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June 5, 2017 was one of my best and most memorable days ever. It was a beautiful spring day; the sun was shining, and the air was crisp. It was also the day that I brought home my soulmate, Elsa.
Part One: The Rescue
Let me rewind a bit – Elsa, a Lab mix (not to be confused with the Disney Princess) came to Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue (ROAR) in Ridgefield, Connecticut with her 13 puppies (all of her puppies were adopted too!). She was a homeless new mom who was found with her pups living under a shed. Thankfully she was found by another amazing rescue group down south, The Homeward Bound Project of Mississippi, and they partnered with ROAR to have Elsa and her puppies transported up to Connecticut.
When Elsa arrived at ROAR tests revealed that she was very sick. Elsa had heartworm, a very serious and potentially life-threatening disease. Elsa had also been shot with a BB gun and a pellet was still lodged in her shoulder. Despite everything that Elsa had been through, she was loving, affectionate, and super happy with all the volunteers at the shelter.
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It was at this point that my life was about to change! I had been a volunteer with ROAR for more than five years and was always falling in love with the dogs that I worked with at the shelter, but didn’t feel like I was ready to add another dog to my family. I had two young children and an eleven year old black lab named Lucy at home. I just wasn’t sure I was ready for another dog until I met Elsa. It sounds silly, but I truly believe we were meant to meet. It just took one look, that first time we looked into each other’s eyes, and we had an instant connection. I knew that she was the one! I knew I couldn’t live without her.
Part Two: Adoption
ROAR was amazing! They worked with me to help introduce Lucy and Elsa to see how they interacted with each other. There were a lot of wagging tails and they were instant friends. Elsa was also amazing with my girls and my husband. It truly was a match made in heaven!
Elsa spent a few months with another wonderful volunteer at ROAR while she underwent heartworm treatment and needed a quiet place to rest. She also had the BB pellet removed from her shoulder. As soon as her medical team was confident that she was healthy enough to go, our family jumped at the chance to adopt her.
Part Three: Happily Ever After
I don’t know who rescued who, and still three years later I wake up every single morning so thankful to have her in my life. She is a piece of my heart and she has made our family complete. Elsa and I just get each other. She is my best friend and I feel like we have full conversations with each other without ever saying a word. She is my sidekick, and I feel so blessed.
Elsa goes everywhere with me, she is well-known in Ridgefield due to her very friendly and sweet disposition. She is a real people pleaser!
Last year we decided to join the ROAR’s Pet Therapy Training Program, I knew it would be a great way for us to help ROAR give back to the community. ROAR’s therapy program allows dogs and their owners to give back to the community in many ways. They put smiles on the faces of seniors in elder care facilities, help young readers with one-on-one reading programs, and visit area schools to help children with special needs. Elsa and I participated in the training program with seven other teams. Elsa passed with flying colors and was a fan favorite!
Elsa is a true example of the unconditional love and joy a rescue animal can give. She is such a happy dog and she makes everyone around her happy. We share an incredible bond and I am forever grateful to ROAR for bringing her into my life.
Story submitted by Megan Holbert.
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