Mikko is a beautiful, white, Pit Bull mix who just could not find her place in the world. No one knows what happened to Mikko before she came to Ruff Start Rescue shelter, but she did not trust people. Even the caring and loving people who tenderly cared for her could not touch her heart. They tried and tried, but Mikko stayed to herself, never allowing anyone to get very close. Of course, she was not adoptable if she would not adjust to human contact.
The day came when her time was up. As sad as it is, the shelter cannot house dogs forever. For every dog in their shelter, there are others that need the care and the chance at a home.
Chad Fleming served in Iraq, for two tours of duty. He knew too well anxiety and distrust. He looked into Mikko’s eyes and he saw the same pain he carried daily. Like Mikko, he was home and safe. He was physically healthy. But he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). He knew he should “get over it” but part of him was damaged on those battle fields. Part of him remained there.
They say you don’t choose your pet, your pet chooses you. To the surprise of Chris Maddox, of Ruff Start Rescue; Mikko came to Chad. Just hours before she would have been euthanize, Mikko slowly left her cage and began a new life.
Chad understood her. Mikko seemed to understand Chad. Chad decided he would give her and himself all the time they needed. They would get through this together. On the nights Chad was suffering, Mikko laid quietly beside him, with her head on his leg. And on days when Mikko seemed nervous, Chad gently stroked her and reassured her that everything would be okay.
Today both Chad and Mikko are on their way to recovery. Chad says they just take it real slow. No matter how hard the day or night gets, they have each other. They have formed a bond beyond anything most people would understand, but then how could they if they have never had trauma?
Chad knows they have a long journey ahead of them and they have only been together a short time. But since the day when Mikko came into his life, Chad has begun to see a new hope.
His dream for Mikko is to be confident and trusting enough to be trained to be his service dog. Chad plans to train her himself. One thing for sure, these two are best friends and neither of them will be alone again anytime soon.