No Dog Left Behind – Claremore, OK

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana, it left in its wake many victims. Shelters that were already full worked with rescues to move their current residents out, making room for Harvey’s survivors. Shelter animals were then sent to rescues and foster homes further north.

And that’s where Amy’s story began. A nurse in Claremont, OK, she’s a disaster and emergency volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corp. A lifelong animal lover with 5 dogs and 3 cats, Amy jumped at the chance to help when the Corp sent its call for volunteers.

Amy was part of the team that assisted the Bixby Oklahoma Humane Society animal shelter, cleaning cages, vetting dogs, and preparing them for airport transport to northern locations.

As her shift was ending, volunteers were placing dogs and cats into carriers, then lifting them onto the airplane that would fly them to a new life. But when Amy returned the next day, one carrier remained.

When Amy asked why, she was told there was something wrong with the dog’s back. He was not healthy and not adoptable. Amy had a sinking feeling as to the dog’s fate. She opened the cage door that said, “ARNIE.”

Peeking out was a small Boxer mix. To Amy’s shock, she saw that the dog’s back legs were useless, but Arnie was still dragging himself toward her with his front legs and wagging his tail!

Amy’s heart broke into a million pieces. Only a year old, he was obviously in poor health but Arnie didn’t seem to know that. “You could tell he had a heart of gold,” Amy told us. “He was just a ‘happy to be alive’ kind of dog.” With a brood of animals at her own home, she certainly wasn’t looking for another dog.

But there it was, that immediate heart-to-heart connection, the one that said, “We belong to each other.” Amy’s heart melted and she asked the humane society if she could adopt him. “There was just something about this little dog getting left behind. I think it was fate that somebody put him on a bus to come to Oklahoma,” Amy told us.

The humane society agreed to the adoption but wanted to get x-rays first. They felt Amy should know the extent of Arnie’s injuries before she made such a big commitment.  The news wasn’t good. He had two broken legs and fractures in his hip that were about a month old.

How this dog lived with that kind of pain for a month and still managed to wag his tail is hard to fathom. Arnie would need an FHO, femoral head osteotomy, and plates in his legs to make a full recovery. Amy didn’t care. She said yes, I still want to adopt him.

When she got back home, the first thing she did was change Arnie’s name to Harvey. She was relieved and surprised that her own animal crew fully embraced their newest member, even the cats!

Then she talked to Mutt Nation volunteers about how to get help for her dog. They told her to get in touch with The Mosby Foundation. “They are a very loving organization,” they told her.

And that’s exactly what she did. When we saw Harvey’s condition and that adorable face, we, too, were smitten, and made a substantial grant towards his new life. Without the support of our generous donors, who wanted to help dogs in need affected by Hurricane Harvey, this grant would not have been possible.

“I don’t know what I would have done without The Mosby Foundation,” Amy gushed. “It was an answer to a prayer.”

The day that Amy dropped Harvey off for surgery, he was still wagging his tail, licking her, and trying to walk. “Harvey’s just bound and determined that nothing is going to get him down,” she said, her admiration for him plain to see.

The surgery was a difficult one but it didn’t get in the way of Harvey’s strong will to live and enjoy life. The vet had to place one rod in his leg and cleaned up the other one. It will take three months before Amy will see an improvement in Harvey’s walking. In six months, he should be in good shape.

But Harvey didn’t know all that. He just wanted to be with his human. Although he had been under anesthesia for 2 ½ hours, when he saw Amy, he started wagging his tail. Harvey did so well, the vet let Amy take him home that night!

Just 48 hours later, wearing the Elizabethan collar, Harvey was still wagging his tail and trying to walk. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” was all Amy could say.

But the story doesn’t end there. Amy is in a doctoral program and writing her dissertation on reducing test anxiety with dog therapy. As part of her dissertation, she will bring therapy dogs in to play with students before they take their exams. She wants to see if it helps students lower their stress and get better test scores.

“Harvey will be perfect for this!” She exclaimed. “He’s got such a sweet disposition and he’s so smart and loving.” Amy is over the moon excited about Harvey’s new career. His natural compassion and gentle nature will be a huge plus for stressed out students. And let’s face it, any job that allows Harvey to wag his tail and hand out dog kisses is a winner!

“I am so thankful to The Mosby Foundation,” Amy told us with a grateful heart. “To have people so loving, compassionate, and generous, it was just amazing. Please tell everyone how appreciative I am.”

Thank you, Amy, but here’s what we think is amazing: That these two souls somehow called to each other without ever knowing it. What’s amazing is how the humane society kept a dog that would normally have been slated for euthanasia. What’s amazing is that same dog was placed aboard a bus and sent to the Bixby animal shelter.

And there, in the midst of crisis and chaos, a dog that didn’t know how to be sad, waited his turn for happiness…and found it.