We usually don’t memorialize a dog twice — but Andre was extra special.
But the best person to write about him is the person who took him in, gave him a loving home for eight months and has been updating fans on his Facebook page ever since.
Above is the video she put together.
Here are her words:
“This is the story of a courageous miniature pincher who suffered both horrific abuse and unbounding love. Andre the Rescue Dog was found on January 3, 2012, by our hero, Cedric Conwright, who witnessed a black garbage bag being thrown out of a moving car into an empty lot as if discarded trash. When the bag moved, Cedric opened it to find little Andre, eyes gouged and hanging from their sockets, starved to 7 1/2 pounds, shot with BBs. Thanks to God’s divine intervention in guiding Cedric to that lot, on that day, at that moment Andre’s (or as Cedric named him “LG” for Little Guy) story did not end there but began to unfold on a journey that has touched human hearts all over the world. Rescuers later named this sweet dog Andre and I came to call him Andrea Bocelli after witnessing the first sound he made almost two months after he was rescued. His sweet little bark that lifted his front feet off the ground sounded like music to my maternal ears. And so he became Andrea Bocelli Powers!
“Andre came with a ready-made FaceBook page when I adopted him. It was originally created to help raise funds for his early medical needs and later for two surgeries, one of which was a double-adrenalectomy. It didn’t take long for me to understand that although Andre could no longer see the world, the world was seeing Andre for the first time,
“Mr. Bocelli’s birthday because his rescue day, January 3, and his greatest gift was a new life free from abuse. His last day, October 6, 2012, came far too soon when he died at home of diabetic complications. I shall always yearn to hold my Bocelli again; Bocelli, Bocelli, Bocelli.
“I am confident that If Andrea could, I know he would, say thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone one who helped both him and me in any way. No matter how big or small the gesture, I have been forever touched by your generosity of prayer, words of support, money, newspaper and TV articles, hugs, tears, etc., etc.
“Deeply grieving the loss of my companion, I am.
October 11, 2012″
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, andre, andre the rescue dog, andrea bocelli, animals, arizona, blind, death, dog, dogs, eyeless, eyes, found, gouged, inspiration, memorial, miniature pinscher, moving, mutilated, pets, phoenix, rescue, sandy powers, tolleson, trash bag, tribute, video
Google “Christmas miracle” and “dog” and you’ll find 31 million or so stories — but none quite like that of Stevie Oedipus Wonder.
A cairn terrier mix, Stevie was found earlier this year wandering around a duck pond by the daughter of Belinda Gutierrez. She called her mother, crying, and told her about the puppy, which had no eyes.
Gutierrez, 49, said she told her daughter to bring the puppy home.
He quickly became part of the family. While Stevie seemed to have been abused, he apparently was born without eyes, a veterinarian told the family.
“He wouldn’t go up to anyone if it wasn’t my voice or my daughter’s voice,” Gutierrez said. “He didn’t like men’s voices. He would bark.” The dog became a big part of her life. Then, on Nov. 29, he disappeared from the family’s mobile home on San Antonio’s far West Side. They tried to find him, and put a missing notice on Craigslist.
A few days later — because every good Christmas story needs a scrooge, or at least an asshole — Gutierrez’ landlord told her that her dog was dead.
“We thought, ‘OK, he’s gone and he’ll have to just wait for us at the rainbow bridge,’” Gutierrez told the San Antonio Express-News.
Last week, though, Stevie Oedipus Wonder came home.
“This is my Christmas miracle,” Gutierrez said.
Here’s how it happened:
Stevie wasn’t dead after all. Instead he’d been picked up and taken to Animal Care Services.
He arrived on Dec. 11. The contact information on his tag was out of date, so the shelter couldn’t find his owners. As a result, Stevie, about a year old, had five days to get adopted or be euthanized.
That’s when Brooke Orr, an English as a second language teacher at Highlands High School and a co-sponsor of the school’s Voices for Animals Club, saw a post that ACS had put online in an attempt to find the blind dog a home.
She asked the shelter to put a “Save a Life” hold on him, thinking she’d take him in over the holidays. Then she checked Craigslist to see if he’d been listed as missing.
“I went to Craigslist and went to lost and found and I put in ‘blind dog,’ and there he was,” she said.
She contacted Gutierrez, whose daughter had posted the information, and let her know Stevie was safe.
Gutierrez picked Stevie up from the shelter Thursday, and, though blind, he recognized her right away.
“All he had to do was hear my voice,” she said. “And I stood at the entrance of the kennel building and called out, ‘Stevie, Stevie.’ And he started barking all over the place.”
Gutierrez said her family has since moved out of the mobile home, where she suspects the landlord contributed to Stevie’s escape.
They’re in an apartment now, celebrating Christmas, with Stevie.
