In September 2014, we received an emergency call about a dog in need. The kind of call that makes your heart stop for a second, before quickly trying to clear your head and formulate a plan of action.
The call came from a South Dakota reservation about Joani, a beautiful, young shepherd mix. Someone had thrown hot grease over her face and body. She was badly burned.
Marie and Dale went to the reservation and tried to track Joani down. Out of fear and shock, she had run away. They spent the entire day searching for her without any luck, then came back the following morning at dawn. While searching, they were asked to help two other dogs and a puppy. This being Dale and Marie, they of course agreed. It was beginning to turn dark when Dale looked through some tall grass and lifted up an old door that was laying partway over a mattress. Joani was laying underneath, terrified, but somehow knew that Dale was there to help her. He was able to lift her up and carry her to their vehicle. All four rescued dogs were driven back to Dale and Marie’s house. The next step was taking Joani to the vet in Gregory as soon as possible.
On arrival at the vet’s office, Joani received pain medication and her burns were sprayed clean. Ointment was applied and the wounds left open to the air for healing. She also received treatment for painful, itchy skin infections and demodectic mange that further worsened her suffering.
During the next visit to the vet’s office, Joani received a medicated bath. They gently removed all the loose skin that was hanging off her face and body, especially around her mouth. Her burns already looked much better than the day before. Her feet and legs were still very swollen, but the color was pink now, rather than red and blistered. Sun block was applied to protect her burns whenever she went outside. She was given the name “Joani” after Joan of Ark. She was such a strong and brave soul.
A month later, Joani underwent surgery to be spayed and had two tumors removed. She was too scared to wear the “cone of shame” so instead, Dale made her a collar out of towels and duct tape. It did just the trick! They considered renaming themselves “Redneck Rescue!” The cost of her surgery and treatment was extremely high. With overwhelming generosity, Brenda and Kyle Manning of Pierre, SD paid for Joani’s surgery and entire treatment. They continue to be long-time contributors to the rescue. We could not be more thankful for all their kindness and support.
Over the next few months, Joani’s skin continued to heal very well and she became less timid. Dale wanted to keep her, but they knew she would be happier in a home where she didn’t have to share attention with all the other foster animals. Joani was put up for adoption several months later. The rescue received an application from a wonderful lady, Lorrie Sherwood Kuehne, who lived in Deadwood at the time. After a meet and greet, Marie and Dale decided it was the perfect fit and approved her application!
Joani was renamed Josey and moved to Deadwood with Lorrie. She even had a day job as a greeter at the Saloon#10! Staff and customers gave her lots of attention while Lorrie told them her story. They eventually moved to Sioux Falls. They enjoy regular vacations to Washington state and other places around the country, where Josey gets to run along the beach and swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
On Memorial Day 2018, Josey showed up at the rescue in Gregory for a surprise visit! She came with Lorrie, Lee, and her fur brother, Walter. Marie and Dale would have cried if it weren’t for shock, they were so happy to see her. They have such loving memories of Josey and the time they spent together.
Thank you to all the people involved in the rescue and recovery of Joani/Josey in any way, and to Lorrie and her family for giving her a wonderful forever home.
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