Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An Angel Was Among Us....

Working in rescue, I tend to follow what other groups in other areas are facing. It's good to communicate with fellow rescuers, and also help each other out when we can. We help "hold each other up" at times, and are a good resource for one another. I have been following Take Me Home Rescue out in California for a while. They take the really tough cases and do an excellent job of telling the story behind each case. They really do tell it through the eyes of the dog. This case in no exception. The story of Angel is one of those that pulls at your heart and makes you question humanity. It makes you wonder why God would take such a wonderful creature from us, just as she was rescued. It appears that she was here to teach us all something about kindness, forgiveness, and of course love. If you are unfamiliar with Angel, below are the past posts that tell her story:

In Memory of Angel

August 31, 2009 - September 11, 2009

As we say good bye today, please only cry happy tears

For I am in a place that knows no pain after waiting all these years

God gave me a chance to know mercy and love before it was time to leave

So to all my friends, look up to the sky, smile, and know I am free.


As Rescuers, we like to believe that our sole purpose is to save homeless animals from euthanasia and to place them in their forever homes. And even when founding our rescue, that very purpose became the name by which we are known today, "Take Me Home". But as anyone who has ever rescued an animal will understand, sometimes God has another plan for us. Sometimes God gives us years to make a difference. And in those cases, we are able to heal the sick, mend the broken hearted, and answer the plea, "Take Me Home." We are able to turn an animal's life around and provide a long future with a loving, stable family and the comfort of a home she would have never otherwise known. And sometimes we are given months to make a difference. And in those cases, we are able to show a senior dog the luxury of sleeping in a warm soft bed for the first time before it's too late. We are able to show a terminally sick animal what it feels like to experience proper medical treatment, a life without pain, and a peaceful passing in the arms of someone he can trust. But it is by far the most heavy hearted of rescues that leave us with only days to make a difference. And as rescuers, it is our duty, our responsibility to acknowledge that even when we are only left with days, we still can make that difference in the life of an abused, neglected, abandoned animal. It is through those rescues that God teaches us that our mission is not about quantity of time; it's about using whatever time we have left to fulfill our purpose; to show humanity before we must say good bye.

It is with the most heavy of hearts that the Volunteers of Take Me Home Rescue share with all of Angel's supporters that our sweet girl lost her long battle with diabetes on Friday night, September, 11, just 12 short days after her rescue. Because of your generosity, we were able to provide Angel with the immediate hospitalization she required, after battling diabetes with absolutely no medical treatment for what our vet believes to be a very extended period of time. It remains a mystery both to us and our veterinarians how Angel was able to stay alive all this time, losing over 30 pounds of her body weight and fighting secondary infections that were a direct result of never being treated for her diabetes. No expense was spared in giving Angel every opportunity to fight for her life. She was immediately rushed to the hospital, directly from the shelter where she was rescued, and underwent all the diagnostic testing that was necessary to properly treat her condition. She was given IV fluids to help support her body as she underwent insulin therapy and was given the medications necessary to fight her infections. She remained hospitalized and closely monitored as her insulin therapy began, to ensure she would have immediate veterinary attention should she experience any adverse reactions. Unfortunately, after waiting far too long for proper medical treatment and losing over 30 pounds of body mass, Angel's tired body was too emaciated and too weak to properly regulate her blood sugar once she did receive the medication that would have easily saved her life long ago when her diabetes began. Prior to her passing on Friday evening, Angel crashed several times and we were able to stabilize her. But once she went to sleep for the night on that Friday evening, God showed his mercy on her and decided that she had been through enough. Angel passed peacefully in her sleep Friday, September 11th.

In the 12 days that Angel was a cherished member of the Take Me Home family, she learned compassion and love. She had visitors daily and knew what it felt like to be held in someone's arms and truly cherished. She got to experience the relief of a warm bath, soft blankets, good food, and what was probably her first cozy bed. She was able to feel the comfort of laying on the cool grass with the gentle breeze soothing her to sleep. She got to listen to us tell her of the outpouring of love and generosity that she created in her community and how her legacy would save the lives of other neglected, abused and abandoned animals just like her. She knew what it meant to be the center of attention; a priority, a family member, a friend. And we believe now that she miraculously held on for all these years so that she could experience humanity for the first time; before it was time for her to leave a world that would have otherwise taught her no mercy.

But the true gift of this rescue is not in what we were able to teach Angel in her final days; it was what she taught the world around her. Having experienced horrific neglect to the point of losing half her body mass and slowly starving to death, this is a dog who still didn't meet a human being that she didn't love. She greeted every adult, child, man, and woman with the gratitude of a wagging tail, wiggles of thankfulness and a smile that could light up the world. A dog that should have resented the human race, could not have been more grateful for her life and for every friend that she made in her 12 short days with us. If you sat down next to her, she was quick to crawl into your lap and give licks of thankfulness; even quicker to look right into your eyes and show her forgiveness for all she endured.

On behalf of Angel, we thank you for the gift of humanity. It is our hope that her legacy will take mankind one step closer to a world where animal abuse is no longer tolerated. The Take Me Home Family will forever be grateful for your generosity that made Angel's final 12 days possible. The 12 days that she held on in order to remind us that there is still time to make a difference. The 12 days that she used to tell her story to her community so that hopefully one less animal will have to experience such neglect. And the 12 days that remind each and every one of us that it is not our time here on earth that matters; it is the difference we make in whatever time we have left.


