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A Journey To Life
--Written by Tiami L. Coleburg

Frigid winter rain pelted the pup. He was cold, so very cold. He was scared, hungry, confused. Where was home? Where was his mom? He thought about how nice it would be to cuddle up by her side, warm and snug. Through the woods, he heard noise. Amid the darkness, he saw spots of light. He started running towards the noise and lights, as fast as his young little legs could move. Lights mean people and home. People, he wanted, people. His heart pounded as his strong, sturdy, little legs carried him closer and closer to the only thing that appeared to be safety. Faster, faster, I am almost home...

Lights bore down on him. The screech of the tires screamed through the dark. His small 17 pound body, crumpled under the huge metal monster and he slammed on to the pavement. As the pain engulfed him, he fell into the blackness. The car and the people within drove on...

The next car slowed and stopped. This time, the caring person inside, got out of the car. Gentle hands lifted the tiny body from the road. The pup was alive and was waking up. The good people that stopped brought him to the animal control shelter. He was then taken to a local vet to be checked over. He was in pain, but wagged his tiny tail at everyone. The news was grim and his pain justified. Two of his legs were broken. The strong, sturdy, little legs that carried him, just hours before, were now useless.

He was placed on stray hold and the wait began. Most shelters are not able to help dogs like this and they are relieved from the pain, after stray hold time is over. The clock ticked on. No owner came and it appeared this bright little life would soon be over. This little ones charm, instantly, maked everyone want him to live, even with the severity of the injuries. R.E.D. was notified by a shelter worker and told of his sweet temperament, love for humans and joy of life. The shelter staff and I named this brave little pup, Journey. For his and our lives, indeed are just that, "A journey." For this puppy the questions were down to whether his life's journey will end now, or travel on, bringing him to his forever home.

The choices that are left to some of us in rescue are, difficult and painful, for a life often depends on them. I made the choice to try. This young life deserved a chance. I received several comments from people that said I was, "foolish," to attempt to save him. I still felt strongly we had to try and I gladly embraced the label of, "foolish." For I have seen the miracle of life survive, when all odds were against that. We as a team would give Journey what humans could and the rest would be left between and God and he. A transport team volunteer made the emergency run to get him to our volunteer vet. He while is awaited surgery at the clinic, the entire vet staff lost themselves, to this brave little one. One vet tech said, "You walk past and always hear the tiny thumping of his tail." His eyes plead each passer by, "Won't you come see me, I will love you."

It was determined this Shepherd/Rotty/Siberian mix was about 12 weeks old. He had fractured both the tibia and fibula on one leg and the on other, a fractured femur. It was determined that the breaks were completely fixable. The vets and vet techs spent many hours putting Journey's broken legs back together. The surgery was long and stressful. Many of vet office staff stayed on after hours, on their own time deep into the night, to help support the surgical team. There was a need by everyone to stay close to this pup's side. We wished him strength and prayed for him to stay with this world. Jeanette stayed with him until the sun rose and she saw him show glimmers of recovery. The first sign he would stay with us was a gentle kiss on Jeanette's hand.

What was still needed to make this rescue successful was a safe loving environment for him to recover and rehab after surgery. Allison took this task on with enthusiasm. She is a truly one of the best foster homes I have had the joy of sharing a rehabilitation with. We all watched him recover and delighted in sharing each new step, Journey, made towards his recovery. He was the guest of honor at a rescue training seminar and got a round of applause from the volunteers. I sat on the floor with, Journey and enjoyed his sweet presence. I heard the thumping of his happy tail and it made me smile. New people arrived. Journey got up as he was overjoyed with the prospect of new people to befriend. I watched his strong, sturdy, little legs carry him across the large room. Once again this little one made me look," foolish," as tears of happiness weld up in me.

Soon after, Journey, was adopted to his forever home with the Nihart family. He is a cherished member of their family. His journey has brought him to his new life with the help and love of many.
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