Eve Haslam - Once Upon a Rescue:
Willow's Tale, Sept. 14th 2007
One of my first rescues came about when I got a call regarding a pack of seven dogs stranded out in the country that could not be taken in by anyone. My housemate and I struggled with how we would care for them while campaigning for their adoptive homes. We decided we could manage it, and, it was the first of hundreds to come.
Upon their arrival, all seven were head-to-toe layered with fleas, mites and ticks. They were each beautiful, full-grown dogs, but nervous, dirty and starving. We quickly and carefully applied Frontline. The first night of restless sleep, turned into a long week of more rest, bathing, vet visits, eating, and lots and lots of affection! They were not only in need of homes but also of immediate care, tons of play, and dynamic bonding.
The youngest was named Willow. Willow was terrified of everyone, and would never go anywhere without her mom, Sofie. A couple of seasons passed and we adopted out all but Sofie and Willow. Finally, a very interested party was considering Willow. I felt so excited that she would finally be adopted into a forever home with a couple and their baby. They once had a Golden Retriever that used to look like Willow and they were dying to meet her. After weeks of processing and living 2 hours away in Winston-Salem, they made their final drive to pick her up. Willow and I said good-bye as they left our home at 6pm. At 10pm that night a dreaded call came through.
Willow had become hysterical in their house and ended up bolting out their door INTO THE DARK. It was November Cold. And Willow was over a hundred miles away. I felt paralyzed.
Within twenty-four hours I had mobilized a search with every resource I knew. I contacted Annette Betcher, then an animal psychic out of Washington who I was told about. I was running through the backyards of Winston-Salem homes with a cell phone in my hand asking her, "Where is Willow? Does she hear me?!"
I came upon a little boy who said he had seen a dog fitting Willow's description just the day before. The clues were uncanny; I knew we were hot on her trail. Annette continued to let me know that Willow was scared of humans but was drawn to being around dogs. Finally described Willow hanging around a house across from a field, very little traffic, with some woods, and she was eager to come home.
I did not know what to think. Ten long days went by. I would stand outside of my door and feel the cold that I knew Willow must have been feeling. I would sleep with her photo in my hands.
Then one night I cried and cried in my living room. I begged God to please bring Willow back to me. I promised that I would give her the best love and care and not ever put her through a horror like this again. While this is not a testimony about prayer, the next day I got a call from a woman in Winston-Salem.
The woman's message said that she had traced the rabies tag of a dog back to the vet who gave her this telephone number. She said the name on the dog's tag was "Willow." She said that the dog she found was very hungry but would not get too close to her. The dog had been hanging around her backyard for the last two nights and seemed to like her dogs.
I could not move fast enough, planning, calling, and driving to bring Willow back home with me. Sofie and I were on our way.
When I entered the woman's home, I noticed a field across the road and woods behind her home, every detail as Annette described. I could not wait to see Willow and as the woman disappeared to another room I heard a dog's feet come rushing around the corner and like nothing I had ever seen before, she went into air jumps and flips all over me. The door opened and she was a flash towards my car - diving perfectly into the passenger seat, and riveted in position without a blink. Willow and Sofie were reunited for good. The drive home was the best two hours of the three of us in howling song.