One evening last April, Kara Elliott was flipping through photos of
adoptable pets on the Petfinder iPhone app.
Though she did want to adopt, at that moment she was just browsing.
But fate stepped in via a technical glitch: The phone froze.
screen was stopped on a patchy-furred puppy by the name of Tweety,” says
Kara, who lives in Arlington, TX.
“I don’t really know what called to me about that face; it could have
been the wrinkles, or the sweet yet stubborn expression, but something
was simply right about her,” Kara says.
She e-mailed Shelter2Rescue Coalition in Arlington, and two weeks later, she was bringing home
her very own dog, a Pit Bull mix. Kara named the pup Rhyder, after country
artist Brandon Rhyder.
Rhyder “has had trouble from the beginning trusting people,” Kara
says. “She often ran to her various hidey holes around the house when
new people arrived.” However, Kara could relate: “I too have had trouble with anxiety over the past
Kara has suffered from chronic Lyme disease since her senior year in high school, and she was also
battling depression. “I often found myself retreating into my own
space,” she says. “It was hard for me to break back into the world and
relate to others.”
Rhyder, it turned out, offered the perfect therapy. “Rhyder and I taught each other to trust,” Kara says. “She is always by my side. She
is my loyal protector and I am hers. Rhyder is a Pit Bull mix. That
makes her one of the most loving dogs around. Since adopting her, I have
gained a new, better understanding for this misrepresented breed. … My life has changed because of my Rhyder-bear. All
for the better.”
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