Animal rescuers are extraordinary people, and every animal they save has a tale to tell. If you have a story you’d like to share about your own rescue dog or cat, please send it to us and we’ll share it on this site (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here’s one of mine.
We found Teddy on the Petfinder website. He was about three years old and had lived in the streets of the 5thWard in Houston all his life. Rescue volunteers saw him living under the porches of several houses but couldn’t catch him. He was horribly matted and limping heavily. Eventually they caught him, and the rehab process began.
Ted’s pelvis and front leg had been broken; he was probably hit by a car and the wounds were never treated, so the bones knitted back together in a way that left him limping on both front and hind legs. His body was riddled with BBs, he was going blind in one eye, his ears were seriously infected, his teeth were rotted and worn down from chewing rocks in his hunger. And he looked like a sheep that had never been sheared. (Can’t imagine how hot that must have been in the Houston summers.) But two wonderful fosters took him in and spent six months and thousands of dollars to get him cataract and dental surgery, as well as a major haircut. They taught him his manners and he learned to love the other dogs in their care.
You would expect a dog with Teddy’s history to be aggressive and damaged by his experience with humans, but he was loving and grateful and full of fun from the beginning. He blended into our family so easily, and over the years we’ve dealt with the health issues caused by his early days. He’s lost an eye to glaucoma now, and when it rains his hips and front paw ache, so we keep the pain meds close by.
Teddy has the extraordinary emotional intelligence that many dogs possess. He forgave all that happened to him and opened himself up to his new life wholeheartedly. Seeing the joy he takes in everyday things, like a belly rub or a nap on a soft pillow on the couch, does more for us than anything we’ve ever done for him, and that’s the great gift of animals.