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.
Luis Angel, MD., said this to me with intensity in his voice back in late 2004 in response to my comment: “I’m now walking an hour a day with my dog Oscar Wilde to get him in top shape for the Dachshund races in Buda in April.”
Scooter had a very tough start to life – in his first home, at 8 weeks old and only weighing 10 pounds, another dog attacked Scooter so badly that when he was taken to the emergency room, and when given the cost to save him, the owner said to put him down….But the Vet saw the sparkle and the love in Scooter’s eyes!
Back in 2008 I fell very ill and started seeing every specialist in the greater Austin Area in search of a diagnosis and cure. I was a Junior in College and had grown up very healthy and athletic, but all of a sudden I was excessively fatigued, covered in hives and suffering with chronic incurable pain.
When I read about Lucy, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. Had recently been through a devastating relationship break-up and was living alone in a tiny studio apartment away from my family. I was surfing the internet looking for rescue groups to volunteer with when I came across a posting to rescue this little pit bull puppy, Lucy. Her photo and story just grabbed my heart.
I was never a dog person… in fact whenever I would pass a furry, tail-wagging pup on the sidewalk, I would move as far to the right side of the sidewalk as possible without entering the poop mine of boulevard ominously lurking on the seemingly welcoming lawn of grass. Then I would hold my breath as the sopping pink tongue lapped fearfully close to my salty leg as I skirted by the stinky, hairy beast some inane human had the desire of domesticating.
In 2005, I moved to the small country of Honduras, Central America, to be an English teacher in the Peace Corps. Stella was a gift from the Hondurans – an 8 week old puppy that would supposedly grow into a ‘bravo’ (fierce) dog to protect me. While she did grow to be a 90 lb Rottweiler, she never did turn fierce.
This week, Gatsby barked me awake after I overslept. I thought he was just impatient about going out to pee, but as I was putting on my shoes I heard someone calling for help. It was distant, and I don’t think I’d have heard it if I wasn’t near the door getting ready to take him out. I went outside and found one of my other neighbors, who had heard it too. It turned out that someone in our apartment complex had fallen and was hurt.
2009 is a year I would love to forget. In January, I was layed off from my job; May, lost my house as a result of the job loss; July, lost my long-term relationship to alcoholism; August, had to file bankruptcy; and in October, was diagnosed with ADH/DCIS breast cancer. By the time my treatments were final in December, I really didn’t want to get out of bed for fear of what tragedy might hit me next. At that time, I had a 17 year old cat who loved that she could snuggle with me all day long. She was a great source of comfort.
Milli is a hero because she donates blood to help save the lives of her fellow canines!
I lost my dad and best friend in November 2010. I had been thinking about a dog for a while, but had not done it because of the commitment and my work schedule. This time, however, it began to feel like I needed something to focus on to bring me out of the funk I was in.
When I was by myself and feeling sad and in pain my dogs always knew how to cheer me up. They would jump on the bed and kiss my tears away. They reminded me I have more than just myself to live for.
I adopted Kobe from a local animal shelter when he was just 4 months old. Not many people wanted a Pit Bull Mix, but by sons talked me into it. The days following his adoption were so trying that I swore he was going back to the shelter! That was almost 10 years ago.
Always greets me, hates it when I leave, knows when I am upset or not myself….and always has that beautiful smile waiting for me each and every time I come home. I truly hate leaving for either an over-night visit but the return surely makes up for it!
Tell us how your dog is your everyday hero during our Hero Dog Contest. One winner and two runner-ups will be named.