My Bodyguard

These stories were originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Submit your own rescue story here. Your story just might be the next to be featured on our blog!

I found Duke online at one of the local shelters. He’s an Akita, Chow, Husky mix that looks like a big black bear. We got to the shelter later than we expected for our appointment to see him.

PHOTO: Diane Martell

When I did not see the dog in his enclosure, I asked the woman at the front desk if he had been adopted. “No,” she said, “there has been an incident.”

It seems that Duke (an intact male) was placed outside and somehow got into an altercation with an intact male pit bull. The pit did not hurt Duke when he attacked, but Duke managed to send the pit for stitches. So, Duke was now in isolation for 5 days.

They let me see him and you could tell he knew that he had done something people were mad at him for.

I was warned that he was not a dog to have around children or cats. But my husband and I knew we had to rescue the poor dog from the rescue! The fight was directly the result of staff ignorance but the dog was paying the price.

One staffer came up to me before I left and said, “Please call and ask about him if you are really interested. They need to know.”

PHOTO: Pexels

I called daily to ask how Duke was. Then the staffer called me again. “You HAVE to talk to the head of the board here. He wants to put Duke down!” I called and he told me it was too late the decision was made. I told him I would not let him kill a dog because his staff was stupid!

It took a bit but he finally gave me the dog.

Duke became my bodyguard while I worked at home and still does not like men approaching me except my husband. My grandson loves the dog and Duke always greets him with a lick on the nose! He naps with him and lets him crawl all over him. Duke has been with us for 8 years now. Years he almost never had because of someone else’s mistake!

Story submitted by Diane Martell of Windham, ME.

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From Abused to Unequivocal Love

I am in a Shih Tzu rescue. One of my friends, who was the manager of a local animal shelter at the time, texted me a photo of this greasy, shaggy, semi-hairless, but apparently full-bred Shih Tzu whose left eye was practically laying on his cheek. He had been brought into her shelter by the animal control officer who, based on the Tzu’s condition, advised my friend to put him down. Instead, she texted me and asked if my rescue could take him.

I got approval to go get him, take him to our vet, and eventually foster him. When I went to pick him up, he was a mess. I carried him to my car, holding him at arms-length, and took him straight to our vet. Three days later, I went to pick him up. He had been bathed and his coat was shining, his eye had been removed and the opening expertly stitched so that you really couldn’t tell that the eye was missing, and he had been neutered. He was handed to me, and he looked up at me with total trust in his one good eye as I carried him like a baby to my car – and I knew immediately that I was a goner. He was going nowhere. He was home.


I was later told by a doggie skin specialist that the hair on his rear-end would probably never grow back as a result of some kind of trauma, the same trauma that more than likely cost him his eye. We did comb-overs in that area, and, although he had no undercoat there, his coat looked pretty enough. He lived with me for 12 wonderful years before I finally had to have him put down. Never in my life have I loved a dog as much as I loved him. He was my “soul dog,” and I pray that I see him again some day.

Story submitted by Margaret Harpr from Arlington, Texas.

Enjoying these stories of loving pooches? Take a look at one more…

He Was Going to Be Put Down for Being Too Fearful

In April of 2019, we sent our beloved 14-year-old Jack Russell mix over the rainbow bridge. My son and I were volunteering on Sunday mornings at our local rescue shelter and I had already tried to convince my mom and my husband to foster a dog in need, but they said they weren’t ready. One Sunday morning in June, my son and I showed up for our volunteer shift. He went to the cattery to take care of the kitties, and I headed out to the backyard to check in with our volunteer supervisor and help with morning turn out with the dogs.

As soon as I opened the door, this little sack of skin and bones comes running up to me, tail wagging a mile a minute. He was so happy to meet me! I fell instantly in love, and so did he. Our rescue transporter had just brought him in the afternoon before from a rural high-kill shelter. He was on their euth list for being too fearful. I was incredulous! This friendly, happy guy? We had to kennel him so the rest of the dogs could go outside and then back in for breakfast. Every time he heard my voice, or saw me walk by, he’d wag his tail and let out a plaintive, “Roo-roo!”


After all the dogs were fed and had play time, I noticed he hadn’t touched his food. My son and I took him into the office where I hand fed him and he played with my son and me. He was just so happy to be with us! The following weekend the shelter was undergoing some repairs and we were asked to bring him into our home just for the weekend. Although my mom and husband were skeptical, within an hour they had decided he was the perfect dog for us. He walked in as though he had lived here his whole life, and he’s been a part of our family ever since.

He was 14 pounds when we first met him, and now he’s a healthy 24 pounds, and everybody’s best friend. He is our unicorn dog. I am forever grateful to the rescue transporter who got him out and brought him into our lives.

Story submitted by Kelly A from Overland Park, Kansas.

These stories were originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!

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