- ABOUT US
My first rescue story: A cat named Web.
When I was a little girl, we lived in a bad neighborhood in Rochester, New York. I would often come across a stray cat in the street. Despite many warnings from my family to keep away, I would find a way to bring him food and visit with him every day. I would even take pictures of him and write letters to my Grandma about him, complete with the pictures. One time I picked him up, and he scratched me so hard that it left marks on my arm that looked like a spider web. After this, I nicknamed him Web. Even though I was hurt, I continued to care for him because I knew he just needed love. I have always had this inexplicable connection to animals from a very young age.
The rescue that changed my life: Odie
Odie found me in the state of Utah. I didn’t rescue Odie; he rescued me.
One day, I left work to go grab a coffee. When I got back to the parking lot, a yellow lab with no tags walked in front of my car as I was pulling into a space. I opened my car door, and the dog jumped over me and into the passenger seat. He just sat there looking at me, like “What are we doing today, girl?”
I brought him back into work with me. We didn’t know what his name was so I googled top 100 dog names. I would call out each name to see if he perked up to any. When I called out Brody, his ears kind of moved a bit so I thought that might be it. His name ended up being Odie, so I was pretty close.
All the while, Odie was just so happy to just be with us. He never barked, and he never had an accident. He only moved when I moved, and he acted as if I had been his mom his entire life. The bond we had was instant. He was an incredible dog! That night we took Odie home with us. He was so content to eat, sleep, and just be around us. We all fell in love with him immediately. Because I assumed that his family must really be missing him, I feverishly tried to get in touch with his owner over the next two days.
We took him to the vet to scan his microchip. At first, he came up as a junkyard dog, but his chip was also linked to a female listed as his owner. I called and left numerous messages for her and even creeped her on Facebook. How was she not looking for him? Her brother eventually tried to come claim Odie from me, but I had a bad feeling about it so I got back in touch with the owner. She admitted to setting Odie loose. She had just had a baby, and she couldn’t handle the needs of an aging dog anymore. It broke my heart that she would put this wonderful dog in harm’s way and push him out of his own home! I wasn’t about to let Odie go back to a place where he was not going to be loved and appreciated. After hearing this, I asked her if she cared if I kept him. She said, “No” and then said, “Good luck”. It baffles me to this day how she could be so cold to Odie when he was such a gentle soul.
I truly feel that it was destiny bringing Odie and I together. He would come to work with me everyday and lay around my office with his paws crossed. It seemed as if he never had a care in the world as he was so happy just to be with us. The customers loved him! I loved him!
A few short weeks after Odie became part of our family, he started making noises as if something was stuck in this throat. I brought him to the emergency vet, and they gave me the bad news. Odie had a cancerous lump on his throat, and they had to remove it. They also told me his thyroid levels were dangerously low and that he would require daily medication. All of this happened within 2 weeks of Odie finding me in the parking lot. It was as if he knew he finally found the person that would love him & take care of him.
Odie came home to Connecticut with us and adapted to his new life perfectly. He was so content just to be with us, but there were a few activities that he especially enjoyed. Odie loved a good hike followed by a good snooze. We often found him buried in the blankets on the couch. Odie also loved to ride in the car; he went everywhere with me! He not only loved car rides, but he loved boat rides too. When he was not out on the boat fishing, Odie was often lounging around the pool.
Odie ended up having many more complications from his age as the months and years went by. He suffered from high separation anxiety and seizures that would be at their worst in the middle of the night. There were many sleepless nights for my entire family. There were also many trips to the emergency vet so that Odie could get an IV in attempt to slow the seizure down. I would often drive back and forth in a few hours to pick him up before they closed at 7:00 a.m. Looking back, I realize how much Odie went through; I realize how much I went through. But at that time, you do what you need to do to take care of your family, and you survive on love.
Eventually came the time when I knew that Odie had enough. I knew I could never say that I had enough because I would do anything for him. No matter how much sleep I lost or how much I worried, I always felt like Odie deserved the best. He waited too long for a family, and I wanted to make sure he knew nothing but love and care during the last years of his life. I did my best to give that to Odie, but in the end, Odie ended up showing me what true love was all about. Odie, had in fact, been the one to rescue me.
Odie is the reason that I founded this rescue. I have always had a passion for animals, but Odie turned my passion into a mission. He showed me that there are so many animals out there who just need someone to love them. Odie jumped into my car one day while he was out searching for love. He allowed me to love him. The time we shared together was some of the best, most fulfilling years of my life. Through the rescue, I can place animals who are looking for love with families who are ready to love them. Odie’s Orchard Hill Rescue was founded in memory of Odie, and his memory lives on every time we are able to find an animal their forever home.