We promised the wonderful folks at Big Dog Ranch Rescue that we would share Miracle with anyone who was interested. So – this is the place. We will provide “pup”-dates with how he is doing. We are overwhelmed with all of the love he received while he was in the care of Big Dog and now while he is settling in with us.
So his story begins here. – SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN FOR THE LATEST UPDATES
End of year 2018?
Miracle started out his life likely a wild “potcake” pup on Marsh Harbour in the Abacos. Growing up visiting the Bahamas we were told that they received this name by people scraping the burned bottom out of pans after they cooked and feeding this “pot-cake” to the local wild dogs. I imagine our boy received a lot of them because he is just so darn sweet.
When Hurricane Dorian bared down on the area, the rushing floodwaters likely washed Miracle under a big pile of debris including air-conditioning units. He survived from rainwater that puddled near his face. His ears were scabed up from bugs gnawing on him. His mouth was raw from trying to chew his way out. His fur was patchy. There was a dog next to him that looked like him that his not survive.
Big Dog Ranch Rescue launched a mission to search for survivors with the help and support of so many people. You can see as he is finally pulled free here.
People Magazine shared his story as well.
Sean, a former marine, was the one to patiently lift his emaciated little 16 pound body.
Our first meeting with Miracle was chance, fate and magic and all the things. We went to Big Dog Ranch in October just to look as we had been talking about adding pup to our motley crew. We had put in an inquiry for him as soon as the story aired, but so did 10,000 people so it wasn’t really on my radar. And to be honest, after seeing the video (I could only watch part because the tears just come) I was hopeful but not convinced that he would be earthside very long… Anyhow, off the kids and I went.
My husband and I chaired the Big Dog Gala a few years back so we know the amazing work they do. I could go on and on about the PTSD service dog training program, the love they put into each dog, the cage free facility… but seeing it in person is just incredible. He literally received AROUND THE CLOCK tender loving world class care. We are so grateful.
We strolled around and met so many amazing pups. Any would have been amazing additions to a home with kiddos. We knew we wanted a pup who could swim, preferably not a tiny puppy, and not so small the kids would trample it but not so big I couldn’t lift them into the car.
Lauree Simmons saw us asked if we would like to meet Miracle. My kids were so excited to meet this symbol of hope so we followed her back to a dental office that was serving as his nursery. It was absolutely love at first sight. Did you know he can smile??? I mean, melt my heart. He smiled at us, lifted his head and took a few pitiful limps to our 8 year old and bedded down in her lap. Everyone was crying. He could barely move but that tail was wagging. He had a little pink pig stuffed toy that he would hold in his mouth. When he would occasionally take a few steps they were hobbled. Lauree explained that he has heartworm and will have more treatments to come. She also noticed he had contracted a respiratory infection that would require treatment. She explained that whoever his family was would have to share him with the Ranch, press, and to keep the secret for a month. We would have agreed to fly to the moon.
Before we were able to share that we were adopting him we had covert visits out to see him. Do you know how hard it is to keep a secret with 3 kids 8 and under who are so excited they can barely sleep? It was like those first few weeks of pregnancy – you are so excited you have a big smile plastered on your face but you can’t explain why. Hopeful, nervous, excited. The kids were making him cards and asking to do chores so they could go buy him toys. Promising to pick up every potty and to keep their toys up so he would not accidentally get into them. SCORE!
While he was recovering at Big Dog Ranch Rescue so many people sent him gifts. The Pittsburg Pet Prayer Group sent him a handmade blanket. He received pillow and blanket with his name on them, a bunch of people sent cards with encouraging messages. We have tried to respond to all that had addresses included. If we missed you I appologize. Chewy, The Honest Kitchen, Titos, Rachel Ray and so many others sent so many blessings his way.
Then Kate from the Orlando Sentential called to ask some questions… and the Today show called about coming by… and I realized what a big deal this was. Kate asked about the home our family lost when Dorian impacted the Abacos and if we would take Miracle back to his “homeland” one day. We do plan on that for sure. Our friends at Blue Heron Fishing brought him a lifejacket and collapsable water bowl after seeing my husband say on the Today show that he wanted him to be a boat dog their note said “Blue Heron Fishing” wants Miracle to be a boat dog too.” How sweet is that?
November 11th 2019.
The Today show crew arrived at our house to get some back story on us to air the following day when we would be going live. (OH MY GOSH, WHAT TO WEAR(thank heaven for Lady JetSet), SO MUCH CLEANING!) but they were amazing and made us all so comfortable. Kerry Sanders was the most genuine human you can imagine. The whole team works SO hard and such long hours and they really care that the Today show fans are getting the real story delivered in a digestible way.
November 12th 2019
That was actually the day we got to take him HOME! FINALLY! We got up bright and early and headed to Big Dog Ranch Rescue.
That day the show aired we go to meet Sean, the man who pulled him from the rubble. He told us about the dire circumstances, and how he was wagging his tail even though he could barely pick up his head. Que the waterworks. I was not prepared for how special that would be. HIs heart is as big as the sun and just as bright. We plan on keeping him part of Miracles life. He is his “Uncle Sean”! And speaking of, we got a message from Dawn F. on facebook from the woman who allow Sean and the rest of the crew to stay at their home in the Abacos while working the rescue mission. She asked to be his Aunt and of course we were thrilled. What a lucky boy to have so many people rooting for him. We are looking forward to taking him back one day so she can meet him. This is the Today show clip that shares his homecoming.
After being with the incredibly news teams all morning – Heelr(more on that later) surprised Big Dog with a donation of $50,000. Incredible! That will change so many lives! Thank you thank you!
Here are some more clips and stores about that day.
