Do you know the history of any of your rescued animals?

From time to time we share the Angel Animals Story of the Week in our blog.  This week’s story is about a dog whose path to a good home was lit three times by good-hearted people.

“Three-time Rescued Angel Dog” first published in the Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter on July 5, 2008.  Visit for more information about the weekly newsletter.

By Janet Toews

My husband and I moved to acreage when we were first married. One of the first things we did was to get what my husband referred to as a “good guard dog.” I already had an English bull terrier I had inherited in my divorce settlement. This dog would take off with anyone who offered him a ride in the car. So we got a shepherd collie-cross from a farm family and named him Texas.

Texy, as we sometimes called him, was a love bug but not a real good guard dog.  So we got yet another dog, this time, a purebred Akita. We named her Montana but ended up calling her Monty for short. When Texy and Monty were about six years old, we got another Akita named Dakota, or Koko for short.

Texas and Monty grew up together and were buddies.  They lived to the ripe old age of fourteen years and died within six months of each other. Koko was bereft and for the longest time she would look all over for Texy and Monty.

I was not prepared for the grief I felt. I was waking up in the night crying. I cried while driving my car. I cried at the mention of their names. This lessened somewhat at the sixth month mark, but I was still a seriously depressed.

I didn’t cry as much, but I felt totally dead inside as if I were operating on autopilot. Koko barely moved and just slept all the time.

I was on my way to a funeral one day. To get to the large hall they used for the service, I had to drive past our local SPCA. I got the most incredible urge to go in and look at the dogs. “For heaven’s sake, stay focused!” I told myself. “You’re on the way to a funeral, not dog shopping!”

Of course, when the funeral was over, I had to drive past the SPCA again. This time my van pulled over and parked, all on it’s own. There I was sitting, wondering how I had parked the van without being aware of what I had done. ” OK,” I said to myself. “If this is so compelling an urge, perhaps you should go in.”  So I did.

As I walked down a center aisle lined with cages on both sides, I kept thinking I was insane. There I was, dressed to the nines, hair, makeup, jewelry, and even heels, walking down a corridor in our very dilapidated, smelly, badly in need of replacing SPCA, with every bad dog behavior known to man, being exhibited by these dogs. There were dogs with schizophrenia, bipolar or borderline personality disorders, anger management issues, you name it. What a howling, barking cacophony!

I was literally shrinking into myself as I walked for fear I would get dog spittle on my good clothes. I reached an empty kennel toward the end and thought, “Thank God, this is over. Now I can go home.”

As I turned, I glimpsed a husky/shepherd/Lab-cross puppy sitting alone in the very last kennel. I stopped and stared and then said, “Hello, who are you?”

She remained quiet and put her paw up on the wire mesh. I put my hand close to the mesh. She gently licked my hand. I was instantly in love and made arrangements to take her home the next day.

The day I picked her up, I decided to walk her for a few blocks before putting her in the car. I needed to make sure there wouldn’t be any accidents on the way home.  Suddenly a van pulled over, and a girl and a woman jumped out. The girl came running over to us and asked if I had gotten this dog from the SPCA. I said, yes, and then she cried, “That’s our dog!”

Needless to say, I was devastated. I offered to take her back to the SPCA and get my money refunded. Both the woman and girl assured me that as long as this dog had a good home, they were happy.

The girl then told me that she and her sister had gone up north to visit family on their reserve. A man was drowning a litter of pups in the lake. He was about to finish off the last one, when her sister begged the man to give her the pup. He did, and the girls brought the dog to their foster home in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

The foster mom and the girl went on to explain that someone had stolen the puppy out of their fenced back yard. The SPCA told me that when they picked up the puppy she had been wandering back alleys.

So by the time I got her, she had been rescued three times. Once from drowning, by a little girl. Once from being lost and hungry by the SPCA. And lastly, by me from the SPCA.  I decided she must have a guardian angel looking out for her, so I called her Angel.

After all she has gone through, Angel would have the right to be angry but she is the sweetest dog alive. Everyone loves her the minute they lay eyes on her, and she loves everyone she meets. My depression over the losses of Texy and Monty has been replaced
with a feeling of joy every time I snuggle this puppy. Two years later, she truly is still my Angel dog.

Janet Toews is in her fifties and retired. Janet and her husband live on an eighty-acre ranch in Saskatchewan, Canada and raise miniature cattle. They have horses, dogs, birds, and cats. Janet and her husband love animals.


Do you know the history of any of your rescued animals? Want to share a story about the chain of events that brought you together with a special pet? (Share on any of the three blogs or email the story to

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