Save Ohio Strays
  P.O. Box 16
  Wadsworth, OH  44282
  (440) 567-3585
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Deke & Meredith- How Saving Them Saves Us!

This is a very personal and moving story about a beautiful young girl, Meredith, who adopted a very ORDINARY middle aged black lab, Harry.
Harry, nka Deke, is suffering from SEVERE bone spurs & x-rays have revealed he actually has BB shots in him! Some horrible person used to use him as target practice! He now gets more love than he has ever known with his best girl, Meredith.
Even in her first note to me, I knew Meredith was special with a heart as big as the great outdoors. She shared with me her struggles with depression as well as her hope to give a wonderful homeless pet another chance at life…just like she was getting.
Below is her story in her own words of how this love story began and grew. While we so often celebrate all the lives we have saved, we seldom stop to celebrate all the lives THEY help save! Pets are the loyal, loving constant in many of our lives. Often, families and people change BECAUSE of the love they get from their pets. Sandy Caldwell
“Dear SOS Team Members:
You should be proud of what SOS has become and all the hard work and dedication you have put into it to make it so successful. You get to experience the satisfaction of saving the lives of animals as well helping people whose lives you change by finding them their new pets. But I’m not sure if you know that one of your most extraordinary success stories is mine.
What began with saving Harry (now Deke) on his last day on ‘death row' became the first part of an intricate yet natural connection of two souls. I was disappointed to find out that the dog I initially contacted Sandy Caldwell about (Harry) was already adopted. However, I realized the true potential of SOS finding me the right dog and enlisted their help in doing so. But then I received a voice mail from Sandy ecstatically exclaiming Harry was again available for adoption- this was a day I had never thought possible. And of course, it was love at first sight when we met.
For many years, I have struggled to cope with the debilitating mental illness of clinical depression. It was enough of an effort to keep myself alive and it was nearly impossible to function in the ‘real world’. But through years of hard work, I finally found myself in the position I had always dreamed of. Not only was I holding a job, had finally graduated college and was supporting myself, I was finally capable of providing a stable home for the dog I needed most of all. My reward for all my hard work (and for getting out of bed everyday) was finally conceivable. I just never imagined it to be as miraculous as it has turned out to be.
I didn't just adopt a dog...I found the bond I never thought I was worthy of. Deke is such an incredible animal- he constantly amazes me. You can look into his eyes and feel what he is thinking. He is staring at me right now from his favorite position on my bed - I swear he knows the emotion I am feeling right now.
When you guys saved this dog, you ended up giving a person life as well! I finally have what I needed - I actually don't want to die anymore! I don't expect anyone to truly understand how it is that a dog could be the reason for this. Maybe this is why we are your best success story yet. Deke and I were meant to find each other. Although we both had to suffer our entire lives before we could meet, we can both now appreciate the happiness others take so much for granted. I have someone that for the first time in my life honestly loves me, and he has the same.
Please remember this each time you wonder if all the work pays off. Each time you question whether an animal has potential to be adopted. Each time you experience heartbreak. You have all played a role in saving my life. I cannot thank you enough. Now if we could only find a way to make dogs live as long as we do.
With all our love - Meredith and Deke”

Patty Strohmenger was his foster mom for several months and loved this boy. She writes "Deke helped to take away much of the pain and sorrow Meredith struggled with on a daily basis. At the same time, she helped Deke to heal as well. He had massive separation anxiety and many health issues, but if anybody knew how to help him through his issues and help him heal, it was Meredith. Deke is now a very well-adjusted, happy boy who received his certification with Therapy Dogs International. Because of the generous people associated with SOS, through time, money, donations, volunteering, or fostering we can produce a phenomenal success story such as this. PLEASE - adopt. There is a lost soul out there waiting for you to save it!" Patty Strohmenger, Deke’s foster mom

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