You know those popular bumper stickers with a dog’s paw and a quote that reads “Who Rescued Who?” Well… this heartwarming dog story is just one of the many like it that inspired such a sentiment.
In 2016, Anne and Vic Tenaglia of West Chester, Pennsylvania decided they wanted to foster a dog and headed to the Brandywine Vally SPCA. There they met a two-year-old pit bull terrier named Jingles. He had recently been saved from a dog fighting ring and he was not doing well.
The abuse he had suffered left him dangerously underweight, riddled with war wounds, and constantly anxious and stressed. It was so bad that he had begun coping with the stress by chewing on his tail and paws. He was even in danger of losing his entire tail due to the self-inflicted damage.
Anne was reluctant to bring home a pit bull, as they’re famous for being aggressive and dangerous dogs. But he was in such need of help and love, that she couldn’t bring herself to leave him behind. Even when they brought him home he continued to be anxious constantly and continued to gnaw on his tail and paws.
The Tengalias needed to do something. They wanted to help this poor dog. They wanted him to be happy. So they did the first thing they could think of: they started walking.
The impact was immediate. Suddenly Jingles seemed happy, his anxiety began to fade, and he slowly stopped chewing on his paws and tail. “The only thing that would calm him down was walking. We walked him four or five or six times a day,” Anne told us. But the good news didn’t stop there.
Anne and Vic also started to notice an improvement in their own health. In fact, after just a few months of regular walks with Jingles, they had lost a combined 80 pounds! Anne the positive change couldn’t have come at a better time for Anne.
She had been suffering from heart problems for years. An irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and atrial fibrillation were regular occurrences for her. Leading to multiple trips to the hospital every year. But, thanks to Jingles, she hasn’t had a single episode since they brought him home.
“My muscles are more developed, and I am not having to take as much pain medication… it even helped with my weight and helped my heart,” Anne said. “We saved his life, but we like to say he saved ours too.”
But the health improvements didn’t stop with Anne. Vic also saw improvements and, as of this article, has lost a total of 60 pounds! All this made their next decision an easy one, and they officially adopted Jingles after a year of fostering him.
Their story was so inspiring, that they won $5,000 through the Petco Foundation’s Holiday Wishes campaign. Every dollar of which they happily gave back to the Brandywine SPCA. The very shelter where they first met Jingles.
So, the question still stands… who rescued who?