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Mary Ellen & Miss Wings
Hero Dog - Hero People
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"©
Phil and Martha holding their newest family members;
Patty, 7yearsold and Annie, 9 years old.
When Martha and Phil lived in Alaska they ventured out to the Humane Society and adopted Tinker, a mysterious Boxer-Mix combination.
They climbed in their pickup truck, with Tinker, and drove home. When they arrived and opened the door, Tinker jumped out; and like Forest Gump, trying to leave the pain and memories of his previous life behind him...she began running. Martha and Phil knew that Tinker was scheduled to be put down, so the opportunity to be free and run in the open air must have consumed her.
She ran and ran and ran. They followed her in the pickup. As they say up North, 'When a dog runs away here, you can see it for three days, because the land is so flat.' For this reason, Tinker was easy to follow. She ran and ran.
After seven, eight, nine and then ten miles, Martha was wondering when the dog would run out of gas. Unlike Forest Gump, Tinker did not stop running, turn around, and head home. Instead, Tinker just fell over. Martha scooped her up, gently carried her back to the pickup truck and took her home.
Tinker soon learned to love Phil and Martha. Shortly after adopting her, a burglar opened the door to their home, while they sat stunned in the living room. Phil describes the scene, "When the robber pushed the door open, both he and I thought Tinker was about to eat him alive. She lunged at him with more noise and teeth than we had ever seen. He closed the door and ran!"
While Tinker was 'helping' Martha in the garden, she began barking incessantly. Puzzled, Martha turned around and saw a Grizzly Bear twelve feet behind them.
The barking scared the bear, prevented an impending attack, and gave them enough time to safely make it into the house. With Tinker's recent passing, Martha and Phil were left deep in grief. Martha admits, "We mourn the greatest and craziest dog we ever had."
Phil had always wanted a Dachshund, so, they once again canvassed animal shelters, but to no avail.
Martha called the Cottage Grove Veterinary Clinic and was told of two Dachshunds needing a home. Their previous owner had passed, and for various reasons family members could not take them.
Martha adds, "The catch was that we had to take both dogs, the mother and daughter. They weren't exactly what we were looking for, but the powers that be, knew what we needed. We met them and were glad to offer them a new home."
So now they had two dogs to replace Tinker. Soon they learned the Dachshunds' story was just as amazing as Tinker's.
Their previous parent was a single woman in her 70's who used a walker. When Annie was expecting, she went into labor and her owner recognized that something was dangerously wrong. The puppy's placenta was arriving ahead of the puppies.
The loving woman, picked up her birthing and dying dog, and without the use of her walker, ran three blocks to the Cottage Grove Veterinary Clinic. She arrived in time to save Annie and the puppies.
The vet clinic staff was not only concerned about the puppies, but also their owner's health after her desperate run. Love gives you the impetus to do things you do not think are possible.
Martha remarks, "As soon as we saw Patty and Annie, my husband fell in love with them. They are adorable and their eyes spoke of the pain and loss of their devoted human. We knew we could help ease the pain of their loss, and they could help us with ours.
Also, I work at Territorial Seed Company and during breaks we sit around discussing Tips 'n' Tales. Everyone loves the column, and can hardly wait to read it each week. Thank you for touching our hearts and teaching through this column."
Martha suggests, "Because Dachshunds are so long, and their stomachs are only three inches from the ground, they can not negotiate steps very well. They can't hop up on a bed like most cats and dogs. Annie and Patty are both 9 inches tall, and our bed is very tall; so Phil built 'the ladies' a ramp. He carpeted it so they do not slip. Now we sleep together as one big happy family."
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