Storytime: Thank Heaven for Fairy Godmothers

From Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Boxers.

Thank Heaven for Fairy Godmothers

 Thank Heaven

Some time ago, in the part of Heaven where Boxers are created, a little soul was wandering around, trying to get in the proper line for having “Boxer puppy parts” assembled. She couldn’t see very well and was smaller than most of the other Boxer puppy souls, so it’s not surprising that she went to the wrong line. She was scolded and told, “That one…that line over there. Can’t you see? That is the line you should be in!”

So the little soul, one day to become Luna, obligingly scampered to “that line over there” and waited…and waited…and waited. By the time it was her turn, it was the Friday of a three-day weekend. The assemblers were tired and had plans to get outta Heaven for the weekend and go camping. They thought they had finished and were closing down the shop until “Little Soul #8265” peeked over the workbench with a happy smile—FINALLY it was her turn!

“What?!” grumbled the foreman of the Boxer puppy assemblers. “Looks like we have one more to finish before we can leave.”

So everyone scrambled to the parts boxes and grabbed whatever was left. They weren’t the best parts, but they were purebred Boxer parts nonetheless. The assemblers had used up almost all the fawn paint and all the white paint, so Little Soul #8265 got lucky with mostly shiny black paint, a few milk chocolate drizzles of fawn, and just a little white for her toes and chest. She was so shiny and pretty, and they called her a “reverse brindle.”

Next she went on to the inspection line, where they also wanted to go home and didn’t carefully check all of her parts. This didn’t matter to Little Soul #8265; she didn’t notice that her parts didn’t fit quite correctly. All she knew was that she was on her way to becoming a full-fledged Boxer puppy.

Next stop for this sweet Boxer puppy soul was the line where they hand out temperament and personality. This time Little Soul #8265 got lucky. A new shift had just begun, and they had a box heaping with those items. The workers on this line were all fairy Godmothers who were happy to stay and work overtime and get holiday pay while they inserted feelings into the Boxer puppy souls. Guess who got overflowing amounts of gentleness, sweetness, and house manners? You’re right—it was Little Soul #8265. After being passed around for lots of Fairy Godmother hugs and kisses, Luna (as she was about to become) was placed on a conveyor belt and whisked down to earth.

A family who was looking for a Boxer puppy came to inspect the litter Luna was born into. Luna was petite with huge eyes and beautiful, shiny, brindle coloring. She looked perfect, and they decided to take her home and call her their family pet.

Luna was a good puppy (one can only imagine) and was easy to housebreak. The family didn’t spend much time with Luna and didn’t work on training very much because, let’s face it, she had such a wonderful temperament; she was “good” most of the time. While they were not paying much attention to her, her front legs started to grow a little differently (remember, she didn’t have the correct parts to begin with). Also, one of her hips was not sitting just right and her eyes were a little off. Finally someone noticed she couldn’t see like the other dogs in the neighborhood. Her eyes were big and black, but they also looked like they had waxed paper in them. Someone used the word “cataract,” but Luna didn’t know what that meant and went on her merry way, sometimes bumping into things and ricocheting off in the right direction eventually.

Her family, the one that told everyone she was “the family pet,” decided she couldn’t stay with them anymore because she wasn’t perfect after all. So one dark night they drove to a shelter and dropped her in the night drop box.

Some nice people heard about Luna, rescued her from the shelter, and took her to a vet where she was spayed and given her shots, but not much else. All foster homes were full, so Luna had to spend a long time being boarded at the vet (actually it was only several days, but it seemed like forever to Luna).

Her reprieve came when the nice rescue people put out a “Christmas alert” to find Luna a warm place for the holidays. There was a rescue home that had a Nana and a Poppi and a big Boxer boy who was six years old. They said their Christmas shopping was done, the tree was decorated, and they didn’t have anything planned for the holidays, and that is how Luna came to be in their home.

Luna’s foster family could see that her parts weren’t quite right and that she could see only light. They also noticed she was very sick with a bad cold (kennel cough), very skinny, withdrawn, and afraid. They made a nice, soft bed for her in a crate, fed her yummy food three times a day, and gave her medicine for the kennel cough.           

Soon Luna started feeling better and noticed the other dog in the home. She could only “sense” he was there and was afraid. She had heard strange, barking, growling dogs around her when she was kenneled at the vet hospital, and it had worried her night and day. That’s why she didn’t trust the big fawn boy who lived with the nice people. She decided to give him “what for” to let him know she was a tough cookie, and he’d better just leave her alone! They had some fights, and though the big fawn boy was a nice guy, he didn’t like being growled at and pushed around by a skinny, little girl who bumped into him all the time.

Christmas came and went. Luna rode on errands in the car with the nice people and decided that she loved riding in the car because it was a safe and warm place where she could wait for the nice people to finish their errands while she napped. After the holidays the house had some great children and grown-ups visiting, and Luna was beside herself with joy and love. The nice people mostly kept Luna and the big fawn boy separated because it didn’t seem like she was going to want anything to do with him. Oddly enough though, she didn’t mind going for walks with him, and they had a good time outdoors.

Luna heard people talking about “New Year’s resolutions” and tried to figure out what that was all about. It seems the people around her were going to “try to do better” in the New Year. Luna was so happy to be with this nice family, she decided she would try to “do better” as well. The big fawn boy seemed to be quite important to them; he was kinda cute on the walks and had a lot of nice toys and soft, comfy beds (one even had a heater!), so Luna made up her mind that this was the thing she could be better at. She could get along with the big fawn boy.

