Little Sassy was a Hurricane Harvey refugee flown up to Chicago by Wings of Rescue in early September. My husband Drew and I volunteered for the emergency intake at The Anti-Cruelty Society in our various capacities, and as the evening wound down one of the last dogs to be processed was a skinny white terrier mix with crazy hair.
We had been looking for a small dog for some time, and after a half dozen or so meet and greets through local rescues we were planning to take a bit of a breather before starting the process up again. We really didn’t plan to foster a dog (and in any case we thought all of the Hurricane Harvey dogs had already been set up with foster families). But suddenly, there was Sassy, with her kennel cough, pneumonia, hookworms, and heart worms – about the only thing she didn’t have was a foster family.
It must have been fate. After weeks of medication and TLC, we made it official on Friday – welcome to the family, Sassy!
We found Star when we were down in Texas bringing supplies for volunteers and survivors of Hurricane Harvey.
We had just dropped off our first load of supplies at the Cowboy Church in Orange, TX and were heading up to Alvarado to pick up a half dozen dogs (and a rabbit) being transported back with us to P.A.W.S. Tinley Park. These pets had been surrendered by their owners, and were being transported north to make room in Texas shelters for displaced animals waiting to be reunited with their people.
A few hours into our journey, I spotted something in the bushes on the side of the road. We quickly decided to turn around – but it took a bit of maneuvering, since we were hauling a horse trailer. By the time we got back to the spot, a little brown dog was in the middle of the other lane, pawing at some roadkill. We slammed on the brakes, but the car in the other direction was still gunning it hard. Terrified, we began honking our horn as I jumped out with a lead. The speed limit was 75 mph, so if the oncoming car didn’t stop, that little brown dog didn’t have a chance.
Luckily, the car slowed some at the last minute, and as soon as this sweet girl saw me, she scooted across the road, head and bum down, tail wagging furiously. She slammed into my body, so happy to see me as I burst into tears.
Right then and there I committed to making sure this girl has the best life possible.
Chris Kreutz lives in Chicago with her husband. Although their children are off in college, their home still bustles with an assortment of animals. She is a freelance animal handler for advertising and media, a program leader for Canine Therapy Corps, and teaches private lessons with AnimalSense Canine Training and Behavior. Chris is very involved in animal rescue, and donates her time transporting domestic and farm animals to new homes and sanctuaries around the country.