What I’m about to tell you is just between us. Loose lips not only sink ships, they can also land me in the slammer. The problem with that? I doubt jail caters to vegetarians and I’m guessing their sleeping arrangements aren’t as comfy as my king size Sleep Number bed with pillow-top padding.
Since you’re finished reading about our dog rescue on Mare Island, I figure this is a good time to tell you about another canine rescue I was part of. Some might call it a dognapping and they wouldn’t be incorrect. But I prefer to label it as a life or death rescue intervention.
Here’s what happened: One of my feral cat caretakers (who we’ll refer to as Shannon) was told by her daughter (let’s call her Kelly) about a dog she discovered living out of state locked in a cage in a basement with no food or water. Pretty cruel, huh? The dog was horribly malnourished and basically ignored by her so-called guardian, a drug addict who we’ll call The Neglector.
When Kelly discovered this, she visited the dog 2-3 times a week to feed her, essentially keeping her alive. When it became evident the dog wouldn’t live much longer under those conditions, she called Shannon, then Shannon called me. And yes, we formulated a plan to snatch the dog. Next thing we knew, Shannon was on a rescue road trip in my SUV packed with dog supplies.
The Neglector was rarely home and in his stoned state, seemed to forget he had a dog in the basement who could barely turn around in her cage. Now don’t get me wrong. Taking her was not a decision we made lightly; it was simply the humane thing to do. And as it happened, one of my volunteers, whose family dog died recently, welcomed the opportunity to rescue another.
So Kelly took the dog and drove her to Shannon, who was waiting miles away. They spent the night in a dog-friendly hotel and in the morning Shannon and her canine companion headed for home. The Neglector eventually noticed she was missing but thought she had somehow escaped.
After many hours on the road, Shannon met me at my volunteer’s home. Upon seeing their newest family member (who they named Maggie), my volunteer and her husband had tears in their eyes. They immediately fell in love and it was reciprocated. It was heartwarming to see Maggie thrilled to be out of her cage, with toys and a cushy sofa to lounge on.
A couple days later I brought her to be spayed and vaccinated. But during surgery she had a bleeder and in her weakened condition, she needed emergency care. So I called my friend Loretta and we raced up the freeway at 80 mph.
Then, while Loretta held Maggie in the back of my SUV, she suddenly screamed, “Maggie’s eyes are rolling back in her head!” I thought this is it, she’s crashing. We arrived at Pet Emergency in record time where three staff members met us in the parking lot and immediately whisked Maggie inside.
Never fear. It’s a happy ending. They were able to stop the bleeding and a couple days later Maggie was back home. Over the last few months she’s gained weight, is well-adjusted, healthy, playful, and undoubtedly happy. My guess is she thinks she’s died and gone to heaven.
Maggie’s new family is all-inclusive. Wherever they go, she goes. No more solitude or cage for this girl. She’s exactly where she’s meant to be — which makes it worth the risk we took of going to the slammer had we been caught. It was a group effort, we dognappers, and we’d do it again in a heartbeat.
I mean, really, just look at that face.