I rescued my little American Eskimo-Cocker Spaniel from a fabulous shelter in Gloucester, MA. She had been brought there from Puerto Rico. While she was in PR, she was found chained to a telephone pole. Her owner lost his house and gave her to a friend to take care of. That friend didn’t do a very good job, obviously. Pedey (then known as Chispeta) eventually ended up getting pregnant as well. To my knowledge, only one of her pups survived the labor. Her pup and her mate were scooped up and brought to a Save A Sato, and she was left there. Later she too was brought to Save a Sato. When she arrived in MA, the vet found a tumor on her leg. She was now up for adoption at Cape Ann Animal Aid in Gloucester. While performing her spay, they removed the tumor as well. Pedey tested positive for heartworm and was extremely underweight.
I had begged my parents for ~18 years for a dog. I had recently graduated college and felt very alone and not used to the change in my life. I had a job where a dog was welcome, and finally my parents allowed me to adopt a dog. I had looked at a couple of different shelters and found some real cuties, but none that I felt a connection with. Then, my sister and I headed to Cape Ann Animal Aid one sunny March day. As we pulled in, I saw this little white head pop up in the outdoor kennels. It was instant love. I inquired about her, and was able to play with her. I knew I’d be taking her home. As I was filling out the final paper work, the staff informed me about her medical issues. They told me that she had a 50/50 chance that her tumors would return, and ultimately it is cancer so it is fatal in dogs. I said that I understood that and I was more than willing to take care of her.
Pedey moved back home with me and my parents. She was shy and uncertain about the house and the people in it. She seemed to be scared of men, so it was a difficult time getting her used to my boyfriend.
A couple months later, my boyfriend and I moved in together. At this point, Pedey loved Jim. Pedey had more tumors and surgeries to remove those tumors. Pedey was qualified for a clinical trial at Tufts Vet School in Grafton and completed a round of chemo therapy followed by surgery. All costs were covered! Soon after, another tumor popped up. We decided to let her just be a dog and not do another surgery. In 2010, Jim and I moved to San Diego. I got a job at a veterinary oncology hospital. Pedey came to work with me often and she was able to get medications she needed and the vet monitored how she was doing. She went to dog beach quite often and loved life. At the beginning of 2011, Pedey became lethargic. I had discussed with several people about what this could mean. We determined it could be a number of things; depression, her illness progressing, etc. I convinced my boyfriend (now husband) to look at another dog to see if it could put some spunk back in Pedey. He agreed.
We found a similar sized male dog, black spaniel mix, named Callipso at a foster home a couple towns over. We had arranged for the dogs to meet to see if it would be a good match. The morning of the scheduled visit, the foster mom called me to tell me that she has decided to keep Callipso and he was no longer up for adoption. Jim and I figured it was what was supposed to happen and we would no longer look for another dog.
On Sundays in San Diego, I worked at a self-service dog wash. I was scheduled to work the day after we were supposed to meet with Callipso. I was at the dog wash when this little black Papillon walked in with no tags and was not neutered. Two young boys in the neighborhood took him to the nearby hospital to see if he was microchipped. I told them that if he was not to return him and I would wash him and wait to see if an owner would claim him. He was a fiesty little guy, but very lovable at the same time. I called Jim and told him to bring Pedey to the dog wash to see if they could get along. Reluctant, Jim brought Pedey and they totally hit it off. We kept him and named him Chevy, after the actor Chevy Chase.
Fast forward 1.5 years and we are back in Massachusetts, married, happy with two healthy dogs. Both are blessings to us and each other.
That’s Pedey’s story…she’s taught me more than anyone could ever know.
Thank you for sharing Pedey and Chevy’s inspiring rescue story with us, Colleen! Want us to feature your own rescue dog or cat? It’s easy! Just email PetMeds at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to tell us your pet’s adoption story, what makes your rescue pet special, and include a few photos of your special dog or cat.