By Janice Cabral of Dogs in Brazil
On May 29th, one of our beloved long term dogs here died. Her name was Emmy and she was a German Shepherd mix. She was nine years old and lived in the house with six other dogs and was the sweetest dog anyone could ever hope to know. I was devastated, but we are a rescue and I decided the best way to honor my Emmy was to save another life. We had managed to support Emmy all her life and the number of dogs wouldn’t increase. It would be just the same struggle as it was before. So, we began looking for a dog in real need. It had to be a dog that would die without us.
Here close by in our own little village, the strays all looked in reasonable shape. This is unusual for Brazil, but right here it’s not too bad for strays as several people help them, including a group of taxi drivers. We were restricted from going to areas where we knew that we would find dogs in trouble by the terrible weather. We needed to drive on dirt tracks as the remote rural areas are always the worst. It had been raining a long time and our vehicle was not equipped with four wheel drive to cope with all the mud. So, time passed by and the rain continued.
It was still raining heavily on June 13th when one of our dogs was barking constantly. She would not stop and we began to investigate further to see why she was being so noisy. At first we saw nothing unusual until we gazed in the same direction as her. Then we saw Gemma (as we later called her because it was the month of June and Gemini and because she is a little Gem). There was a tiny black and white dog huddled behind a spare kennel panel. She was sandwiched between bushes and the kennel panel and shaking. At first we thought she was trapped or injured. It was unusual to find a stray dog around here because it is a remote area high in the mountains without many human inhabitants. There is no available food supply and many dangers, including mountain lions and jaguars.
She Didn’t Try to Run from Us
We got her out and she still didn’t try to run. It was then that we noticed her nose was full of porcupine quills and she was extremely thin, with all her spine and ribs clearly visible under her fur. She weighed just nine kilos.
There was nothing extraordinarily strange about this rescue, except for the fact that we had been looking at dogs for days and hadn’t seen a dog in dire need in the local village some eight kilometers from here. Ironically, a dog in dire need turned up right under our noses and stayed put until we attended her and brought her in.
I will always think that Emmy guided this poor lost dog to us. She could only have come from the forest. Maybe somebody from the village came and dumped her a while before. She was starving and with a nose full of quills would have suffered an infection with a bit more time. At nine kilos, she could have been killed by many things out there. She could also just have died of starvation. She could have run back into the forest when we discovered her, but she chose to stay even though she was petrified. When we picked her up, she never considered biting us or when we removed the quills stuck in her nose. She already has complete trust in us. See More great photos here
Until the day I die, I will always believe Emmy told her where to go and what to do. It was Emmy’s parting and generous gift to us and Gemma.
Special Note About the Dogs Here
Last month, the Harmony Fund sent funds to Dogs in Brazil to build warm winter shelters for the rescued dogs here. There is such satisfaction in keeping these rescued dogs snug during the cold weather.
Do You Rescue Too?
Every week, we at The Great Animal Rescue Chase share the heroic rescue experiences of everyday animal lovers. We publish these stories not as a form of entertainment, but as part of our mission to educate and inspire. We believe in creating a culture of empowerment for animal advocates, of encouraging them to seize opportunities to help animals in distress.
Second chances are few and far between in the rescue business. Sometimes if you wait to call the humane society for help, the animal will move on and it will be too late. Today we celebrate all of you out there who find the courage to do the right thing when you find an animal in need, and if you have a story to share or would simply like to enjoy more good news from others, please visit us here.
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