I was in Antigua for studies and an internship. I was interning at a veterinary hospital and, as many know, animal care is very, very different outside of the United States. There was a lot of dog fighting, a lot of euthanasia and a lot of sickness. It was hard, and I did as much as I could to help with an amazing team leading me.
When I first started, there was this 3-month-old puppy that came in, and it was part of my chores to look after her. She was a mess, a victim of dog fighting and being used as a bait dog. Scars all over her face, and she had been bound like a hog, gagged and thrown off a highway into tall marsh where she laid for days. She needed stitches and bandages over all her legs and needed to be treated for mange. Everyone started calling her Ankles because of her, well, ankle bandages, and it stuck.
Ankles was scared, but so sweet and playful. I never planned on returning from Antigua with a dog, but I feared leaving her behind would destine her for a life chained in a back yard or worse, she’d end up being euthanized. I have to work everyday to help rehabilitate her and help her with her fear of people, but she has come so, so far. Ankles has grown to love other dogs, and I am so proud of her.
Ankles gives me strength and hope for new beginnings and to never, ever give up. Although she still has a ways to go, being only 1-year-old now, she always surprises me. Recently, she even started to smell and lick the hands of strangers at the park. It almost makes me teary-eyed to think someone could discard such a beautiful life.
Her story is always a reminder about how precious our life is and the power of a caring heart! And, I mean, how could you not love those big ears?
Story submitted by Michela Butts from Dobbs Ferry, New York. Ankles’ story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!
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