Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 Favorite. It was originally published on March 10, 2012. Enjoy!
Written by Cathy McCarthy of North Carolina
Two years ago, I had the privilege of playing a small part in the rescue of a very special dog. Neejee, which means friend in the Ojibwa language, is a rare breed called the Peruvian Inca Orchid. These dogs are reputed to be healers in the Native world who have special powers that cheer your heart when you feel down. They are hairless mutations and must be carefully bred to be healthy.
Neejee’s story starts when his former owner put him up for sale on Craigslist. Neejee was a male puppy worth a lot of money to anyone devious enough to run a puppy mill. As a non-altered rare breed, he represented a cash cow. He was in danger of spending his life in a small cage populating the USA with dogs that would be unhealthy and probably so badly mutated that their short lives would be nothing but suffering and pain.
Luckily, a woman who rescues whippets saw the ad and decided to buy him undercover. This is where I enter the picture. As a person of native background, and the grandaughter of a Mide-healer in the Ojibwa tradition, I knew someday one would come my way. I did not want to buy one from a breeder as I would not encourage the breeding of these delicate angels. I read a notice about Neejee in the rescue pages. The whippet rescuer would not let Neejee go with just anyone because of his special needs and was keen to find a home that included another dog (Neejee is very pack-oriented and insecure.) She was also looking for someone who would keep him warm in the winter and keep him protected from sunburn in the summer.
I Drove 36 Hours Roundtrip To Save Him the Trauma of the Airplane Flight
After much back and forth, the rescuer consented to letting me have him. My husband drove me 18 hours one way to pick him up as a plane ride would have traumatized him. He was hesitant but very playful when I first met him. He hated leaving his buddies at the rescue but consented to the long drive home.
Two years later, Neejee is a delight. He spends his day with my Maquis, my other rescue dog (an Aussie shepherd mix). I am careful to tend to his need for warmth and a peaceful setting. He truly is a healer as he naturally cuddles close with his warm body to soothe my arthritic legs and gives unconditional support when I am feeling blue.
Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase