Dogs are not only amazing companions, they are wise teachers. They teach us how to love unconditionally, live in the moment, and how to overcome obstacles.
A blind dog is an inspiration to us all after overcoming physical and emotional hardships and giving back to those in need.
Stevie Wonderful, a 9-year-old Border Collie, had to overcome many obstacles due to neglectful owners. Three years ago, Stevie was found one the side of a busy highway with a long rusty chain around his neck. He was covered in mange, fleas, and extremely malnourished.
Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue (ISBCR) took the sweet boy in and discovered that he was blind and heartworm positive. They spent months rehabilitating Stevie and the resilient dog made a full recovery.
Stevie never regained his sight but the happy pup does not let it stop him from living a full life. Richard and Debra Johnson heard Stevie’s story and welcomed him into their home with open arms. Just like the other dogs in the family’s home, Stevie plays ball and loves to run around the large backyard.
Every Wednesday, Stevie gives back to the community as a canine greeter at Cleveland Clinic. He restores hope and brings smiles to the faces of countless people.
For the past two years, Stevie spends 90 minutes every week greeting visitors, patients, and staff in the hospital’s lobby. “I think people relate to him because even though he is handicapped, he is providing a very useful service in an area where many seriously ill people relate to him,” Richard told The Star. “For a short period of time, they forget about their own challenges. He makes everyone he meets smile! He makes me smile as well.”
Stevie was named Pedigree Foundation’s 2020 Rescue Dog Of The Year for overcoming obstacles, bringing joy to those that need it, and for his ‘enduring spirit’. Dr. Victoria Summers, ISBCR founder, said, “In my 39 years in rescue, having shared the lives of thousands of blessed paws finding their ways from despair to elation, I have never met a dog more deserving of being named Rescue Dog of the Year. He carries hope in the wag of his tail.”
“Beyond his own rescue story, as a greeter at Cleveland Clinic, his mere presence lends support to those in medical peril,” says Dr. Summers. “Stevie is a beacon of hope in an otherwise gloomy world and the harshness of life. To meet Stevie Wonderful is to find hope and to know that there is truly a light at the end of the tunnel…for us all.”
Stevie’s story is just another reminder to adopt not shop! There are so many special dogs waiting in shelters for forever homes. They all deserve a chance to be loved. Watch the good boy make the day of patients at Cleveland Clinic in the video below.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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