Blue's Story

Years ago, before we were knee-deep in the rescue world, we had an experience during some volunteer work that opened our eyes to the reality many animals face across North America. Here in Canada, we face much different obstacles than in the US. Remote and hard to reach communities, lack of resources and a staggering stray population in many communities with tough climates are some of the many struggles we face. 


In many cities within the USA, shelters are busting at the seems and euthanasia is not an uncommon fate for the animals that enter the shelter system. Many friendly dogs slip through the cracks. This is the story of a dog who just about slipped through the cracks.... but wiggled his way deep into our hearts instead.


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 Starbucks. Every Rescue day should begin with some caffeine (more acceptable than wine, right?!). Three wide-eyed dog loving ladies head out to rural California, to experience what shelter life is really like for these animals and the people who care for them. Lucky for us, we were led by an awesome friend, and rescue angel who was kind enough to act as our "Rescue Tour Guide"! 

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We hit the highway - all of us quietly trying to mentally prepare ourselves as best we could. Now, looking back, I don't think it is possible to mentally prepare yourself for the sights, sounds and smells of a rural animal shelter. 

We didn't know it yet - but inside this tiny shelter, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Blue was waiting for us. 


We met with a young woman who worked at the shelter, who explained that there was only her, and one other female who overlooked every aspect of the shelter. Just TWO employees to handle all of the Animal Control calls, care for the animals, networking and endless other tasks to be done. 


Upon entering the shelter's kennels - we were all overwhelmed. The kennels were beyond full, with many dogs crying for attention while others quietly sat at the back of their kennels, terrified and shutdown. Our hearts are breaking hearing their stories, and knowing some will never get to experience a warm bed in a loving home. It's easy for a quiet dog to be overlooked in a hectic shelter, when there is so many distractions and countless dogs vying for attention. 


Amidst the chaos we noticed a large breed dog, curled up with his head tucked under his legs, as if he just wanted to disappear. His beautiful, sad eyes did not want to make eye contact with us. He looked absolutely defeated and embarrassed, like he had given up. We wanted to know his story. 


"Oh.. Him? He was brought here on Saturday after being hit by a car."

So, what's his plan - are his injuries serious?

"He hasn't seen a vet actually, we have to hold him for 5 days as a stray before we can euthanize him, and the hold isn't up yet."


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So this dog was hit by a car on Saturday, with unknown injuries and has not yet seen a veterinarian. It is Wednesday. That is 5 days with absolutely zero pain medication, on a cold concrete floor.


We were all in disbelief that the plan for this nameless dog, was to euthanize him when his 5 day stray hold was up - with no plans to get him any pain medication or even a comfy bed to lay on in the meantime. We had no idea how bad his injuries were, but we decided that if this dog must be euthanized, he deserved to live his last days as pain-free as possible.

Overnight we took to social media to share this dog's story, and basically beg for the funds needed to get him the veterinary care he so desperately needed. We were so overwhelmed with support from our friends, and were generously sent donations to cover the costs for a visit to the vet, and pain medication. With every donation we received, the three of us would look at each other with tears streaming down all of our faces. Could we do this? Could we pull off a miracle for this sweet dog?

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So, step one was done. Thanks to our amazing friends, we knew we had the funds to at very least take him in to get pain medication and keep him comfortable. 


The next morning we head out bright and early to pick him up. We pull up, and there he is -  handsome as ever, hobbling out of the building over to the grass. His nose was in the air, taking in the smells quietly as he stood there looking sad and a little confused as to why we were all looking at him. We were overjoyed because although he was clearly injured, he could walk. 


Getting ready to load him up, we tried our best to clean all of the days worth of built up fecal matter and urine caked on his rear end. He was unbelievably patient, and stoic as he was washed up and loaded into our van.  As we pulled away from the shelter, with the dusty gravel road in our rear view mirror - there seemed to be a silent agreement that all of us would do every single thing in our power to never let this dog spend another night at the shelter, on that concrete floor.

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We noticed right away that he was such a sweet, proud dog - during our drive he was focused on cleaning himself and his rear end, while offering us occasional thankful gazes with his beautiful, sad eyes.


He also offered us some questionable smells during the ride, too....


As we wind along the back roads, towards the veterinary office, a familiar song came on the radio.  Keith Urban's "Blue". We were all throwing around names that we thought would suit this lovebug of a dog, but when this song came on something just clicked. Although he was this gentle, brave soul, he really was quite disheartened and blue. And that's how the name "Blue" stuck. 

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Finally arriving at the vet with Blue felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of our shoulders - although we didn't know what his condition would be, we knew he would be kept comfortable and as pain free as possible. As always, Blue was a perfect gentleman during his vet visit. It was determined he had a broken hip and a broken sacrum (where the base of his spine meets his tail). The veterinarian kindly offered to board him there overnight, so they could monitor him and administer pain medication. We were told that although his injuries were serious, his fate was not as grim as we had originally thought. Rest, pain management and time would tell if he needed to receive surgery, but we would cross that bridge when it came. We were ecstatic, but knowing that we had to start our journey home in just one sleep, and didn't have a concrete plan for him down here was nerve racking. Again, we took to Facebook to see if there was even a chance of finding Blue a foster back home. 

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That night, while again reaching out to our friends and family for help, we all came to an agreement. We didn't know who's couch he was going to crash on, or how the heck we were actually going to make this happen, but we decided Blue was going to become a Canadian. 


The morning came, and we were up bright and early with our favourite "Rescue Tour Guide", making sure all of our ducks were in a row, and double (triple) checking the details for each dog that was making the journey home with us. Going over Blue's details felt surreal - this beautiful dog went from feeling hopeless, wanting to disappear with not one person in his corner fighting for him, to now having countless people following his story and rallying behind him. It was overwhelming, and absolutely amazing. 

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Over the next 24 hours, we crept closer and closer to home, feeling a sense of relief with every mile we left behind us. 


The drive was surprisingly peaceful, and went by quicker than expected. Blue slept for a majority of it, waking up occasionally to ask for a belly rub. Crossing over into Canada with Blue at our sides was an unforgettable, beyond sweet moment. We made it!!!


During our journey home, we reached out to a friend who we thought would make an amazing home for Blue. After some thought, and family discussion, they decided to give this beautiful, broken boy a chance - Blue had a foster home. Not only did he have a foster home, he had quite possibly the most perfect, suitable home for him. A dog savvy, stay at home Momma, a Doggy Dad that would bring him along everywhere, and the best friend any dog could ask for, Blue's 11 year old Sis'.

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Blue has proven to be incredibly sweet, friendly and goofy! He has come leaps and bounds from where he once was. We were all shocked and ecstatic to hear that Blue will NOT require surgery, as his injuries had already began to heal and he was getting stronger and stronger as the days went by. Blue is recovering, loving life and learning to be a dog again. From life as an injured stray, on a cold wet shelter floor - to life as a loved, cared for member of this amazing family - Blue truly hit the Doggy Lotto!


Thank you to every single person that shared, donated and sent well wishes to him. The HUGEST thank you to Blue's new family for stepping up and opening their home (and spot in front of that toasty fireplace) for this deserving, gentle soul. Blue's life has done a complete 180 - and we couldn't be any happier for him!


Check it out...

Getting settled with his family...

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Blue's new life - happy, healed and so very loved...

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You can't change a dog's past... But you can rewrite his future. 

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