Friday, February 8, 2013

A Dog's "Tail of Two Cities"

FORWARD/NOTE: Having been absent from my blog for 2 years, I had not intended to begin blogging again by posting a story about our sweet Miel. However, she (and I) have the opportunity to help her rescue group win $5000. Your daily vote could make a huge difference to Aware, her rescue organization. Daily voting will begin February 21st, and will go thru March 18th. During that time, please go HERE (search for her entry using her name) and vote for Miel in Petfinder's Luckiest Dog 2013 contest :).

It was the best of times...if you are a young dog in a beautiful country with freedom and no one to answer to. It was the worst of times......if you are young dog caring for puppies, constantly on the move for the next meal, a victim of a horrible act of cruelty, destined to die unloved in the streets in a town in Guatemala.
This is Miel's story. If it weren't for the compassion of volunteers working for Animal Aware one hot day, her story and her life would have likely ended slowly and painfully, instead of happily ever after on our farm in Texas. I will let some of her pictures tell her story better than I ever could.

 These are some of her pictures taken at the time of her rescue.

 Closer examination of the wound revealed that she had most likely lost her leg to someone wielding a machete. The wound was several weeks old by the time Miel was found by Aware volunteers. Her body also showed signs that she had been nursing puppies for some time.

Shortly after Miel's story began to unfold with Aware, I was at an Animal Welfare Symposium in Dallas, Texas volunteering for another rescue group. The booth next to ours showcased adoptable disabled dogs and cats from all over the United States.....and Guatemala, as it turned out. I spent 8 hours volunteering that day. I think Miel's picture flashed in front of me at least 50 times. I don't know how many times I saw her picture before I knew that she would come live with us and before the day ended, I had the contact information of a liason Aware volunteer in the United States.

A disabled dog we've never met, who is with a rescue group in another country.....most rescue groups would never place a dog blindly, risking a failed adoption.

I called the liason volunteer, and we talked extensively about Miel (whose name was Mina at the shelter), about us and our animal life on the farm, and about the logistics of getting Miel out of Guatemala and into the United States. By the end of the conversation, she agreed to recommend us as Miel's forever home.

Time flew quickly, and after paperwork, an airline ticket to Dallas, and money paid to the Guatemalan government (for transporting a native dog out of their country???), we met Miel at the airport with her chaperone. She was tired, hot, confused, and probably still in pain from the surgery that was done to clean up the damage to her left leg.

That was 6 years ago. She doesn't even look like the same dog, does she? With the exception of the missing leg.....


We adore our sweet Miel. Her name is all that remains of her Spanish heritage. It is the spanish word for "honey". Miel fits in perfectly in our farm world. She quickly took charge of things and is quick to reprimand any newcomer pup to the property should they overstep their boundaries. Yes, I'd say she can be a little bossy to the new ones :). One of the remarkable things about Miel is that, as a former Guatemalan street dog, she has never....not even once......had an accident in our house. She is grateful, as rescue dogs usually are, and we are blessed with one of the sweetest 3 legged dogs on the planet.

If you think she deserves to be Petfinder's Luckiest Dog please vote for her HERE.