She mustered all the gentleness and sweetness bestowed upon her by her fairy Godmothers, and when she got up the next morning, she went to the toy box and picked out the blue octopus. She shook it, flipped it, and walked up next to the big fawn boy to see if he might like to play tug of war. He wasn’t too sure—every time he had offered her a toy, she had growled and snapped at him—but he was a very patient boy and decided to give it a try. They played and played and played. They boxed, they body slammed, and they head butted. When they were worn out from playing, they lay on the carpet gnawing on each other’s faces and neck (the ultimate sign of doggie-friendship).

The nice Nana and Poppi were so happy at this behavior and so proud of Luna and her perfect New Year’s resolution that they decided to adopt her. After all, Christmas is a time for giving, and there was nothing better Nana and Poppi could give Luna (now lovingly referred to as “Lulu, the Princess of Quite a Lot”) than a permanent place in their home. –Marlene Gardner

Storytime: Love Moves Mountains

Read this and other awesome rescue stories in Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Boxers.


Featured Rescue: Heart of Ohio Boxer Rescue


Love Moves Mountains… And Lifts Dogs

One of the most heart-wrenching experiences in my 30 years of doing rescue was also one of the most rewarding. I had ventured out on a rather dreary winter day to get some dog food and other small items, including bread and single-wrapped cheese, when my phone rang with a call from a woman who had a rescue emergency. She said she was from a construction company with office space in a large complex. When she arrived at work that day, she heard a noise under the deck and discovered a Boxer-looking dog huddled in the far back corner.

I arrived at the complex to find a crowd of onlookers, though no one had attempted to help the dog under the deck. I got down on my 70+ year-old hands and knees and saw he was about 20 feet away from me, as far under the deck as he could get. I asked if anyone could crawl back in there and offered to direct them on what to do, but nobody wanted to help.

With no alternative, I fetched a blanket and some cheese from my car and asked if someone could at least pull me out on the blanket once I leashed the dog (my hands would be too full to crawl out). But again nobody would help. Desperate, I asked, “Could one of you gentleman please go get the lady who called me?” Apparently that was easy enough.

At least the woman who had called was helpful. She and another lady prepared themselves to pull me out on the blanket, as I went spelunking under the deck. The ceiling was low and the space claustrophobic. When I came close enough to throw the dog some cheese, I noticed he was emaciated and dirty, and he was dragging something on his left front leg. As I crawled closer and offered more cheese, I saw what was bothering him—his leg was caught in a trap!

The dog appeared to be in severe pain, but I could almost bet he was not going to hurt me because his tail would wag from time to time. I put a whole piece of cheese in my mouth and said in a mumbled voice, “Okay boy, I am not going to hurt you if I can help it.” I got right up in his face, and he took the cheese out of my mouth. At that point I knew I was going to get him out of there.

I asked the ladies to pull slowly on each corner of the blanket. I needed to hold the leash in one hand and the trap up off the ground in the other so it wouldn’t cause the dog additional pain, so the women had heavy, dead weight to pull. The bystanders still just stood around, gaping, as the women hauled us out from under the deck. And when it came time to ask for help lifting the dog into my car, I wasn’t surprised to again find myself alone.

Well, this Boxer boy needed a vet, and I was going to get him to one, with or without help! I really do not know where the strength came from, but I counted to three, said a quick prayer, and up into the car went the dog (trap and all).

It was almost quitting time when I arrived at the vet, so no specialists were available to see the dog. None of the remaining people were strong enough to remove the trap, so they gave him pain meds and sent us off to another veterinary office that could help us immediately.

I went inside to get help removing the dog from my car at the next vet and, in the few seconds I was gone, the dog managed to eat most of the cheese and almost half of the bread loaf! This guy was definitely hungry. After removing the trap and giving him a careful examination, the vet decided to keep the Boxer for a few days. He updated the dog on vaccines, gave him antibiotics, fed him, and tried to restore some blood flow to his damaged leg. It didn’t look too promising, but good nutrition and antibiotics would give the dog a better chance of getting through surgery.

While the Boxer was recuperating at the vet’s office, I had some time to look into the dog license he was wearing when I found him. As his story unraveled, his past became more and more distressing. It turns out the dog had been found by police in an empty house with a torn bag of dog food after the neighbors called them about a dog crying. He was taken to the pound, where he was then released back to his owners after they simply updated their dog license (no questions asked.) So after obtaining the family’s new address from the pound, I zipped over to their house unannounced.

The family met me at the door and appeared very sad when I told them I had their dog. They lied directly to my face, saying that their Boxer had gotten away from them when they were at the library. I suggested we go to the vet to discuss their dog’s injuries, stuck them in my car so they couldn’t flake out, and we were on our way.

The family’s reaction upon hearing the costs of caring for their injured dog was typical. They immediately began complaining that they couldn’t afford to pay that kind of money “for a dog.” Having experienced similar situations many times I knew just what to do…

I took the family (both adults and their two children) to McDonald’s. They thought we were only having lunch, but I was actually about to give them just what they wanted—a way to get out of caring for the family pet they never should have had. As we finished our lunch, I said, “Would you like me to take Boxer boy and pay for his care since you’re unable to?”

“Oh yes, we would,” they answered (big surprise), and I just happened to have an owner release form with me, ready for them to sign. With our business together through, I returned the family back to their home and have not heard from them since.

The Boxer had surgery to remove his left front leg (including the shoulder). To this day he remains one of the most wonderful Boxers I have ever known and is everybody’s friend (both human and animal). Oh, and he’s not just anybody’s Boxer boy anymore… He’s my Clayton.

Mary Nevius