Nebraska Airedale Terrier Association
Rosa's Story (Part II) ...
The purebred rescue coordinator at the shelter said that Rosa had a "slight" problem with one of her forelimbs! When Rosa was brought from the "adoption" kennel, I gasped!!!! (Having been involved in Airedale Rescue for over a decade, it takes a lot to catch me off-guard)!
However, the deformity was massive and, unfortunately, as we would subsequently learn, incontrovertible! Rosa's exuberance, passion for life, and charisma, however, was undaunted--it takes a lot to take an Airedale "down"!! Rosa didn't know she had a "handicap"...and after a few moments with her, I forgot as well!! I watched her run and play, affected limb uplifted and marveled at her ability to adapt, her resilience in the face of adversity, her "joie de vivre"--love of life, and her commitment to live despite it all!!
So many times in rescue we see dogs humbled by abuse, haunted by terrors we can only imagine, huddled protectively in that private sanctuary few can know, in a hiatus between salvation and desperation! This orphan, jubilant and undaunted... handicapped! How to place such a dog???
Never Mind! First Things First! Off to the vet for a complete health evaluation and then "temperament" checks by NATA volunteers; followed by a referral to an orthopedic surgeon! What emerged from these evaluations, mental and physical, was a healthy, exuberant, loving Airedale with a "handicap" that could not, apparently, be ameliorated by veterinary intervention! (The orthopedic specialist felt that surgical intervention was inadvisable because the affected forelimb was so much shorter than the other that any attempts at "restorative" surgery might only compound the problem; further, that if Rosa developed "pain" in the affected forelimb, which was not evident at that time, the best course of action would probably be amputation!!!
Of course, you didn't dare tell Rosa she had a handicap! And, no one who met Rosa considered her a "secondhand" Rosa!!!! She was first class all the way!!! The search for a "home" for rescue dogs is always fraught with misgivings! Many potential adopters want to open their homes to an Airedale in need--BUT RARELY do we find a prospective "owner" who is willing to adopt an obviously defective dog!!!
Several prospective adopters visited Rosa but all found her deformity, and the prognosis, unnerving--"we couldn't stand to look at that day after day"! Rosa's plight was broadcast to NATA members! Pat McCauley responded to the call! (Pat, we must confess, is an avowed "rescuer": she is "mom" to a rescued border collie, a cacophony of rescued felines, as well as an AT; she has recently adopted a mixed breed terrier orphaned by the death of a friend)!!!! And, Rosa fit perfectly into her "class menagerie..." despite her handicap! Rosa had a home!!!!
Story to be continued .................
Many pets may have been "orphaned" by the WTC tragedy! Organizations trying to rescue or care for them, or provide financial assistance to those who are providing services to them, include:
If you would like to make a contribution to assist in the recovery and placement of orphaned pets, or if you can assist in foster care and placement, please contact one of the above!
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