From trash to treasure, a chance encounter turns into a life of love

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:16

    Sparta-An Andover Township couple is currently reaping the benefits of a hidden gem found in a Newton trash facility. On Aug. 31, employees at Wildflowers with Tammy in Newton found a small dog whimpering in a dumpster behind the Quick Check on Newton/Sparta Road. The female dog, which appears to be a mix of Yorkshire terrier and poodle, was turned over to the Newton Police Department. Newton Records Clerk Darlene Cooper was working at the municipal building that day, and kept the dog before it was taken by animal control. "She was filthy, matted, and disgusting," said Darlene. The dog was housed at Room for One More in Sparta, where employees named her Sally because her ears, which stand upright, reminded them of the outfit worn by Sally Field in the "Flying Nun" television series. Back in Newton, in Sally's absence, Darlene found that no matter how much she tried not to think about the dog, she could not help herself. One week after Sally was found, Darlene, who lives in Andover, called Room for One More to see if she had been adopted and decided to visit her canine friend. By mid September, Darlene and her husband Frank adopted Sally. "There were large Rottweilers and Huskies at the pound," said Darlene in an interview last week. "She (Sally) looked at me as if to say ‘get me out of here.'" Frank had initially shown no interest in adopting Sally, because the Coopers already had two other dogs at home. However, when he brought one of their dogs to meet Sally, and the two became friendly, he quickly changed his mind. "She (Darlene) knows that I'm a soft touch, especially for a story like that," said Frank about the fact the dog was abandoned. "I think that's one of the cruelest things you could do to an animal; especially with so many rescue facilities out there." Darlene says that Sally is an extremely loving dog who just wants to be held. She said that despite the fact Sally had been deserted by her previous owner, she loves being around people. Both Frank and Darlene said that their decision to adopt has been a "wonderful" thing. Officials at Room for One More have estimated that Sally is somewhere between six and eight years old. Although Sally constantly shakes, the Coopers have said she eats well and has been given a clean bill of health. "Adopting her was just the right thing to do," said Darlene.