Blog Post

A Ray Of Sunshine, A Ray Of Hope

From Underdog to Hero: This is the story of Ray

Our BOGO beneficiary, It’s A Pittie Rescue, shared this story of courage, forgiveness, strength and transformation.  Grab some tissues. We hope you will read, share and encourage others to get involved. These stories have the chance to change minds and save lives.

Friday the 13th 2017, authorities were called to report a dog injured in the roadway. He had been hit by 2 cars, (yes you read that right TWICE), on a busy roadway in South Suburban Chicago. Horrifyingly – the caller indicated that it appeared the first car intentionally swerved and sped up to hit the defenseless animal, sending him into the unavoidable path of a second car following closely behind. During an intense January thunderstorm, the gravely injured pup was left in the roadway in the spot he had landed for hours, while an off –duty animal control officer was summoned to the scene. Upon arriving at the shelter, it was determined that his injuries were extensive; he had suffered an obvious spinal injury and had no use of the back end of his body.

He was then placed on a 10-day stray hold with minimal treatment for his surface wounds.

When no owner came to claim him, the doctors running the shelter had decided this dog was to be euthanized. After all, it wasn’t fair to take up valuable cage space in a crowded shelter with a dog that had no use of his hind and would never be able to walk or lead a normal life, and it would be difficult/nearly impossible to place him with a family. Plans were made for this poor soul to be put out of his misery, but one technician, an angel named Emily, pleaded for a few days to get him into rescue. Emily had fallen in love with this sweet dog’s loving and resilient spirit in the days she had cared for him, and she felt in her soul that even with the injuries he sustained, he had hope for at least healing adequately to live a happy life as a special needs pet through rescue. Three days were given, and she furiously went to work contacting rescues to come save this traumatized dog, whose eyes were filled with hope and a craving for love

Not surprisingly, It’s a Pittie Rescue (IPR) answered the call, and rallied to find a foster and raise funds for diagnostics and treatment. The terrified black dog who found comfort in constantly holding a stuffed animal was pulled from the shelter and given the name Ray.

Ray was taken to the neurologist, where it was shown in MRI that his spinal cord had been embedded with shattered disk material, and surgery would be extremely risky with very low percentages for improvement. He would never walk again, had a possible head injury and severe emotional trauma, and would require a very unique home for his extensive medical needs for life. IPR had him fitted for a cart that a volunteer graciously donated for – and began making a treatment plan for him to heal as much as possible. The first step was rest to heal his spinal injury – the neurologist advised that he not get the cart for at least 6-8 weeks so that he does not become immediately dependent on it and stop trying to gain some mobility. Ray was put on strict bed rest for that 8 weeks, and his foster worked with him to ease his troubled soul, build his confidence, and help him to trust humans and animals and overcome the defensiveness his disability brought about.

Well, in true indomitable pittie spirit, Ray decided he wasn’t giving up. “Bed rest” was a challenge, as he scooted himself everywhere to follow his foster family around. He quickly learned how to be part of a family pack, imitating his foster brother and sisters’ good behaviors – and even their naughty ones! Ray met lots of new people, getting more comfortable by the day, in fact loving all the attention. Ray constantly tried to push himself forward, improving in miraculous ways in his mobility. What started with a tiny tail wag, soon led to a hip lift while doing business, and by the end of his “bed rest”, Ray was standing on shaky legs, taking a few stumbly steps, and astonishing everyone around him with his resilience and determination. He has continued to improve, shattering all expectations, and becoming a happy, healthy, affectionate family member, who loves to play fetch and just about always has a stuffie.

Today, as Ray prepares to begin his official physical therapy, he inspires everyone around him with his progress and joyful spirit. He is the epitome of what makes dogs so extraordinary; Ray isn’t concerned with what he’s lost or what he used to be able to do or if he will ever be able to “jump” or run like a “normal” dog – he is thrilled with each moment he is alive, wants nothing more than to love and be loved, and no matter what the adversity he faces, as long as he’s alive he will NEVER STOP MOVING FORWARD.

So the black stray dog who was thought to never have a chance – is now a beloved member of the IPR family and surely has great things in store for his future. Ray is no longer “special needs”, he is simply SPECIAL.

Proud to be a part of Project Blue Collar – we introduce Sweet Baby Ray, Ray of Hope, Ray of Light, Ray of Sunshine…. A miracle made possible by rescue, Ray.