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Violet's Story

Overlooked Heroes
written by Violet's foster mom, a Pekes and Pals volunteer and supporter


A couple of days ago I received a call from someone who knew about a small dog that needed a loving home. She wondered if my husband and I could take her. Apparently this little girl, a Pekingese named Violet, had been used as batting practice for a group of adolescents in the Miami area and was found, literally, up in a tree with her teeth knocked out and a damaged eye that later had to be removed.

This is Violet on her second
day here. She refused to come
away from the guest bathroom.
Of course, this is a sickening story; one that even those who are not animal lovers will cringe at hearing. How could anyone of any age harm a helpless creature in this way? It happens all too often. Whether the story is publicized, such as the Michael Vicks case or known only by a few, one has to question how the individuals involved have reached this level of insensitivity and depravity. My vet tells me that since the publicity around Michael Vicks, that law enforcement is taking animal abuse much more seriously. I, for one, hope this is true. Most of us spend little or no time thinking about the people who step in and do everything in their power to rescue innocent victims. It cannot be, in any way, easy to take in a severely abused, sick or abandoned creature. Excluding the financial burden, the emotional toll must be enormous. One such person, whom I am privileged to know, is Peggy Dunn, the founder of Pekes and Pals, a rescue organization for small (under 20 lb.) dogs. I first spoke to Peggy about four years ago when I was looking for a breeder of Pekingese. We had just lost our beloved Joliē, to surgery. She was a puppy mill dog we had the privilege of loving for 8 years. Peggy was a great help, referring us to a wonderful breeder. Since that time, I have kept an eye on Pekes and Pals as they have struggled to keep their doors open through Hurricane Charlie and numerous financial difficulties. We have made small contributions by "sponsoring" some of her more needy dogs (in other words, we contribute to their upkeep). It is amazing, to me, that people like Peggy are able to nurse, find homes for and love these creatures knowing that they are likely to lose them in the short, rather than long-term. The dedication and ability to knowingly accept a transitory relationship of this type takes a humanity and courage that I believe is quite rare. It seems to me that loss is our biggest human challenge. To give your heart and then lose the object of your love to circumstance, often death, has few up sides. I believe in celebrating a life rather than staying stuck in the demise of a person or pet that we love, but it's still painful as hell. Eventually, if we want to enjoy our own lives we must make peace with the loss, but it sure is hard. Individuals who dedicate their lives to rescuing those without a voice a child starving in Africa, an infant who has been dropped in a trash container, an animal that cannot defend itself, are among the most worthy people I can think of. In most cases the Peggy Dunn's of this world never achieve wealth or recognition. They devote themselves to the helpless because their inner voice mandates that they must. I'll wager that, should you ask, they would say that the gratitude in the eyes of the creature whose life improved as a result of his/her intervention enriches their lives in a way that nothing else could. It is one of those unmistakable times when one knows that he/she has done the right thing. In today's world it is so easy to focus on an eroding environment, war, school shootings, and a prevalent air of cruelty. We are likely to forget that there are those who, by nature, look out of the welfare of others. We are not among the Peggy Dunn's of this world who deal with tragedy on a large scale every day. We consider ourselves fortunate that we have found a vehicle that allows us to do our part. Maybe this is what Thanksgiving is really all about.
Here she is all dressed up in a glamorous
frill at the Tea Party at Cape Dog Bakery
Peggy's Reply


Kate is the wonderful volunteer/foster mom who PAID her ophthalmology bill for her eye care, and eventual removal, and it was over $1000.

Kate fostered Violet for 3 years, and Violet fell in love with her and her husband, Marty. Violet was not happy here [at Pekes and Pals] with so many kids who tried to get her to play with them, and Kate and I decided she needed a quieter environment. Poor Violet had been through HELL before coming to rescue, and she needed a calmer atmosphere. She BLOSSOMED at Kate's home and even attended one of our fund raising events. I found this picture of her taken at the Tea Party. Prior to Kate and Marty rebuilding her trust in humans, she NEVER would have tolerated all the attention she got. She was the "spokesperson" ( doggie-type) for what we do to rescue "special" dogs.
Here's Violet with her forever mom
The following is a note we received from Violet's adopter. We have three dogs. Two of them, Babe and Ruby were purchased. The third dog, Casper, is a little boy we rescued. He was in tough shape when he came to us. His teeth were loose, bones sticking out, full of fleas and very frightened of just about everything. Today, he's still a little shy, but he gets along well with his "sisters", and, I love it (of course) that he follows me with the most loving eyes you could ever imagine. The satisfaction that comes from knowing that we are in a position to give him a very good life for the rest of his is beyond measure. Among the rewards that come from reaching out is that we are put in touch with our own humanity. All of us have had times in our lives when we were not at our best. It is important for us to remember that our misguided deeds do not define us as people. The great majority of us never had any intention to cause hurt. The not-so-surprising finale to this story is that we went to meet Violet, and, happily, she is now a member of our family. Did I imagine that one day I would be the owner of four dogs? Never! However, we have enough love in our home and our hearts for these loving little creatures. Of one thing I can assure you, what they contribute to our sense of well being far outweighs anything we could possibly do for them.

We are like angels with just one wing. We can only fly by embracing each other. Anonymous




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