Johnny Blaze will celebrate his first Christmas this year. He will be excited with the tree, the presents and all of the people. He will be happy with the toys and running around trying to stay out of mischief. Even though Johnny won’t understand the holiday, he will know it is a special time.
Let me back track a bit and tell you more about Johnny. He had a rough start in this world. At 2 weeks old, he and his family had a house fire. He lost some of his siblings and the world as he knew it was gone forever.
Johnny suffered 2nd & 3rd degree burns to over 50% of his body that night. For any chance of survival, he had to be taken from his Mom and siblings and receive special care around the clock. Even with this care, there were no guarantees for him.
At 1.8 lbs and 2 weeks old, Johnny was brought to the Humane Society of Elkhart County by the Humane Society Animal Control Officer who responded to the house fire call. The kennel staff jumped into action assessing his condition and putting a care plan together.
He soon became a 24/7 attachment to the kennel supervisor as she bottle fed him and cared for his burns. Against all odds, he did thrive and started to heal. He became a part of her family being socialized by her children and other pets. Lots of medicine, daily attention to the burned areas and eventually, a couple of surgeries were needed for this little guy. It was apparent that he was going to have quite a bit of permanent scarring, however, he was really just a crazy, happy puppy who didn’t even realize there was anything different about him. His tail had been badly burnt and after a vet consultation, it was decided the best option was to totally remove it.
Finally, he was old enough and strong enough to reside at the shelter while he awaited his forever home. It is still unclear if future surgeries may be needed on his scarred skin as he grows. For now, he runs, romps and appears to be a normal puppy. He just takes breaks for ongoing skin care to his scars, and he’s a fashion hit in the sweaters he wears to keep his bare skin warm in the cold weather.
Happily, he just experienced his adoption day and now has his forever home with a family committed to giving him all the love and necessary attention he will need. The Animal Control Officer and Kennel Supervisor gave him a parting hug as the shelter team bid Johnny a fond farewell. A few misty eyes watched as Johnny left the shelter to embark on his new life adventure knowing that he will now be spending Christmas in his own home, getting into trouble with the tree and having so much fun.
Johnny’s story is exceptional. Nonetheless, the staff of the Humane Society is even more exceptional. Almost 4,700 animals passed through the shelter’s doors last year. There were daily miracles just like Johnny Blaze in 2015.
The shelter team works 24/7 for these animals in all types of unimaginable situations. Stop by the shelter; meet some of these miracles; or just say “thank you” to these hard working individuals.
Johnny, have fun, try to leave the tree alone and visit the staff often! Merry Christmas Johnny Blaze.