A little known secret of those that work in rescue is that often the line is blurred as to
who helps who more, the dogs or the rescuers. We learn so much each day from the
unconditional love, determination and unbending capacity to forgive and start anew from
the dogs we work with daily. Every once in a while however, you meet a dog that makes
such an impact on the way you see the world and the amazing spirit of these animals that
you are never the same. Tiinkerbell was one of those dogs.
We were contacted about Tiinkerbell last year by Animal Care and Protective Services.
She was found as a stray walking on a street and weighed under 25 pounds (35% below
healthy weight). The veterinary staff at ACPS fell in love with her and asked us to help
her. When we went to meet her, she was curled up in a tiny ball at the back of her cage
and was literally skin and bones. She was very weak and her skin was bleeding and dry.
No hair was on her body and she had no pads on the bottom of her feet. She had been
overbred and literally looked like ET.
Yet, even though she was in very bad shape, when she saw us, she got up slowly and
came to the front of her cage with her tail wagging. Her good nature and amazing spirit
shined through even at this most weak and fragile moment. We took her to our vet where
she lived for several months while undergoing multiple testsand being on a special diet to
help her gain weight.
Tiinkerbell was diagnosed with an auto immune deficiency and was under constant
vet care and monitoring, but she never lost her wagging tail. She underwent countless
different medical tests, including multiple blood tests, thyroid tests and many more, but
she never lost her love for people. She slowly started to gain weight and also started to
gain friends on her Facebook page. Pictures were posted daily of her progress and people
from all over the world rallied around this amazing dog that was so bravely fighting to
regain her life. It was amazing to watch her battle each day to return from her fragile state
and continued to love and inspire the people around her through it all.
As Tiinkerbell’s health returned so did her story and celebrity. She was on the local
television news as a spokesdog for homeless pets. She joined us at Animal Care and
Protective Services as we told her story and spoke about other animals in need of help
and homes. She made her red carpet debut as the guest of honor at a showing of the
film “Beyond the Myth”- a largely acclaimed film about Breed Specific Legislation and
pit bulls. And perhaps her greatest claim to fame, she beat the odds. Now a healthy 38
pounds and thriving in her foster home,she is finally ready for adoption.
Tiinkerbell’s story has touched many people. Every dog we work with teaches us
something, and more than any other dog we have worked with Tiinkerbell has shown us
the amazing ability animals have for unconditional love despite their past, their health or
the obstacles they face. They love you no matter what. She is resilient and tough and
never gave up her fight to live. She knew she could get well and she knew she was loved
and that was all she needed.
Tiinkerbell never stopped wagging her tail and she always loved everyone she met. Her
story and fight is a reminder to us all to never give up on the dogs that need us, they
certainly never give up on us.