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May 20th is National Rescue Dog Day

To honor this day and dogs everywhere I want to share a story with you.

You know all about me and ‘Austin and Kat,'  but before there was Austin, there was Ace... 

He had been abandoned at a high kill shelter in the midwest before being rescued and brought to the NHSPCA in Stratham, NH...

By the time I met him he’d been at the shelter for a LONG time.  

Ace was a black dog...

I learned like many other black dogs in shelters, Ace spent more time waiting for his new home than his lighter-colored kennel mates, something known in the sheltering world as Black Dog Syndrome (BDS).

Additionally, Ace was a fear biter. As a mother with two young kids, and Brady, a very active dog, I already had a lot on my plate so bringing in a shelter dog that bit wasn’t a smart move.

But there was something special about Ace—I made it my mission to help rehabilitate this pup and took the plunge to adopt him.

Getting to know Ace was harder than I expected. When anyone came to approach him or went to pat him, he’d growl or cower—he wouldn’t even let me near. I was having second thoughts.

It was on his first visit to the vet when suddenly it all clicked into place. Dr. Mike (yep, the same doc that helped me with the first formulations of Austin and Kat!) looked into his eyes, turned to me, and said: “this poor guy can’t see you!”  

I now knew that Ace was 90% percent blind—premature cataracts at the age of one!

It answered so many questions.

I was immediately referred to Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital in Portsmouth, NH and to the amazing Dr. Nick Casodis. I didn’t even think twice and I scheduled Ace for surgery.

Ace had an artificial lens implant placed inside both of his eyes to allow images to be focused on the retina and to see clearly again. His vision was back. From that moment everything changed and we became the best of friends.

My time was special with Ace, and I’ll be forever grateful for having him in my life. 

He changed my view on how we treat dogs as family members, and while his time wasn’t super long here (he died at 8 years due to GDV), this gentle soul touched me, my daughters, and my friends in so many ways.

 ~ Kat

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