In Our Hands
--Written By Tanna McGill and Tiami Coleburg
Photos of Gibson
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The handsome Shepherd Mix was out wandering through a neighborhood lost, lonely and hungry. He wandered into an elderly man's yard to visit with his dog that was on a cable run. Somehow when the two dogs got to playing, the stray got completely tangled in the cable run. The elderly man's dog got free but the stray had the cable run wound tightly around his abdomen. He laid on the ground crying in pain and fear. Because it was late at night there was no one that could be found to help the poor stray and the elderly man was not strong enough to untangle him. The caring man tried his best - but no luck. The stray Shepherd lay all night tangled in the cable. His cries begged for someone to help him. They grew weaker as the night went on. Early the next morning, the county's animal control was told of the stray's plight and an officer rushed to the scene. The dog lay still on the ground. He was weak and tired from struggling all night. The officer spoke softly to the big Shepherd mix and began to try to remove the dog from the cable that imprisoned him. His pain was obvious, but the dog still reached out and gently, gratefully, he kissed the officer's hand. The officer was able to free him and take him to a rural animal shelter.
When he first came to the shelter his wounds were treated and he was given a soft blanket to lay his tired body down. He was so sore he could barely walk. At first the Shepherd mix was so sad, depressed, hurting. But after a few days the shelter staff noticed his tail started wagging and he was smiling a happy dog smile. This sweet gentle boy totally captured the hearts of the shelter staff. They gave him the name of Gibson.
When Gibson was feeling better and was ready to find a loving home, he was placed up for adoption. One day, what seemed like a nice man came to the shelter and decided Gibson was just the right dog for him. He said he would care for the dog properly. He adopted his new trusting friend and the shelter staff watched as Gentle Gibson wagged his happy tail and climbed into the car. Everyone thought this was the happy ending to this story.
Unfortunately this was just the beginning of another nightmare for poor Gibson. Several weeks later, county animal control, got a frantic call from a ranger at a state park. People had abandoned a campsite days before and left a dog tied to the grill of the camp fire. The desperate dog was laying in the ashes of the fire pit in the pouring rain. The animal control officer responded to the scene and felt her heart drop when she saw that the dog was Gibson! The officer knelt down with tears in her eyes and again received a gentle and grateful kiss on the hand. Gibson was extremely thin, hungry, cold and filthy from laying in the ashes of the fire. His feet are burned from standing in the fire until parts of his pads were gone. He lost nearly 20 pounds during the weeks he was with his abusive adopter. The officer untied Gibson from the metal fire grate and gently lifted his weak tired body into the truck. R.E.D. was called immediately for help!
We got medical care for Gibson and put him in a foster home. There he was so happy to have warm food, a bath and a bed to lay his tired head down. R.E.D. was full but we could not let this boy down. Even after all this poor dog had been through he had so much love to give. He gave everyone kisses and wags. Gibson is truly an awesome dog. He is such a gentle, loving boy. He leans up against your body and nuzzles your hand asking for pets and hugs. Gibson is good with all people he meets and he never fails to wag his tail in greeting.
Gentle Gibson has now found his forever home with a caring family. The love this gentle boy gives so fully and freely will finally be returned. His story may help some understand why we ask so many questions of would-be adopters. The animals we help save cannot choose their fate. The life they will live is in our hands.
UPDATE: November 15, 2008
Just to update you, Gibson (my Meho), is happy and well with me still. I was the person who adopted him from you years ago. He is older, has epilepsy now, athritis and some other aches and pains. But he is still a joy in my life, and the vet says with his meds, he has many more years with me.
Thank you again for my perfect friend. I love him so much and he has traveled from Oregon to Hawaii with me, and settled in nicely these past few years.
I can't thank you enough for allowing me to adopt him.
Marie D.R. and Gibson