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Girlie and Old Yellow-A Love Story

Story ID:793
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Los Angeles California USA
Year:1979
Person:Leo Grillo
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Subject: Girlie and Old Yellow -A Love Story


A forest area outside of Los Angeles was the home of Girlie, a shepherd mix
and Old Yellow, a Lab. Sadly it was also the 'home' to many abandoned dogs and
even cats and kittens. The latter were particularly vulnerable as many of them
became food for the predators who also lived in the forest.

I guess you could say that Girlie and Old Yellow were fortunate -- they had each
other. Many other abandoned animals lived here but who knows how many of them
found a loving partner as these two had. They were also lucky because Leo had
been bringing them food for weeks in the hopes of trapping them and bringing them
to his shelter. There they would always have love, food, and shelter as long as they
lived.

Even though they wagged their tails when they saw Leo approaching with food, they
still did not trust humans. Who could blame them? Once when Old Yellow became
frightened, he ran off and Girlie followed him even though she had not finished eating.

One day Leo became concerned because he noticed Old Yellow limping and in obvious
pain. He had to try to trap him this day so that he could get the medical attention he
so desparately needed. So Leo baited his trap with fresh hamburger. Old Yellow limped
in and as he did so, the trap door closed noisily behind him -- frightening Girlie and she
ran off.

At the shelter, X-rays showed that his tail had been shot off and he had over 100
shotgun pellets still in his body from an old injury. Leo then understood why Girlie must
have early on understood his pain from his bleeding wounds. She would never leave
his side again.

Leo went back to try to trap her because he knew she must have felt frightened and
worried about Old Yellow --but she was nowhere in sight. Sleep was difficult for Leo
because he could not get her out of his mind. Before dawn he returned with a fresh
supply of hamburger. Girlie appeared wagging her tail! But she stayed a respectable
distance. So Leo set his trap and amazingly -- trusting him, she walked right in.

Back at the sanctuary Leo describes so well what happened next:
"........I reunited these two friends. Tails wagged, kisses flew...and there
was a lot of dancing. Animals fall in love, just like people. I've seen it over and over.
Girlie loved Old Yellow and when she saw him she exploded with joy....kissing him and
running in circles around him, then kissing him some more!
Old Yellow was hurting. He smiled at her and wagged his tail too....but moving too
much hurt his back."

Within weeks Old Yellow was back on his feet. He followed Leo in gratitude for
saving his life. And as always Girlie followed Old Yellow. She was so full of joy
at being back with him. When Leo bent over to rub Old Yellow's neck, Girlie came up
and licked his hand. This brought tears to Leo's eyes. For him that was the greatest
reward she could have given him -- her love. And as Leo notes:
"All the early mornings and sleepless nights, the aches and pains of working
in the wilderness..the worrying. It all goes away when you can change fate and
save animals like Old Yellow and Girlie...and have their unconditional love."

(Some people may never understand our love and concern for God's animal
creation and dismiss this love story as being antropomorphic -that animals can't
love. Well, we can all believe what we want. I believe this was a love story
and that a loving God gives this power to love not only to humans but to animals as
well.)

Background: In 1979 Leo Grillo, a Hollywood actor, found 35 starving dogs in a
wilderness area outside of Los Angeles. He immediately drove to the city and bought
4 large 50-pounds bags of dog food and drove back to feed these poor abandoned dogs.
Naturally, they dove into the split-opened bags and ate and ate til not a morsel was
left. Leo never walked away from these 35 dogs and came to feed them for almost a
year before being able to rescue them --finding homes for some and keeping the others.
All that year he had constantly worried and agonized that they were exposed to the
elements - especially the cold pelting rains of winter.

Since then and to the present he has rescued hundreds of dogs and even some cats
and kittens left to die alone and unwanted by owners who didn't know the meaning of
true love.

Maybe some of you also know about and hopefully support D.E.L.T.A. (Dedication and Everlasting Love To Animals). If so, God bless. This selfless man is an inspiration to me
and others - a wonderful example of how we should treat our fellow living beings and he
needs all the monetary support and prayers he can get.