“Pup-Squeak is a gift I did not expect,” says Joy Julian of Florida referring to her 31/2-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix. In 2003 Julian was asked by a member of her church — a dog trainer at Satchel’s Last Resort — to consider fostering a dog named Pup-Squeak.
Julian was also in need of help. She had polio 40 years ago and wears a full-length brace on her right leg. Her left leg, after four decades of bearing the extra weight, was hurting, along with her back. Picking things up proved painful.
Shelley Rohl, an animal cruelty investigator had found Pup-Squeak when she responded to a call reporting a bad smell. She and another investigator found an abandoned trailer filled with garbage, and dead and dying dogs and cats. Pup-Squeak was one of the few animals found alive. He was severely emaciated and had sores all over his body.
Rohl took Pup-Squeak to Satchel’s Last Resort, a rescue organization in Sarasota that takes in unadoptable dogs. Although many dogs live out their lives at Satchel’s, Pup-Squeak had improved so much after a year that she was ready for a foster home.
Pup-Squeak found her forever home and has blossomed under Julian’s loving care. She is trained to help Julian around the house. “She will pick up anything for me,” Julian says.
Pup-Squeak is also a certified therapy dog. She and Julian visit nursing homes and work with kids with disabilities. Although still timid at times, Pup-Squeak has become a valuable addition to many people’s lives — not just Julian’s. “She is a bridge to the community,” Julian says.
Jennifer Quasha is a DOG FANCY contributing editor and author of Don’t Pet a Pooch While He’s Pooping: Etiquette for Dogs and Their People (BowTie Press, 2004, $8.95). She lives in Connecticut.