It’s rare when you make a Christmas wish and it really comes true. It’s even more miraculous when it comes true only a couple of weeks later. But what I actually dreamed of, wished for and prayed about actually happened.
You may remember my article in mid-December about the abandoned dog who’d been in the parking lot of Academy Sports Distribution Center in Jeffersonville for months. We believe she was abandoned because even though her information was repeatedly posted no one ever claimed her. And, sadly, she looked at each passing car to see if she recognized the driver.
She was so scared. She wouldn’t let anyone near her but thank goodness the sweet people at Academy Sports fed her.
Fast forward to early December when Brenda Whitman, Anita Skinner, Janell Johnson and Tory Johnson heard about her. They attempted to catch her but she was having none of that.
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Determined to capture her, these ladies devised a plan. After having to fend for herself for months, a week later this dog was caught and at Janell Johnson’s house and being called Cleo.
We all rejoiced that Cleo was safe. Our prayers for her safety had been answered. The next step was to the vet to have her checked out.
Anyone who’s been involved in animal rescue for any length of time knows it’s almost expected that any dog picked up is positive for deadly heartworms. But amazingly, Cleo was not only negative for heartworms, she’d already been spayed and was in terrific health, thanks in part to the truckers at Academy Sports.
This is almost unheard of in the rescue world. Even more prayers answered and we rejoiced again.
So we knew she was safe and healthy. Could we ask for anything more? Of course we wished she had a new family who loved her but good grief we’d already been blessed so much in this case.
Meanwhile Andrew and Kathlyn Wohlrabe, young Mercer University graduates who married about a year and a half ago, were looking for their first dog together when they ran across Janell’s post on Petfinder about Cleo being available for adoption.
They were moved by the post and wanted to learn more about her. They emailed Janell to inquire about Cleo and made arrangements to meet her. Janell offered a trial adoption to see if Cleo was a fit for them.
When Janell took Cleo to the Wohlrabe’s home she told them Cleo’s story of doing her best to survive alone for months at Academy Sports. This story tugged at their hearts.
They were even more touched by Cleo’s sweet spirit and loving nature. She leaned into them with affectionate gestures. They knew they wanted her to become a part of their family.
In fact, they knew they wanted her before Janell even left their house. The Wohlrabe’s are Christians with a very strong faith who believe everything happens for a reason and are convinced their connecting with Cleo was meant to be. They were sure.
They knew they wanted to adopt her. They also knew they wanted to pay tribute to the truckers who helped keep Cleo alive for months on her own so they changed her name to Riggins since she lived among the big rigs.
So now Riggins Wohlrabe lives with her parents in a loving, secure home. And I know prayers are truly answered and Christmas wishes really can come true.
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