By all accounts Mr. Theodore Reese was a kind, quiet 74 year-old man who spent his mornings pushing a trash container around the neighborhood near Mercer University Drive picking up cans for recycling. Typically following behind him was at least one dog who loved him and would follow him anywhere.
He was a non-descript black dog like hundreds of others seen around town. We’re not exactly sure how long the black dog had been with Mr. Reese, maybe since he was a puppy, but long enough to be devoted to him and to be his constant companion, that’s for sure.
Life was fairly predictable for Mr. Reese and Blackie. Kind-hearted animal rescue folks would bring dog food for Mr. Reese to make sure Blackie and others were fed.
All was well until that fateful Wednesday morning last October. That’s when, for some reason, Mr. Reese stepped in front of a car. Sadly, he was struck and killed.
Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare was sent to the residence to check on Mr. Reese’s dogs. Blackie was the only one found. He was taken to the shelter for his own safety, but Blackie was not doing well.
The only family he’d probably ever known was gone. His source of food, shelter and love was gone. He was confused, broken-hearted and filled with anxiety.
He was not considered a good candidate for adoption and that’s never a good thing when you’re in the pound. Because of his depressed emotional state and his anxiety, it was decided he would be released to a rescue group as soon as possible. Time was of the essence.
Rescue groups in Middle Georgia are usually slammed packed full and unfortunately they were when Blackie needed them most. But due to the commitment of Terry Stapleton, Andrea Tholen, Tammy Knowland and others, arrangements were made for Peach County Animal Rescue to find a foster.
But Blackie’s emotional and physical state continued in a downward spiral. Losing Mr. Reese had taken a greater toil than anyone could imagine. Longterm placement for Blackie was not looking good.
Realizing Blackie’s life had great value and not willing to give up on him, Tholen contacted a rescue group in Canada to tell them Blackie’s story. We routinely transport dogs to the Northeast but we haven’t heard of many Canadian transports. Yet there was hope.
Blackie’s story resonated with the representative from the Canadian group and she agreed to foster him. Although everyone was delighted he had a foster, that was just the first hurdle. Next Blackie had to endure a 48-hour trek to Canada.
Because of his emotional condition, local rescue folks wanted to make sure he was as prepared as possible for the trip. They provided, among other things, a thundershirt for him to wear to keep him calm on the trip.
Blackie made it safely to Canada and was met by his foster mom. In fact, from the first time he met her, settled in her home and experienced the love and compassion she has for him, he has never displayed any signs of depression or anxiety. He is in a grand new world of toys, baths, a plush bed and plenty of food. He even likes the Canadian snow.
I think it’s safe to say that his Middle Georgia advocates were right on target when they said Blackie’s life was worth saving. He and his foster mom now share a mutual love, a love that healed Blackie’s heart.
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