By Ed Kostro of Illinois
It was an extremely frigid and snowy January afternoon. My spouse, myself and Julia, our animal rescue group Pack Leader, were now heading back to our veterinarian’s office after picking up an abandoned dog that had been freezing in a yard behind a foreclosed house. This dog, a gentle old Shepherd Mix, had also been starving and he was extremely sad, but now he was extremely grateful to be in the warmth of my old truck. The compassionate young girl who had contacted us about him had recently found him there, and she had already named him ‘Izzy.’
As we soon headed down the frigid snowy city streets with rescued Izzy, I happened to glance to my side and I spotted another extremely sad canine trudging down a snow-covered alley, rummaging through garbage cans and piles of trash. He looked extremely thin, cold and hungry, and I immediately noticed the heavy iron chain draped around his neck, which he was forlornly dragging along behind him as he walked.
Would a Hamburger Get His Attention?
I stopped my truck, and I approached him on foot with a fast-food burger in my hand. This starving chain-dragging dog very readily accepted it from me, and he eagerly gulped it all down. It appeared that he hadn’t had a decent meal in a very long time, and I didn’t even have to coax him towards my vehicle; he was soon very happily walking along beside me.
When we got back to my truck, he immediately attempted to crawl inside it, with ten-feet of heavy iron chain dragging along behind him. He couldn’t manage to crawl up into it with all that additional weight on him, so now he very patiently stood there while I freed him from his heavy burden. As soon as that wretched iron chain was removed from around his emaciated body, he leapt into my vehicle like a playful young pup, and he soon began kissing all of us, even now warm old Izzy in the back.
This homeless street waif was now free of his horrendous burden, and I had never seen a happier canine in my entire life. After he calmed down, he then very contentedly sprawled out on Julia’s lap for the rest of our journey to the vet’s office, and then he joyously greeted everyone there as well. When the receptionist asked us what we were going to call this orphan, we replied ‘Marty’ since it was Martin Luther King Day and this rescued canine was now free at last.
Grateful & Safe
Emaciated Marty, the once chained and starving Husky, was also covered from head to tail with thick painful burrs. There were so many of them on him that the veterinary staff had to shave his entire body to get them all off. Soon, he was transformed into ‘Bald Marty,’ but he was now a most grateful, a very warm, and a soon to be content and well-cared for dog.
Marty and Izzy both spent the next week at the animal hospital recovering from their horrendous ordeals. Then we drove them to a wonderful foster home, where they were both pampered every day by a compassionate woman who often helps us care for these homeless street waifs until we can find them a permanent home.
Poor old Izzy had been left behind to fend for himself by his uncaring re-located family, and no one ever came forward looking for Marty; he had no tags, I.D. or microchip. I’m guessing that he had been chained up somewhere, perhaps in a big city junkyard, and that he had been abused and neglected for a very long time. I’m also guessing that Marty freed himself one cold winter’s day and headed off down the street dragging his heavy chain, in hopes of finding a better life.
And thankfully, he has. Today, both left behind old Izzy and chain-free Marty have extremely loving new homes.
Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase