Monique. “Twelve years ago around this time, I saw a small stray dog huddled on a porch in my neighborhood. The dog was outside every day, in rain or shine or cold.
I informed friends and family that I was going to rescue him. A friend said, "that would be a wonderful idea"; but my sister said "How can you care for a dog? You can barely walk." She was right, at the time I could barely walk. As the result of pneumonia, I suffered neuropathy and impaired speech and gait. Due to my extraordinary resilience, I overcame the challenges, and I knew that dog was going to be in my life. To gain the dog's trust, I provided food, water, and conversation whenever I saw him. I read multiple books on pet care and discovered that I had both the knowledge and compassion to care for this creature whose eyes spoke to my soul.
I assembled a group of volunteers who agreed to drive me to the shelter so that I could rescue this little dog. After four weeks of watching this little guy darting down alleys and running from feral kids, I rescued him. The animal shelter declared him adoptable, then vaccinated and neutered him. After becoming his official owner, I named him Endo after my sister's profession, Endodontist. Two months after I adopted Endo, I fractured my ankle in nine places. I knew I wanted to be able to walk with Endo, so I overcame that challenge, too. Now I take him on bus rides, and I walk him daily in Fairmount Park, following his lead to historical mansions, on trails, and to watch regatta races. Walking with Endo every day has improved my gait and my life. Endo and I, we give each other strength."