Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Noah, the Bait Dog

Pit Bull Pride - Day #10

'Noah' 18in x 24in Portrait by The Pet Studio
Last year, I had the opportunity to connect with another amazing animal rescuer. Many of my own fans follow her incredible rescue and if you don't, I certainly recommend it. Although I will warn you to keep a box of tissues at hand, I can't recall a blog posting of hers that hasn't brought tears to my eyes, both happy and sad. 

With that being said, day 10 of my Pit Bull Pride Blog Takeover is all about one of my friend Ashley Owen Hill's very special Lucky Dogs.... Noah.

Since Ashley herself is a beautiful writer, I just feel that it is only appropriate to share her story about Noah, in the words she originally wrote when he first came into her life in April of 2011. I was honored to paint this sweet pup and while he is still waiting for his forever family through Lucky Dog Rescue, he is just as loved and cared for as if he was already home. 

Noah, the Bait Dog

By Ashley Owen Hill, Lucky Dog Rescue
"Noah has been a bait dog almost all of his life. Last week, in Macon, Georgia, witnesses saw a group of thugs dump a lifeless little dog in the street... and speed away. That dog (who I later named Noah) was completely emaciated, with severe, painful wounds covering his entire body... which led to massive, widespread infections. His eyes were swollen shut, and his head was swollen to more than twice its normal size.

Onlookers were horrified at this scene... assuming that this poor dog must be dead. There’s just no way that a dog in this condition could still be alive...

But then… this gentle, broken boy... slowly lifted his swollen head off the pavement, to show that he was still among the living. 

A tiny, heartbreaking whimper said, “Please help me.”

Noah was picked up by Animal Control and taken to the local pound. When he arrived, he was utterly terrified… a feeling he knows all too well. As they led him into the shelter, my amazing rescue friend, Myshea of ARC HS, saw him… battered, wounded, and broken. As he passed by, she reached for him, and despite his fear and pain, he gently licked her hand.

Myshea began to sob, because she knew his fate all too well: After surviving a lifetime of abuse... this little boy had arrived at the one place... where he'd have no chance of survival: the pound. Dogs like Noah are not placed up for adoption at the pound. They are killed. Immediately.

Regardless, Myshea began treating his wounds... and showing him love for the first time in his life. In that moment, she made a promise to herself that she'd find help for this baby… and she made a promise to him that he wouldn't die there. So, the pound gave her until the next morning to find rescue for him, or he would be killed.

Myshea called me in tears, and told me his story. Then, she said: "Ash, I know you already do so much... but this dog needs you. He’s so gentle; he’s so loving; he’s so forgiving. He deserves to live... and he shouldn’t die there. We can’t let him die there!”

That’s when I said: “He won’t die there. Call the pound tomorrow morning and tell them not to euthanize. I’ll take him.”

The next morning, Myshea made the call that would save Noah’s life. Then, ARC HS pulled this sweet boy from the pound, on behalf of Lucky Dog Rescue. Next, two amazing volunteers, Lucia and Carla, transported him to Meridian, Mississippi.

When he arrived... he walked right into my arms… and fell into my heart...

I named him: Noah.

That night, I watched… as Noah laid down, closed his eyes... and breathed a huge sigh of relief. Then… he drifted off to sleep. 

I can only imagine it's the first time he’d ever felt safe his whole life.

When he woke... he looked around the room… with uncertainty of his new reality. As his eyes found me, a huge smile spread across his face. At that moment... I saw the years of terror, pain, and heartbreak... leaving his little body. 

Knowing in his soul... that the nightmare was finally over. 

But the dream… has just begun…"