We all know the popular adage, “Who Rescued Who?” referring to the rewards that rescued animals provide their adopters. The Thulani Program, a program of German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California, has a real life example in Tasha T – a truly poignant story about a truly exceptional dog.
Tasha T. was saved by the Thulani Program from a municipal shelter in San Martin (at the insistent urging of the shelter director and staff) and adopted by Dawn as a companion dog. Dawn is critically dependent on supplemental oxygen 24/7, which sets the stage for this incredible story. Tasha is inseparable from Dawn day and night. Dawn writes:
“One night, the tube had become disconnected from my oxygen machine. Healthy oxygen saturation is usually in the 90s, but mine had gone down to the 70s — ambulance-worthy levels. Tasha had noticed and kept trying to wake me up. When I didn't respond, she jumped on top of me and I finally came to. I noticed the tube and plugged it back in. And hugged her. A lot. I would not have woken up again without Tasha.
I’ve never had a dog even come close to being so devoted to me. She is totally focused on me all of the time. If I’m in the shower, her nose is in the shower curtain. And I’ve learned to pay attention to her.
She even let me know when my oxygen machine froze up once and my saturation started dropping. We were in the back of a grocery store. I left the cart and she dragged me out. By the time I got home, my vision was going black.
A friend of mine certified her as a service dog, for which I had to deliberately put myself in respiratory distress to prove she alerted on it. She really knows her job. Everyone loves Tasha at Pulmonary Rehab. The first time I took her in with me, when the doctor checked me out, Tasha was just lying on the floor. When he had me breathe out forcefully, she jumped up and looked at me, watching to make sure I was okay. The woman that leads the pulmonary class tells that story every time new people come in.
Rescue dogs, especially the seniors, are so grateful, and I’m so grateful for Tasha.”
Tasha was a dog who no one wanted. In return for a chance to live out her days comfortably, she saved Dawn’s life not once, but twice, and is now a certified service dog.
Let’s make more incredible stories like Tasha and Dawn’s possible.