By Devin O’Branagan
On Thanksgiving, most families I know begin the traditional meal by acknowledging that for which they are most grateful. Stacey Roberts is one of my Facebook friends from Indiana—she just told me a remarkable story that I imagine will be the primary topic at her family’s Thanksgiving dinner table this year.
This is her story:
“Our house caught on fire at 3:30 am on January 29, 2012. My oldest son woke us all up and we got everyone out. However, our fifteen-year-old Sheltie, Squeak, decided to go back in. He is deaf and almost blind and we assumed he was looking for his boy, [our son Tyler]. We yelled and screamed, and even tried to run back in to get him, but the fire was too much. We cried and cried. Tyler was just beside himself. Squeak is a rescue Sheltie, rescued at five years of age from a puppy mill where—used only as a stud—he had lived his entire life in a cage. After Squeak joined our family, Tyler trained him for 4H and they often won at the county and state levels. But most of all, they were best friends.
When the firefighters were working on putting out the fire we kept telling them there was a dog that ran back inside. While the firefighters were in Tyler’s bedroom they picked up my son’s flaming mattress—and there was Squeak. He was tucked in under his boy’s bed…he had indeed gone looking for Tyler.
One of the firefighters carried him out of the smoldering house and handed him to me. All I could do was cry and thank God that the old man was still alive. They gave him oxygen and then my husband and I drove him to my son, who had gone over to his grandfather’s house. When I took Squeak to Tyler—also fifteen-years-old—he dropped to his knees and cried as he held his boy. Squeak gave him a Sheltie kiss and all was good in our world. We were ever so fortunate that even though we lost everything, we still had all of our furbabies…especially the one that almost got away.
Since this happened, we have been lobbying to get all ambulances and fire trucks to carry dog masks for oxygen because the ambulance didn’t have any, but the fire truck did. For that, we were also terribly grateful.”
I’m going to join the Roberts family in their lobbying to get pet oxygen masks on ambulances and fire trucks. I hope you will join us too. If local rescue won’t purchase them, please consider buying a mask yourself and donating it. Or hold fundraisers to acquire them. Involve your local newspapers, veterinarians, and rescue organizations. Each of us can make a difference, if we only commit to try.
May you and your furbabies have a thankful Thanksgiving. I, for one, will be thanking God for miracles…
Photos by Stacey Roberts and used with permission.
Copyright © 2012 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved
Devin O’Branagan is the bestselling author of paranormal thrillers, urban fantasy, paranormal chick lit, comic chick lit, and canine chick lit. She is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America and uses her writing projects to support animal rescue. Visit her website at DevinWrites.com to learn about her books and sign up for her monthly eNewsletter.