The essence of our relationship with dogs.

Woman Rescues Burned Puppy and He Grows Up to Save Her Life

This wonderful story was recently published on the Care2 site and is republished here to share with you all and to underline the importance of always trying to find your next pet from a rescue shelter.

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Woman Rescues Burned Puppy and He Grows Up to Save Her Life

2997475.largeBy: Laura S. April 6, 2016

About Laura

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on January 7, 2013. We are republishing it for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

Anyone who has ever saved an animal will tell you that its the kind of experience that shakes up your DNA. You won’t regrow hair on a balding head or suddenly run a four-minute-mile, but there is a pulse of positive energy that churns through the human body much like a twister. In some cases, fragments of that emotional explosion are powerful enough to be credited with modern medical miracles. And for one Texas woman, the experience was profound enough to help wake her from a coma.

My Name is Danielle…

“My name is Danielle and it’s been over a year since something terrible happened to me. I am ready now to share my story,” explained the letter we received recently from veterinary technician Danielle Torgerson of Killeen, Texas. ”Four years ago somebody brought a puppy to the clinic. I was not assigned to that room but I was in the second room when I felt something pull me into the hallway. It was strange, but I glanced into the other exam room and saw a puppy on the table. He looked at me with so much pain and despair. A man had brought him in for a ‘sting’ but I knew instantly that was not the case. The puppy was horribly burned on the head like somebody had poured gasoline over him and set him on fire. He was there to be euthanized.”

But Danielle’s conscience began to wrestle down the injustice of extinguishing this young life before it had known the simple joys that every dog should know. She wondered if he might be able to have a bed of his own. Could there be walks through the park in the cool evening air? Was it possible that this puppy might wake up each morning beside a person whose first words were his name?

“I asked the vet if something could be done,” Danielle recalls. “He said that treatment could be carried out, but only with lots of money.”

The Rescue Begins

And that was all Danielle needed to hear. She wasn’t wealthy, but she was determined and if there was a chance at recovery, she’d already made up her mind to take it. So Danielle had the man who brought in the puppy sign over custody to her. She then contacted Dr. Elaine Caplin in Austin and the puppy was brought in for a surgical consulation to see what could be done.

“He was not able to eat or drink because part of his mouth was melted,” Danielle recalls.
“He was not able to eat or drink because part of his mouth was melted,” Danielle recalls.

Skingraft surgery was undertaken to reconstruct the mouth and soon the puppy’s condition improved dramatically and he began to function on his own.

Danielle named the puppy D’Artagnan (who served Louis XIV as captain of the Musketeers of the Guard) or Mister D for short and introduced him to other dogs and cats who welcomed him.

Mister D began to grow into a large dog and earned a reputation for his generous nature. “He allows all the cats to sleep with him and we have actually seen him share food with other dogs. He picks out pieces of food and gives it to them.”

All grown up.
All grown up.
But in the street, Mister D is sometimes regarded as a beast.“He looks like a werewolf with his skin grafts and people are kind of scared,” Danielle explains. “But he truly is my loving angel and I know that saving him is what helped save me.”You see, last year, Danielle was in a terrible motorcycle accident when she tried to avoid a collision with a car. Within seconds, she was on the ground bleeding with a broken skull and awaiting a lifelight helicopter to a trauma center where doctors would find no brain function.Photo00811For 12 days, Danielle lay motionless in her pale blue hospital gown while her mother, who flew in from Germany, went back and forth between the hospital and Danielle’s home to take care of not only her dying daughter, but of the animals who meant the world to her.

At night, Danielle’s ex-husband would help look after the pets so that her mother could spend more time with Danielle, and try to get some rest, but everyone feared the worst.

But in the silence of the mind, a louder voice came from Danielle’s soul.

“I had to get back to Mister D and my other ‘kids’ because they needed me and I needed them,” Danielle says of her sense that she carried that desperate need to be reunited with her pets, despite the lack of medical evidence that she was processing those emotions during her coma.

I Had to Wake Up for My Animals

“After 12 days, a miracle happened,” Danielle says tearfully. “I woke up. The doctors and nurses have told me that the first words that I uttered were ‘Mister D.’”

For several weeks, Danielle remained in rehabilitation while she learned to walk and to fully speak again. It seemed so painfully long for her to be away from the ones she loved and that motivated her to work harder each day.

“When I finally got home, Mister D was so happy,” Danielle said. “He checked on me all the time. When he felt that I was hurting, he would put his paw very carefully on my head and sigh. I truly know that if it was not for Mister D, I would not be here. He has become my musketeer, my protector and has given me the security and protection that I never had from people.”

together-todayNow fully recovered, Danielle’s greatest hope is that her story will inspire others to rescue animals. She asks people to consider rescuing, rather than buying pets and explains that “the bond between you is one that can never be broken.”

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Please help share this message of the bond and love that is possible between us and our pets and to always consider taking on rescues.

24 thoughts on “The essence of our relationship with dogs.

  1. Paul you knew I would be blubbering and moping up the keyboard when I read this.. I am going to share your story today my friend… Wishing you and Jean a wonderful weekend .. Sue

  2. This story has undoubtedly inspired me and , having a dog of my own this story made me very emotional . I would like to share it with more ; would you like a back-link on my site for a back-link on yours . PS. I have a few dog stories on my blog . Thanks , loved the post.

  3. A wonderful story of love for animals and vice versa. That poor puppy and now he is a handsome dog. I am so glad there are folks like her that have compassion. Bless her heart. She went through hell and made it. I wish her and Mr D. all the best.

    1. All who come to this place will wholeheartedly agree with you. Dogs really do bring out the best in countless numbers of us. Sadly, not every single person but the vast majority of people.

  4. Yes, this was a tough read, but redeeming, for sure, in the end. I’ve read all sorts of dog horror stories this week through care2.com and such – came in my email for action. It was almost unbearable to witness the horrors humans perpetrate on this amazing species, and this story salved the wounds. Thank you, Danielle. And yes, we have and will continue rescuing dogs and other creatures when we are called to do so.

    1. Oh Bela, how wonderful is your last sentence. And as you will see from tomorrow’s post a perfect comment on what happened here yesterday afternoon. For we are now ten dogs!

  5. Yes Bela, like you I am always reading emails re the plight of animals, signing petitions and often donating to care2 and similar groups. This week, after receiving one of these, I wrote to our Federal Environment Minister here in Australia about the awful practice going on, even in our waters, of fishing boats who capture sharks, slice of their fins and then throw them back overboard still alive, where they sink to the bottom unable to swim and slowly die. The accompanying photo moved me deeply. Therefore, as you say, it’s so encouraging to get stories about kind and compassionate people like Danielle. Rescuers like these, and that includes Jeannie, Paul and yourself, are the salt of the Earth.

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