Most everyone has seen the movie or at the very least heard the phrase “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” Well, if that’s true, then it would not be so unreasonable to expect that pets have angels too.
Regardless if you believe this or not, you surely know the religious and philosophical basis of angels and the role they play in our lives as well as our pets’ lives. Obviously, we don’t always know who our angels are, and rarely do we get a chance to actually visualize one of our “guiding lights” or life savers. I suspect that it is even more unlikely to have the unique opportunity to personally experience one of our pet’s angels leading them back from the bright light.
Whenever a series of events unfolds before you with symbolism and irony attached to the story, it seems nearly impossible to assume that the situation is simply a random set of events. As a matter of fact, with each symbolic or ironic gesture that becomes realized, the more we can’t deny the force of a higher power.
Maybe the brave, unselfish and compassionate individuals helping animals in need are just unrecognized heroes. However, imagine for just a moment that those individuals are actually pet angels. It certainly places a much greater spiritual emphasis on the value of animal life, at least in the minds of those willing to throw caution aside to help the animals that can’t help themselves.
Recently, as you may have figured out, I was fortunate to witness the kind of exemplary kindness only possible from an angel, or possibly an extraordinary mortal hero. To set the stage on this particular day, it was near the end of the day somewhere between 4 and 5 o’clock in the afternoon. The clinic was bustling with appointments, grooming and surgery patients being picked up, and the phone ringing off the hook.
One of our front office staff members was frantic when she stopped me in the hallway to explain that she had just received several calls about a stray dog that had just been hit by a car. The problem was that she could not ascertain the complete situation because all of the callers were somewhat panicking. Finally, after a few minutes, she came to me even more frantic as she could hardly get the words out between her rapid hyperventilating breaths. She took a deep breath and said “Dr. Castle, now the mayor is on the phone about the injured stray dog!”
I answered the phone and Winchester Mayor Ed Burner calmly and clearly articulated the situation at hand that involved a stray dog getting hit by a car. The dog was alive, but bleeding heavily and very agitated whenever anyone tried to pick her up.
The police and the county animal control officer were dispatched, however it appeared that time was of the essence since the dog was losing blood so fast. I began to explain to the mayor how to subdue the frightened dog just when he informed me that someone was able to capture her and that they would arrive at our office very soon. The next thing I know a young man came into the clinic shirtless and covered in blood carrying a limp, tan, short-haired, mixed-breed dog.
On examination, the stray dog was in shock, also covered in blood, and had multiple bleeding wounds from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail. On further examination, her worst wound appeared to be on the inside of one of her back legs. I could not assess the extent of the wound because there was a rag tied tightly around the wound. I commented to the young man what a fine job he had done wrapping the wound with enough pressure to stop the bleeding. That is when I found out that the young man had used his first aid training obtained during his eight years in the Army.
It turns out that Mr. J.R. Crawford was a member of a Combat Life Saving unit during his three years of service in Iraq. I’m talking about the first responders to injured soldiers in the very Army risking their lives for our freedom and basic wonderful way of life we are accustomed to. I began to feel very emotional, as my tear production started to slightly blur my vision. Just then, I began to remove the rag from the dog’s wound when Mr. Crawford asked if I could save the rag for him. Believe it or not, he explained that the cloth was not a rag. Instead, it was his own T-shirt that he had taken off to bandage the dog’s leg. Symbolically, his tee shirt was from an event honoring service dogs that had fallen, or died, during action.
At that very moment, I knew that this stray dog was given a fighting chance because of an angel. Regardless, if Mr. Crawford is her angel or just another brave animal loving hero, I can’t help but to believe that pet’s have angels too!