Three Black Dogs
Their eyes pleaded as tiny paws touched my hand and cuddly soft sounds filled the air. Huddled together, the six-week-old puppies were missing their mom, who fortunately for them was rescued by Ohio native, Holly Suzack, Co-Owner, with Shelly Wine, of Bluffton's Three Black Dogs, actually named for three rescued canines, Little Bit, Lulu and Shocker (Lulu's pup born in Holly's bathroom). Recuperating in Holly's home, mom and pups were more fortunate than another wounded fellow, Holly called Malachi. He was brought to Holly by a shocked jogger who discovered him abandoned in Old Town Bluffton on the corner of Bruin Road and Boundary Street. Gently lifting the limp dog, the jogger lovingly carried him to Holly for help. Covered with puncture wounds, with part of his ear missing, and most of his teeth pulled or ground down, he struggled for life. As a "bait" dog in fights, he was unable to protect himself, and hence the horrible condition in which he was found. "Malachi is an example of the horrible abuse to dogs used as bait for others to kill in fights. It's hard to believe this goes on so close to us, and owners of these dogs use them to make money! Surprisingly, there are a number of pit bull fighting rings in the Bluffton/Ridgeland area, and these are the dogs we have a passion to rescue. Malachi heightened not only our sense of urgency, but also somber awareness for the community to join together to uncover and put an end to these rings. We have been rescuing and re-homing bully breeds for many years, but Malachi strengthened our resolve. We formed The Malachi Foundation, a non profit organization, to rescue, retrain and socialize these gentle, misunderstood breeds and place them in loving homes. With the help of Dr. Rick Bink, Malachi recovered and is in a safe home. These good dogs should not be judged harshly because of what humans have done to them." I walked the kennel, petting and talking with many of the dogs, some being assessed, some in training, while others had found their niche. "Monet" caught my attention, hopping about in one of the outside spaces, rolling over asking for a belly rub. "We find what each dog likes to do," said Holly, who left a 15-year teaching job in Jasper County to build Three Black Dogs. "Monet loves pulling a wagon, so we put on his harness and go shopping at the Farmer's Market each week!" For all Holly has given to her puppies and dogs, she insists, "They saved me! The doctors told me my blood sugar and weight were seriously out of line; they wanted to put me on medications, which I refused. Walking the dogs at least four miles every day, without fail, training, and grooming, I lost 50 unwanted pounds in a year!" Situated on two acres, Three Black Dogs is a slice of heaven for rescued dogs and vacation fun for day care and boarded dogs and cats. This wonderful facility demands thousands a year for medical care and feeding helpless creatures. In one year, Holly has placed more than 100 dogs in loving families. An artist since childhood, Holly raises money with the sale of her creative dog paintings. For their annual Bully Barbecue and auction, Heritage Fine Jewelry created and donated a fabulous 14K gold Pit Bull Ring with diamond eyes, which was auctioned off for thousands. Most of us have positive energy and loving relationships with our animals, but remember there are many begging for rescue and love, and that requires opening our hearts and our wallets. "Should you hear the screams of fighting dogs late at night or suspect a dog ring, please call Sheriff Tanner's Office!" pleaded Holly. An appropriate sign in Three Black Dogs reads "Good Humans Wanted!" UP CLOSE A Historical Peek: Over the years, the American Pit Bull Terrier has been a beloved symbol of America. In World War I, a pit bull named Stubby captured the heart of the nation, as the unofficial mascot of the 102nd Infantry Division. He was credited with saving the lives of several of his human comrades. For his valiant service, Stubby won several medals and was even awarded the rank of sergeant! He came home from the war to a hero's welcome and went on to become the mascot for Georgetown University. Famous people who have owned Pit Bulls: Helen Keller, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, George Patton, and Fred Astaire.