Metro-East News

Wally Spiers: Rescue dog’s forever home in Belleville has lasted 15 years

Janet Hollman, of Belleville, adopted Spinner as a puppy after he was featured in Wally Spiers’ column on Aug. 30, 2000. He is now 15. This is Spinner in 2012.
Janet Hollman, of Belleville, adopted Spinner as a puppy after he was featured in Wally Spiers’ column on Aug. 30, 2000. He is now 15. This is Spinner in 2012. Provided

Spinner is pretty much your average dog, mostly black, and mostly of unknown origin.

About the only thing certain is that he came near to starving, he was living in a trash container, rescued by an animal lover and that he has spent the past 15 years plus as a beloved companion of Janet Hollman of Belleville.

Spinner couldn’t have had much longer to live after the abandoned eight-week-old puppy was discovered and taken to the Animal Rescue & Relief Foundation chapter in Caseyville. The people there took him to Northgate Small Animal Hospital in Collinsville where he was treated, restored and named.

He got his name because he worked his way in circles around his food bowl as he ate.

Somehow, I ended up writing about his plight back in August 2000, and it all turned out well.

The shelter thought the puppy probably was a mix of a Boston terrier and beagle and wouldn’t grow to much more than 20 pounds. Hollman is a Boston terrier lover and applied, along with some 20 other people to adopt Spinner.

Actually Spinner weighed about 38 pounds at his last vet visit but Hollman said any extra of him is pure love.

That visit was at Belleville Animal Clinic where Cheryl Yarber, the clinic administrator, was fascinated because Hollman brought in a copy of the column to show her and told the story.

“I know that dogs (and cats) get adopted every day but this was the first time in 45 years at the clinic someone has given me an article out of the paper on their dog’s adoption,” Yarber said.

A dog that very well might not have made it past a few weeks has had a life of luxury with a devoted owner.

Wally Spiers, BND columnist

I guess it’s kind of like keeping that newspaper article about your baby’s birth.

A dog that very well might not have made it past a few weeks has had a life of luxury with a devoted owner.

“I got him two weeks after my husband died,” Hollman said.

She said in his last few weeks her husband, Daniel, asked her what was the first thing she was going to do after he died. Her daughter piped up and said get a dog.

Spinner has had some mobility problems, even from the beginning.

“At first, he looked like little baby deer, wobbling along,” Hollman said. “His front legs would give out and he would go down.”

He got stronger but always has had an odd gait. Now he has trouble getting up and walking at all. That means he requires more attention and frequent changes of bedding.

But Janet said you adopt them as young, cute puppies but you can’t abandon them when something doesn’t go right. Pet ownership is a lifetime deal.

Here’s wishing Spinner the best of the rest of what has turned out to be a pretty good life.

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