In my job as animal advocate I have the privilege of hearing about wonderful deeds people do to help those less fortunate. I’ve learned this world is full of kind people who spend their time, energy and resources helping others.
Especially at Christmas time, I cherish stories about people helping homeless animals that would not otherwise have a chance at survival. Deja certainly is one of those dogs that would not have survived had it not been for the goodness of others.
Deja, originally named Kentucky, came in to the Macon animal shelter in early November. To say she was emaciated would be a gross understatement. She was painfully thin with her ribs, hips, elbows and practically every bone she had protruding. I’m not sure how she got in that condition, but she was pathetic.
She was weak, frail and defeated. She had lost all hope and had given up. But hope springs eternal when the dynamic darlings of rescue, Miss Libbie Walthall and Miss Cherie Bland, get involved. These two ladies are constantly on a mission to save as many animals from pounds as they can.
They seem to have a knack for taking animals that have graduated from the school of hard knocks and showering them with love until whatever pain they’ve suffered in the past becomes a distant memory. That’s exactly what they did with Deja.
They scooped her out of the pound, headed straight to the doctor and changed her name from Kentucky to Deja along the way. Deja was given the finest medical care and nutrition mixed with a whole lot of affection thrown in for good measure.
In no time at all Deja blossomed physically and emotionally. Her body grew to a healthy weight, and her heart exploded with love. She seemed to know she had been saved and she was grateful for the second chance.
Coincidentally, a rescue group in Kentucky expressed a strong interest in her. The group saw the beauty she had become, and they were aware of her sweet, loving spirit.
So the former emaciated Macon throwaway would become a treasured Kentucky queen. The only question remained would be how to get her there.
That’s where Mr. Derek Merkler, a pilot from Alabama, comes in. He heard Deja’s story and knew he could help. In fact, he already had a trip planned to Kentucky, and although he’d never flown with a dog before, his heart was telling him to help Deja out.
He detoured his plane through Macon, landing long enough to pick up this gorgeous girl. He was so enamored with her gentle disposition that instead of locking her in her crate, he let her be the co-pilot. She sat right beside Mr. Derek for the entire flight and was the perfect companion.
We often say in rescue that it takes a village. In this case, it also took a pilot.
Deja will be enjoying her first Christmas in Kentucky. But as far as she’s concerned, she’s already gotten the best Christmas gift she could ever dream of.
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