Musings

Lucy

Lucy’s story began as a four month old puppy in Mut, Turkey, where she and her sweet mother, Bambi, and her gentle giant of a brother, Snoopy, were rescued in June 2012 by a devoted animal rescuer, Max Mensur Kahrimanovic. When Max shared the photos of Lucy, Bambi, and Snoopy on his Facebook page, a friend of his commented under one of the photos that “nothing is impossible.”

Although at the time it seemed that getting Lucy and her family to the United States was nearly impossible, those words struck a chord in Nikki. Her late father always said, “Nothing is impossible,” in terms of life and what any one person can accomplish. So when Nikki saw those words posted on that Facebook page, she knew it was a sign from her father that she was meant to bring Bambi, Snoopy, and Lucy to live with her in Florida.

Thanks to an international effort on the part of a number of devoted animal lovers near and far, Lucy, Bambi, and Snoopy arrived in Florida on October 23, 2013. From the first moments in her new home, Lucy fit in perfectly, never shying away from Nikki. As the most adventurous member of her family, Lucy loves going for walks and exploring the world around her. Feisty, adventurous, and independent, Lucy still finds time to stop and give Nikki kisses letting her know how thankful she is for giving her a second chance at life.

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Joy

Joy’s story began in January 2011 when she was four months old and found by Max Mensur Kahrimanovic living as a stray in a village near Cannakale, Turkey. Max, being the big hearted animal lover that he is, instantly fell in love with Joy and her warm spirit.

When Max would go to visit and feed Joy, he would whistle for her from his open car window, and she would come running out of the bushes to greet him, kissing and licking him all over his face. For several weeks, Max cared for Joy while arrangements were made to get her to a Turkish rescue. In September 2011, with the help of transporter Cengiz Sumerman, Joy, along with her siblings Mattie, Maxine, Zaida, and Tanzi, began their journey from Didim to Istanbul and onto the United States.

Of all of her siblings, Joy was the one who bonded with Nikki instantly, never shying away from Nikki or anyone who would come to the house for a visit. Today, Joy is an outgoing, friendly dog who loves to lie on Nikki’s lap and give her tons and tons of kisses. Joy is intelligent, affectionate, and shows her wisdom in her deep, warm eyes.

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Izzie

Izzie hails from Harbour Island in the Bahamas, Nikki’s home away from home, and where she first gave birth to the idea for her book series, The Toad Chronicles. Nikki discovered Izzie on Halloween Day 2009 when she was on the island writing book one of the series.

When Nikki found Izzie, she was only eight weeks old, living with her mother and siblings in squalid conditions. Izzie was so weak from the hundreds of fleas draining her tiny body that she fell to the ground when Nikki went to pet her. Nikki knew right then she had to do everything she could to bring Izzie home to Florida; otherwise, she would most likely die, given her frail condition. Thankfully, a wonderful animal lover on the island fostered Izzie for three weeks before flying with her to Ft. Lauderdale, where Nikki picked her up and brought home.

The second dog in Nikki’s pack of rescues, Izzie has welcomed many more additions in her five plus years with Nikki. Izzie is a laid back girl who isn’t much for cuddles, but who loves the company of her packmates, Maxine and Buck. The trio spends their time getting into mischief together, living in peace, a world away from the squalor in which their lives began.

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Dreamer

Dreamer hails from the streets of Nassau, Bahamas, where he and his friends struggled for survival on the streets. They not only faced the harsh elements, a lack of food, fights with other dogs, and countless other dangers that await homeless dogs and cats, but they also found an enemy in a local shopkeeper who threatened to kill them.

Thankfully, a local woman rescued Dreamer and his friends but needed help getting them to Fairytails Fostering in Princeton, West Virginia. When Nikki heard these words, she realized it was serendipity, as “Fairytails” and “prince,” are words significant to her book series, The Toad Chronicles. Nikki knew she was meant to help with this rescue.

When Dreamer and his friends first arrived in Florida, one of the dogs was very sick and needed to be quarantined for five weeks, meaning the dogs would be staying with Nikki longer than expected. As fate would have it, this gave Dreamer the opportunity to make himself right at home. He decided instantly that he wasn’t going anywhere; he had found his forever home with Nikki and the rest of her pack.

When Dreamer first arrived at Nikki’s home, he was heartworm positive and had a scraggly, dirty coat. Today, he has made a full recovery and is thriving beyond all expectations. Despite the suffering he endured on the streets of Nassau, Dreamer’s gentle heart and endearing smile are a testament that old dogs really can learn tricks and start life anew.

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Buck

Buck’s story began a little closer to home than many of his other siblings. In September 2012, Nikki discovered Buck listed as “urgent” on the Facebook page for the animal shelter in Chipley, Florida. This meant, if Buck wasn’t placed with a rescue or adopter as soon as possible, he would be euthanized. Nikki knew she had to do what she could to get Buck out of that situation, as there was something about his face that indicated he was a very special dog.

Initially, Nikki brought Buck into her home as a foster, with the intention of finding an adoptive family for him. When Buck arrived, however, she noticed he was limping on his back right leg. After visiting her vet, Nikki was informed that Buck had recently suffered a fracture caused by most likely by a car accident, requiring hip surgery and a three-month recovery. As fate would have it, during his rehab, Buck bonded with Izzie, and from that moment on, Nikki knew he had found his forever home.

Today, Buck enjoys running like the wind and playing with his friends as much as he does curling up in Nikki’s lap, forgetting he’s not a tiny lap dog at seventy pounds plus. Buck is also the resident comedian of the pack, always making the funniest faces for the camera. He is a loving, sweet dog, and Nikki feels blessed he is part of her heart and home.

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Bambi

Bambi’s journey to her forever home began in June 2012, when she was rescued, along with her son, Snoopy, and daughter, Lucy, by Max Mensur Kahrimanovic from the outskirts of Turkey. When Max found Bambi and her pups, she was fairly young herself, estimated to be about one and a half years old.

At the time, it seemed like an impossibility to get Bambi and her pups to safety; however, when Max first shared Bambi’s photo on Facebook, one of his friends commented, “Nothing is impossible.” When Nikki read these words, she knew she was destined to help coordinate this challenging rescue, as her father always used to say that, in life, “nothing is impossible.”

Somehow, despite logistical challenges, Bambi, Snoopy, and Lucy were brought to safety and driven to Didim, Turkey, where Nikki boarded them with a wonderful woman, T.C. Gilly Foreman, who cared for them until they departed for the States in October 2013. When Bambi arrived at Nikki’s home, it was love at first sight. Nikki felt like Bambi and her pups had been with her forever. Bambi immediately bonded with Nikki, giving lavish kisses, as though thanking Nikki for saving her and her pups.

Bambi is a sweet, loving dog who is appreciative of her safe, comfortable forever home. She and her children now live the kind of life every dog deserves to live: one in which they feel safe, loved, and appreciated for the unique souls that they are.

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