On February 28, 2001 Cumberland County Animal Control called asking
us to take a Great Dane into our Rescue. They had received a call about
a deceased dog on a trash pile. When they got to the location they went
to retrieve the dog and discovered that he was still alive when his eyes
opened the slightest bit. He was in horrifying shape. He weighed 62
pounds, had bleeding sores all over his hairless body. He could not
walk and was near death. We agreed to take him, try to nurse him back
to health and once he got well we would find him a loving, forever
home that would cherish him forever. I named him Handsome because
he was anything but handsome and I believed one day he would be
just that. Over time Handsome regained his ability to walk, weighed in
at 165 pounds , grew some hair back and most importantly began the
hard task of learning to trust a human again. His story landed in the
Sunday edition of the Fayetteville Observer and also was spread widely
across the web. We had people from all over the world sending him
mail, offering to adopt him and praying for his recovery. After nearly a
year of recovery, we began to sift through what seemed like hundreds
of adoption applications from great families that wanted to adopt him.
We chose one and invited them to come meet him. During the visit
Handsome's potential mother pulled me aside and said, "Handsome is
so bonded to you that I do not think he would recover if he were to
leave you." At that very moment I finally realized what I really had
known all along. Handsome didn't need to find a loving forever family.
He already had one with me. So I adopted him and Handsome spent
the remainder of his years with me.... teaching me profound lessons
about love, hope trust and forgiveness.
Two months after his death I opened Bed and Biscuits. I wanted a
place where dogs could come to be dogs. A place not only for Great
Danes but all breeds of dogs. A place that would keep them safe. A
place that would let them play until their hearts are content. A place
that they would feel loved and secure even if they were away from their
families. I tried to create a place that Handsome would have loved.
Not one day passes, whether I am sitting in the office and glance at his
picture, or I am on the trails walking the dogs or even in play group that
he doesn't pop into my mind and I thank him for all the years of
friendship that he gave me and I thank him for inspiring me to not only
create a place for everyone's dog to come and play but to continue to
reach out, in spite of the painful loss of him, to abused, abandoned,
neglected Great Danes and give them a place to come rest, recover and
learn to trust again.
Handsome- I thank you- the Great Danes thank you and all our four
legged friends who come and play with us through out the
year thank you.
I love you and I miss you every single day.
|Olivera and sentenced by Judge Steihl to a two week suspended jail sentence, two
years probation and he had to pay restitution to Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue
League for Handsome's recovery cost. He is now listed as a convicted animal