February 24, 2014

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

We had a few tough situations arrive through the front doors at Angels of Assisi today. The first was a young lady who I had the privilege of working with to make a plan of escape from a decade long entrapment in domestic violence. Bottom line, she wanted her dog to be safe, and she had promised a family member, now gone, that she would always watch out for her pet. A tall order when living on the brink of despair herself.

I kept trying to fully connect with her pleading green eyes and change the look of desperation to one of understanding that we would help her, and wanted nothing more than to glue together some of the shattered pieces hidden underneath. It finally sunk in that yes, her beloved dog was going to be safe, and with that taken care of, she was free to accomplish her agenda and help herself. She weakly hugged me, crying, and I breathed out as much energy as I could into her tired body and soul. "Give us this part of your worries, and now go save yourself. Come back for your boy when you are ready."

A few hours later we had some concerns about a dog who came in for shots. He was thin, but not emaciated, with sores on his legs. A private conversation with the family revealed that they had some of their own health problems over the last few months, and times had been tough. Was their dog in bad enough shape to call authorities? No. Did they want to give him up? No, but knew they could be doing a better job with him. The entire family, mom, dad, and kids came together to learn about different food options, and how to prevent the sores on his legs. We showed them how to make a harness out of his leash so he would not pull as much, and they loved the fact that it worked like a charm! Information was given on how to take him for longer walks, and how an exercised dog in the house is a much better behaved dog, and one that could be enjoyed by all.

The family left Angels of Assisi with a vaccinated dog, complete with a big bag of food, and a brand new bed that would fit in just perfectly in their living room. Even more than that, they left with a look of pride for their pet, and soaked in the fact that he is indeed a very good, handsome boy, and one to be cherished. They will be back for a check up in 3 weeks and additional information will be exchanged as needed. We're confident that this is one dog who will not end up at our local pound.

The end of the day brought a little box of cuteness, in the form of 2 puppies who had been abandoned at the Roanoke Civic Center. They spent the weekend at the Emergency Vet, and were released to us today for continued medical care. They are skinny, with big bellies and sunken faces, innocent, and at a mere 5 weeks old, deserve better. And now they shall get that second chance for full, happy lives.

Three completely different situations, helped by three different services at Angels of Assisi- the program for victims of domestic violence, Pets for Life, and the Biscuit Fund for abused and neglected pets. It was all in a day's work, and everyone who has lent their support to us should feel immensely proud that you have indeed made all the difference in the world today, and in the days to come. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

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