2019 Warrior NewsletterDecember 8, 2019 | 10:31am
2019: THE YEAR OF THE WARRIOR
The definition of a Warrior is: a brave or experienced soldier or fighter. This has undoubtedly been the year of Warriors here at Stray Rescue. Sadly, we see the starved, abused, neglected and abandoned. But this year we have seen more than our share. Because we have seen such extreme cases who have recovered where even the strongest may have given up, we have labeled 2019 the year of the Warrior. I would like to introduce you to some of these warriors. First, we introduce you to Harris. Harris came to us with literally a few breaths left in him. He was found on the side of the road, starved nearly to death on a cardboard box. We honestly didn’t know if he would live long enough for us to start emergency care. But of course, we had to give him every chance possible. We couldn’t let him die like this, never knowing love. I laid on the floor with him that night in the clinic holding his paw and praying he would survive to know the love he deserved. To our amazement, he made it that first crucial night. He continued to wake up each morning with a little more life in him than the day before. The light slowly began to shine in his once dull eyes as he healed. He had found a reason to live. He was surrounded by the best team that cared for him daily on his long road to recovery. Wound care, nebulizer, medications and physical therapy are just a handful of needed daily actions. He still has some medical issues due to the extreme neglect and abuse he endured, but overall he is a happy, sassy, full of life boy. He now knows love and a second chance. He is a warrior.
Miriam. This sweet angel stole our hearts and broke them at the same time. Another rescue group reached out to us for help. They were unsure what was going on with her medically and couldn’t afford the testing needed. Her skin was covered in open, oozing sores. They were all over her body, on her face and in her ears. The minute she crossed Stray Rescue’s threshold, she was perfect. All she wanted was love and to be touched. After much testing we found out she had progressive Lymphoma and sadly didn’t have much time. She was spoiled rotten here for a few weeks then she went into the most loving foster home. Her foster mom showered her with love, kisses and gave her whatever she wanted. Her little girl laid with Miriam every night before bed and read her a story. She left us knowing that she was truly loved. We were given a huge gift to have been a part of this warrior’s journey.
We received a phone call about a dog that was tied to a fence in someone’s backyard. Once on the scene, we realized this poor baby was most likely used as a bait dog. He had severe bites all over his face, body and legs. He had been fought weeks before and the wounds were left unattended. He was all alone and wait-ing to die. He was so defeated and in pain from the infection in his body. He had become septic; his face had swollen so much he didn’t look like a dog. He was in our clinic for months on an IV, antibiotics and other medications to get him back on track. It was a long journey to recovery, but he made it to the other side. And the most amazing part is he still loves and trusts humans; he still looks to them for love and gives love. This Warrior’s name is Marco, and he truly is the world’s gift. But, aren’t they all?
Marshall Tucker’s little life was just beginning. He was a brand-new soul to this world and should have been playing, sleeping, and eating. Instead he was brutally attacked by another dog in a small rural town. He was left with his wounds wide open for days with nothing being done to help him. Finally, someone reached out to us and of course Stray Rescue stepped up immediately. We see a lot of battered dogs but were shocked when we saw him. His wounds were so deep, you could see his spine. He was rushed to an emergency cen-ter and went straight into surgery. The Veterinarian was honest with us and said he may not make it through the surgery, or the damage might be irreparable. To our great relief, this strong boy made it. He put up with the bandage changes for months while he healed. He never let it get him down or break his spirit, he was just as happy and playful as any other puppy. Once he was healed enough, he needed a second surgery to repair the skin and tissue. Marshall Tucker is thriving in his foster home and loving the second chance at life he was given. He has gone through way too much for a baby, but that’s what a warrior is - the definition of strength.
Dutch Boy stole all our hearts from the start. A call came in about a dog that was hiding under a back porch. Donna pulled up and found this handsome boy. He was scared but crawled over to her with his tail wagging between his legs. His face and body looked like it was covered in dried blood. She rushed him to the Stray Rescue trauma center, where the vet team believed something was poured on him. They suspected it could be anything from scalding hot water to acid. Everyone in the shelter heard his cries that first night. He was shaved and his wounds were cleaned daily. The most painful part was, even after all of the trauma he had endured, he never stopped wagging his tail or trusting us to take care of him. Dogs don’t feel sorry for themselves, they remain kind and brave. This is a warrior.
Meet Gizmow. On a hot, humid day, the St. Louis Fire Depart-ment found a dog who had been hit by a car, bleeding and hiding under a house. When we arrived, her owner was there. He told us “Take her, I don’t want her anymore.” We climbed under the house to find a terrified girl. We tried to lure her out, but she collapsed. We loaded her in the jeep and blood poured from her mouth. She leaned against us for comfort and whined in pain. Once we were back at Stray Rescue, we realized she had a broken jaw and shattered leg. She broke so many teeth in the hit and run she couldn’t have her jaw wired shut. A resin mouthpiece was built for her and fused her jaw shut for weeks. We fed her with a feeding tube and comforted her. During all this she also had her front leg amputated. This sweet girl was in for a long journey to recovery. But, she did it! She’s the sweetest girl in the world and is ready to find her forever home. She is the embodiment of a female warrior.
And then, there was Scooch. Living in a crawl space under an abandoned house in pitch black, he lived day by day all alone, invisible to the world. His back legs were paralyzed; he had to drag himself, causing open wounds to form on his rear legs. He looked startled when we climbed under the house. Yes, we see you. He truly broke our hearts - how long had he been all alone like this? We made a trail of Vienna sausages and led him to safety. We were shocked to see how thin and frail his body was when he came out into the light. Today his life would change. Scooch was so grateful. We helped him gain weight and let him know it was ok to trust people again. The best day was when Scooch got his wheels; he lit up! He had been given his independence, dignity and life back. He was unstoppable and was so happy when he rolled out of Stray Rescue into his amazing foster home to start his next chapter that will have a happy ending. His strength and determination makes him a warrior.
Sadly, I could write stories for days about the abuse we see on a daily basis. The starvation, gunshots, fighting, bait dogs, abandoned, hit by cars, embedded collars and people just deciding they don’t want to deal with them anymore - “they are done.” These warriors come through our doors and most have seen the worst of mankind. They haven’t been treated with love or respect in their lifetime. But they still wag their tails having faith in humanity that hopefully the next person they meet will do the right thing. Here at Stray Rescue we do the right thing because of donors like you who support us and give us the means to carry on our life-saving work. They will not be given up on here. They will be given that second chance to believe in humans again and have the life they deserve. And we are grateful they will give us that gift. And now as the cold weather is upon us once again, we needyou more than ever. Here is to all the animals all over the world who are abused and have overcome. Here is to all the future Warriors that will come through our door. HOLD ON, WE’RE COMING.
With extreme gratitude,
Cassady Caldwell, Executive Director
& the entire Stray Rescue of St. Louis Family