A Good Samaritan spotted Mirabel wandering around alone on the streets of Kentucky. The senior pup had a severe facial deformity. They called animal control immediately to come and help.
When officers arrived they realized Mirabel was missing her nose and her upper lip. This deformity wasn’t due to an injury– Mirabel was born this way. She was taken to the medical center where a veterinarian assessed her. She was around 9 years old and loaded with mammary tumors. She also had a hernia and severe dental issues, made worse by her upper teeth always being exposed.
Mirabel was transferred to the Woodstock Animal Foundation (WAF). In spite of all she had been through and her health issues, Mirabel was sweet and happy.
WAF posted the brave dog’s story on their Facebook page. They were blessed with around $6,000 of donations, surpassing their goal needed to cover her medical expenses. Local news stations heard about Mirabel’s story and knew they had a great story on their hands– an “underdog” who didn’t allow her past or her disability cloud her spirit.
Kelli Shook from Ohio was watching the news one evening and saw Mirabel’s story. She felt so inspired by the special, courageous pup!
“I don’t know what it was. It was just something in my heart that just knew that she seemed perfect,” Kelli told The Dodo. “She was very friendly, going up to everybody, not afraid of other animals, not afraid of people. She’s great with kids — she absolutely adores children.”
Kelli is a life coach and counselor that works with children. She knew that Mirabel would inspire her clients. She knew Mirabel could inspire anyone! Before long, Kelli took Mirabel home and the two began working together.
“We’re starting a youth program here in our area where we can teach kids empathy by using animals that are not considered to be traditionally huggable or lovable,” Kelli said. “[Such as] animals like Mirabel, who have some sort of congenital defect or have been abused.”
Kelli admits that Mirabel’s face can be shocking to look at, at first. Even Kelli’s kids had an initial reaction but kids are resilient and get past it quickly. They realize she’s just like any other dog.
“The kids don’t even care. They just think she’s so cute,” she said. “And nobody is afraid to pet her, even though her teeth are showing.”
Mirabel and Kelli teach children that everyone deserves kindness no matter what they look like or where they come from!
“We try to turn it into a lesson, saying, ‘See, you’re not afraid of her and you don’t care what she looks like, so let’s try and be that way with your peers,’” Kelli explained. “’If there is a child who looks different, let’s not treat them any differently.’”
While Mirabel isn’t in the best of health, her spirit says otherwise. Kelli believes her nose works just fine. Mirabel is food motivated and loves getting lots of treats.
From all her health complications, it’s unknown how long Mirabel will be with us but every single day that she is — is precious!
“We’re not quite sure how long she will be around, but we’re going to make the best of the second half of her life and have her help some other kids in the meantime,” Kelli said. “Just ’cause an animal has had a bad first half of her life, that doesn’t mean she won’t make an amazing pet or therapy animal.”
The brave dog who was alone for so long is now spending the rest of life with a family who loves her (and thinks she’s perfect)!