Life Lessons, resources, and random bits for rescue dogs, cats, bunnies, and their peeps

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Who Rescued Whom: Bailey and Luna's Story


"I adopted Bailey, but she did all the saving," Luna says.

Luna suffers from severe anxiety and asthma. She describes her attacks as suffocating, like the whole world is pressing on her chest. But fortunately, in these terrifying moments, her rescue dog Bailey knows what to do. Normally fearful herself, Bailey rests her head near Luna's neck and breathes calmly until the attack passes, sometimes for a few minutes and other times a few hours. "Bailey helps me breathe," Luna explains. "She saves me just by being herself."

Bailey, a fearful rescue dog, helps his new mom breathe and overcome her anxiety and asthma

Who Rescued Whom

This is first post in a new series focusing on extraordinary stories of rescue dogs, cats, bunnies and other animals who comfort and heal the humans in their lives. 

Luna adopted Bailey after high school at a time when she was feeling especially lost and powerless against her anxiety and asthma. Medication had not helped and she worried that she might never live independently. She discovered Bailey online and it was love at first click. When Luna visited her at the shelter, Bailey was terrified, but their connection was instant.

Bailey had been abandoned with her litter-mates on the side of the road. She was the most traumatized and the last of her siblings to be adopted. Fearful and reactive from day one, Bailey was afraid of everything from bathtubs to cars to grocery bags to other dogs. Luna understands Bailey's fear and vice versa. "We are very much alike," she says. "We both know what it feels like to be afraid and freak out about ordinary things that everyone else thinks are normal."

Bailey, a fearful rescue dog, helps his new mom breathe and overcome her anxiety and asthma

Heart Dogs Change Us


Luna and Bailey are each other's safe place. When one faces a trigger, the other is there. During difficult times, Luna naturally withdraws. But Bailey has a way of quietly entering her shell and just being with her in the moment. And when Bailey is frightened, Luna does the same for her, providing space where she feels safe and not alone.

Through patience and positive reinforcement, Bailey's fear and reactivity are decreasing. Even though the world is sometimes a scary place for her, Bailey Boo is a happy pup who loves to chase balls and learn new tricks. Luna's confidence has also grown as she supports and trains Bailey. Together they do lots of physical and mental exercises to work through some of her restlessness. Bailey still loves to hide under the covers, but Luna recently purchased a cozy cave bed which she enjoys almost as much.

Bailey, a fearful rescue dog, helps his new mom breathe and overcome her anxiety and asthma

Stronger Together


"Bailey Boo makes me believe that everything is going to be OK and that I will eventually get better," Luna says.

This special pair lives with her mother, sister and three other dogs, but Luna hopes that they can eventually live on on their own. She looks forward to future adventures with Bailey like moving to the country, going to the beach, and camping trips. No matter what the future holds, I am certain it will be bright as long as Luna and Bailey have each other.

Heart dogs (and cats) enter our lives in wonderful and unexpected ways. We see the world differently, more vividly and clearly because of the special bond we share. These special friends shape our lives and lead us to places and down roads we never imagined we would travel.  Sometimes we rescue them, other times they rescue us. But regardless, of who rescued whom ...we are always stronger together.

Bailey, a fearful rescue dog, helps his new mom breathe and overcome her anxiety and asthma

Thanks to Luna for sharing her story and these adorable pictures. You can read more about their life together on Luna's new blog. Do you have a story to share about an animal you rescued or one that rescued you? Fee free to share in comments or email me here.

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34 comments

  1. that's so true... our dogs mostly rescueus... just for being our friend, soulmate or furkid... just for being our dog... thanks for a wonderful post...

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  2. There is so much truth and beauty in this story. It seems our furry friends know us better than anyone, know how to make us feel safe and happy and healthy. I am so glad that Luna and Bailey have each other.

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  3. Thank you so much for featuring our story! And thanks to everyone for their kind words. <3

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  4. What a special bond Luna and Bailey have together. And Bailey is so adorable. Thank you for sharing this story!

