As people around the world celebrate ancient miracles this season, at Pasadena Humane we are celebrating the anniversary of one of our own modern-day miracles.
Most modern miracles are centered on survival, such as a woman in Florida who revived after 45-minutes without a pulse in 2014, as her loved ones were saying their last goodbyes; or an 18-month-old girl who, in 2015, managed to survive hanging upside down for 14-hours in freezing temperatures before being rescued from a car crash in Utah’s icy Spanish Fork River.
Our Pasadena Humane miracle occurred just before Christmas 2016. After being the victim of a hit-and-run in a busy South Pasadena intersection, a 4-month-old beagle mix puppy rolled under the car, landed on the sidewalk, and managed to survive.
So, of course when a good Samaritan rushed her to Pasadena Humane, our staff named the battered puppy Miracle.
Some of you may remember Miracle’s story from that time. An outpouring of support from animal lovers in our community helped provide the funding for major orthopedic surgery and post-operative care.
Many people were inspired by Miracle’s survival, and eight families stepped up to adopt her over the course of her two-month long recovery.
Ultimately, Bob and Carol McCrary were the lucky family to bring sweet Miracle into their home. Upon meeting for the first time at the shelter, it was love at first sight for both parties. Miracle walked into the meet-and-greet room and sat directly behind Carol’s chair as if to say, “this is my forever human.”
Today, Miracle, now called Maggie, is 6-years-old and in perfect health. She’s extraordinarily athletic despite the pin she still has in her right hind leg.
“Maggie has been the light of our lives,” shared Carol. “We have had many wonderful dogs in our many years of marriage, but Maggie is special. She completes who we are as a family.”
This holiday season, Maggie has taken on a new role; that of Carol’s caregiver. When Carol returned home from lung surgery earlier this month, Maggie never left her side. Now, both Maggie and Carol know firsthand the healing power of the human-animal bond.
Beyond the McCrary household, Miracle/Maggie’s legacy lives on at Pasadena Humane. She served as the inspiration for the establishment our Miracle Medical Fund, which helps provide injured animals with the critical and costly resources associated with lifesaving medical treatments.
Sadly, animals come through our doors every day in need of immediate, above-and-beyond care. When that happens, we can act swiftly to provide them with their own miracles, all because of one special puppy, and our generous community who continue to contribute to the fund created in her honor.
You might say the phenomenon of philanthropy in America is another modern miracle. By any world standard, philanthropy in our county is exceptional. Nowhere else do people give so generously to the good of others.
So, at Pasadena Humane we have many miracles that cause us to be extremely grateful, especially in this season of abundant generosity and good will. We wish you the joy of the season and the peace of benevolence.
To learn more, pasadenahumane.org/miracle
Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.
This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on December 23, 2022.