The House that Built Me – Pt. 2

By Chris Coulter, Rescue Rebuild Program Manager

Last week you read how Rescue Rebuild, MuttNation, City of Lindale and the community all came together and made a dream come true for so many of the local homeless animals. Their chances of getting adopted and finding a caring and loving home have just increased dramatically, changing their future forever! What you didn’t read about was the back story of the old, dilapidated house and how this remodel changed the life of one of its past tenants.

Throughout the three weeks of the build, we would see numerous vehicles drive by slowly to see what all was going on and look at the progress. We would try to wave as many as we could to come up so we could give them a tour. But only a few would ever stop. Lindale is a pretty rural town, and the location is a little off the beaten path so the majority of vehicles driving by were either to look at the adoption center or headed to a small, nearby neighborhood consisting of only about six houses or so. We would get a few people to stop and take a tour but one in particular melted our hearts in a way that we will never forget.
We had noticed her car drive by periodically through the weeks but never stop. The last day of the build we held a ribbon cutting with Rescue Rebuild, MuttNation, community leaders, press, etc. Once all that had died down and most everyone had left there were a few of us talking on the front deck when all of a sudden that small, white vehicle finally stopped and out she walked. Bryn, myself, April (Bev Lambert’s right-hand gal) and the Lamberts all said hello. She introduced herself and proceeded to tell us why she finally decided to stop and say hi.

The new dog park!

She and her two autistic children had lived in the house before being condemned by the city. She was already in tears of joy as she had feared that her old house filled with so much love and memories was going to be torn down. Her relief was shown in every tear that fell. We gave her a tour of the finished center and she gave us a tour of what each room used to be and about how the house was originally built by the first Marshal of the area back in the early 1900s. Hearing her stories and the memories she held so tightly brought to life this house that before people saw as four crumbling walls and a leaky roof.

Build after build we find ourselves focused on the effects the animals will have and sometimes overlook how people will be affected. Whether it’s a previous tenant terrified that her old house would be no more, the shelter staff who finds themselves with a boost of morale seeing the changes to their shelter, or the volunteer who has a more enjoyable time walking the dogs because they have more room to play in the play yard. No matter whom it is, people or pet, hearts are forever being filled with a love that will never fade.

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