We all have a story. This is mine.
My name is Kellan and my story started on November 12th. That day, I saw two humans feeding homeless dogs in Houston’s Fifth Ward. I walked up to them…
And that’s when the humans saw me, a walking skeleton with wounds all over, some looked like bullet wounds. It was apparent that I was abused, abandoned, neglected….and I needed help immediately. I didn’t know it at the time, but the humans—Alicia and Yvette—are volunteers for Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project, an organization who help the forgotten and abandoned animals of the Fifth Ward area of Houston, TX.
They took my photos and sent a plea out in hopes they could find a foster home for me. They also gave me my name, after the fearless leader of the organization, Kelle.
Immediately, they found a foster for me. An angel named Shawna called my rescuers right away without even thinking. She said her heart sank and although she wasn’t sure if she was going to be the help I needed, decided to give me a safe place.
That night Shawna took me home and let me lay on the warmest bed I’d ever been in. She then sat on the floor with me and cried.
I was just happy I could rest safely. You don’t know what a relief it is to be off the street! My rescuers believe I was probably used as a breeder dog and after I was no longer useful, I was either dumped or used as a bait dog. Although the wounds that looked like bullet wounds were actually infected wounds, I was still a mess. Here’s a video my rescuers made of me, documenting all my wounds and scars on my skeletal frame.
Shawna has a wonderful home but my rescuers didn’t want to put her small pets in danger since they hadn’t had a chance to test me with other dogs due to my poor physical condition. So they decided to find another foster home for me, one without any other pet.
This is when my foster dad, Michael, came to my life. Michael was recently separated from a 17-year relationship and was living alone. He is a good friend of a wonderful photographer, Robyn Arouty, who volunteers her talent to help rescues in Houston. The day the plea for a new foster went out, he said to her, “She needs me. And I need her.”
So that’s when this chapter of my life started. Michael & me.
Robyn decided to do a photoshoot of me and my new fab life, something she called a “Before & After” photos. She enjoyed visiting us often & reported my progress along the way to my rescuers and their supporters.
I love being in my foster home. I spend my days just decompressing which means I just sleep most of the time. I finally gained enough weight to be spayed & my rescuers made plans for my “After” photos so they could list me for adoption. By now, Michael had reconciled with John and that meant they were going back to live in their home with 2 chihuahuas.
Robyn was a worried mess! She was thinking, “Would she want to eat their little dogs? How did John feel about this?” Michael told her it would all be fine. And it was.
Of course I adore my foster family. (I’ll let you in on a little secret: I adore everyone. ) And my foster dad Michael is a man of his word. He loves me and is committed to nursing me back to health to prepare me for my new life.
I’ve gained more than 20 pounds. Remember all those bite marks on my face and neck area? Only a few scars remain, and I’m ready to start the next chapter of my life.
- I’m a Dogo Argentino, approx 3-5 years old and weigh 75 lbs
- My fosters say I’m very smart and obedient. I already know “SIT”, “BOX” (my foster dad’s word for kennel), and “OUTSIDE”
- I’m very good on a leash and I will come to sit at your side to signal when I’m finished with my “business”
- House- and crate-trained, spayed & up to date on all vaccinations, I am low heartworm positive and currently undergoing slow-kill treatment
- I’m very gentle with people and other dogs
- I crave attention and companionship; I want nothing more than to just sit next to you and take a nap
- I love the sofa and the big human bed but if you don’t allow me, I’m okay with that. I just think a snuggle with me is just what you need to get to sleep
I’d like that very much.
p.s. Houston’s got a dirty little secret. 1.2 million homeless animals live in the city. Kellan is a lucky girl who no longer calls the streets home, thanks to wonderful organizations like Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward Project. To volunteer, foster or donate to them, please visit forgottendogs.org.
p.p.s. The “After” photoshoot was special. Shawna was there and it was bittersweet for her. She told Robyn,
“Kellan is truly a special dog. I have never seen a dog full of so much grace and kindness. I hope that her forever family understands the enormity of Kellan’s life, what her story means for all of us involved in her journey and how special they are for choosing the most amazing dog. It will have to be a family worthy of such greatness and who understands that more than them “saving” Kellan, I believe she will be saving them. She has so far with every life she has touched.”
Photos by robyn arouty photography
Editor’s Note: Kellan was adopted in July 2014. Sadly she passed away on January 9th, 2015. Her forever parents wrote:
“It is with deep sadness that I write today. Our sweet baby girl Kellan crossed over the Rainbow Bridge last night. For the past few weeks she had not been feeling well. We worked with our veterinarian and were giving her the best care we could possibly give her. She had her ups and downs the past few weeks but the last couple days she was feeling really good. In fact yesterday was a good day for her. She woke up in the morning, ate a homemade breakfast, and received lots of love from me and her dad. She appeared to be feeling good the majority of the day. We do not know exactly what happened or what was wrong (the vet never came up with a clear diagnosis), but we know that she is now in a place where she will never be abused, neglected, in pain, or sick ever again. She was our baby girl and we loved her with all our heart. Rest in peace sweet Kellan. You will hold a place in our hearts forever.”