LYNDHURST, Ohio -- People come in to my office and stretch their heads around the desk to see if Gigi is there. She always is. Unless I have an important meeting across town, you'll find her there nestled in her bed under my feet.
But her life wasn't always so good. Little Gigi had it rough. She shows signs of it every so often, but we're trying to let her forget about those terrible days. I medicate her with kisses and hugs daily, heck, hourly!
Honestly Gigi rescued me too. I got her after my rescue before her, Buddy, passed away. That's when Gigi found me. I saw her on www.Petfinder.com and it was meant to be the moment I saw her tiny face.
She was taken from a puppy mill only months before and was living with her precious foster mommy. I learned about the amazing organization called Marilyn's Voice that took in some 65 dogs from this hell on earth. They nursed them back to health and got them ready for adoption. Gigi was about 5 or 6 years old (we could only guess) and one of the lasts to be adopted due to her major issues. She was extremely frightened and sad. Her eyes told of horror when we first met. She jumped into my arms and that was it for me.
As a normal rule, I never purchase an animal on sight. I truly know what a life long journey it is for that dog; it has to be 100 percent. The next morning I couldn't wait to see my Gigi again. My sister and I ran to get her. She was so frightened that she would hide in my closet and run from everything. I assume being in a cage her whole life and never seeing the light of day made her this way. She even had to learn to drink from a bowl.
When I brought her home, I was very concerned about my other rescue, a dachshund named Frankie, who was just learning how to walk again. We just fully rehabilitated him from IVVD disease (his back gave out and paralyzed him from the chest down, which is very common for this kind of dog). I was told to put him down by three different doctors because I declined a "necessary" $5,000 surgery. It was the only option they gave me. Good thing I again waited a day to decide, meanwhile I went online. I found the website www.dodgerslist.com that told me step-by-step instructions to rehab Frankie naturally, without surgery. His little eyes said "no way am I giving up, mommy"! So we did it! It was eight weeks of hell, but he could finally stand up again.
Learning to walk again was another story, but now years later he is doing great and is fully recovered. In fact, he just had his 9th birthday! These two rescues are my children. I don't have any kids and they fill my heart just the same. They give me unconditional love and never fail to make me happy every day. They surprise me all the time. I bring Gigi to work every day at State Farm Insurance, and my clients love her so much. She is a totally different dog now and it makes my heart sing to know how far she and Frank have come.
I could talk forever about our successes but the one greatest thing that comes out of this is love. I know my life would be different without them and I am so thankful I was able to rescue them from the holy horror that they endured. I only rescue because they need us most. There is nothing like seeing an animal's sad eyes turn to happiness. An animal that has been through that knows how good he or she has it.
I hope this inspires people to either adopt or donate to those amazing organizations like marilynsvoice.org.
Have you rescued a companion animal that is now part of your family? We'd like to hear from you. Tell us something about your pet - all species are welcome - and send along a photo of the two of you. Be sure to tell us which community you live in. Send everything to Linda Kinsey at email@example.com.
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