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December 8, 2022

How a disabled rescue dog saved my life

I am a country music singer and although I love animals so much, I have not had a pet in several years due to all of the travel I do performing.  2020 was going to be my biggest year of touring yet: 5 months straight in 14 countries.  When it all fell apart due to Covid-19, I was devastated but I knew there had to be a reason and a bigger plan for me… and along came Audrey.

In a state of extreme sadness from all my hopes and dreams being ripped away from me, I was sitting in my living room scrolling Instagram and this beautiful little face popped up on my newsfeed.  A friend that I had JUST met, only about one week prior, had reposted an “Urgent Foster Needed” notice for a local rescue.  Audrey was found on an abandoned property in Texas with both of her back feet severed and a spinal injury.  She needed an urgent foster due to the extreme care she required to heal her wounds.  Her story broke my heart.

Her face stopped me dead in my tracks and I knew that we had to take her.  I called my husband in and said, “We are taking this dog.”  He thought I was crazy with our grueling schedules but agreed to a “playdate.”  The next day little Audrey was dropped off at our house with a box full of diapers, gauze, wound tape, and the rest is history.

It was love at first sight.  She had everything and anything she wanted and we were determined to give her the life she deserved.  Healing her physical and mental wounds has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life.

Her stumps remained open with wounds and infections for close to 2 ½ years and until her legs were ready enough for real prosthetics, we were hand-making them. We turned into inventors, trying every Dr. Scholl’s insert on the shelf for padding, bra inserts, and finally settled on anti-fatigue kitchen mats that we cut into disks and wrapped around her legs.

After 6 grueling surgeries, years in a wheelchair, and so much heartache, Audrey was finally ready to try to walk.  It was not easy having her adjust to her new legs as well as caring for all the new wounds and challenges that would come with breaking in her devices, but she prevailed, as always. Audrey’s spinal injury also has left her incontinent, and she requires diapers.  It was very funny going from carrying guitars to a diaper bag for our dog.  We have really dedicated our lives to her care.

She became a beacon of light for me in a very dark time in my life.  She showed me that terrible things can happen to you and you can be resilient and move on stronger than you were before. If she can overcome what she went through, I feel like I can overcome anything that comes my way.  She inspires me every single day to live life to the fullest and helps me to remember that your whole world can change in wonderful ways in an instant.

As happy as we were to have Audrey in our lives, there was also this looming feeling of distress thinking about having to give her up. We had no idea how we would ever give her the loving, stable home she deserves being on the road so much but she had truly become our baby.  We had many sleepless nights and serious talks about a game-plan and we ultimately decided we would do absolutely anything to keep her.

I cannot even express in words the outpouring of love and support from friends and fans across the world opening their hearts and homes to her.  It “takes a village” and we certainly had one all rally together for this amazing pup.  She now sits shotgun in the tour bus with her Daisy Duke jean diaper as the stage manager.

We could say we saved Audrey’s life but I really don’t think that would be the truth because she really saved ours.  She has brought joy into our world that we didn’t know could exist and renewed my faith in humanity by working so closely with the amazing rescues that saved her and so many other animals in need. I’ve been reminded that there are so many wonderful people in the world.  So, although technically I would say this is the end of her rescue story, I would prefer to say that it is really just the beginning.

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Jessica Lynn  |  Contribution: 130