Today I want to share with you the story of a very special dog named Bailey, who found his way from the mean streets of Taiwan to the world’s leading holistic sanctuary for special needs animals. Bailey has inspired me and so many countless others with his courage and gratitude.
It was a heartwrenching diagnosis: “He’s paralyzed and incontinent. We might as well put him down.” The words of the vet filled the hearts of Bailey’s rescuers with sadness.
The abandoned Keeshond mix with fur as soft as a rabbit looked up at his rescuers with loving eyes. Could it be possible that this puppy, who somehow survived courageously on his own—even though severely injured—would now, although finally rescued, be euthanized in a vet clinic?
Bailey truly is a miracle puppy. Abandoned very young, all alone on the streets of Taiwan, his back broken (presumably by being hit by a car), Bailey’s adorable personality inspired sympathy in a local restaurateur, who placed him in a box and fed him scraps to survive. With no vet care and living in a filthy box, his outlook seemed grim. Yet one miraculous day, two teachers dedicated to animal rescue happened to walk by and, discovering him in this predicament, took him to a vet, hoping to help him heal and find a home for adoption.
After the news about his permanently disabled condition, these teachers knew there was very little hope that he would find an adoptive home in Taiwan. Just when they were about to give up, they decided to try putting out word in the United States. Perhaps someone would feel moved to help Bailey.
Another miracle: Somehow, their letter found its way to Gail and Richard Pope of BrightHaven holistic animal sanctuary in Sebastopol, California. BrightHaven’s specialty is helping animals who are special needs, so Bailey’s issues were very familiar to them. After trying unsuccessfully to find an adoptive home through their extensive network, they decided to take Bailey into the BrightHaven family.
Immediately, Bailey’s life changed for the better! At first weak and guarded, he gained strength and trust through a natural raw-food diet and homeopathic treatment under the care of BrightHaven’s holistic vet Dr. Christine Barrett. Volunteers and visitors showered him with love; Bailey also became the most beloved participant in my monthly Reiki classes. Instead of begging for scraps in a box on the streets of Taiwan, Bailey found himself on the couch in the living room of one of the world’s premier animal sanctuaries for special needs animals. As a final gift, thanks to his Taiwanese rescuers, Bailey received a state-of-the-art canine wheelchair. He now runs as fast as any dog with four working legs!
Today, Bailey lives as every dog should: loved and cared for by his special people, in health, peace and contentment. Chinese philosophy talks about the Tao, meaning “way” or “path.” If you were to ask Bailey how he found his Tao to such happiness, despite all the hardships, he might say, “through gratitude and courage”—for anyone who has ever met Bailey would agree that these words describe his personality so well. So we might say that the Tao of Bailey is that if we face every challenge in life with gratitude and courage, all will be well.
How have rescued animals inspired you?
Lead photo © Lexie Boezeman Cataldo