A Million in One


Every creature fights for survival.

This dog gave up to ticks. Millions of them. In clusters all over her. Her soft skin invaded by clusters of them. The armpits, the ears, the toes, the neck. In my eight years in rescue and animal cruelty investigations, I have never seen  dog with so many ticks.


Someone tied her amongst tall grass and left her there.

She must’ve tried to get away.

The missing fur tells us that at some point she chose to bite them off.

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Then she tried to break her leash.

Then she gave up.

To die a horrible death.

This dog was anemic beyond belief. Her gums were bleached. She wouldn’t have made it through the day with those ticks sucking away at her emaciated body.


So I sat down on my knees and started picking them off her body. 2 people working for 30 minutes or so got maybe 25% of them off her. Nothing grosses me out more than clusters of ticks but this dog needed relief.

We doused her with chemicals and took her to the Vet -assuming she will need a transfusion. The good Vet told us that as long as she eats- she will be fine. So I opened some wet food for her and even before the dish hit the floor she had scarfed down almost all of it.


Then I wrote “Very Gentle” with a sharpie across her disposition paperwork. That means she will have 3 days. The compassionate Vet smiled at me for the work done to save her and marked her for spay surgery. That would mean she won’t die immediately. That she will have a shot at life.

While I was putting her back in her cage she wagged her tail and for the first time in her empty eyes I saw a spark. A chance at life- hope.




As the ticks dropped off her continually- due to the medication I wondered if my touch today was the first loving touch this dog had ever known.

Her survival chances are up to her luck now. Maybe (post spay) in the weeks she has at the shelter a family would see through all the dried scabs of blood and see a priceless soul. Maybe she will finally get the love that we humans owe her. Maybe she’ll be able to give her love to someone.

She was one with a million ticks on her.

Today her survival chances are one in a million……

…But one is a number.

Will you be the one to make her your ONE and ONLY?


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