I found Mattie in February of 2009 in Brownsville, Tex., where I was working temporarily. She was in the middle of a very busy road, dodging cars. I pulled over about the time a school bus was coming right at her. I got out and this matted-up mess came running into my arms. You could barely see she was a dog through all the hair, hence the name Mattie. There was nowhere to take her but back to the hotel, where staff and other guests fell in love with the happy playful mess of fur.
In the morning, I took her to the Brownsville Pet Hospital for a full examination and shots. The vet was very sweet. I told him how I came across her and he gave me the “good Samaritan” discount. They also helped me remove the matting that hung over her nose making it hard for her to breath.
PetSmart couldn’t groom her until her shots had set in, so I attempted the task alone. There was a chain wrapped around her neck when I found her, the matting was so bad there was mold growing in it. In two days, I took her back to PetSmart, where she received a proper haircut. My boss came to visit and was so touched by her he bought a travel carrier so I could bring her home, which I did. When the job was finished I took her home to Sherman, Tex. Mattie, however became a frequent flyer with me after that. I took her anywhere I could.
She immediately took to everyone including my other dogs. Frankie, my Pug, and she were inseparable. She went with me to visit Grandpa at the nursing home where the other residents and staff gave her lots of attention and she loved it. She and Grandpa would play and then she would just lie on his bed so he could pet her. He would say, “You’re a pretty good puppy dog.”
On August 6, 2009, a storm came through and took out my fence. I wasn’t home at the time, out of town at another job. I had too many back-to-back flights this trip to take Mattie with me. My roommate didn’t know the fence was down and let the dogs out in the backyard. Mattie and Frankie went missing. Frankie was discovered across the highway, but no sign of Mattie.
When I got home, we went everywhere looking for her. My niece and nephew went with me door to door around the neighborhood asking and showing pictures of her. My sister came home on leave and we continued the search for Mattie putting up missing signs everywhere we could. We never found her and Grandpa would often ask, “Have you found that puppy dog yet?” and I would have to say, “No Grandpa.” I vowed to never give up trying though.
On July 22, 2010, my Grandpa passed away. We buried him in Houston on July 28. When we returned home the next day, I received a call from a lady named Dawn in Roberta, Okla. She said, “I think I found your dog Mattie.” I asked where I could meet her so we met at the Texas Travel Center at the Oklahoma border and there she was holding my Mattie, a mess but it was Mattie. Dawn told me my dog had wondered into her pasture on July 26, starved and with mange but happy. Turns out, Dawn not only has the same name as my sister, but also works for a dog rescue. I couldn’t hold back the tears because I immediately knew in my heart Grandpa found Mattie and told her to come home and that is where she is now, home, awaiting a new haircut.