This pet rescue story is an entry in the Most Heartwarming Story Contest, by Helen Woodward Animal Center. The Most Heartwarming Story Contest is open to any and all participating Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays pet organizations. The winner will win $500 for their facility or rescue! Your organization can become a Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays partner today. This story will now have an opportunity to be featured in the finalist pool in February, 2014.
Adopted Dog Heals Both Man and Cat
By The Animal Shelter of Texas County, located in Houston, Missouri
In the aftermath of a life-changing vehicular accident in which he lost half of his left arm, Plato, Missouri, resident Michael, felt led to get a “buddy” to help him through. Michael wanted a special companion that would remain at his side during his transition period, and he chose The Animal Shelter of Texas County (TASTC) to seek his new canine friend. Eager to help him find a match, shelter representatives paraded one dog after another out of their kennels and to where he was seated, but after a while, the effort became discouraging.
“I wanted one that would focus on me,” Michael said.
Running out of options, TASTC manager Marsha Martin took what amounted to one last try, and brought out a seven-month-old female Jack Russell mix named Pepper. It was a long shot at best, because the young mutt was typically skittish around humans, and not prone to cherishing affection.
What happened next was the apparent fulfillment of a destiny shared by a man and a dog. Pepper went right up to Michael, sniffed his injured arm, and climbed in his lap.
“She ran to me, and hasn’t moved away since,” Michael said.
Pepper now hangs out with her master almost 24/7, remaining in his lap whenever he sits, and letting him carry her with a special harness when he moves from place to place. She even growls softly when she feels someone is too close to his wounded limb.
The calming effect of Pepper’s presence has in a big way answered a need he felt. During moments when the damaged nerves and muscles in his arm produce pain and discomfort, she’ll lay her head on his wounded arm and the problems subside.
Michael considers Pepper a gift from the Lord, and a continuation of a miraculous scenario. “She was born my dog, and from the moment we met, she knew exactly what she was supposed to do.”
Fast Forward Three Months
When TASTC made a pleading Facebook post for someone to foster a kitten, whose leg had to be amputated, Michael’s family stepped up. Michael stated that because God had given him Pepper when he needed her, he needed to pay it forward and this kitten was in a situation he could understand. He was adamant that they were fostering only.
When picking up the kitten, they noticed that the front left leg had been amputated. So just like Michael, this poor kitty had lost his left arm. Upon arriving home with the nameless kitten, their three-year-old son immediately dubbed the kitten, “Sir Goober Cat.” Who could argue with that? He then proceeded to tell Michael, “Thank you for getting me a cat.” They were now “foster failures.” Goober was home.
As Goober was healing, Pepper was there for him just as she was for Michael. She would lick his wound every evening before bed, and even now they must play with each other before going to sleep. Michael says, “These two animals are truly angels in our lives.”
During the 2013 Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign (Oct. 1, 2013 – Jan. 2, 2014), participating animal organizations are encouraged to enter heartwarming adoption success stories. Submissions can be made weekly by snail mail, fax or email, and at the end of each week Helen Woodward Animal Center will select a winning story to be featured on this very blog! After the campaign ends on Jan. 2, 2014, the weekly winning stories will be compiled into a pool and voted on by partnered organizations, animal welfare fans and the public. The story with the most votes will win a $500 donation for their animal organization and will be announced on Helen Woodward Animal Center’s blog in February, 2014. For more rules and guidelines, please click here.