I believe in giving second chances. It was a cold February night, and I was sitting watching television with my family. The phone rang. It was our neighbor, screaming that her house was on fire. In a panic, my family and I hurried to her house. We were extremely concerned, because this residence housed numerous champion Dalmatian show dogs. My sister, Abbey, co-owned one of them named Chord. When we arrived, we saw that the house was engulfed in flames.
We found out that six of the nine Dalmatians had escaped, and three died from smoke inhalation. One of the six that survived was Chord, my sister’s dog. He was severely burned and he lay helpless in the backyard. When we found him, his whole right side was burnt with hanging skin. My dad picked Chord up and laid him in the back of his car and we rushed him to the University of Tennessee Veterinarian Hospital.
The veterinarian could not believe her eyes; she said that she had never seen an animal so badly burnt in her entire career. We now had to make a tough decision. The question came whether to put Chord to sleep or to start a long process of skin graphs and an extreme amount of rehabilitation and money. Of course Abbey wanted him to get well, but knowing what he would have to go through and his chances of survival, there was not much hope for him. My sister and the co-owner of Chord chose not to put him down. He was such a young and special dog and they wanted to have him around for a longer time.
After many skin grafts and surgeries, Chord fought for his life. One and a half months later, he was able to come home with my sister. This dog was not like any other. He had the will to live. Many of the veterinarians said that he was the perfect patient.
Chord, although scarred, has made a remarkable recovery. He is once again competing in dog shows and winning championships. Since his injury, Chord has won fifteen first place ribbons, won second place in the nation in agility, and has competed and won first place in the Dalmatian Nationals. He will also be a father in the spring of 2008. After I saw Chord go through so much pain during his rehab, I feel that he is very deserving of the second chance that he has been given. Chord is a very happy and lucky dog. He proves how everyone deserves a second chance to those who are willing to fight for what they want.
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