Danielle of Killeen, Texas, worked as a veterinary technician in an animal
hospital. Passing by the room where a badly burned puppy lay, Danielle caught his
eye. She saw in his face pain and despair. He was brought in by a man who claimed
no responsibility for this horrible happening where it seemed someone had
poured gasoline over the pup and set him on fire. Now he decided he should be euthanized.
Danielle asked the vet whether he could be saved. He said yes, but it
would be expensive. Not wealthy, she nevertheless got the owner to sign over ownership to her
and asked the vets to treat him. She felt this little dog should get to know the simple
joys that all dogs should experience. And now she gave this little pup a big name
--"D'Artagnan", after the
captain of the Musketeers. His treatment began with skin-graft surgery to
reconstruct his horribly burnt mouth. In time the pup's condition improved dramatically,
and Danielle was able to take him home to be with the other dogs and cats she had.
She also decided that the name D'Artagnan was quite a mouthful and
shortened it to Mister D. Mister D fit in beautifully with the other dogs and cats who lived in
Danielle's home. It seems as though he succeeded in putting his horrible past behind him by finding a
happy niche with
the other dogs and cats who shared his living quarters. The cats would
often be found sleeping with him, and Mister D could sometimes be found sharing his food with the
Because of the horrible burn to his face, the scars were evident, and he
even looked a little bit scary because of the skin grafts. But Danielle would never ever regret
saving his life, and soon he would return the favor.
Last year Danielle was in a terrible accident when riding her motorcycle.
Trying to avoid a collision with a car, she ended up on the street in a bloody heap with a
broken skull. At the hospital the doctors at first could not even find any brain function.
Her mother flew in from Germany, and that's when I had an aha moment. I
have known two very special women who were also of German descent. I found both of them to be
wonderfully caring about animals --especially about dogs and cats. They would often clue me into
their wonderful insights in this regard. Danielle also had their wonderful gift of caring
Danielle's injuries were so severe that there was a question in every one's
mind whether she would recover. In the meantime, her mother took care of the dogs and cats
at home and was grateful when Danielle's ex-husband came to help her. Now she could spend
more time with Danielle.
And then Laura S., the Care 2 writer of this post, wrote something quite
profound: But in the silence of the mind, a louder voice came from Danielle's soul, which said "'I have
to get back to Mister D and my other 'kids' because they need me and I need them."
So with the strong belief that she had to wake up for her animals--after 12
days she miraculously did. Remembering this later, she said tearfully, "I woke up. And the first words
that I uttered were Mister D."
Though she had to remain in rehabilitation for some time, having to learn to
walk and speak again, she finally came home. Of course, all of her companion animals received a
loving embrace -- especially Mister D. who she feels was the reason she was able to summon all her
energies to get well. She has called him her musketeer and protector. And she notes that he had given
her the security, protection, and love that she never received from people.
She hopes her story will inspire others to rescue animals rather than
buying them because, as she explains--there will always be a bond between you and that pet that can
never be broken.