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  5. That really is a most wonderful story!

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  6. The wonderful things that a dog can do for their humans. Thanks for sharing the story of Luna and Bailey.

    Woos - Lightning and Misty

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  7. A great story! Yes, those relationships work both ways.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  8. It's the only way to live, rescuing each other. And I agree a heart dog changes how you view the world and gives a unique perspective on life. All of my dogs have rescued me in some way or form from childhood abuse and PTSD. And I am stronger and healing because of them. Wonderful story!

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  9. Wonderful story. Bailey truly is a adorable.

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  10. What a lovely story of Luna and Bailey helping each other. I have asthma so I know how truly terrifying it is not to be able to breathe.
    Lynne x

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  11. this is an amazing and touching story. Glad they rescued each other
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  12. Oh my goodness....Bailey is a special pup.
    I once read often when humans are ready to adopt they have a specific pet in mind
    however, most often they go home with the "pet then need"....not they one they thought they wanted.
    Hugs madi and mom

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  13. I understand this completely. What an amazing story. When I found Bear outside, we stared at each other for a short time, and I think in that moment we both had a realization of what the other would meant to us. I'm a very logical person who analyzes everything ... so I tend to downplay that first encounter ... but we definitely knew we belonged together ... even if we weren't entirely sure why :)

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  14. I believe we are matched with our dog for a reason. This is a lovely story and I'm so happy the found each other and are able to help each other. Very touching.

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  15. Thank you for sharing the beautiful story. The "who rescued who" statement really hits home for us too!

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  16. This is a tshirt motif vor every cat, every dog owern who has rescued a pet from a shelter. My cats keep me sane. Especially since I lost my muse Dash Kitten. They rescue me every single day.

    Marjorie and Dash Kitten Crew

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  17. The power of the human-animal bond is unparalleled - and powerful, and life changing!

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  18. Yes. This is how it works. Stella saved us when we went a year "dogless".
    My last Sheltie, Maisie, had the registered name of "Emotional Rescue". She was for me.

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  19. This is an amazing story. Dogs are so present, and they can help humans so much with anxiety and stress. ~ Dear Mishu

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  20. Totally know how she feels. I have horrid anxiety attacks - bad enough to trigger seizures. Never knew that having my wee boy would allow me to not medicate and get better.

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  21. I love this story and series. We meet so many cases when the rescuer becomes the rescued. It's great to highlight them #rescuesrock.

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  22. Love this! Such a great idea for a series, and a beautiful story! Luna and Bailey were obviously meant to be. That photo of Bailey smiling is so adorable. Glad that these two found each other and are able to help each other!

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  23. They have such a beautiful story! It is always wonderful when two being bring out the best in each other like Luna and Bailey!

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  24. What a beautiful story! I know what a difference my girls have made in my life!

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  25. What a beautiful rescue story! It's so wonderful when you rescue a dog and they end up rescuing you right back! Great job telling their story, Kristin.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  26. How adorable that it was love at first click. Great bond!

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  27. A wonderful story... it's amazing how each of our dogs finds a way to make us better and we find a way to make them better. The story often isn't as dramatic as Luna's and Bailey's but it's there in any deep human-dog relationship.

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  28. Wonderful story and I always say Layla rescued me, keeps me going and keeps me smiling all the time

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  29. This is one of those rescue stories that I love to share - Luna probably cannot imagine her life without Bailey Boo and I bet that "heart dog" relationship with stay with her forever. She's so brave to bring in a dog too that needed some help to overcome their fears. I love this story. Stronger together indeed!

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  30. Dogs are just the best in all ways. So glad that Luna found Bailey. I have many many heart animals and aren't they all in some way.???

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  31. You'd almost think it unlikely that an anxious person and a fearful dog could help each other, yet these two are showing that it works perfectly. What a heartwarming story.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  32. What a wonderful story. I am so glad they found each other. Oh, the heart dog. They are truly a blessing.

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