Story 1: My Precious!
Hi, my name is Smeagol. I was a baby kitten sitting on the edge of the road. My mouth hurt so bad, I was so hungry, I didn’t care about the cars and motorcycles speeding right by me. Suddenly, a car stopped, and a human picked me up and put me inside. She knew something was wrong because I didn’t run away when she drove past. So she went around the block and came back for me. I was so happy to be off that hot, dusty highway, I started to purr as I sat there on her passenger seat, as I listened to her calling her Mom, and kept purring as we went into the vet. But it was really bad news. My jaw was broken, the bone was sticking out inside my mouth. It was badly infected and smelled so bad, it must have been broken for several days. That’s how long I wasn’t able to eat anything. I was covered with a crusty mixture of pus and blood and dirt because even though I was injured I still wanted to be clean and I had licked myself all over. The vet said there was nothing they could do. They did not have any pin that small to fix my jaw, I was just too tiny and weak. But the human remembered how I had purred the whole car ride, and she just couldn’t put me to sleep. She asked what would happen if they did nothing, and the vet said “how will he eat?”. It was just destiny that the human had 2 tins of gravy catfood in her purse. I put my whole head in that tin and I nommed down that food! So it was settled, I would be given a chance. I went home purring with antibiotics and human hoping for a miracle. As soon as we got home my eyes became so bright, she said I looked like Smeagol. Eventually my jaw healed on it’s own, slightly crooked, and I have a snaggletooth. But I love food and I love life!!!
Belize City, Belize
Story 2: Rosco Unchained
I first saw him chained to a tree two houses down. Alone day after day, he watched me work in my garden. From that tree that held him prisoner with a three foot length of chain he sat in silence, waiting on someone to show him kindness. He had no water bowl, no shelter other than the small tree. He was doomed as a bait dog. On a particularly hot summer day, I walked across the two yards that separated us, the people who chained him were out there and I saw them as they taunted him with the water hose, he actually tried to hold his face up to catch a bit of water. I offered them money for the dog, they declined, they told me he “had to be chained” because he always ran away. Each day, I took him water and food, and asked to buy him. Despite Animal Control getting involved, they knew how to avoid getting caught. Animal Control told me to stop feeding him or I would not have a case against them. But I knew somehow a miracle would happen and it did. On that weekend, when a thunderstorm raged and broke that little tree, he escaped, duct tape on his mouth, his neck raw and bleeding. .I found him sitting inside our garage, silent and pleading for help with his beautiful eyes. We named him Rosco and he became my dog from then on. They reluctantly gave him up, after police intervened. Maybe they saw how determined we both were. His will to survive led him to a safe house. He has been the sweetest most gentle dog I have ever had. We moved away soon after. He still has nightmares at times, shakes violently as his legs run in place. He wakes up to me petting him and stops running. Wherever I go, he is beside me. He will never ever be chained again, and the water bowl is always full. He knows he will never have to run away again.
Plant City, FL
Story 3: My buddy Jack
16 years ago a woman I was dating begged me to take a young puppy from the shelter where she worked. She told the story of how he was to be euthanized because no one would take him. They couldn’t find a home for him because he ran from everyone, he would not let anyone close, and he was terrified of people. The rest of story was that someone had hurt him, badly. I thought I was doing him favor, I believed I was being of service. I bestowed the honor of naming him Jack, after a great man in my life who had passed on a few years earlier. Jack was allowed to be who he was, desperately wanting love and attention, crippled by fear. It took 2 solid years before he trusted me enough to allow his belly to be rubbed. Throughout his life he never lost his fear, he did grow to trust that he was safe with me, and that I was not going to hurt him. Every single interaction we had through his life, I would patiently let him go through his ritual of shaking with fear, and barking until he felt comfortable enough for me to touch him. I thought it was I who was being of service to him Today I am 10 years sober. The math points out Jack was with me 6 years before my current sobriety date. The darkest period of my life. Jack loved me unconditionally when I wasn’t very lovable. My faithful companion throughout. I now have a better idea of who was being of service to whom. Today perhaps I was of service. Jack was tired, life had become hard, and painful for the old man. When the vet administered the sedative, Jack relaxed. Maybe truly relaxed, without fear, for the only time in his long life. Rest in Peace my sweet companion. There is a very special place waiting for you.
Story 4: My Aerial Bomber
We finally had a house, 2 cats in the yard, as the song goes… and it was finally time to add a puppy to the mix. Enter Aerial Bomber who turned into one of those best-dogs-in-the-world kind of dog. Stressful days at work called for a lunch trip to our local nursery to look at flowers. One day instead fate intervened and pulled me to our local humane society. And there was this tiny ball of gold and white fluff, a cut paw, no tail and looking very lost. She had been brought in as a 6 week old stray puppy. I wasn’t sure what type of breed she was but knew in my heart she was exactly the right one for me. Being a stray I had to wait a few days for the hold in case someone claimed her. Adopting her wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. That night a forest fire was creeping close to the humane society and a call went out to come and rescue the animals. I tried to get there as quick as I could but the road was already closed. To save the building they called in an aerial bomber to fight the fires! Two days later the road was open and the stray hold was lifted. Arriving bright and early so I could be first in line to adopt her, she was gone. I was heartbroken. Slowly that day rescuers trickled back in, returning the animals they had saved from the fire. Staff said they would call if she was returned and many anxious hours later we received that call. The person who had rescued her during the fires wanted to know if we still wanted her. Of course we did! After all that, it was only fitting to name her Aerial Bomber. Aerial lived up to her name. An Aussie or Border collie mix, she loved to fly through the air catching Frisbees, and ran like the wind. She learned tricks in minutes. Understood every word I said. I had to change the word for squirrel at least 5 times because she learned every name I used and her mission was to keep them from our yard. She loved everyone and every dog she met, and made me smile every day. Aerial will always live in my heart, and truly was the best dog in the world.
Story 5: Life on a log chain
Ollie’s a maltizhu! Such a loving boy. Approx 9 now. He was on a log chain year-round in a grandmothers backyard in Mt. Carmel, IL. If the woman had any leftovers she threw them out to him. If not, he got nothing. One of our girls who delivered her prescriptions tried for months to get her to let her have him so she could find him a good home. Finally after about a year, on the day the old woman was going to take him to be euthanized, she was delivering her meds. The girl took him home and cleaned him up and brought him to the grocery store that my husband was the manager of to see if anyone would want him. He saw my husband coming down an isle and took off after him. Hence, guess who he came home with!!! You could tell he’d been kicked around cause he has bad hips. Pestered by kids on bikes etc. He has been the best little guy. We already had a maltese, but he was so good with her as she had health problems. When we had to let her go 4 years ago, it was so hard on him. About 6 months later we adopted a shihtzu senior and they’ve been best friends. She has scarring on her eyes real bad so he’s been her protector. He’s had Cushings Disease for at least a year now and December 2017 he had to have surgery for 2 discs in his neck. The doctor at Purdue University felt it was caused by being on a log chain when he was little. His recovery was awesome! However, the Cushings is breaking down the tissue in his hips and knees. But he remains the most loving baby. He’s on meds 6 times a day and he’s the best taking it. When we got Ollie from the hospital after his neck surgery it was Dec. 23rd!!! We were broke and he was our Christmas present and is still a gift!!!! Imagine a small white puppy with thin hair left outside year round on a log chain. I don’t look back as it angers me so. I look at the life we’ve given him and see this loving, happy baby. And yes, he’s a baby…..our baby!!!
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