Statistics show that approximately 7 million animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Approximately 2.7 million of them are euthanized.
That is 2.7 million animals who did not ask to be born, did nothing more than become unwanted, unusable, or in some cases abused and neglected at the hands of their humans. Animals that if given the chance could be wonderful additions to the right family.
While I have always believed in adopting a pet versus shopping for a pet,and statistics aside, there is a more personal reason why I am so passionate about this issue.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with some pretty serious health issues which seemingly overnight robbed me of much of my life as I knew it. I went from being an active participant in many things, including the work which I loved to someone who at times couldn’t get out of bed because of pain, or if I did get up, had to return soon because of the pain.
To make matters worse, it was Winter. If you’ve ever experienced Winter “up North” you know the sun is rare and sitting out in it for any period of time isn’t always a possibility. So even on the days I felt good, I was pretty much stuck in the house with nothing but time to think on my hands.
To say I was in a bad place emotionally would be an understatement.
Then it happened. The little miracle I wasn’t expecting.
Sitting in the house with my husband one night during a pretty bad Winter snow storm we got a knock at the door. It was a little girl who at the time lived next door.
In her hands she had a tiny little Chihuahua dog who was shaking and covered in snow. This little dog had been tossed out by her owner .. a breeder who lived up the street from us. She was thrown out because he couldn’t use her for breeding due to her having a Luxating Patella. Since she couldn’t make him money, she was of no use to him.
After verifying all of this, the husband and I took her in. Her coat was dull and brittle, she wasnt house broken, had no idea what a toy was or how to play with one, and she was terrified of a water and food bowl.
The next several weeks were spent teaching her, hand feeding and watering her until little by little she got accustomed to eating from her food dish. She got her first toy and took to playing with it like a champ. She continued to thrive in every way and the luxating patella not withstanding, the vet gave her a clean bill of heath.
While caring for and teaching her, a funny thing happened to me. I stopped obsessing about my own health problems, started feeling hope and looking forward to the future. I still had some problems but they were no longer the first thing I thought of when I woke up or the last thing I thought of before I fell asleep at night.
I had another reason for ‘being’ and to keep on keeping on, and that reason’s name is Coco Mae Briley.
Since rescuing Coco we have added to our fur family, and often joke that we’re one furbaby short of being a petting zoo.
While I love each and every one of our furbabies, and they are all spoiled rotten, Coco will always hold a very special place in my heart.
When she came to us, she needed saving. In the end though, she saved me more than she will ever know.