June 8, 2011
The residents of Father Baker Manor, a nursing home in Orchard Park, have a favorite visitor – a small tan and white dog named Rescue who hails from West Virginia.
“She loves to visit people and put a smile on their faces,” said owner Ed Shagott, a volunteer who brings the dog to visit twice each month.
The aptly named Rescue put a smile on Ed’s face when he needed it most.
Before the passing of Buddy, his dog of 14 years, Ed said that the Lord spoke to him, prophesizing, “You will get a rescue dog and name it ‘Rescue’.”
Ed was distraught over his loss after Buddy's passing and prayed that his heartache would cease.
Three months later, as he volunteered for God’s Love Outreach Ministry program, he met the dog that would help him to heal.
Rescue was discovered by a West Virginia University student who was hunting in the woods. Noting the absence of identification tags or any nearby homes that could claim her, the student brought Rescue to Western New York over the Christmas holidays, intent on finding her a home.
It wasn’t long before Rescue met Ed. “As I was setting up my equipment, the hairdresser walked in with a dog. She told me that her friend’s daughter attends West Virginia University.”
As they spoke, Ed shared that he was still mourning the loss of Buddy. But Rescue wasn’t an easy dog to refuse.
“I kept looking at the dog, and the dog kept looking at me,” Ed said. When the hairdresser released the dog’s leash, Rescue “came up and gave me a kiss!”
Since then, Rescue has charmed the residents of area nursing homes, visiting five homes each month. She has made nearly twenty visits since the end of January.
“Does Rescue make a difference in resident’s lives? Well, just ask Charlene Potter and I am sure her smile will answer that,” Ed said.