeder that own Leo's parents & i will be getting one of his unborn brothers in a few months. This time, i'm going to do everything I always wanted to do with Leo, for this one. Leo's life wasn't for nothing. So he lived, others will not endure what he went through in that pet store.
I could go on & on for days, so any questions, comments or concerns would be gladly answered or talked about. Thank you so much for having this contest.
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