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A New Leash On Life

In April Benito was seconds from dying. I mean SECONDS! When we decided to save him he was on the table to be euthanized. It breaks our hearts to see dogs that can be a man’s best friend leave our world way too soon. But it happens every day and we do our best here at My Love Fur Paws and Happy Hooves Healing Hearts Rescue to do our part to make a difference in this world.

When we drove to San Antonio Pets Alive to pick Benito up there were so many adorable faces with hope in their eyes. I took as many pictures as I could of the dogs and sent to friends to plea for their help. And because I have amazing friends, we were able to save 2 more! Gilbert was adopted and Honey should have a new forever home very soon!

When Benito arrived home with us to our personal home, he needed a bath and another flea treatment but with a lot scrubbing and soaking, we were able to rid him of the signs of his stray life. He was not quick to trust as I could tell he had never been on a leash before. You could see scars from either abuse or a vehicle causing injury but with a lot of TLC and patience, we were able to break past the scars and fears that were present when he first arrived. He held his back leg up when walking and running so we had that checked out and the vet said he was healing fine.

It took us four months to rehabilitate Benito into coming out his shell to understand that there is love in this world and that he could trust us. His leg healed and he was able to be a “dog” and play! He tossed his new toys in the air and loved to roll over and play possum when relaxing. He developed a great bond with our dogs and loved to run fast and chase squirrels.

In July, our niece decided to adopt Benito. Watching from afar in northern Michigan, Bree really fell in love with Benito. At that time we decided it would be a great fit for him and he would enjoy a wonderful life in Good Hart, MI living on a little farm with other cats, goats, ducks, chickens and a dog friend, named Charles. But most important, he would become a therapy pal for his human brother, Oliver. Ollie has autism and Benito would be just what Ollie needed to help him with his anxiety. Benito would not only have a great life but a purpose to give back and comfort Ollie when he needed him most to feel safe. And speaking of safe, I wanted the same for Benito which is why we were not going to fly him on a plane to northern Michigan so we decided to drive him to his new home.

August 13th we started our journey north. We stopped in Texarkana our first night and stayed at the Residence Inn of Marriot. While the pet fee is $100 it’s well worth it to stay in a safe and clean place. Benito did amazing in crate on the way there and slept at the foot of the bed that night. The second day we made it to Lexington, KY. Again, we stayed at a Residence Inn and Benito enjoyed a dip in the pool. He loves to swim so anything for Benito! The last day was a long trek to northern Michigan. We stopped off and said hi to my mom outside of Detroit, and then stopped in Saginaw to say hi to my mentor and former boss from my days in radio and then continued to head north. We made it to Benito’s new home at 9 PM. We stayed for an hour to acclimate him and tuck him in.

The next morning I was up early to go spend more time acclimating Benito to his new home. I stopped at Walmart to buy Benito a couple of things before heading his way. When I arrived Benito was so HAPPY to see me. I knew I would have to spend the morning adjusting him to feel safe and that all would be OK. I walked with him around the property and picked fresh raspberries from the bushes while Benito sniffed and enjoyed the fresh air. I knew Benito would love his new home once he overcame the fear of being left behind. I hugged Benito and told him I would be back in a couple of days.

The last visit was a happy and sad one. I knew I was saying good bye to a very special friend and that his security blanket was going to be over a thousand miles away from him should he need me. I assured him all will be fine and I whispered to him “I did not abandon you, I saved you”. I walked leaving my sunglasses on to hide my tears and he yelped and barked to say, “Mom, please do not leave me”. Saying good bye was a “ruff” one for me. I have to remind myself that good byes are not forever, and Benito received a new leash on life!

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