Helping the Helpless

Today I’m loaning this blog out to my friend Bean for what I think is a good cause. I met Bean on the RedvsBlue.com fansite where she was posting segments of the story she was working on (I’m still waiting on you finish that thing, Bean).  Bean is a retired Army NCO, and disabled veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She currently resides with her family in rural Linn County of Oregon, and has transitioned from soldier to small farmer and director of the efforts of Linn Benton Doberman Rescue. She comes from a long line of warriors and soldiers, and, as you will soon see she has a special fondness for Dobermans. What follows is a blog post she originally made on RedvsBlue.com.

First off, my apologies for sharing this horrible photo. I’ve wrestled with whether or not I wanted to post this for a few days now, but I finally decided that hey, this is awful, but it shouldn’t be swept under the rug.

I know that there are horrible things going on, all over the world. Travesties, atrocities, and violations both physical, spiritual, and mental occur hourly against people, and while I understand the basic principles of human rights activists, I just can’t quite call up the conviction to join them. No matter how hard I try, I just don’t really see anything particularly innocent about human beings. While I can feel great sympathy for the things that some of them survive, it generally takes a personal connection for me to feel as if I should act on their behalf. It isn’t that I lack compassion, I just generally tend to save it for those who truly didn’t do anything to bring about their own misfortune. Well, most times, that really only applies to animals. Which is probably why I’ve gotten so damn fired up about what happened to this poor guy here.

Meet Miracle. He may look dead, but he somehow is hanging on, by a thread, to life on a world where nobody wanted him. Starved, abused, and then abandoned in an alleyway, he was brought in to the Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus on the verge of breathing his last gasp.

Most shelters would have put him down, on the spot. IDR+ chose to try to save this guy. In just a few days, he’s gone from too weak to lift his head, so dehydrated his eyeballs were completely sunken in beyond view, to this:

In under a week, Miracle went from 30lbs to 51lbs. The average male Doberman weighs 70-110lbs. Miracle may be gaining weight, but he isn’t out of the woods yet. Starvation in dogs can do the same things as starvation in humans. It can cause permanent organ damage, neurological conditions, and, of course, there’s the mental scars of having survived this sort of neglect and abuse. Yet, here it is, days later, and not only is Miracle now standing up and taking his first steps, he even wagged his gaunt little nub of a tail! Despite the wretched condition he was left in, he still shows affection for his saviors.

This is why I support animal rescue and rehabilitation. This is why I love Dobermans, and why I’ve been dedicating so much time and effort to Linn Benton Doberman Rescue. I’m proud to say that some of the first acts of LBDR have been to coordinate fund raising efforts for Miracle. While he may be at a different rescue, all the way across the country, he’s still a shining example of the heart, tenacity, and courage which so exemplifies the Doberman breed. Even if he were a Pekingnese, I’d have felt compelled to help. We’ll probably never know who did this to the dog, and honestly, this situation plays out every day all across the planet. It happens to animals of all types, even humans. However, while I may not be able to improve the plight of every suffering thing around, I’ll be damned if I’ll ignore those situations that do come to my attention.

If any of you feel the same impulse I did, or just want to know about Miracle, please go to: Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus.

And now it’s me again. I have to say, I never felt much of an affinity for Doberman’s before I met Bean, but if I know one thing it’s this: passion is contagious. And Bean is certainly passionate about her cause.

It has been said that dogs are mans best friend. Now it’s time to return the favor. If you can help, please do. If you can’t, at least say a little prayer for Miracle.

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6 responses to “Helping the Helpless

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Helping the Helpless « Unsanity Files -- Topsy.com

  2. Please don’t take this as a criticism of either your friend or you, but I’ve never seen a better explanation of why the misery and injustice that so many people suffer just goes on and on. Humans, as a rule, respond best to the personal. A picture of a starving child or dog will do more to move someone to activism than all the horrible statistics. And given the comparative size of the problems, one does seem to be doing more by saving an abused dog than by sending money for starving children.

    Even this statement: “It isn’t that I lack compassion, I just generally tend to save it for those who truly didn’t do anything to bring about their own misfortune.” is understandable. But to believe that most humans bring about their own misfortunes is an appalling way to live. Try telling that to victims of human trafficking, or of war. If we could increase the understanding of why humans behave as they do, we could do more to relieve the suffering of humans *and* animals than any appeal to save one particular human or animal.

    • I don’t necessarily agree with everything Bean says or thinks, however I have enough respect for her not to change her words or apologize for her. She’s come by her opinions the hard way. She’s seen with her own eyes the terrible atrocities men bring on other men. Her mind and body bear the scars of war. I don’t believe either of us could say the same.
      Maybe her opinions aren’t infallible but whose are? The point is, she’s doing something real to make a difference in the places she thinks matter the most. Which is more than I can say for most people.

  3. I can understand and respect her position. I just tend to be frustrated when I see bandages being put on wounds while the causes of the wounds are neglected. But none of us have much power in that area. So better to do what you can than do nothing.

  4. After many months of care, I’m happy to report a year after being saved, Miracle is doing extremely well. He tips the scales at about 80 pounds now and despite a few scars here and there, he is extremely healthy and more importantly happy. Miracle absolutely loves people and his favorite thing in life is simply to be with his people. The most amazing result of this story is the simple fact that Miracle harbors absolutely no ill-will against people despite what people have done to him in the past. If we all had half of Miracle’s ability to forgive and forget and enjoy today for what it’s worth, the world would be a much better place.

    Thanks for everyone’s well wishes, financial donations, and prayers for Miracle….it was all worth it and he’s the light of our life now.

  5. Doberman Mama

    I stumbled upon a photo of Miracle while looking for a particular Doberman figurine of all things. It was the photo of Miracle with his front legs bandaged. I clicked on it and it took me here, where I saw the photo of what he looked like when near death. It brought to mind a beloved Doberman of mine. I’ve owned, or shall I more appropriately say, I’ve been loved by Dobermans since the late 70’s. The particular Doberman it brought to mind was a female that came to me from a local Humane Society that asked me to foster her. She was discovered near death, at 19 pounds, so she had to look very much like poor Miracle looked. She was not expected to live. She was discovered by a utility meter reader along with many other dogs who were being starved by a woman to “get back” at a man that had her.
    When I first saw my rescue, she was already back up to 50 pounds. She still looked drawn and worried, but she was so full of love and became the most beloved Doberman I’ve ever lived with. Two weeks after she came into my home as a rescue and before even the rescue group officially and legally owned her, she saved my then 18 month old son from stepping on a pygmy rattlesnake beside the car when I’d placed him out of his carseat and turned around to get my purse. I couldn’t even get the gasp out of my throat before she had quickly lunged, grabbed and shaken the snake so strongly that it snapped its spine to render it completely motionless.
    She proudly trotted to me and I told her right there, this is your home, no matter what.
    She attained her optimum weight of 63 pounds that she maintained well until she was around 13 and started to get a little wide around the middle, and then I adjusted her food and when we had to put her down at age 15 , a remarkably long time for a Doberman, she was just around 60 pounds, beginning to lose weight to kidney failure. I still miss her so much.

    She was the sweetest Dobie you could ever imagine and to this day if I were to ever meet or discover who it was that tried to starve her to death, I know I’d have to struggle not to become a violent person and kick their ass from here to eternity. I suppose that it is a good thing I don’t know who it was and perhaps that reveals that my sweet Dobie was a better soul than I am.
    She loved and trusted people until the day I did the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, take her life as peacefully as I could, while holding her in my arms with all the love I have, so that she would not suffer any more.

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