Hope — Emerging Hero

Charity Partner: Pets for Patriots
Location: Freeburg, Illinois

I would like to nominate my dog, Hope, for the Emerging Hero Award. The product of a backyard breeder, Hope was born without eyes and is completely deaf. I discovered Hope on the shelter’s website and instantly fell in love. My heart ached as I stared at Hope’s eyeless sockets. She would never get to see the world around her. Something inside of me kept saying, “If you don’t adopt her, no one will.”

At first glance, Hope appeared to be broken. I could certainly relate. I had recently lost my grandmother to Mantel Cell Lymphoma. The disease made her weak, yet she was anything but frail. Doctors had only given her four months to live. She completely surprised everyone by living for three more years.

Losing my grandmother was devastating. My heart physically hurt for months after her passing. Then Hope came into my life. I thought that she would need special accommodations due to her disabilities. She proved me wrong.

Hope learned the layout of my house in a week. She also climbed the basement stairs and barked at the back door when she wanted to go out. Hope’s incredible spirit and courage reminded me of my grandmother.

She starts every morning with a wagging tail and kisses. Hope smiles whenever she feels the warmth of the sun. Her love of life inspired me to live again and proved that neither of were broken and that being differently-abled does not mean disabled.