This is a discussion on Reggie within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Don't know how true it is, but I got an email... this is what it said: They told me the big black Lab's name was ...

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Thread: Reggie

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Don't know how true it is, but I got an email... this is what it said:

    They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. 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.

    But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.

    But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.



    See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.

    But then, I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice."

    To Whomever Gets My Dog:
    Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this,
    a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by
    Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it.
    He knew something was different.

    So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes
    that it will help you bond with him and he with you.
    First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier.
    Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hoards them.
    He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get
    a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where
    you throw them, he'll bound after them, so be careful.
    Don't do it by any roads.

    Next, commands. Reggie knows the
    obvious ones ---"sit," "stay," "come," "heel."
    He knows hand signals, too: He knows "ball"
    and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business.
    Feeding schedule: twice a day, regular
    store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.
    He's up on his shots. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet.
    Good luck getting him in the car. I don't know how he
    knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.
    Finally, give him some time. It's only been Reggie and
    me for his whole life. 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.

    And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you...
    His name's not Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it
    and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't
    bear to give them his real name. But if someone is reading this ...
    well it means that his new owner should know his real name.
    His real name is "Tank." Because, that is what I drive.

    I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available
    for adoption until they received word from my company commander.
    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 CO 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.

    Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long
    as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that
    you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust
    and come to love you the same way he loved me.

    If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming
    to the US I am glad to have done so. He is my example of service and
    of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

    All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter
    off at the shelter. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got
    that third tennis ball in his mouth.

    Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and
    give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.

    Thank you,
    Paul Mallory
    I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies.
    Flags had been at half-mast all summer.


    I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.
    "Hey, Tank," I said quietly.
    The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

    "C'mere boy."

    He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor.
    He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months. "Tank," I whispered. His tail swished.

    I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

    "It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek.

    "So whatdaya say we play some ball?" His ears perked again.

    "Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?"

    Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room. And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.


    If you can read this without getting a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye, you just ain't right.

    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
    G. K. Chesterton

    That's the sum total of the email.... lump in my throat and tear in my eye... I pass it on... 'cause I don't want to be alone feeling like that...

    BTW, I thought I'd check Snopes... unfortunately, the story may not be factual... but it is probably "figuratively" true... there are vets, who lose their lives and leave loved pets behind, at shelters... there are some foster programs as well for dogs of those going on deployment Snopes listed 2, this one still seems active:
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  2. #2
    Array atctimmy's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    As always, anything that looks too good to be true is fake. Reggie, the Adopted Lab
    My name is Frogman46 and I'm tougher than you.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    As always, anything that looks too good to be true is fake. Reggie, the Adopted Lab
    Beat you to it... was probably editing when you posted.... still figuratively true... and a darned good "story" with a potential for helping soldiers who need a home for their dogs and cats while deployed.. they can be fostered, as I discovered and posted above.
    atctimmy likes this.
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array niks's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    True or not, thanks.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Hiding inside a bottle of Jim Beam Black in S. FL.
    Good read regardless.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon at large.
    Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Charlottesville, VA
    True or not it is a great story. It touches the hearts of anyone who loves dogs or our troops. I love them both. Thanks for posting.

  7. #7
    Ex Member Array NONAME762's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    in the BUNKER at NoName Central
    Well I reckon I'm right as rain then. I need to blow my nose and it's hard to see.

    A black Lab with a name like Reggie is just plain wrong on every level. I'm glad Oak Man found his new best friend. Sounds like a match made in Heaven.

    Tank is a perfect name for a Lab. An old friend of mine had a golden Lab. His name was Rock or Rocky. He was a big goofy Lab and was a terrible watch dog. Unless you count licking a bad guy to death as a good watchdog trait. Rocky was a better friend than his master as it turned out. At least Rocky didn't judge me and cast me out.

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