Pedigree Foundation Announces Rescue Dog of the Year Winner

From our good friends at Pedigree: Stevie Wonderful was blind and lost when he was found. But with care and love, he has become a beacon of hope. Today he has a loving family and is a canine greeter bringing joy at Cleveland Clinic. His enduring spirit is why we chose him as PEDIGREE Foundation’s 2020 Rescue Dog of the Year.

Stevie was found trying to cross a six-lane highway, dragging four feet of rusty chain that was wrapped around his neck. He had a flea infestation, ear mites, mange, heartworm disease and suffered from malnutrition. He was also blind, likely from past head trauma.

Thanks to the amazing people at Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue (ISBCR), he started to get the care he needed. He spent months getting medical care and socialization. At times, it looked like he wouldn’t make it. But he fought and fought, and eventually he regained his health.

When it came time for Stevie to be adopted, he needed a special family – one that would love him for him, with his special needs. It’s not easy to take on a blind dog without formal training or socialization. ISBCR had started both, but his new home would need to do more.

About six months after his rescue, Stevie found an equally wonderful family. Richard and Debra have gone the distance and then some for him, loving him as a part of their family and giving him the kind of life that movies are made from.

In fact, they’ve been on an RV adventure together to see America. But after that, he’ll return to his duties as a Canine Greeter at the Cleveland Clinic, where he was named Canine Greeter of the Year in 2018.

Says ISBCR Founder and Executive Director Dr. Victoria Summers, “In my 39 years in rescue, having shared the lives of thousands of blessed paws finding their ways from despair to elation, I have never met a dog more deserving of being named Rescue Dog of the Year. He carries hope in the wag of his tail.”

“Beyond his own rescue story, as a greeter at Cleveland Clinic, his mere presence lends support to those in medical peril,” says Dr. Summers. “Stevie is a beacon of hope in an otherwise gloomy world and the harshness of life. To meet Stevie Wonderful is to find hope and to know that there is truly a light at the end of the tunnel…for us all.”
Stevie being a greeter at Cleveland Clinic
Photo courtesy of Cleveland Clinic

Adds Jennifer Reinke, Coordinator of Caring Canines at Cleveland Clinic, “As part of Cleveland Clinic’s Caring Canine program, Stevie Wonderful is a shining example of the joy greeter dogs can bring to patients. We are thrilled he is receiving this honor. Like many of our patients, Stevie Wonderful has overcome many hardships – both physical and emotional. Now, the sight of him in the halls of the hospital can bring a smile and a bit of comfort to so many during times of difficulty.”

Stories like Stevie’s are why we do what we do at PEDIGREE Foundation. Rescue dogs rescue us right back. We’re so happy Stevie found a loving forever home, and we’re grateful to ISBCR and all the shelters and rescues that help dogs like Stevie.

Every dog deserves a loving home. We wish Stevie and his family a life full of love and happiness.

What a great story!

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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