THE START Among our 137 animal rescues in 2020, there were many heartwarming encounters with animals that have touched our lives forever. But there is always a rescue that stands out above the rest . . . you know, the kind that makes you believe in miracles!
That miracle came in the form of a little black dog we called Ferrari (because he tried to outrun the car that ran him over). Early one morning, a heartless person drove into our town and threw two unwanted puppies out of the car window, and sped away. In his rush to leave the scene of the crime, he ran over one of the puppies and killed it. The second puppy, scared and bewildered, tried to chase down the vehicle and was hit by one of the tires. The poor guy rolled off to the side of the street and was left for dead.
Early-morning gym-goers saw it all happen and contacted our local vet and my wife, Barbara. Barbara ran across the street just in time to see our veterinarian loading the dog into his car. Some very kind neighbors took care of burying the puppy that was killed. Dr. Julio, scheduled to leave in a few hours for Mexico City, got right to work saving the dog’s life. The dog had multiple injuries (broken jaw, broken eye socket, dislocated hip and broken leg). Dr. Julio patched the puppy up, wired his jaw, set his leg and started him on an intravenous drip (IV) and gave him to Barbara and me with instructions on how to care for him for a few days.
We took the pup home with a scary-looking drip system hanging from the top of a wire crate. The pup wasn’t moving much, showing very little signs of life besides labored breathing and an occasional whimper. We took turns day and night, checking on him, putting liquid food into his mouth via eye dropper, adjusting the IV drip the best we could, and changing his soiled linens. I will admit, neither of us thought he could possibly pull through this ordeal; and at one point when he looked so frail and defenseless, we both hoped he would just close his eyes and go peacefully.
Our friend, Amanda, a skilled vet technician, backed us up every step of the way and came by numerous times to change the IV drip. She even had to reset his jaw. A lot goes into caring for an injured animal, and the only thing we had going for us was a deep desire to help the dog survive. Amanda encouraged us by insisting that he was going to pull through. Dr. Julio returned and took over his care for the next two months.
Another friend, Luna May, a Reiki practitioner, spent numerous sessions with Ferrari. Within two months, he was 90% recovered and started to display his super-positive personality and love. He still walked with a slight limp, but it was hardly noticeable. Ferrari was becoming a bundle of joy.
THE ADOPTION One of San Pancho Animales’ dear nurse friends, MaryEllen, visited to assist at our annual Spay/Neuter Clinic. MaryEllen heard the story of Ferrari and could not wait to meet him. Meeting him was love at first sight for MaryEllen. The next thing we noticed was that Ferrari was hanging with all of us and going for walks on the beach. MaryEllen changed his name to Enzo and adopted him, flying back to the East Coast to introduce him to her other adopted dogs from San Pancho.
THE BEARER OF HOPE MaryEllen took Enzo to Newport, RI, where she works as a nurse at a skilled-nursing facility. She initially introduced Enzo to her two San Pancho rescues who had been a little mopey since the loss of their elderly sibling the previous month. Instantly the energy changed in the house, and the three dogs enjoyed playing hard together, then crashed in a heap for a nap.
As MaryEllen started to walk Enzo throughout her neighborhood, people would notice Enzo’s slight limp and stop to ask questions. The little dog, who had every right to be scared of new people, would instead snuggle up to them and allow strangers to pet and hold him. His story brought some to tears, but tears of joy, too, that the sweet boy survived.
MaryEllen decided to bring Enzo to work one day, and the effect on her patients was truly amazing. At first, he would go room to room on a leash with staff and let patients pet him or take naps on their laps. Their responses were pure joy! Being in an unfamiliar setting away from family and friends was a scary ordeal for some patients, and Enzo provided tangible comfort. Eventually Enzo traveled the halls alone, stopping to visit patients along the way, making them smile and forget their problems. The facility truly believes Enzo has helped them help heal patients. It is as if Enzo, with a second sense, can bring joy and hope of recovery. Little Enzo has become quite the ambassador from San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico!