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Mr. Kippers here with the story of our 2016 Christmas Miracle.
People are always saying “small world” and indeed it was proven, once again, on Thursday, December 22, which is where our Christmas Miracle begins.
It would be an understatement to say that Mom has an easy job with her email. It was once “normal” until I came along and now she handles mine, Classic Kippers, Angel Annie’s and now Kirby’s. Actually, Kirby doesn’t get so much just yet, but all private messages and comments on these FB pages flow into her email and it was no different on December 22.
Among hundreds of emails one particular Private Message shone among the others like the Christmas star ⭐️!
It began, “Hi Amanda, I got your name from Barbara Dove Keck, as I am a fellow old fox hunter. I’m reaching out to you for any leads or if you can help. I have two hounds in a high kill shelter in Minden, LA which need to go to Augusta, GA or Aiken, SC or I might even be able to drive to ATL if needed. I’d be a foster mom paying all their fees and keeping them until they are fattened up and when ready, they have been accepted by Second Chance Rescue up North. Problem is I’ve tried Operation Roger (truckers) , Pilots n Paws, and bunches of others and no one is willing to drive or fly and be paid for gas or time to get these two hounds further east and closer to GA. The Minden animal control officer is ready to euthanize them on Tuesday. Any ideas or leads? I was hoping there was an underground railroad and I posted to LA Transport, but no takers. Any help is much appreciated as the clock is ticking on their lives.
Thank you, Susie Huiet
Mom had only to read “fellow foxhunter” to know she had to read that message immediately.
She knew it must be important because no one would “just want to chat” three days before Christmas no matter what they had in common!
THIS SMALL WORLD.
My mom has been a mounted foxhunter since the early 1970’s, so when a new Internet group called “FOXHUNTER’S ONLINE began, she joined. It was a great way to share foxhunting stories, keep up with old friends and meet new ones. One of the “new” she met many years ago was the administrator of FOL- Barbara Dove Keck. Barbara is not only a foxhunter, but a lover of all animals and has been keeping up with Mr. Kippers and Angel Annie through the years.
Barbara knew that Mom was not only a foxhunter, but was also the coordinator of rescue for English Bullterrier’s in Louisiana.
This was Thursday night the 22nd of December – less than three days before Christmas. Mom feared that their only chance was to find someone headed east for Christmas, but that was a stretch since it was already the 22nd and most people would probably be leaving on the 23rd, if they had not already left, to visit family.
She also knew in her heart that was a slim chance since these dogs are large. Miss Biscuit, our resident fox hound, weighs in at around 100 pounds and though these dogs are malnourished, they are on large frames.
Mom, with tears streaming (poor Dad was alarmed when he saw her feverishly pounding the keys of her laptop) put out a few feelers on both her Facebook page, my Classic Kippers Facebook page, and our Angel Annie’s Rescue FB page.
She knew it was a long shot, but she’d try. Then Mom had an idea, one of my most ardent, Classic Kippers, supporters is a wonderful woman named Margaret Lockenvitz- Gabhart, who is a trucker out of Las Vegas. She and her husband team drive with their English bullterriers, Bruno (brindle) and Boris (both rescues)! I’m not sure Bruno has a drivers license but he certainly likes to get behind the wheel !
Margaret was kind enough to put out a help request to other truckers who might be headed east down the I 20 corridor.
This was going to be a quiet Christmas for us this year, so Mom figured -worse case -we could drive across Louisiana and Mississippi if another party, or parties, could take the Alabama, Georgia legs of the trip.
While Mom waited to hear from Miss Margaret, she got a message from a professional photographer who had taken the most awesome pictures of me, which appeared in The Shreveport Times when my Classic Kippers line was first launched four years ago, and then again at my book launch last Christmas. The message consisted of the sweetest words a rescuer can ever hear:
“Hi Amanda, saw your post needing someone to transport two dogs to Augusta, Ga. I might be able to do it. I’ve got a van and plenty of time. Give me a call as I have a couple of questions.”
Mom called, and when the questions were answered, he said “YES”!
Thus making “photographer” Doug Collier, “Christmas Angel”, Doug Collier!
I’m most certain that one could hear the cheers all the way from Shreveport, Louisiana to Aiken South Carolina!
So the plan began to unfold.
Another rescue angel and dog groomer, Sydney Edwards, who is in Minden, Louisiana, put a hold on the hounds and then picked them up from the shelter on Monday Dec 26th.
She took care of getting their papers in order and then took them to be groomed.
As a former rescue from the streets, I know the unusual, but wonderful feeling of a warm bath and a loving hand. It’s a memory forever etched in my mind, as well as getting food on a regular basis and not just scraps or food from garbage cans …real kibble!
Miss Susie has appropriately named them Dasher (tri color) and Dancer (black and tan). Not only because it is Christmas time, but because if you know hounds they can definitely do some serious dashing and dancing!
Dasher was adopted as a pup from the shelter and later found as a young dog chained to a trampoline.
I’m not certain of Dancer’s story, but soon you will all know the rest of this marvelous Christmas Miracle!
OPERATION DASHER & DANCER
At 8:03 this morning Christmas
Angel Doug put Minden, Louisiana in his rear view mirror and headed East with his precious and grateful cargo. And you know what? He’s not taking them to meet the nice lady, Miss Susie in Augusta Georgia as originally planned, this wonderful, kind hearted man is driving them all the way to Aiken, South Carolina to Miss Susie’s farm!
At 10:32 The three D’s (Dasher, Dancer & Doug) crossed into Mississippi. Unfortunately they have hit driving rain and will probably be in it until they get through Alabama.
Stopped for gas, water and a walk!
BACK ON THE ROAD!
THE ANGEL HAS LANDED IN AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA…
I am happy to report that Angel Doug Collier has arrived at his destination and safely delivered Dasher and Dancer into the hands of Miss Susie. Big love and licks to Miss Susie who took care of all transport expenses and who will take care of Dasher & Dancer until they are ready for the next leg of their journey!
As a now beloved rescue, who was once abused and abandoned, I cannot begin to thank Doug enough, as well as those like him who step up to the plate to save the voiceless. Doug, your kindness and selflessness saved the lives of Dasher & Dancer.
Let me put this in perspective- last Thursday, Dec. 22, the calendar at the Minden Animal Shelter had Dasher and Dancer marked down for euthanization on Tuesday, December 27. THAT’S TODAY.
However, within a few hours time last Thursday , the stars aligned, hearts opened and five good people, who value the lives of one of God’s most precious creations-dogs-had come together to make a Christmas Miracle happen.
So instead of mourning the death of these beautiful hounds today, we celebrate their new lives!
Saving one dog won’t change the world, but surely it will change the world for that one dog.
I know, because I’m one of those dogs.
Love, licks and woofs!
Please join me in saying prayers for the safe return of our transport angel, Doug.
(Some of you, new to my blog, must be wondering who I am. Well, I’m an English Bullterrier rescue named Mr. Kippers, as well as the CEO of the company Classic Kippers. You can check out my website at classickippers.biz
Classic Kippers is a company, started by my parents and me, which gives all net profit to rescues. My story is also posted there- just go to “menu” in the upper left corner of the website and click on “About Mr Kippers”)