Erin Van Pelt
Rescue Dog’s Name
JT (Just Three)
Where Did You Find Your Dog?
I found JT at Las Cruces Animal Services in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Tell Us About the Moment When You Knew that You Two Were Meant for Each Other.
I had just turned 22 and I wanted to adopt a dog as a present to myself. My family has always had retrievers, so I was checking the local shelter and some regional shelters for any retrievers. A yellow lab popped up at the Las Cruces Shelter on May 29th. I immediately went to check him out. Unfortunately, he was aggressive and it was quickly apparent that we were not going to work out. I walked around all the pens one more time, but nothing felt right. Then on my way out I noticed something moving in the back of one of the ”big dog” kennels. I hadn’t paid any attention to this pen at first because there was an extremely loud and aggressive dog in there who was attacking the gate trying to get out. I knelt down to get a better look at the scruffy black thing in the back of then pen and as soon as I did, he dragged himself forward frantically on his two front legs to lick my fingers through the chain link. I knew the moment he reached me that I had to take him home. Once I got a better look at him I realized that he only had three legs – he couldn’t get enough grip to stand up on the slick concrete floor. I took his card to the lady at the front desk and asked her if she could give me any information on him. She told me he had been there a while and explained his leg had been amputated in March. His former ”owner” had dropped him off at the shelter to be euthanized after accidentally running him over and severely fracturing one of his back legs. She told me, ”no one wants a handicapped dog” and that she thought his chances of making it out alive were slim. I told her I wanted him and took him home the next day!!
How Has Your Hero Changed Your Life?
JT is my constant companion, study buddy, inspiration, foot warmer, squirrel marshall, and backseat driver. He is the best dog I will ever own. He is patient with my long hours of studying (I am a law student) and is always happy to see me when I come home. He loves everyone and everything that he meets. He has shown me that a ”disability” doesn’t have to hold you back. JT is also a constant reminder of the value of every individual – everyone has a divine purpose, and no one deserves to be ”thrown away” because they are less than perfect. He’s not the cutest or the fastest, but he’s the best in my eyes. I love you even though you’re ”handicapped,” JT!!