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As a normal college graduate would do, I was on the hunt for the perfect career... in Florida. My family and I are from Central Illinois and I grew up here so this was a big change. On a whim, I decided I would like to take the chance and move to the amazing state of Florida.
On the way to Florida we stopped at our lake house in Kentucky to kind of split the trip in half so it wasn’t such a dull and boring expedition down there. While walking down to the truck after we arrived, I heard what sounded like an animal running behind me and approaching very rapidly. Keep in mind, this house is in the middle of the woods and there is wildlife everywhere you look. Startled as hell, I turned around thinking that I’m going to have to defend myself against a coyote, but a small dog came out of the weeds scooting herself very quickly across the ground while cowering.
As a dog lover, I immediately dropped down to her level and started comforting her. I noticed she had a large cut in her paw and I bandaged it up for her. Of course she chewed it off like most dogs. We made dinner and the what looked like to be a corgi mixed with a terrier hung around the house for a few hours picking up scraps we had thrown to her and then getting a meal of her own once we had finished. Following dinner, the pup was so very tired from all of the eating and definitely beyond full. I covered her fragile, skin and bones little body up on the porch with a few blankets while she snoozed the night away.
Personally, I will never understand how someone can be so cruel to such a loving and caring creature. How can one beat and starve an animal that just wants to be loved? How can one see their animal limping around and not take action to help them heal up and get better? Some people don’t deserve the love that a dog or cat possesses. Anyway, after the three day “business/job hunt” trip to Florida, we pulled in the driveway at the house around 9:30 at night. Excited to see if this pup would come running, I raced to get out of the vehicle. A small voice in my head made me think that she was on the porch just waiting for us to get back because of all the love and nurturing we provided her.
Sure enough, I made my way around the truck and there she was, just laying on the porch wagging her tail. Right then I knew that she had to come home with us. There is no doubt in my mind that she had slept on the porch every night that we were gone. At this point I was headed to grab some flea and tick shampoo and give the little girl a bath because there was not a cold days chance in hell that she was coming inside the new house without a bath. She smelled like a garbage truck!
Come to find out she was terrified of a collar and leash, which I had just purchased. Wonderful! She was also afraid of the hose. It was so sad to see this because clearly she had been abused, tied up, and most likely sprayed with the hose in a “non-playful” manner. So I snatched her up and we headed for the bathtub, careful not to let her down and take the chance of infesting the house with the possibility of fleas. Bath time was definitely not a favorite on her list, but she was finally clean and ready for bed.
The next morning I woke up and miss “Emily” was cuddled up next to me. I decided on the name by looking up baby girl names on the internet and Emily just seemed to fit her well. Shortly after getting out of bed we were on our way back home. Emily was about to meet my other dog Macy, a very protective black lab who loves to retrieve ducks, hunt for squirrels, bark at the neighbors dog, and shake her Jolly Ball like she's trying to kill it. Macy does not really do well with other dogs, hence she is seven and doesn’t really care about the interaction or the whole “let’s chase each other around the yard and play thing.”
We decided to let the two dogs be introduced at the park, a mellow and neutral environment that isn’t Macy’s home where she would think Emily is an intruder instead of a friend. Emily was scared to death of Macy along with everything in the surrounding area and Macy could careless about the situation in general. A couple butt sniffs and Macy was gone, on the prowl for a squirrel. Emily just laid on the ground not really too sure what to think. We headed home and I set Miss Emily on the grass in the front yard and she was pretty much in shock. What do you expect when the first 11 months of your life is spent in nothing but woods? She had never seen grass before. It was like an object out of this world!
As the days rolled on, I took Emily to the vet to get a check up and then surgery on her foot. She had been checked for everything to make sure she was healthy, antibiotics and medication were given to get rid of her worms (that all dogs are born with) and to help with the pain from her stitches on her foot. Going on a few weeks at her new home, Emily is learning the basics such as sit, stay, lay down, and of course potty training. Her and Macy are getting along very well and even starting to wrestle and play... a lot. We are still working on the whole potty training thing, but it is coming along very well. She is feeling much better, no more worms, antibiotics are finished, stitches out, and life is going great! It is such a relief to see how great you can make an animal’s life by just loving and caring for them. Emily’s first birthday is this Friday, October 26th according to the age the vet had given us. The Vet had mentioned to me that if she had not seen medical attention for her foot or the worms she had, she would not have lived much longer.
The joy and happiness that surrounds myself and family is through the roof knowing that I pretty much saved this dog's life. Yeah, I wanted nothing to do with a dog or any animal for that matter at this point in time because of the big life changed I was about to endure by starting my career in Florida, but there was no way I could have left her in Kentucky. Miss Emily is loving every second of her new home and big yard, with that new object “grass” that I had mentioned earlier. If you ever have the opportunity to rescue an animal in need, I urge you to do so. There’s no such thing as an inconvenience or money when it comes to providing an animal with a better life, or Emily’s case a life in general. Welp, I better go, two kids need to go outside to potty!
Written by Austin Conour