AC Pup: Hang on to hope

The animal rescue community in Middle Georgia is a powerful group of devoted people who love animals. They not only do a great job taking care of orphaned dogs and cats, but they also get things done to make life better for animals in general.

The strength of the local rescue community is incredible when its members unite for a great cause. That was never more evident than it was a year ago this weekend.

It was a dreary, drizzling Saturday morning, one of those lazy spring mornings that made staying in bed very appealing. But one plea from a desperate transporter would have rescue people across the county scrambling into action.

I received a notice from a rescue group up north that its transporter coming from south Georgia lost a dog during a breakfast break in Macon. And it wasn’t just any dog. It was a deaf, blind and feral dog.

When you think of a deaf, blind dog you immediately think of an elderly dog. But this girl was only 9 months old. She had been born to a breeder who was disappointed by her defects so he put her under his house in the dark for the first eight months of her life.

To our knowledge, she had no interaction with people other than to be given food and water. She had no one to love her, hold her or play with her. She was a young puppy all alone for eight months.

Thank goodness the rescue group up north heard about her and offered to adopt her from the man. The rescue group enlisted the services of a transporter to bring her up north to them. That’s when her journey through Macon started.

The transporter carrying her from south Georgia decided to stop for a break at Cracker Barrel in Macon that fateful Saturday morning. And the deaf and blind dog escaped.

As soon as I heard about it, I posted the news on my Facebook page and, as always, my loyal followers responded en masse. Within minutes Cracker Barrel and the area around it was swarming with about 30 seasoned animals rescuers with leashes and treats in hand. Even the Cracker Barrel manager was there with bacon to try to coax the wayward escapee back to safety.

With Riverside Drive on one side parallel to the highly traveled Interstate 75 beside it and busy Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard on the other side, rescuers knew the dangers for any pet wandering the streets, let alone a deaf, blind dog that’s scared of people. It wasn’t looking good.

Finally, she was spotted down in the ravine behind Cracker Barrel. So ignoring the ticks, briars and snakes, a talented dog whisperer named Miss Kirby caught her. She handed her over to my Aunt Patti Deeb Jones to help her calm down.

Aunt Patti was supposed to deliver her to the transporter in Atlanta the following week so she could continue her journey north. Aunt Patti met the transporter in Atlanta as promised.

When it was time to hand the dog over for the ride north, Aunt Patti just couldn’t do it. She loaded the dog back in her car and drove home. She adopted her as her own and named her Hope.

After all, if you can make it through being blind and deaf, eight months of isolation, zipping around unfamiliar, unseen territory in Macon and still blossom into a beautiful, sweet affectionate dog, you really would believe in hope.

Hope, it’s what animal rescuers hang on to. It’s what everybody wants. It’s what every homeless animal needs.

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