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Ziggy’s Long Journey Home

Ziggy was found wandering with a broken leg near Desert Inn and Valley View.

Written by Khristi Suarez

Imagine your family, the ones you love and trust, loading you up into the car. You are excited! The window rolls down and you poke your head out into the breeze. Total happiness! After a while, the car stops and you readily jump out at the prospect of discovering someplace new.  As you run ahead in excitement, you hear the door slam behind you, but it is too late when you turn to realize they are driving away. You are alone.  At first you don’t panic, because you know they are as loyal to you as you are to them, right? They will be back. So you wait. And wait. For nearly two months you stay in that same area. You manage to survive on your own, scavenging for food wherever you can find it, yet you are determined to stay there, ready to go home as soon as your family realizes this terrible mistake and come back for you.  During that time, you suffer a leg injury; probably due to a neglectful motorist who struck you with their vehicle while you frantically ran across the street, confused and scared. Nobody stops. So many people pass you by; they see you, yet pretend not to. Others go out of their way to scowl, curse, or throw things to shoo you away. This is not the world you know. This world is cold, cruel and hateful. As the temperature drops, you search for someplace warm to lie down for the night, and begin to think to yourself, “how could this happen?”

This alone would be enough for many of us to just give up and throw in the towel, but not Ziggy. She somehow managed to summon the strength, and will, to stay alive. She fought! It was not in vain either.  She did not know it at the time, but there was someone who noticed her malnourished figure, and her struggle to move about with a painful limp; someone who cared enough to get involved. Despite this kind person’s best efforts, she was unable to lure the frightened dog to safety. Unwilling to look the other way, as so many others did, she made a call. That one call was all it took to rally support. Things were about to change for this little Cattle Dog, who had struggled for so long on her own. She was no longer alone. And thus began a concerted effort among several compassionate human beings to save this precious girl’s life.

It took close to a month to trap Ziggy. Because she had been on her own for so long, and treated so cruelly, she had developed an intense fear of humans. She would flee at the very sight of someone coming toward her. Rescuing this little dog was not an easy task, but in the end, patience, love and determination won out, and Ziggy was brought to safety.

It took a month to rescue this terrified girl and bring her to safety.

Initially, Ziggy was taken to another local rescue that cared for her while she underwent surgery to repair her broken leg, however, surgery revealed that the break in her leg was too old and had already begun to heal; not much could be done. Time to recover, and proper rehabilitation were key at this point, and this group knew they did not have the means to support and properly care for Ziggy during her recovery. Heaven Can Wait Dog Coordinator, Tania Camarillo, knew the staff of professionals she worked with were well equipped to meet Ziggy’s needs, and eagerly transported her to our facility where she began her rehabilitation.

Ziggy is now enrolled in the Pups on Parole program where she is housed, trained, and in the process of being rehabilitated at the women’s correctional facility. “She has come a long way since she first arrived,” boasts Tania, of this special little dog. “When we first got her she was just a scared little thing, who didn’t trust anyone, but she has since shown signs of overcoming her fears, and is not as shy when others approach.” She has also struggled with some food aggression, which is normal due to the lack of food, and malnutrition she suffered when she was homeless. And as for her leg injury, the good news is that it does not affect Ziggy’s mobility. Tania is happy to report that “although she walks with a little skip, and her knee protrudes slightly, she is able to run SO fast now, and overall, she is doing very well and is improving everyday!”

Ziggy is now enrolled in the Pups on Parol program where she is undergoing rehabilitation.

Ziggy’s story is not unique, in that she was abandoned and left to fend for herself. Unfortunately, this is a tragic occurrence that happens all too often. What makes her story special, and what gives us hope, is the outpouring of love and support for this helpless animal; the willingness of others to go out of their way to help another in need, and the determination, and collaborated efforts of everyone involved in saving her. These efforts, combined with the loving care she is receiving through her recovery and rehabilitation are the reasons why Ziggy will one day have her forever home; one where fear and hunger will be long forgotten; blocked out of memory completely by an abundance of joy and unconditional love.

We invite you to stay tuned for future updates on Ziggy’s journey with us; her progress, rehabilitation, and when this amazing little girl will be up for adoption.  You can learn more about Ziggy and her pals at the Pups on Parole Program by checking out their profiles on our website. And remember, the next time you come across a homeless animal, that you hold the power and ability to change their life forever; be an angel for an animal, because heaven really can wait!

Networking brought awareness to Ziggy’s plight, and moved so many to work together toward a comon goal… saving her life!


2 Responses

  1. The story on Ziggy and so many others that I receive truly make you stop and think. Not only does the story show the struggles of animals, but the same story represents, in a way, the treatment of fellow humans to humans. Perhaps these precious animals are here for many reasons, and one of the inconspicuous reasons is to pay attention to all things, all the time. Thank you Ziggy for your courage and hope and Thank you to the writer/s of these stories.

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