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Dharma in Chicago Parent Magazine

Dharma is in the Summer 2010 issue of Chicago Special Parent magazine, a special topics magazine from the publishers of Chicago Parent.  The article discusses various ways in which animals can therapeutically help children with special needs.  Although I admit I might be biased, I really do believe that Dharma is a very special dog.  I’m continually amazed and humbled by the reactions she inspires in the people she meets.  People truly do gravitate towards her wherever she goes.  It’s not just that she has three legs; it’s her sweet and trusting personality.  She enthusiastically greets all who approach her, covering their faces with kisses if they’ll allow her to – which everyone does.  And she completely melts their hearts.  Dharma has a calm presence when she’s with people she doesn’t even know, and children love to sit next to her and gently pet her.  Many people are curious about what happened to her leg, but most are surprised to find out that she is a pit bull rescued from the July 2009 dog fighting bust.  “But she’s so small and sweet,” many of them respond.  Yes, she is.  So are so many bust dogs, and they all deserve lives of happiness and love.


Photo courtesy of Mike Bizelli

Another HSMO Bust Dog Goes Home

Over the past few weeks, rescue organizations from around the country have begun taking in some of the dogs from the July 2009 dogfighting bust. These lucky dogs include Jakob who went to Our Pack in California, Eli (or Eddie Munster, as he will soon be called!) who is going to South Carolina this week with New Hope Pit Bull Rescue, Polly and Jake who went to Bless the Bullys in Tennessee, and many more to come!

Mutts-n-Stuff has taken several dogs into our foster and adoptive homes already, and we are eagerly awaiting more to be released by the court system. If you have not already read about our special girl Fay, you can find out all about her and the Phoenix House here.

Dharma Portrait

Dharma is one of over 500 dogs rescued in a multi-state raid led by HSMO in July 2009. Mutts-n-Stuff is proud to be caring for this very special girl.

We want to introduce you to another very special girl, Dharma. Originally named Tallulah by HSMO staff that lovingly cared for her over the past few months, we realized that nobody really knew how to spell or pronounce the name! We have renamed her Dharma because she has a very special lesson to teach all of us about compassion and unconditional love. She is a special girl… you can see it in her eyes and in her smile. If you have seen some of HSMO’s official videos of investigators at the bust site, you may recognize her. Like many of the female dogs taken from the various bust locations, Dharma was chained outside and forced to breed litter after litter for the first 3 years of her life. She never knew a loving human touch or the comfort of a warm bed or couch to snuggle in. But when HSMO investigators first found her, she was ready to love them and thank them for rescuing her.

Dharma was found with only the upper part of her right front leg intact and had been using the damaged stump to walk, which was causing damage to the nerves and bone. The HSMO medical staff determined that the leg had to be amputated at the shoulder to prevent further damage and to help with her mobility. Since her surgery she is getting around MUCH better than before! There is no stopping this girl and she literally bounced right back immediately after her surgery. It’s been a long process, but I was finally able to bring Dharma home to Chicago this past Friday, the day after my birthday. She is the best present I have ever received. Dharma has been settling in and learning how to be a dog and live in a house. She tries hard to be a brave girl, but she still sometimes wonders if it’s safe to go around a corner or through a doorway. But she makes progress every hour. Soon she will start training to earn her Canine Good Citizen certification. We will then begin training her to become a therapy dog. Dharma has a special gift… she just oozes love and charm, and we think that she is meant to make people feel better. Once she is certified and trained, she will begin visiting disabled children to share her love, joy, and vibrancy.

– Suzi S, Mutts-n-Stuff Volunteer

Here are some photos of her journey, from when she was found at the bust site by HSMO investigators, to getting some play time outside the HSMO “secret bunker” to snuggling into her new life as a little princess.

HSMO Investigation

HSMO investigators examine Dharma at one of the bust sites in July 2009.

Dharma Goes Home

Dharma relaxes on her favorite pillow in her new and very pretty custom made collar.

Dharma Snuggling

Dharma loves to snuggle with her ultra-soft pink blanket.

Dharma Ready to Go

Ok... time to get back to playing!