It’s easy to look the other way when there’s a problem. It’s easy to assume someone else will fix it. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to those in need. What isn’t easy is to take the time to change it. If you are the kind of person who can look a wrong in the face no matter how challenging or how much it pulls on your heart strings and makes that wrong a right than you are someone like Tina Weicker.
For 12 years, Tina has been adopting and loving Great Danes. Her first Dane was acquired through Danes in Distress, a non-profit organization run by a handful of wonderful caring people who share the same passion as Tina. So when Tina decided it was time to volunteer to help a cause that she was passionate about, Danes in Distress was the perfect fit.
For over a year now Tina has been responsible for helping to rescue Great Danes. The dogs are brought in to the fold for many reasons. Some are abused and rescued by other caring soles. Some are neglected and just abandoned. Some are simply surrendered to DID because the owners have come upon hard times and cannot afford a pet any longer. All situations are heart breaking but the ability to help do something about it is where the not so easy part begins.
Volunteering with DID means getting a call, sometimes late at night, to take care of Great Dane that needs an immediate home and vet care. That was the story with Sara.
Sara was a 3 year old Great Dane, who sat in an empty house waiting for her owner to come home. The sad part is the owners where never coming back.
She was left behind with no food or water. A beautiful girl left to die alone. Sara was left behind like garbage. Sara sat for two weeks crying in an empty house for someone to come home.
A neighbour heard Sara’s cries for help. When they realized that the people that had moved out two weeks before left the dog behind, they where mortified.
The neighbour broke through the back door of the house to find Sara starving & dehydrated. They tried feeding Sara and to help her but soon realized they were in over their head. They went online and contacted Danes in Distress. That’s when Tina got the call.
She drove north of Barrie at 10:00 p.m. on a Saturday night in September through a bad thunderstorm to rescue Sara. When she met up with the neighbor, she didn’t know if Sara was going to make it. Tina and Danes in Distress
President Jim Wood spoke on the phone while she was in transit. Jim gave Norfolk Vet Clinic a heads up that Tina would be arriving late with Sara. She was starving to death.
After examining Sara, the veterinarian decided the best thing for her was for Tina to get her home and care for her slowly. She would need to be fed every two hours to get her tummy stretched back to size. Tina stayed by her side for two weeks. They slept together, went to work together and more importantly bonded together. It was Sara’s first taste of loving human companionship.
During the first two weeks, she had many issues. She was afraid of strangers, she was terrified of being left alone and all she wanted was food. From the time Sara was picked up, her main focus was food.
Everything was new to Sara; going for walks, playing with toys, everything. To see Sara learn all of these everyday things dogs do brought tear to our eyes.
Tina’s day job is running a small company in Brantford called The Print Shoppe Inc. She wears many hats in running her company each day: sales, caring for clients, managing employees, production scheduling, shipping and receiving, finances and day to day operations. In addition to that, she maintains her household and property, and cares for her own pets. I am her partner in all aspects and stands with her through it all. Their shared passion gives them strength on the hard days and much joy on the great days!
So maybe you’re saying, “Why would someone do this? I mean I like dogs too but to give up all your free time and not get paid.” The answer is simple; someone has to do the hard stuff. Tina does the hard stuff, as do many others in the organization. There is an upside to all this commitment though. It’s hard to put in to words. Perhaps if you’re a dog owner you’ll understand. It’s those moments in time when those big brown eyes stare at you and in a fraction of a second a thousand words are conveyed and the security of a bond that can never be broken is reaffirmed. That is the reward and sharing it with other families as they welcome their new Great Dane in to their lives isn’t hard at all.