Long Distance Puppy Love: An Animal Rescue Story

Jul 6, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Lee Juslin, Pets

by Lee Juslin

Laura lives in Ohio. The rescued puppy was in Texas. Laura’s friends thought she was nuts. After all, she had several dogs and if she did need another one, surely she could find one in the same state! I didn’t care where she was, said Laura. I just knew I had to have her. I saw her picture on the rescue site, and I fell in love.

Sarut right after rescue

Sarut, which means kiss in Romanian, had been rescued by the SPCA from a puppy mill in Texas that the police had been watching. She was six and a half years old and had been used as a breeder. By the time the SPCA got her out, she was in bad shape and near death. With her eyes so crusted that she couldn’t close them and her body terribly emaciated, little Sarut was in shock. The SPCA was going to euthanize the little Cairn because they simply didn’t have the resources to cover the veterinary care she would need, and there was no guarantee she would survive. Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue stepped in and took her, placed her with a foster home in TX, and began her veterinary care.

Laura learned about Sarut and from the beginning had a strong, inexplicable feeling that she could help her. She began her assault on Col Potter trying to explain her strong desire to adopt Sarut. At first, the rescue group resisted. After all, Sarut was not ready to be adopted with all her medical problems and, even if she could be adopted, it would take a very special person and ideally one that was close to Sarut’s location in Texas. Laura kept up her contact with Col. Potter offering to pay for Sarut’s transport to OH and guaranteeing that she would get her the best veterinary care available and cover all the costs herself. I was trying to bribe my way to this dog. That’s how strong my feelings for her were.

Sarute now, getting her beauty sleep

Eventually, after Laura’s application was reviewed, references checked, and a home visit completed, Sarut was on her way to Ohio. And, little did she know, to a spoiled, pampered life.

Once Sarut arrived, Laura began making arrangements for a visit to Ohio State Veterinary School known for its outstanding ophthalmology department. Today, almost three years later, Sarut has some reduction in vision and is borderline dry eye, but none of this slows her down one bit. The little Cairn who was so near death, adores life. She plays with her toys and four-footed siblings, and she is the alpha queen in her home. She loves everyone including children and cats, and she has become the poster child for Col. Potter. She even gives hugs.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Sarut has proven to be a talented artist. Her paintings, done with touches of 14KT. gold leaf, raise much needed funds for Col. Potter. And, she loves accompanying Laura on shopping trips to her favorite downtown boutiques where she arrives in her custom carriage modeling her latest outfit.

One of Sarute's masterpieces.

Recently, Laura and Sarut traveled to a Col. Potter gathering and when the volunteers, many of whom had seen Sarut at her worst, saw her transformed, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. One by one they experienced Sarut’s special hugs and everyone agreed that the little Cairn did indeed communicate a special love through her hugs.

Sarut on a shopping trip

If you would like to learn more about Col. Potter Cairn Rescue, apply to adopt a rescued Cairn, or volunteer to help, go to their website.

You can find more animal rescue, therapy dog, and other pet related articles in our pet section.

Want to know how to see your ad like this at the end of an article? Email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] for more info. 10% of all ad sales goes to animal rescue.

Lee Juslin is a free lance copywriter living in North Carolina with her husband, Scott, and her band of misfits: Tarquin, a Wheaten Scottish Terrier, and three handicapped cats. They can be seen on their website: Hampshire Hooligans. She owns I B Dog Gone, a small embroidery business and is the author of the Nurse Frosty books for children and Frosty’s Story: Tales of a Therapy Dog. She supports a number of national and regional terrier rescue organizations.


  1. Laura does indeed have a special talent to affect everyone she meets with Sarut. Laura is al a VERY VERY talented musician and composer. She has composed two very special pieces directly inspired by Sarut. Sarut directed the tune and lyrics for her LULABYE (which was written for all the babies that that were ripped prematurely from her breast) and the ‘OLE PUPPYMILL BLUES. Sarut also goes with Laura when she plays special ‘gigs’ at nearby boutique hotels.

    Recently, the family ‘puppy sat’ for another foster kid. He fit right in… he cried all the way home when foster parents picked him up and the entire Sarut household whined, didn’t eat much, and stayed by the front door, watching out the side windows, looking for the ‘visitor’ to return. So, giving in the the pack demands, DANNY also joined the family.

    Laura is a talented person in design… and made Sarut a special raised playground for her…. complete with a real yellow brick road from the house to the playground.

    ALL of the animals at this house are rescues… the greyhound, the schnauzer, the kitties and the hens… for whom Laura built the boutique house for…

    Peaceable Kingdoms exist

  2. I saw Sarut the day her foster mom picked her up during a switch off transport. Some coming my way, some going her way. Sarut was the saddest, neglected lil dog I’d ever seen. I could not have fostered her. I’d cry everytime I looked @ her. Sarut is nothing less than absolutely, perfectly precious. And so are her Mom & Dad. This story so great! I love being in the Col. Potter family.

  3. This is the sweetest little girl you will ever meet. She is so a lap dog!! <3

  4. This is the saddest picture I have ever seen. Hope she lives a happy life, she deserves it!

  5. So very happy that Col. Potter rescued Sarut, and that Laura was able to adopt her. She is obviously a truly loved little girl now.

  6. I have Folly, a Col. Potter rescued Cairn whom I adore. I am also a volunteer for Col Potter. Stories like Sarut’s tell you why we do what we do and why we love our furbabies so much…they are intrepid little BIG souls. Hats off to all who rescue any dogs and those who help make it all happen!

  7. WOW Lee — you’ve done it again!! this is one of the best – and I truly love Col. Potter’s group – they do an awesome!! job – You do the best stories!!

  8. Amazing what love and determination can accomplish! Sarut is a testimony of what makes Col. Potter volunteers so important and so dedicated in healing the visible and invisible hurts. Transformative care given in love; that makes me proud to be a part of this group!

  9. As a proud member of Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network I have been privileged to meet Sarut, her Mom Laura and her Dad in person. They make a truly LOVING HOME for all their precious animals. They are a very nurturing family!

    Love you!

  10. If only everyone knew of the way dogs are treated in breeding facilities like mills and back yard breeders this wouldn’t happen to animals. Breeding facilities don’t provide proper care for these dogs and of course, they are never shown love. Col. Potter and Sarut’s owner Laura clearly have worked hard to overcome the damage done by the breeder. If only more people would be willing to give a rescued animal a chance at a new life, shelters could stop ending animals’ lives due to over population. Don’t buy your pet at a pet store. Sarut is a byproduct of pet stores and their cute puppies. Please adopt or go to a responsible breeder – that’s not someone advertising in the news paper. Find a responsible breeder through your local rescue groups. They will know who they are if you insist on buying. But wanting a puppy is not an excuse to buy. Did you know you can get a puppy from rescue?

  11. Miracles do happen as seen in this wonderful story of rescue and the power of love…a heartwarming story…

  12. Hi all. Many ask about Sarut’s vision. She has no dry-eye in her right eye and is only borderline in her left. She has some vision in her left eye and can see pretty well in her right. Her bloodwork is perfect now, as are her heart and lungs. Her hair, thin and patchy when rescued, is so thick now! Our girl is 10 1/2 years old now and doing great. She runs, jumps, dances, plays with toys, wrestles with siblings, raised two abandoned chicks, and wags her tail constantly even in her sleep. She loves meeting strangers, animal and human. Sarut shows no signs of damage from her past. We are very blessed to have this angel. There are no words to describe how we love this precious baby.


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