Editor's note: We wrote in February about the special bond Harley, an Australian Shepherd/border collie mix, had with his neighborhood and his owner Wendi Cali, who was brokenhearted over his death. The story drew an outpouring of interest. Cali, of Arlington Heights, has a new dog, Rango. Here are excerpts from her letter telling how that came to be:
The night Harley died, I had a strange yet exciting dream about a pup abandoned and stranded, sitting on a ledge of a huge rock. The rock was all there was on a tiny island surrounded by endless water. I was in a boat heading toward the island. I had to rescue the puppy. I noticed how unusually marked this pup was. A white face with two brown eye patches and a pink spot on the nose. Every leg was marked different, but all four paws were white.
Strangely enough, my mom dreamed that night about the same uniquely marked puppy also on a rock on an island. I just knew in my heart that Harley was telling me something.
The search was on for the perfect pup. Time slowly passed as days turned into weeks and then into months. I was spiraling down rapidly into a deep depression.
Reading the Daily Herald, I saw that the Pet Expo was going on at Arlington Park. There were a lot of shelters and rescue groups there and very first booth I went to was a rescue group called The Castaways. They showed me their business card … it was a pup on an island of sand. I knew I was very close.
I saw a log of purebreds and a mix of puppies but nothing like the pup from my dream. The odds were stacking up against me. But I was so sure that I would beat the odds and find this pup. God has blessed me many times in my life and I had been praying to St. Francis every night for a new puppy.
In the very last row was the last rescue, called Ceasar's Heaven Rescue. There in a pile of eight puppies, I saw him. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was my dream puppy! They told me the pup was adopted earlier and brought back. He was born in January, the day Harley died! This truly was a match made in heaven … Ceasar's Heaven Rescue!
A special thanks for all the calls of love and support, and to all who helped make this dream come true. I was able to purchase a large cage, a ramp, new collar, leash, puppy food bowls, auto-water bowl, puppy food, treats and toys. A special thanks to the Our Lady of Wayside Wildcats of 1992 for financing the rescue adoption.
I named him Rango because I'm a big Johnny Depp fan and because he's quite the animated pup. He's Australian shepherd/Catahoula leopard/beagle mix.
My heart is healing more and more each day. Rango is my new happiness. Anyone who cared about Harley enough to call before, please call me again and meet Rango.
-- Wendi Cali