Just a few weeks ago, when a Winchester neighbor came out to his garage, he noticed there was a critter moving around in the corner. At first, he couldn’t make out what it was. A cat? A chipmunk? As he got closer, he could see a mass of grey fur struggling to walk. Closer still, he recognized it was a small dog that needed big help. He knew where to turn. He brought the little dog to Monadnock Humane Society.
As he came through the door with her, our staff welcomed the little dog and did an immediate assessment of her most pressing medical needs. From her microchip we learned a little of her history. Her name is Nikki; she’s eleven years old, and her original owner passed away three years ago. Further assessment was stymied by the tangled mass of fur that enmeshed her body and twisted her limbs so that she could barely walk. We arranged for an emergency grooming appointment with Haley of Chebaco Kennels. Under that fur, we found fleas, maggots, and the sweetest toy poodle you’d ever care to meet.
Her condition was grave. She’s blind and her back legs had atrophied from being bound by overgrown fur, yet she was, and is, full of life. We can only guess what her story has been for the past three years, but one thing is for sure – as soon as she came through our doors, she was loved.
She couldn’t walk well at first, but she enjoyed being cuddled. So, we rigged up a “baby wrap” to keep her snug and close to me while I worked. Over the course of a few days, surrounded by loving attention, proper medical care, and plenty of food, she transformed. From a dog who was confused and scared, she became a dog who was learning to enjoy life all over again.
It always amazes me how quickly a dog will learn to trust again, regardless of their history. Nikki is just one of the many animals MHS cares for throughout the year. Her story is especially difficult because she was in such rough shape. What I find to be the real magic of this story, and of the work we do daily, is the way these animals-in-need bring us together as a community. When I witness the compassion that is in the heart of my Monadnock region neighbors, I believe in magic.
I have been here for nearly five months, and in that short time I’ve observed the genuine concern the staff has for each and every pet. I watch our volunteers devote so much time to caring for these pets – whether walking a dog, playing with a cat, or cleaning a rabbit pen. I notice the local vets and businesses that give so generously of their resources. I see young children ask friends and family to give gifts to the animals, rather than receive birthday gifts for themselves. It is heartwarming to see our community come together in compassion to help us care for the animals.
I am truly grateful for the support of our donors, like you, who give us the resources we need to do this important work. You make this magic possible not just for the animals, but for the people who love them. Perhaps just as important, you have made a profound impact on the quality of life in our region by helping us foster compassion in our community through the work we do together.
This holiday season, as Nikki begins a new story with a family who loves her deeply and will provide her with everything she needs, I hope you will consider a gift to help us continue this work so that many more homeless animals like her will have their own new story. Wishing you and your family comfort, joy, and a wonderful holiday season. Thank you!