This photo is of my sister Julie and our new adopted dog Abbie. I say “our” because once Julie told me about her situation, I HAD to help. Abbie had a pretty horrible life, but today is happy and healthy, living with my sister and her family in Connecticut.
Here is the story, according to Julie… Abbie first lived in a rural Tennessee trailer with people suspected of criminal activity, who were evicted and left her behind on the property. She scavenged for food, starving for weeks before another family moved into the trailer and found her living under it. A little girl with that family fed her some scraps and played with her, but she was still a stray roaming free. One day the girl feeding Abbie found her hiding under the trailer covered in blood, with her muzzle blown open and infected wounds all over her body. (Yes, someone had SHOT her, up close, right in the mouth. I’m in tears as I write this—how could someone do such a thing? You can see her scars in the photo.) The girl had an adult take the dog to an animal rescue group, as they had no money to help her themselves.
Abbie was in intensive care for almost a full month, had surgery to repair her muzzle and jaw (where several teeth had been blown away). The vet also found she had many burns on her body (chemical or otherwise, likely from further abuse). The vet did an immediate surgery to repair her face and jaw, and had her on IV antibiotics for severe infection. The vet and a very special volunteer sponsored thousands of dollars worth of care for her. Once Abbie was stronger, she was spayed, treated, and sent to the animal rescue group’s adoption kennel.
However, a few months went by and no one wanted Abbie. Potential adopters were turned off by her scars and burned fur. So the rescue group broadened their search for a home to a national level, and started telling Abbie’s story on blogs, with YouTube movies, and on pet placement websites. My sister saw Abbie’s photo on Petfinder.com. She was prominently featured as a “special needs dog.” Julie says, “I loved her little face the moment I saw her. I had my personal vet phone Abbie’s rescue vet in Tennessee to determine her medical needs, as well as her suitability to living in a city with another dog and a small child.” She was then also placed in a foster home for training and testing.
Julie told me about Abbie just before Christmas, and sent me her photo. I felt immediately called to help. I paid for Abbie’s transport from Tennessee to where my sister lives in Connecticut, and helped with a few other expenses. (And we made sure she traveled in style—on a heated rescue transport truck from Animal Planet’s “Last Chance Highway” show!)
“Abbie has quickly stolen our hearts and taken over our household,” my sister says. “Our elderly dog Peanut is in love with Abbie, and they are best buddies now. She is the sweetest dog – a lap dog and snuggle-bug, and so well behaved. Except for the chewing! So far we’ve been through two pairs of shoes, a hat, a blanket, a stuffed animal, and several dog toys marketed ‘indestructible.’ We are working on the chewing… Abbie loves my husband and son, but has become especially attached to me, and sticks by my side like glue. I think she knows I am the one who brought her here.”
Here’s a photo of Abby with my nephew Alex, and their other dog peanut.
Looks like she’s pretty happy, and she knows where home is now. 🙂
Some stories do have a happy ending.