Saturday, August 24, 2013

Champ: A Story of Survival

Have you ever heard a story so gripping that you are compelled to “do something about it?” Well, that’s what happened to me over these past few weeks. It is my only excuse for blogging just once in three weeks. I have been following more and more rescue sites and stories of animals saved from an awful fate. Many times I end up in tears and raiding my PayPal account to donate.
One particular animal rescue story captivated my attention—a story of death and life, in that order. The little dog was nothing special, many may think. He isn’t an exotic creature on the verge of extinction; he’s just a little poodle mix named Champ. When I first read Champ’s story I was, like
Champ's story!
many readers, appalled and then moved.
Appalled that such neglect and abuse could even happen in the first place, and moved by a little dog’s immense courage, fortitude, and most importantly his will to life, and his ability to forgive and love humans again.

On May 11, 2013, this little dog nearly died. He was dumped at the West Valley Animal Shelter, Chatsworth, California. Champsky (that was his given name) was enclosed in two sealed plastic bags, with another one over his head and tied around his neck. This gruesome parcel was left on the clerk’s counter by two people who then walked away. When the clerk opened it, thinking it was a delivery package, she saw what she thought was a dead dog. After all, he had already turned blue.

Do you believe in miracles? One happened right away. Against all odds, the shelter vet was able to revive him. The dog was a matted mess. They shaved him down and discovered ulcers covering most of his body, as well as deep wounds going all the way through his skin to his muscles. He was extremely malnourished, weighing only 7 pounds, when his proper weight should have been 15 pounds.

More miracles happened. He was stabilized and then taken in by S.A.F.E. Rescue, an animal shelter in California. Along with the hundreds of supporters on Facebook, I followed his precarious road back to health. Again, the odds were stacked against him; his condition was so bad, his wounds so deep. But this little champion (renamed Champ) decided to live. A torrent of love and funding poured in for Champ. The shelter was able to provide him with particular food to build up his constitution. Every day, his new foster guardians kept a Facebook Diary updated. Every day, people sent their messages of support, myself included.

Then I thought, “How about a blog post?” Then I thought, “How about a little e-book?” That way, I could donate my writing and create something to generate ongoing funds for Champ and the rescue shelter. S.A.F.E. Rescue were over the moon and the rest has been a flurry of gathering photos and information, getting Champ’s story down, and some creative stuff on the side, such as Champ’s “Happy Eva After Pome” and his short story How Superdog Champ Saved the Day.
As I wrote, so people worldwide sent in messages of love to be included in the book; some even sent messages from and photos of their own rescued dogs. But it all starts with one act of kindness. Every person involved in rescuing an animal, be it a glorious tiger in the jungle, or an orphaned elephant in
Happy at last!
the wilds, or just a little dog that perhaps no one would miss—his abusive owners did not care—is a link in a chain of love. The unsung heroes are a growing army of compassionate people, vets donating skill, supporters donating funds and food, volunteers donating their time. There is very little fame involved and definitely no fortune. Many large animal organizations and the humblest of animal shelters rely on public goodwill to keep going. The only reason they still operate is because of people's compassion and generosity.

Champ’s messages, included in his book, also moved me when I read how many people said Champ, and his brave little struggle for survival, had changed their lives. People saw their pets in a new light; some people began to work with animals; some people saw their own life in tandem with Champ’s and decided if he could survive, so could they. Champ’s tomorrows look very good. From being beaten by life, he has risen to stand head and shoulders above everything. Although fame was something he never expected, Champ handles his new celebrity status with grace and aplomb. To so many people, he has become a little ray of hope and sunshine in a dark world. His fans just want to love and cherish him. Until he is fully back on all four paws, he is enjoying life with his Foster Mommy Suzy and her collection of animals. Champ is not out of the woods yet. He needs ongoing care, and an operation to a damaged knee.
Kelli Hopper, who runs S.A.F.E. Rescue says: Champ has touched the hearts of so many people and has been an inspiration, if for no other reason than to bring awareness and attention to the plight of abused and neglected pets.”

Champ’s book will be available soon from Amazon, B&N, and all other book sites. Proceeds from sales go to Champ's continued care, and will enable S.A.F.E. rescue to help more animals. Please share Champ’s story: it deserves to be told.


uk woman said...

Looking forward to purchasing Champ's Story x x x with love from the UK

Unknown said...

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Fiona Ingram said...

Thanks for letting me know about Tiny Tim. What a sweet little thing he is.