When I was living alone after I kicked Bart out of the house and Perry was home, I got very sick. My illness lasted for nine months. I really didn’t think I would ever get well. I put my will in order and said goodbye to my children. Then I waited to die. That is when my first rescue showed up on my doorstep. She was a really pitiful little puppy that I named Ninia. She needed me and I needed her. When I was unable to sleep at night, Ninia was there. She gave me a reason to get up in the mornings. I believe she helped me get well.
Ninia was the first of many rescue dogs to follow. Patching up these homeless pets and helping them find homes has been important to my own recovery as they all have taught me life lessons that I could not have learned any other way.
Crissy taught me about balance. I saw her picture in the Sunday newspaper. She had been found with a front leg severed. The Humane Society had gotten her ready for adoption, but no one was interested in her. I called the shelter everyday for a month and when no one else wanted her, I knew she was my dog, so Richard and I went and gathered her up. I sat in the back with her and promised her that she would never be homeless or hungry again. I was sobbing so hard that I knew I was making that promise to my own inner child.
Crissy has been amazing to watch. First she mastered the 6 steps that come up on my porch. Then she figured out how to dig a hole, and after many tries, she finally managed to pounce on a lizard, all with only one front leg.
I accidentally stumbled upon Felicia one cold day. She was curled up in a pile of leaves trying to stay warm. She was so thin with hardly any hair at all. She was completely blind. I scooped her up and took her to my vet who examined her skin and her eyes and tested her for heartworms. Although she tested positive, we decided that there was nothing that couldn’t be fixed with enough time, so I took her home and began caring for her.
We got her skin cleared up and the heartworms treated. Then it was time to start work on her eyes to see if we could save them. Unfortunately, she had dry eyes that had been neglected all her life. That is very painful, if not treated. She had suffered a lot. I took her to a specialist who said the only way to end her suffering was to remove her eyes, which we did. I took my little Felicia home with no eyes. She was so much happier when she was no longer in pain. She had not been able to see for no telling how many years, so this was a nice change for her.
She had already learned her way around our home and yard, so when people would come to visit, they were amazed at how well she went where she wanted to go without bumping into things. I figured Felicia would be my dog forever since I couldn’t imagine anyone else wanting a blind dog. I was wrong. A very nice lady just happened to be looking for a blind Cocker Spaniel to replace the one she had lost.
And then there was Sunshine. I pulled her out from under a porch where she had crawled to die. Bless little Sunshine, she was a mess. She didn’t have much hair and was covered in big sores. She was so skinny she looked like a skeleton.
Getting her coat patched up was not easy, but I got it done. The problem she was left with was brain damage that caused her to stagger and fall. She fell coming up the steps and going back down again. She fell a lot, but she always got right back up with such a sweet spirit that you couldn’t help but love her. Sunshine also got her miracle when a family chose her out of the thousands of dogs that need a home. They love her in spite of her limitations.
I continue to work on the Adult Children of Alcoholics issues that keep cropping up. The rescue work that I do with the stray dogs and cats is a part of that recovery. It is one of my passions.