(Photo: By Helen L. Montoya / San Antonio Express-News)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal care services, animals, belinda gutierrez, blind, brooke orr, cairn terrier, christmas, craigslist, dead, dog, dogs, eyeless, found, lost, miracle, no eyes, pets, puppy, reunited, san antonio, stevie, stevie oedipus wonder, stevie wonder, teacher, voices for animals
All of the dogs at Rolling Dog Farm are beloved.
But Blind Patti — it’s fair, if not gramatically correct to say — was beloveder than most.
The eyeless shepherd mix, one of the dogs featured in our “Travels with Ace” calendar, passed away Nov. 20.
“Our beautiful blind girl Patti died tonight, just a few minutes before 7 p.m. She passed away here at home peacefully, lying on a big soft fleece bed in the dog room, covered with a fleece blanket,” Rolling Dog’s Steve Smith reported from the sanctuary’s home in New Hampshire.
Patti came to Rolling Dog Farm — back when it was still in Montana — from Spokane Animal Control.
When she arrived in 2003, one of her eyes was missing, and the other was solid white. A scar ran across her forehead from one eye to the other, and suspicions were that she had been struck with either an ax, hatchet or shovel.
At the Spokane shelter, she’d been scheduled to be euthanized her second week there, but an employee felt sorry for her, checked her out of the facility the day before she was to be put down, and tried to find her a home.
Rolling Dog Farm (called Rolling Dog Ranch at the time) was contacted and agreed to take her in, and another rescue group agreed to transport the blind and battered dog to Ovando, Montana, where the sanctuary, until last year, was headquartered.
She was thin and had a ragged coat when she arrived in Montana, with one seemingly empty eye socket. When Rolling Dog Farm took her to their vet, the remnants of an eyeball were found in the open eye socket. They cleaned it out, and sewed the eye shut. The other eye, which she couldn’t see out of and which was clearly causing her pain, was removed.
After that, Patti blossomed, according to the profile of her on the Rolling Dog Farm website:
“Even though she can’t see, she still thinks of herself as a guard dog of sorts. She stands at the fence and barks if she thinks anything, or anyone, is out there and we ought to know about it. Now plump, her coat shines. (At 80 pounds, she’s on a diet!) She loves to ‘mix it up’ with Steve … woofing and wrestling and showing him just how tough she is.
“Her favorite activity is to climb on to Steve’s lap while he tries to read the paper. Not content to merely lay on his lap, Patti insists on rolling over upside down, feet up in the air, tummy ready to be scratched. And if she doesn’t get the attention Patti thinks she deserves, she begins squirming.”
I first met Patti when I visited the sanctuary in Montana in 2007, and I ran into her again when, during the year Ace and I traveled the country, we stopped in at Rolling Dog Farm’s new home in Lancaster, New Hampshire.
About a year after that, this past October, Smith noticed Patti wasn’t herself. A series of trips to veterinarians followed, and what was at first thought to be one cancerous mass turned out to be a rapidly increasing series of them. About four weeks ago, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called hemangiosarcoma.
“She was one of our stars, a favorite of volunteers, employees, visitors and media over the years,” Steve, who runs the sanctuary with his wife, Alayne Marker, noted.
“Only four dogs have been with us as long as Patti — Widget, Goldie, Cedar and Libby. So she was a fixture not only of the sanctuary, but of our hearts as well.”
The day after she died, Steve, who I’d been exchanging emails with regarding making Rolling Dog Farm a beneficiary of sales of our “Travels with Ace” calendar, opened up a link I sent him to the calendar page.
The calendar documents some of the memorable moments from the year Ace and I spent traveling the U.S. — including our stop at Rolling Dog Farm. In addition to receiving 50 percent of profits from the sales, Rolling Dog Farm is featured one month, and among the photos I used — though I didn’t know of her condition — was one of Patti.
“… On that page you’ll see a photo of me with blind Patti that almost made me cry,” Steve recounts on the Rolling Dog Farm blog. “When John sent me the link, I clicked on it, the page opened … and there was the photo.”
The photo shows Steve and Patti, face to face, and I like to think it comes close to capturing the essence of what Patti, blind as she was, far more eloquently depicted than I ever could.
As Steve puts it:
“She showed us how animals are immensely capable of forgiving — if not forgetting — what people have done to them. “
Posted by jwoestendiek November 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2012, abused, animal control, animals, blind, blind patti, blinded, calendar, cancer, dead, deaf, died, disabled, dogs, eyeless, hatchet, lancaster, montana, new hampshire, ovando, patti, pets, photography, rolling dog farm, rolling dog ranch, sanctuary, shepherd mix, shovel, spokane, steve smith, travels with ace, travels with ace calendar