The Miracle of Love

How Dogs that Should Have Never Made it Live, Love… and Lick!

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December 2023 Issue

By Elizabeth Skenes Millen
Photography by Lindsay Gifford

If you take an extra helping of love, mix it with a heaping dose of compassion, add a dash of hope and stir in the power of belief, you get Christmas magic. Some believe Christmas magic only comes this time of year, but there’s a place where Christmas magic is alive every day of the year. This magical formula is in full force for the 34 dogs currently residing at Noah’s Arks Rescue located on Highway 170 near Callawassie Island.

Noah’s Arks Rescue is different. They take in the dogs nobody else wants—at least in the condition they arrive in. These dogs have been through the worst of the worse, sometimes on the brink of death, euthanasia, or perhaps simply born with a deformity in which most would put them down. However, if you meet them, like I did, your heart melts and you feel the love and gratefulness they have for a second chance at life.

Maya, a large Cane Corso, was first to come and meet me. She is a gentle giant, sweet as she can be. She reminded me of Nana from Peter Pan—caring, expressive and kind. She was found in the road in Columbia, SC,, hanging on to life with a destroyed, crushed pelvis. She had been hit and left for dead. She and I were able to have a little chat and she said, “I was so scared and in so much pain, but somehow I ended up in the hands and hearts of the nice people here at Noah’s Arks. I’m alive because they never gave up on me. I’ve been through a lot. Jennifer Smith, the owner and founder of Noah’s Arks, hugs me all the time, and I heard her tell someone I should have never made it because I was hurt so badly. But here I am, and I’m almost ready to be adopted. I try to be the best girl because they have been so good to me. I just love pets and snuggles. They are the best!”NoahsArks 1223 2

Then Maya heard Jennifer and Jeri, one of the wonderful full-time staff members, mention bringing in the chi-weenies. Maya turned to me and said, “You’re not going to believe this.” Next thing I knew four chi-weenies (chihuahua/dachshund mixes), Rexie and Lexie (siblings), and Amos and Andy (father/son), came into the playroom with tails wagging. They were happy, hopping all around the room, scooting to the familiar laps of their caregivers and giving sweet, little licks. Maya looked at me, and I nodded to let her know I noticed all four chi-weenies were missing their front legs. She whispered, “We love them no matter what.”

“I know the chi-weenies will live out their lives here at the shelter. We try to find homes for as many of our animals as possible, but some will never get adopted. All four of these were scheduled for euthanasia. We saved them, and they are very happy pups,” said Jennifer.

“These two I call my little Gremlins,” Jeri said with a smile, referring to Rexie and Lexie, “and Amos is my ‘boyfriend’.” Amos decided to speak for the four of them. “We didn’t come from the same breeders, but we all have the same genetic condition. We may look a little odd, scooting around on our chests and standing up on our back legs, but we get around pretty good. We are thankful Noah’s Arks saw through our disabilities and helped us live full lives.

The chi-weenies hurdled by, and sweet Maya stayed right by me. I was in doggie Shangri-la, having a wonderful time meeting all of these amazing pups. I was about to say my goodbyes but Jennifer said there was one more dog I absolutely had to meet. Titus, the Noah’s Arks mascot, came in doing what can only be described as boot-scooting. “I don’t know what we’ll do when Titus goes. He’s seriously the face of Noah’s Arks,” Jennifer said. At age 15 or so, Titus is full of life. He was born with deformed back legs and has never been able to walk or run, but that didn’t damper his happy puppy spirit in any way. He goes to schools and allows all the children to love on him and pet him, and he shows them love and appreciation right back. Titus is living proof that you don’t have to be perfect to shower people with love.

After meeting all of these wonderful pooches, my heart was truly filled with that much needed Christmas magic. I enjoyed every single dog, their stories and seeing how they have overcome so much just to survive, and yet, still wag those tails with great enthusiasm. With expertise in care, compassion and canine rehabilitation, Noah’s Arks Rescue is a blessing to these animals and so inspiring to people, as well.

An appointment is required to visit or adopt
the special needs animals at Noah’s Ark,
which is located at 231 Hazzard Creek Village, near the Callawassie/Parker’s crossroad.

Phone: (843) 540-6755

Come fill your cup with Christmas Magic
at FETCH mkt., a beautiful
gift boutique with eclectic and unique
finds for everyone! The store is a part of
the rescue mission (located under the same roof) and all profits go to the dogs at
Noah’s Arks Rescue.

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