Rescued from the Carson Shelter, Los Angeles , CA on August 31, 2009

September 1, 2009 - The volunteers of Take Me Home get hundreds of emails each day regarding dogs in need in the shelter system, but yesterday, we received an email with a photo attached that stopped us cold. It was a Craig’s list posting from a kind woman who was at the shelter and she was shocked at the sight of this emaciated dog, thank God this woman took a picture, and posted the dog…

Take Me Home jumped into action as soon as we saw the picture and spoke to the shelter, who told us the dog was to be put to sleep by the end of the day. A loving TMH volunteer rushed to the Carson shelter and rescued this sweet dog, and named her Angel. Angel was rushed to our veterinary hospital, a complete medical evaluation was done, test, x-rays, the works….She was a walking skeleton. But she was now alive, safe, and finally getting medical attention and food. Angel is severely malnourished, emaciated, a walking skeleton . She has a terrible infection in her foot, numerous sores all over her body, concrete burns, her paws are inflamed, infected ears, and fly strikes that are huge sores on her ears. She has been bred numerous times, her body screams with neglect and her condition is ALARMING! But her heart swells with love; she shares nothing but love for all.

Today my young son, Wyatt, and I went to visit Angel and talk to the doctors about her condition. We got to the animal clinic and asked to see Angel. They asked if I had met her yet. I said “No”, but I had seen her pictures. T hey warned me to be prepared, then they brought her out to me and upon the sight of her, I broke into tears. You think you have seen it all in the rescue world, but this was the worst case of emaciation I had ever witnessed. I sobbed and tears came down the cheeks of others in the doctor’s waiting room. But Angel bounced out full of wiggles and her tail was wagging. Wyatt rushed over to her and gave her a big hug and a kiss. It was love; his embrace with Angel was pure gratitude and joy for life and I could not just stand there and foolishly cry. So on my knees I went, and Angel was in my lap, loving us like we were her long lost family. She truly has a forgiving soul and a heart of gratitude….just happy to be alive…and happy to show you just how much!

We then met with the doctor to get the news on Angel’s condition. Angel’s doctor told me that she has never seen a dog that was this thin and still alive. These words haunt me. They play over and over again in my head. But she is alive I remind myself, very much alive, as she stands there begging for a treat…

Then on to the medical condition of Angel. It was a simple blood panel that revealed that Angel has diabetes, and she has had it for a very long time. Dogs with diabetes usually show loss of a few pounds, but Angel is likely 30 plus pounds underweight… The real miracle is that she is NOT suffering with any organ damage, her renal and liver function are good, she does not have cataracts. Angel is an otherwise healthy 5-6 year old dog. Diabetes can be effectively treated, but it does not come cheap. Angel’s medical care is costly and she will require close monitoring, twice daily insulin injections for life, a special diet, numerous blood panels, and diligent , ongoing care for as long as she lives. Angel will not have the life span of most dogs, as diabetes does shorten the life, but I know that what life she will have, will be full of happiness. We at Take Me Home believe there is no price tag for a life, and certainly Angel is no exception. Angel is now receiving treatment for her diabetes; we know that she will soon feel the relief of being treated for the disease that has plagued her for so long. She has endured pain and suffering while withering away right before her former family’s eyes; only to be dumped at the shelter. Her former mom told the shelter that she did not want her nine year old daughter to come home and find the dog dead in the back yard. I guess she did not mind the nine year old daughter watching the dog turn into skin and bones, while doing nothing. This is a dog that could have easily been spared all of her suffering, had the family simply taken Angel to the doctor and had a simple blood panel run…. Instead, they waited until she was almost dead and abandoned her at the shelter to suffer and die alone; scared, in a concrete cell.

Angel has a long road of recovery ahead of her, she will have good days and bad days, as she struggles to regain her strength, and her body adjusts to the nourishment she now receives. It took a very long time for her to waste away, and it will take a very long time for her to recover. But Angel, despite all the odds being stacked against her, has an amazing will to live and the miraculous body that has survived the most severe a case of starvation we have ever seen, not to mention the fact that her organs are not damaged from the long term effects of untreated diabetes.

After our talk with the doctor, and Angel’s plan for treatment was in place, Wyatt and I took Angel for a nice walk. What a love she is, what a gentle girl she is… She loves attention and affection and it is evident that she has yearned for it all her life. She is grateful and gracious; a precious life saved, a precious life that has endured, a precious life that loves….She enjoyed rolling on the grass, having the sun on her face, and lying cheek to cheek with Wyatt; relishing the love that she has always dreamed of…

Angel is one of the special ones that come around, changes you forever, teaches you, reminds you, and never lets you forget….Angel has her life because of Take Me Home, but Take Me Home has the blessings of an Angel…

If you would like to contribute to the care of Angel, donations are desperately needed to care for her for her lifetime. Please designate that your donation is for Angel, and every penny will go to her medical needs. And if you can provide a loving, committed home where Angel can receive the responsible, compassionate care she has always deserved, please contact Take Me Home at the phone number or email address listed.

All of us at Take Me Home thank you!

Leegie and Wyatt


  1. That's an incredible story- like you, I will never understand how someone could treat a dog like this. It breaks my heart. I'm so glad Angel was given those twelve days to be shown the love she deserved all her life.

  2. I know Linda. They do a wonderful job. I thought you would appreciate my post from the other day on "falling in love". You of all people will appreciate it with the hundreds of fosters you have had. Or is it thousands by now?