This submission is by Melissa Knicely, whose everyday Hero Dog is Flurry, a Siberian Husky.
My Dog is My Hero Because…
My name is Melissa and I’m “Flurry’s” mommy! I work for an Animal Care & Control Division in North Carolina. In 2008 , the organization I work for was called to assist a neighboring county with a large animal hoarding bust (400-500 animals.) My job on this day was supposed to be administrative, however because of the overwhelming numbers, I quickly suited up in Haz-mat gear and spent the day with a co-worker helping unload animals off of the trucks and trailers from the hoarding site, processing them with a photo and id band and putting them in clean kennels.
On approximately hour 11 of the long day, we received yet another horse trailer full of dog kennels. As my co-worker and I were carrying our last kennel off of the trailer, I was physically tired and mentally numb at all we had seen on this day. These poor animals were in horrid conditions. Much to my dismay, there were a lot of (my favorite breed – The Siberian Husky) among the dogs. The last kennel had an adult, male, red and white husky and a tiny little white husky who looked about 10 to 12 weeks old. The tiny white girl was wet from rain (remnant hurricane rains were passing through on this day) covered in mud, feces and her forehead was bleeding with what appeared to have been a bite from another dog. Despite how scared she must have been and how bad she felt, her tiny tail was just a wagging! My heart skipped one or two beats. All of the sad, mad and angry emotions from the day surfaced and I started crying from amazement…. this sweet little girl was still happy despite that her entire life had been nothing but cruel hardships to this point. I believe in my heart she knew she was safe! As the story goes, I ended up fostering her for the county that this took place in. Turns outs she was actually 6 months old, she only weighed 13lbs, she had ear infections, paw infections, Demodex Mange, and was obviously quite malnourished.
I fostered her for 4 months until I received word that the county had thankfully been awarded custody of all the animals. I could now have her spayed and find her a new home. Well, try anyway… I swear I tried! I even created an adoption flyer and marketed her as “Bolt” the Disney superhero dog character, because all the children who would meet her kept calling her Bolt! Yes, I procrastinated on sending the flyer out! The story ends like this (keep in mind she would have been my 4th husky and one of mine was special needs… this is why I felt I should find her a home because I already had a pretty full plate.) Flurry visited my friend for a weekend and had a good visit; however they were just not ready to add a third dog. When I went to pick her up, she road right beside me and laid her head on my shoulder all the way home. As soon as we walked in the house she immediately went over to my husky “Skye” (her BFF) and they started licking each other. (All weekend that Flurry was gone, Skye had stopped eating her food, used the bathroom in the house and laid around, I was actually worried that she was sick) turns out she just missed Flurry. I sat down on the floor and cried once more! I guess I was going to be a 4 dog home! Lastly for whatever reason, after this weekend, Flurry was afraid of anyone new that would come in the house. I suspect she feared being taken away? It took us an entire year to get her not to be afraid of guest.
Flurry is now almost 5 years old, completely healthy and the happiest little dog. She loves everyone and her favorite activity is Agility at the Zoom Room! I can’t imagine life without my Super Hero Flurry! She has taught me many valuable lessons: No matter how hard life is, always look for the positive and good things because they are there somewhere, enjoy the small, simple things, because they are often the most enjoyable and 4 dogs is definitely not too many dogs, just one more to love!
Learn more about the Hero Dog Awards.