FINALLY we got to take our boy home! HOORAY!
We all loaded up in the car for his first coherent car ride. We had a dog bed and he rode looking out the windows or resting his head on the kids. Ahh, this is what we were waiting for. The kids got to skip school that day and we just enjoyed being a family. It was everything we hoped for. We had a little welcome party with family and enjoyed the adorable cake from SB Cakery and the welcome balloon from an amazing local eco friendly balloon company. The kids enthaustically showed him the signs they made to welcome him home.
He spent the first day mostly sleeping with his body under our coffee table and his head at someone’s feet. Adam, with Palm Beach Adventure Dogs came over to advise us on the potty training. Adam said “Sometimes I am not sure we (humans) deserve them (dogs).” I have to agree. At night when he has to go out, he lets out an adorable “word or two” to let us know. He goes straight out, does his business and charges straight back into his crate.
Miracle is nervous which is understandable after all he has been through. He is still not ready to venture into rooms besides the main living area. We carried him upstairs once but he won’t yet try on his own. Storms are REALLY stressful for him. He loves his crate and we have a cover for it so hopefully he feels really secure there. We are giving him a hemp product Heelr which seems to help him a lot from a company called Parallel coming soon to the public and lots of love.
Perhaps because of all of the medicine he required during his recovery his digestive system is still struggling. My dear friend and fellow pup mom Angela sent us these probiotics and digestive enzymes and it has made a big difference. We have added JOY dog food to his diet. I like the quality ingredents and the auto ship so we never run out.
Tonight, we had some of our displaced friends from Marsh Harbour over for dinner with their children. Miracle was in heaven with so many kids around. I wonder if he knew somehow they had endured the storm as he did.
November 20, 2019
Today he made an appearance at the kids schools. He LOVES kids. If a kid walks past without petting him he sits and looks at them as if to say “Did you not see me? You would enjoy petting me.”
He also visited The Colony Palm Beach for a breakfast meeting. The Colony is super dog friendly, he just slept at our feet on the beautiful patio.
Oh, and Miracle is making an appearance at the Big Dog Bark Bash. We hope to see you there! Tickets here.
More updates coming as they happen. His first boat ride, swim, any travels, and how he does at the big party above.
We had a painter come to our house today and he left to go straight to Big Dog to find a dog for his family. After meeting Miracle a neighbor went the day we brought our pup home. There are so many pups out there that would fill your home with unconditional love.
We are looking forward to the holidays with Miracle! A sneak peek at our holiday card below.
December 20th, 2019
Hope you are enjoying the Holiday Season. We have gotten so many questions (scroll down) and requests for an update so here it goes. As of two days ago – he will go upstairs! Hooray. SO this is how he starts his nights now:
He did ok at the Big Dog Bark Bash. Our oldest daughter and I took him on stage with the help of Sean (the man who rescued him). His heart was pounding, but gosh he was dapper in his bow tie. We gave him Heelr product to help with his anxiety, which was helpful because there were so many there dogs there.
December 24th 2019
On Christmas Eve Miracle went to the beach for the first time! He took few sniffs of the air and seemed happy then heavy equipment set to work on the inlet and he decided he was done for the day.
Our daughter Jayne wrote a book on dog behavior at school and published it for us as our gift. We loved it! Miracle was a great companion for Clare trying out her new scooter.
Happy New Year! Miracle started heart-worm treatment under the care of the Big Dog Ranch team. I took him out for the first treatment – a shot, and was ready to take him home and snuggle him all day. When they said he had to stay for observation I started crying like a kid who just got their lolly pop yanked away. What? Leave our boy? What if he didn’t think we would come back? I drove away with tears in my eyes but knowing he loves the team there. Gosh it took a long time to get to 3pm that day when we got to pick him up. While home we have a month of steroid treatments. It’s not going great. He is drinking tons of water and thus having some accidents. He isn’t himself and really just wants to lay around, which actually is helpful since he is under doctors orders to stay calm for the duration of treatment. We were hoping he could make the Valentine’s Party at Big Dog Ranch (its going to be a blast) but with the personality changes and needing to keep him calm, a situation where he will be around other dogs (which makes him nervous) doesn’t seem like the smart choice. So we will hope to see you all there in 2021 with a healthy pup!
He receives more treatment at the end of this month. We still don’t know if he can really swim. He has only put two paws into our pool. When he finishes heart worm treatment we are looking forward to taking him to the sandbar to see how he likes it. He likes to go to a nursing home we visit, he has a fan club there.
Your questions answered:
Did you change his name? No, we thought about it (doesn’t Mango the miracle dog have a nice ring to it?) but the kids refused. So, he remains Miracle, and we have gotten used to it. The kids were right. He already knew his name and it is a nice word to get to say often.
How is he doing? Great. He is still a nervous boy, but he is adjusting nicely. He is a people dog. Scared of other dogs but loves to be with his people. Loves kids.
Where does he sleep? In his crate (which he loves) while we finish the potty training.
How much does he weigh now? 40 pounds! But we can still pick him up, which I do every day to make sure he won’t ever not let me. (Then I show him his face in the mirror and tell him how cute his is.). He is my baby boy after all. He eats twice a day – nutrias kibble and Joy food mixed together.
Do you have any other pets? No.
What is Kerrie from The Today Show like? He is really warm and patient. Seems like a wonderful guy by all accounts. And Miracle likes him, so there’s that.
Does he have a favorite toy? He has a squirrel that seems to be the favorite.
Does he like to swim? He went to the beach once but did not make it in the water. We have a pool however he has not yet tried to swim.
Will you take him back to the Bahamas? Yes!
Thank you for loving this pup.
Any questions about adopting a pup or Big Dog Ranch? Comment below.