Dreya was ancient when she found me. She'd been a stray for a couple of years... possibly longer. There were rumors that she'd been bred and released when she was no longer wanted. She'd had a stray friend for a while, but he'd wandered up to some people who gave him to rescue. His name was Oliver and he became my foster dog and was soon adopted to some wonderful people who loved him very much. Oliver passed away from cancer a year later and I took that pretty hard. I decided I owed it to Oliver to go look for Dreya. To bring her into rescue and make sure she was okay.... for him.
I'd been told that nobody had been able to catch her. She ran from anyone who attempted to bring her in. I packed my hiking boots and a pack of hot dogs to entice her... I figured I'd be chasing her around for awhile. I was determined, though.
I drove the 2 hour trip to where she was rumored to hang out in the afternoon. Dreya, I was told, would hang out somewhere between the car wash and the diner of a little town in the middle of no place, Texas. I got there and slowed down to scan for her. The town was REALLY small and I saw her right away. I pulled over into a gas station parking lot, placed my car in park, opened the door, and called out to her.
She looked at me.
"Dreya! C'mere girl! You want a hot dog?"
She started coming to me. Slowly. Dreya was a solid mat of tangled hair with burrs and beetles and grass mixed in. She was a mess. She came over to me and I started talking with her while I fed her bites of hot dog. I spoke with her a few minutes this way before I placed a leash over her head and guided her to the back of my car. She couldn't jump... Her back leg strength was gone, so I lifted her into my hatchback and we set off.
On my way back, I contacted a friend of mine who ran the animal rescue I was volunteering for at the time. Heather agreed to meet me at her house and we spent 6 hours shaving Dreya. We took breaks because it was exhausting for all of us. The more of her we saw, the more we realized Dreya wasn't really adoptable. She was in bad shape. her muscles were atrophied; she was older than we had originally thought; and it got worse... when we took her to the vet we found out that she was diabetic and quite old. At this point I knew for sure she was supposed to be my girl.
Dreya was sweet. She had good manners from the start, despite having lived outside for so long. All she wanted was love. She followed me around and was patient with me while I measured her blood sugar and gave her insulin. She was patient with my little shihtzu mutt who was completely in love with her. Watching the 10 pound little man follow 75 pound Dreya around so adoringly was a constant source of amusement.
She stayed with me for 4 years. She blessed me with everything she did and when it was time to say goodbye to her, she took a huge chunk of heart with her.
I've been very blessed in my life with many amazing creatures who find their way to me. Each of them has taught me something. Each has given me so much and taken pieces of my heart when they've gone. Over the past 15 years, I've been heavily involved in animal rescue. I know that I am not the only one who unconditionally loves the creatures that find their way to me. The thing that I've noticed in the past several years is the enormous number of beloved pets who end up in shelters or rescue when their human passes away or goes into nursing care. To see these abandoned creatures mourning and scared... not understanding what's happening... not being able to help themselves... it has left a deep trench of pain through me. From all of this... Dreya's Place has been born.
We start small... an idea... a glimmer. As Dreya's Place grows, I will move to a larger facility. I will always make a home for any creature I can help... any who need me. My goal is to give peace of mind to people like me - who cannot bear the idea that the creatures they care for - who depend upon them for everything - would end up in danger of any kind. I hope to offer a safe haven for beloved pets who - due to life events which are out of our control - need it.
I do this in memory of my sweet girl, Dreya, who came to me for 4 short years and blessed me every single day.