Rescue Tail / Momma

By Tara McFarland
When I first saw Momma, my heart sank in ways I can not put into words. It was a Monday, and our Marathon Campus was closed, so I was a bit surprised when I heard a knock on the front door. I opened the door and politely informed the gentleman outside that we were closed today, when he responded with, “I found a dog.”  Despite being closed, I certainly wasn’t going to turn an animal in need away, and I asked him to bring her inside.
What I saw shocked me. Immediately my brain couldn’t move past the filth. She was so dirty I couldn’t comprehend if she was gray in color, or just caked in dirt. Next, my eyes moved down her back to her exposed ribs, spine and pinched stomach. She was emaciated. Her skin was raw across her back above her tail and oozing. Her legs were covered in lumps and sores and her feet sore from long twisted nails. Her eyes were gunky and sad. She had long breasts, indicating she had been bred before. Although I would never know her true story, she appeared to be a neglected female breeder, dumped when she was no longer producing litters. My heart broke for her.
First, was a bath, actually three warm medicated baths. The filth that came off of her, washed away into a dark brown puddle. It was only then I discovered she was actually a white dog underneath the dirt. We cleaned her eyes and ears, trimmed her nails, vaccinated her, fed her, and finally she fell asleep under a blanket in my office. Snoring comfortably and peacefully as if she had not truly rested in a long time.
One of our amazing foster parents opened their home and heart to her, and she was able to experience the love of a family, sleep in a warm soft bed, and never worry about her next meal. From the moment we met her, and every day forward she was gentle, sweet and affectionate. We named her Momma, and showed her what it was like to be safe and cared for everyday.
It was through her foster, that Momma would meet her furever family. Here on vacation from Alabama, Beth was drawn to Momma. Having adopted four American Bulldogs throughout her lifetime, and with a rescued Bulldog at home, she knew deep in her heart Momma was meant to be hers. Through our adoption counseling sessions, it soon became clear that it was without a doubt, the home that Momma needed all along. So, from vacationing in the Keys, to driving all the way back to Alabama with a new family member, Momma found her way home.
Momma loves her new brother Dozier and her fresh start in Alabama. Our staff here cheered and cried when we saw her in her furever home, happy as could be. Truly, it’s adoptions like hers that remind me of not only the resilience of animals, but the beautiful transformation that occurs in these amazing animals, and our hearts.
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