Yesterday I interviewed an amimal rescue worker for an article I'm writing for a Purina publication. This woman and her husband have basically turned their home into a shelter, rehabbing and finding homes for over 2000 (think about that) dogs and cats so far. I asked how she got started in animal rescue and this is her reply:
"My husband and I were driving down a a road and we saw some kids throwing firecrackers at a dog. We chased them away and saw the dog was a shepard - bloody feet, 45 lbs, and completely hairless except for a narrow stretch down his back. We loaded him in the car and drove home."
She went on to describe how--not knowing what to do--she called a number of animal shelters and the humane society but "No one would even donate a bag of food to help us." Given the dog's far gone medical condition and needs, she was told it was probably best to put the dog down.
And here's my favorite line of the interview: "I thought that was ridiculous advice. You wouldn't put a bald man down, so why would you give up on this dog?"
Wouldn't put a bald man down. That needs to be a bumper sticker.
Anyway, she cooked and cared for the dog, he did a complete turnaround, and she found him a home with a couple who owns a Miata and a sailboat, giving the dog a true rags to riches story.
I'm always so humbled when I interview people like this. Would I put a bloody, diseased-looking dog in my car? Probably not. But this couple did and then went on to take in every hard luck stray they ran across. They don't get paid for this. They do it because, as this woman said of another abused animal she rescued, "There was no way I was going to let this dog die without having him experience a happy life."
Humbled, humbled, humbled before them.