2023 Bark on the Boards   ○   ARC Angels

Michelle Walker

October 14, 2023 11:00am - 2:00pm

My Personal Fundraising Page

My journey with Rumper.

I would like to share the story of my journey with Rumper.  Rumper was abandoned at a motel, left behind to fend for himself, like he didn't even matter.  When I first met him on January 2nd, 2023 at the BVSPCA  Animal Rescue Center (ARC) in Georgetown, my heart sank.  He was dirty, matted and cowering terrified in the back of the kennel.  When I would try to get near him, he would start growling and shaking in fear. After 3 days of just sitting quietly in his kennel, he finally approached to take a sniff at my leg.  It was when he finally got close to me that I was able to see that both eyes were in horrible condition. Hidden behind the scraggly and unkempt facial hair, were eyes that were grey and full of ulcers.  It was obvious that he probably couldn't see and was no doubt in pain.  Rumper was immediately taken to the BVSPCA Animal Health Center in Georgetown, DE.  There it was determined that, due to the severity of the situation, a double enucleation to remove the eyes was the best course of action. He returned to the Animal Rescue Center to continue receiving medical care until it was time for surgery day.  

During that time, I continued to spend as much time with him as possible.  Rumper had moved into a seperate room in a quieter area of the shelter to try and keep him as calm and comfortable as possible.  I spent every lunch break with him, taking him outside for walks and sharing my lunch, which pizza was always his favorite.  He started to know my voice, scent and was starting to greet me with a wagging tail whenever I entered his room.  One day during our lunch, he popped up on his own and showed me he knew how to "sit pretty", then he climbed up in my lap for the first time.  It was then that I knew that he was finally starting to trust me.

Surgery day came and all went well, however a few days later he must have bumped into something and ended up with a hematoma and infection in his left eye socket.  I took him back to the clinic where a drain was put in.  When I brought him back that afternoon, I knew that he was going to come home with me as a medical foster.  I knew it was going to be a challenge.  I mean, a blind dog navigating a whole new space with a drain hanging out of one socket, stitches in the other and wearing a large cone, would surely have trouble right?  Wrong! It wasn't long at all before Rumper was exploring the whole house, just following that little nose of his.  Of course he bumped into things, quite alot in the beginning, but that is why his nickname was Bump Bump. Once the drain and sutures were removed, his confidence started growing by the day.  Our walks outside went from just around the yard to walking the entire neighborhood.  Rumper started holding his head a little higher, taking in all the smells around him and genuinely transforming into a very happy boy.  His coat had turned from dirty and matted into beatiful, long silky locks.  The transformation was amazing.  Each day our bond grew stronger and stronger.  I started taking him on adventures to the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, where he loved strutting his stuff down the boards. One of his favorite things to do was just sit and enjoy the ocean air.  Nose up taking in all the smells, enjoying the ocean breeze on his face. Rumper also started to love car rides and was always ready to go!

 The day finally came when I received an email from my manager.  I had been fostering Rumper for a while, he was doing amazing so the question was, did I feel he was ready, both physically and mentally to be made available for adoption.  Was he ready? Absolutely.  Was I ready? Not at all.  He had become such an important part of my everyday life, that the thought of letting him go was too hard to even think about.  After alot of thought, I made the decision that Rumper deserved so much more than I could give him.  I figured it would take some time to find that perfect family for him. Someone who would understand his needs and give him the time he needed to adjust.  There was still one big concern I had and that was as great as Rumper was with me and my family, he still could be very wary of people he did not know and wasn't a fan of "stranger danger".  Obviously a cantankerous little blind dog would take a while to find that perfect adopter right?  Wrong again!  It wasn't long before I received and email that I had to read 3 times because it sounded too good to be true.  This potential adopter had previously had a couple of small dogs, one of which had been blind.  She was looking to rescue another special needs dog.  She knew and understood everything Rumper would need to be successful.  I immediately responded to set up a meet and greet.  

That day arrived and I was excited, yet worried about how Rumper would react to meeting some new people and a new potential dog brother.  Well, I realized as soon as I walked him into the room that I had nothing to worry about.  Rumper confidently  sniffed out both Ralph and Christine to introduce himself and get some pets.  Then he showed off his "sit pretty".  Rumper and their older lab Bosun made aquaintances and I knew then that Rumper had found his family.  The adoption was finalized right then and there.  After a tearful goodbye, I watched him walk, head held high, out the door with an amazing family that he acted like he had been a part of for his whole life.  That moment made fostering him worth every single second!  In the end, I realized I was only meant to be a chapter in his life, and the rest of his story was to be written with his amazing new family.  I have received updates and can happily say, he is living his best life, so loved and well taken care of. 

Rumper taught me so much about resilience, unconditional love and unwavering trust and for that I will be eternally grateful.  I want to raise money for Bark on the Boards in his honor and as a thank you.  He made me a better person and I am glad he chose me as one of his people, allowing me to help him when he needed it most.  If you could, please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause!   No amount is too small and every penny will help enrich the lives of all the sweet souls that come through our doors.  The doggos, kitties and I appreciate you all and thank you for allowing me to share my story. 





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My Supporters

  • Facebook Donor October 2023 $41.00
  • Jane Links October 2023 $103.95
  • Linda Knotwell Thank you for all you do!! October 2023 $51.97
  • Eileen Ashmore From Rumper’s forever family grandparents October 2023 $25.99
  • Anonymous In loving memory of Wally. ❤️ October 2023
  • Facebook Donor October 2023 $300.00
  • Facebook Donor October 2023 $135.00
  • Jane Links October 2023 $103.95
  • Ronda Crescenzo Wish I could give more. Chelle I hope you reach your goal and then some. September 2023 $103.95
  • Christine CINTRON Michelle, words can't express the gratitude we have for the love and care you provided to Rumper. We are so grateful to be his forever home as he continues to win the hearts of many. Thank you for your selfless work to improve the lives of animals in need September 2023 $103.95