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Columns : The Pet Pages - Kim Aranha Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Roger's Story
By Kim Aranha
Sep 24, 2013 - 11:51:45 PM

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Roger the first day I met him, shortly after he was rescued.

I think I was about nine months old. It is hard to know. I certainly was still a puppy. My life had been very hard, and it just got worse. I was sick, hungry, thirsty, frightened and alone that night. I remember hearing new voices, nobody I had ever heard before. They were talking, talking to the humans I knew, but who did not care for me. My eyes were so swollen from my skin condition that I was blind. I lay in a ball. I was ready to die. In my puppy mind death could not be any worse that the pain and suffering I was experiencing.

These people were about to leave. They sounded nice, I wanted them to see me but I no longer had the strength to move or make myself known to them when suddenly the man saw me. He came over to me, I won’t lie I was frightened, “What was he going to do to me?"

He bent down, and very gently picked me up.

I heard the other humans, the ones I knew but who did not take care of me, say, “You can take him”.

We got in the truck. I could tell the man was really upset. We dogs are smart like that, we can feel what humans are feeling. I knew just looking at me made him want to cry.  

They took me back to this big room with lots of cages and other dogs. They were gentle with me. I am glad they were because everything hurt. They put me in a cage, it was dry and clean, they gave me fresh clean water and some food….Wow! Maybe this was heaven! The other dogs around me were sleeping.  

Roger at the beach

I lay down, even though all the sores on my body made lying down painful. I went to sleep! The next day the lady was there again, she spoke to me, I had never known kindness, but I recognized it right away…She brought me out of the cage, I could not see, my face was so swollen that my eyes were tightly shut.

I heard another lady say “ Oh, we can save him…I have seen worse cases get better”...They fed me, they gave me water, they bathed me, and the doctor looked at me. They gave me a name: ROGER!  

My front leg was a mess…I don’t remember what happened, but I couldn’t really walk properly…I went back into my new safe place: the cage…

After a few days, I began to see, the swelling had gone down.  

I saw my new people for the first time…I wagged my tail lots, and I licked them…they smiled and stroked me. I never knew humans would stroke you. Where I came from they threw rocks at me and told me to “git”! My new people loved seeing me wag my tail!  

Then all the other dogs left the big place. Oh oh I thought…where do I go?

“Come on Roger” they loaded me up in their car and took me home. That was a new word for me, I thought. Home is where there were other dogs (all rescues from MY part of town!), food all day, water, trees, toys and LOVE…

The put a t-shirt on me because I was still pink from my skin condition and could get sun burned. They took me swimming, they taught me to play…I had never been a puppy before. I did not know how to play, I had to learn.  

Roger with his Mom, Lisssa McCoombe, she saved his life.

When I was stronger. They put me in a plane and took me in the air over the water to a big dog hospital . Before I had my BIG leg surgery, I went to Petsmart, WOW, all those toys. I guess  lots of humans really love their dogs!…now I look like all the other dogs. I have a normal front leg, I have lots of beautiful fur, I have toys and a home and I have the most important thing of all. I have all the love in the world and I am never scared or frightened because I have my special humans to take care of me forever.

Oh, yes…and you know what else I did? Not many Bahamian dogs get to do this:

I rode in an elevator in Florida, and wasn’t scared, because, I had my humans with me!  

I did have a name before I met my humans, but I have forgotten it and left it behind…I AM ROGER, see me grow!

This story was originally written for the MEAH FOUNDATION for the bracelet campaign to help abused animals. "The Meah Story Bracelet is a physical symbol of the stories we have lived that can change the world. Stories are about surviving, overcoming, bringing awareness, sharing, experiencing and inspiring others. Every bracelet carries the hand print and the name of a person whose story has inspired us, and we think, will inspire others in the struggle for change .What inspires you to change? By wearing a Meah Story Bracelet, you can be inspired every day, each time you look down at your wrist, you see a story."

About the author: Kim Aran ha grew up in the Berry Islands with her first dog, a beloved potcake named “Friendly” (who was anything but!). First educated at home, and then in boarding school in Switzerland, Kim moved to Rome, Italy in 1974 to pursue a career in the dramatic arts and ended up working as an interpreter. She moved back to The Bahamas in 1980, and now lives in Nassau with her husband Paul, and their two grown sons. Kim has 5 dogs, 12 fresh water  turtles, 1 Asian box turtle and 2 Budgerigars. Her idea of relaxing is being home to take care of all her pets. Kim is President of the Bahamas Humane Society, and is co-chairman of the Bahamas Sea Turtle Conservation Group. Kim can be contacted at berryislandgirl@gmail.com

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