Monday, November 25, 2013

Update: Xena The Warrior Puppy Wins Top ASPCA Award

A big shout out and congratulations to Xena the Warrior Puppy for winning this year's ASPCA dog of the year award.
Xena the Warrior Puppy and BFF Jonny
hang out together recently. 

I wrote about Xena in early May in this here blog thingy, several months after she'd been rescued, at death's door, having been horribly abused and starved. When she was found, nobody thought she'd survive overnight.

But she miraculously rallied, and eventually her rescuers were ready to have Xena go to a good home. Xena went to a fundraiser where the young dog bonded immediately with a kid name Jonny Hickey who was 8 at the time.

Jonny has autism and rarely communicated with anyone. But Xena brought Jonny out of his shell and the boy is now an outgoing, friendly young man, thanks to Xena's love and companionship.

When I wrote about the situation in early May, I mused about who rescues whom when a dog is pulled from a situation of neglect or need and put into a loving home.  As in the case of Xena, the rescued one becomes the rescuer.

About a week after I wrote that column, our Bailey the Wonder Dog, who we had taken into our home a year earlier,  got sick.  By the end of the month, Bailey had passed away.

Xena the Warrior Puppy looking
happy at the ASPCA Dog Of The
Year ceremony earlier this month.  
I deeply mourned the loss of Bailey, of course. But even in death, he taught me a lesson. Love what's in your life now, because it won't last forever. And embrace everything you can.

Which seems to be what Xena the Warrior Puppy has been up to. She's been damn busy.

In addition to being Jonny's partner in crime, Xena has been visiting a 12-year old girl with cancer in an Atlanta area hospital to cheer her up and cheer her on, according to the Today Show.

Xena has also been visiting a prison where inmates train homeless dogs in a program called Canine CellMates.   Xena has been helping make sure that program runs smoothly.

Xena The Warrior Puppy has also been helping Jonny's mom, Linda, call attention to the importance of rescuing dogs in need and promoting autism awareness.

Xena has been keeping the world up to date on her work through her Facebook page and at her web site, 

A shout out should also go to Koshka, the ASPCA's Cat of the Year. Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott rescued Koshka while serving in Afghanistan, and Koshka returned the favor by helping Knott get through his darkest days after two of his closest friends were killed in a suicide attack.

Koshka now lives happily with Knott and the rest of his family in Oregon.

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