Sea Foam: Heart-warming stories and good people still exist

info@islandpacket.comFebruary 27, 2012 

Thanks to Lindy Aragon of Bluffton for sharing the story of a dog rescue.

"RECOVERING TRUST IN MANKIND"

By Lindy Aragon

The wind is whispering through the pine trees at the end of a dusty dirt lane. Luke is resting safely under that canopy of pine and recovering from trauma of which he cannot speak. He was named after the book of Luke in the Bible, where we read stories of the good Samaritan and of Jesus' many healings.

Luke is a small, muscular, shiny black French bulldog and bull terrier mix. He was likely the runt of his litter and considered expendable.

When Luke was found Oct. 3 at an animal control facility in Georgia, he had been bracing his shattered front leg against the wire fence in desperation for eight days. He was in too much pain to be able to lie down or to move away from the hose used by prison trustees to clean the kennel. He was dehydrated from whipworms and from the fact that it was too painful for him to even move to his water dish.

The good Samaritan in Luke's story was Karen Wilkins of Maranatha Farm, a local animal rescue. Although his swollen left front leg jutted out at a sickening angle, he made no sound as he was removed from the facility and carried to her truck. Karen drove him straight to the veterinarian. In a few hours he would never feel the agony of that shattered leg again. It was amputated all the way to the shoulder blade, requiring 80 staples to close the incision. The doctor also found that Luke's scrotum was burned.

The next day Luke came to the farm in Ridgeland to begin weeks of nursing care and physical rehabilitation. Following the surgery, Luke's surgical pain and his fear in the new environment could only be eased by Karen holding him like a baby for three straight days.

Luke's emotional rehabilitation continues indefinitely. As difficult as it might be for you to read this, you need to: Luke's injuries were consistent with his having been used as a "sack dog." Those who train fighting dogs will place a small dog like Luke in a sack with four holes for the legs to stick through. They will often burn the sack dog's scrotum in an attempt to turn pain into anger. Then the dog that is being trained to fight is beaten with the sack dog until it is enraged enough to fight back viciously. Luke's legs were covered with puncture wounds and his left front leg was badly mauled and broken in several places.

When Luke was of no more use for his abusers, he was discarded.

Now, more than four months since coming to Maranatha Farm to heal, the wind whispers hope to Luke as he waits for his forever home. The birds singing high in those pine trees urge him to socialize without fear with the other dogs who reside at the farm.

He has bonded to Karen and feels most comfortable with females at this time. At times, flashback memories of men in noisy groups take him to a terrifying place. However, the squirrels chattering as they romp from tree to tree urge him to trust humans again. In the peaceful surroundings of Maranatha Farm, Luke is reconditioning himself emotionally to be ready for his forever home.

He is recovering his trust in mankind.

Perhaps you are the person to take Luke on the next step of his healing journey into a quiet and secure forever home, where he can be the solo dog receiving all of your love.

"UNEXPECTED HELP"

Thanks to Tom Dury of Hilton Head Island for sharing his story of a car fire on U.S. 278 at Moss Creek Drive on the morning of Feb. 5.

Tom said he has been a volunteer firefighter in Dover, Del., Bluffton and Hardeeville.

The Bluffton Township Fire District and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office responded to this fire.

Dury writes:

"It was a warm day and I was driving with my windows down on my way to get lottery tickets and go to the garbage dump. I stopped to get my tickets first. I was pulling out on the highway and smelled something burning.

"It was a smell I recognized: burning plastic. I saw a small smoke cloud and immediately pulled off the road. Thanks to the red light, all the traffic stopped. I started down the highway looking for the smoke. A BMW was in the left lane, and I knew that was where the smell was coming from.

"I banged on the window and told the couple that their car was on fire, and they should pull off the road. The woman got out of the car and looked around and said there was no fire. I pleaded with the couple to get out of the car.

"They finally got out of the car and within two minutes (flames and heavy black smoke engulfed the trunk of the car).

"Being a fireman for 23 years paid off. I knew that smell and knew the car was about to blow. I moved traffic away from the car, directed the couple off the road and, fortunately, no one was hurt."

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