The following story was a winner in the From Woofs to Wonders Photo and Story contest. The top three finishers received a $250 Animal Rescue Site store shopping spree, as well as $2,000 in cash and supplies for their favorite shelter. To read more stories, click here!
Hi, we’re The Grease Girls – ChaCha (the brown one) and Rizzo (the black one). In October 2020, our happily ever after finally began. See, we were living in a fox’s old den, all on our own, for over a year. Some nice folks who were feral cat caretakers would feed us, and we saw construction workers sometimes, but only one would ever get close enough to try to catch us.
We were in sad shape. Flea bitten, full of scars, broken teeth from eating whatever we could find. The kind people called Speranza for help. Speranza devised a plan and created a big fence trap that they tested before loading it up and taking a long drive to come find us. They livestreamed our rescue on Facebook. Janine from Speranza was really nice and had all kinds of good foods, and we followed her as she tossed it to us.
Suddenly, she yelled “NOW!” and a hidden door slammed shut behind us. It was pretty scary, but Janine told us it was okay and put leashes on us and walked us to her car, where she told us it was the start of our new lives and promised it was going to be good.
Meanwhile, a lady who was a long-time shelter volunteer was going through a really hard time. She had just lost her soul-dog way too young to a very aggressive cancer. She had tremendously loved many dogs throughout her life, but this one… well, there was just no other way to describe it than saying he was her soulmate. Now for the first time in her life, after once having four dogs of her own plus a foster dog, her house was completely empty. She was devastated.
She did a two-week transport foster to try to ease some of her heartbreak, but she was still so sad. She saw him everywhere, thought about him non-stop, talked to him, and looked for signs that he was still somewhere watching over her. She knew that he’d want her to save another like she did with him, but she was not ready. She was afraid she could never love another dog as much as she loved him and maybe that new dog would feel part of her heart was missing. She would see a dog available for adoption and ask him, “What do you think, Gizmo, am I ready for another?” Still, her broken heart was not ready.
She decided that when she was ready, she would adopt a bonded pair because she knew it was harder for shelters to adopt out two together. They would be able to keep each other company and play together when she wasn’t home, and she’d already know they’d get along and love each other… but also because she never again wanted to experience that loss without having fur to cry into while comforting each other. To never experience that deafening silence of a house with no paws tapping across the floor, or the cold bed that no amount of blankets can change, or the absence of an after-work jubilant greeting.
One day, she was scrolling through her Facebook feed. She followed a lot of rescues, including Speranza. Still, Speranza did not typically come up in her feed. They were an hour and half away from her and would get lost among the many she followed. But on this day, a rescue was taking place live. We were being lured into a large fence trap. She stopped scrolling and watched… and watched… and watched. Somewhere in her heart, she knew this was Gizmo’s doing. That he knew she wouldn’t be able to scroll away from a live rescue. That he knew she would be hooked. That he wanted to take that deep sadness away from her and picked us to save her.
She knew how rescuing worked. We wouldn’t be available for adoption right away; we’d need vetting and Speranza would have to get to know us to know what kind of home would be right for us. And she still didn’t feel quite ready. Still, she put in an application with Speranza, telling them that maybe when we were ready, she’d be ready, too.
The rescue called her the very next day. They set up a day for her to drive out and meet us. When we saw her, we jumped all over her, and not just because her pockets were loaded with treats. We dreamed about her. She took us for a walk and scratched all the good places and hugged us and told us we were beautiful and that we were good girls. She left that day, but we weren’t sad. We knew we’d see her again.
One day, we went on another long drive. We got to this house that had lots of toys and treats and beds and a couch and a big backyard and, best of all, the lady we met a few weeks before. The rescue people told us we were home and that the lady was our mom. After so long of just taking care of each other, she was going to take care of both of us. Our dreams had finally come true.
Nowadays, we never have to worry about food, or getting pains (ChaCha even got two new knees… she’s bionic now!), or being too hot, too cold or too wet. We sleep with Mom in her bed, have a crazy amount of toys, wear dresses and costumes, and we even have our own Facebook page so everyone else who saw us get rescued can keep up with us. We play in our backyard, eat bugs cuz we want to not because we have to, go for walks, and even sometimes go to work with Mom.
Even though we know she still misses her soul-dog, now when she talks about him, it’s with a smile instead of with tears. We don’t think any part of her heart is missing for us…her heart just got bigger.