Jeff & Hannah Palmer and their family were here visiting from England, enjoying our wonderful Central Florida sunshine, minding their own business and having a great time. Enter a scruffy, dirty, wandering, nameless stray dog. There was every reason in the world for this family to look the other way, to continue enjoying their vacation. This was NOT their dog, NOT their problem - heck, it's not even their country!
But not this family, they are consummate animal lovers, and no animal would go un-helped on their watch. They did some research and found us, then called Judy and explained. Despite our over-crowding and our almost exhausted resources, Judy conceded to take in this needy pooch and find him a home. Like we always do, we treated this boy to an immediate trip to our vet's office, only to find that he was an older guy, about 10 years old - which qualifies him as a "senior" (a little harder to find a home for) and, unfortunately, the poor thing was heartworm positive as well. Now heartworm isn't a guaranteed death sentence, we treat it with a very simple & successful "slow-kill" method, but it does sometimes complicate a placement. But we were undeterred - we named him Winston Churchill in honor of his British rescuers and advertised him on our website.
Fast forward a week: We get an excited visit from the Palmers. On a whim they had made some calls and discovered that the quarantine requirements for transporting dogs from the USA to England had just been lifted! The stars had aligned to allow these amazing folks to take Winston home with them to England. It would cost them upwards of $4000, but they were so happy, so excited that they could make their rescue complete by giving Winston a forever home with them.
Judy was crestfallen, she quietly explained that poor Winston wasn't a young pup, he was 10 and he had heartworm disease...... There was a long pause. Judy waited, expecting them to say "Oh, well - ok. Good luck with him then! Bye."
But that pause was actually the Palmers waiting for the 'bad news'. To their immense credit they said simply, "so?" "So what?" Music to our rescuing ears! "So what!" We already love this dog. We saved him, we want him; he's got issues? Ok, who doesn't? So WHAT!
And that was that! Winston Churchill is on his way!! His new, loving family is already home getting things ready for him & he leaves on his journey on July 3rd. So while we are all celebrating the 4th of July, Winston will be landing in his new country, his new home with a family who would let NOTHING stop them from doing the right thing for this animal; embodying the theory that even though you may not be able to help them all, you can certainly make a difference for just one.
Bon Voyage Winston ~ enjoy your tea with the Queen!
July 4th update:
We just received this e-mail and photo from the Palmers and want to share with you!
The first picture of Winston in England outside the animal centre at Gatwick Airport. He is absolutely fine. Another small journey to do to his home in Bristol. We will send some more pictures later today. Thank you so much for everything, this wouldn't have been possible without your help! Happy independence day! Love from the Palmer family."