It is a privilege and honor to share our experience here with you. We have come to realize that those of you who adopt, and are adopted by, a furry rescue friend also have faith, hope and charity of your own; you are a special breed!!
Faith, Hope and Charity were names given to three Shelties almost 3 years ago by Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation. These three girls were found by a landlord abandoned inside a farmhouse with obvious signs abuse and neglect–most likely puppy mill victims. Our son told us about and showed us the pictures of the Shelties on Sarge’s website. We went to Sarge’s to see the girls and were told that there were numerous pending inquires/applications to adopt them, but we could put our names on the waiting list. We received a call from Sarge’s telling us that Hope, the oldest one, was available.
Hope was not at Sarge’s when we went to pick her up, as she was being brought back from Balsam Animal Hospital where Dr. Moore had performed surgery on her for life-threatening Pyometra. It was a very serious situation and we are so grateful that donors to Sarge’s help to make such procedures possible. As we waited, we watched Faith and Charity playing in their pen. We were told that the three Shelties stayed very close to each other and we felt bad that they were going to be separated after all that they had been through together. We knew that they were already spoken for, but told the staff that if the other adoptions fell through, we would be happy to adopt Faith and Charity, too.
A few days later, we received a call from Sarge’s telling us that Faith’s adoption did not go through and we were asked if we still were interested in adopting her—it took us less than 30 minutes to get to Sarge’s to pick Faith up! Faith and Hope were happy to see each other again! It was gratifying to hear that a young couple had adopted Charity and we wish the best for them. We hope that their lives together create the fond kind of memories that my wife, Karen, and I have had and continue to experience over our 44 years together with our own Shelties.
Our family adventures with Hope and Faith have been what memories are made of and cherished. Out of the 10 Shelties we have had, they are the first ones that have been adopted. We soon realized the level of patience and understanding required to earn their trust due to the previous life experiences they had suffered. It took time for them to change from wide-eyed fear and suspicion to cautious optimism; it is gratifying to be part of this transformation.
As with humans, some emotional wounds run deep and never can be erased. Nevertheless, Faith and Hope learned how to come for belly rubs and goodnight hugs. They became tail-wagging happy despite their apprehensions and you could see the change in their eyes. Karen made more progress with them than I did, as we suspect that they were mistreated by a man.
Sadly, our progress with their emotional well being became the concern for Faith’s physical well being when she was diagnosed with lymphoma in early February 2020. It became a matter of how much time do we have to show her our love. The treatment and care of Dr. Sage and Dr. Mike and the compassionate care of staff at Junaluska Animal Hospital gave us a precious 9 additional months with Faith.
During this time, we were regularly at the Vets. Pre-COVID we were encountering others in the waiting room and then during COVID, in the parking lot. It was heart-warming during the heart-wrenching times for us to see the sacrifices people make for their furry friends. It makes a person realize how this must pull at the heartstrings of both professionals and volunteers who work to make a difference in the lives of animals.
Our lives have been enriched by being able to be “parents” to Hope and Faith. – Ed & Karen Seavey