A homeless woman reunites with her beloved Labrador mix. This is a rescue story with a difference.
Linda Barnes, a recently homeless woman dropped off her beloved dog at North Chicago Animal Control because she could no longer care of the pooch.
“She called him her rescue dog,” says shelter officer Dana Deustch said.
“Usually when we hear rescue dog you think, ‘What rescue did you get him from?’ but she said he rescued them.”
Linda lost her home in Waukegan.
According to her, Shadow, a Labrador Retriever-Corgi mix, saved her family more than once. She said that Shadow alerted the family when her daughter had a heart attack. She saved her family again when there was a small fire in their house.
“This dog really saved our lives,” she said. “It hurt me that day to give this dog up, but sometimes you don’t have no choice in life. [Shadow] came into our lives and just touched us. He’s just remarkable; he’s a miracle dog.”
Dana was taking a personal day Friday when she was called in by Animal Control Supervisor Sergeant Darcie Brown, for a woman who was surrendering her dog.
“She was extremely sad,” Darcie said. “She walked up and she said ‘Can you take my dog?’ I said ‘Why are you giving him up?’ and she said ‘Well, because we are homeless now and we can’t take care of the dog.’”
Darcie said they don’t typically take animals from outside the area, but Linda’s story immediately became too compelling to turn away.
“It was devastating watching and listening to her,” said Dana.
“People give up their dogs like, you know, they’re just throwing out the trash sometimes and this dog was like the last thing she had. I felt like it was the last thing she had in her world that meant anything to her.”
Dana took the dog with her and began looking for ways to help after Linda left.
“It was tough, but I knew I was going to be able to take care of him,” she said. “He’s young, he’s energetic– he’s like a very happy dog. He loves everybody. Rescues were lining up to take him.”
On Wednesday she got a call from Linda saying she found a home through a generous friend and wanted to take Shadow back.
“We’re praying that he goes back home,” she said. “And we’ll do whatever we can to support and help her. We’ll provide her with food as long as we can, rabies shots. We’re always willing to help out.”
The news was just what Linda needed.
“I screamed, I prayed. I jumped up and down,” she said.
Linda is expecting to move into her new home on Friday and plans to bring Shadow with her.
“I got something to live for now. I’ve got something to look positive for,” she said.
Image: Dana Deutsch/NACC
Source: NBC Chicago