Healey Powell

When Healey was 10 I met him at the RCACP. At that time adoptions weren’t permitted. I made one phone call to my friend Lisa. She pulled him for me. No questions asked. She knew we were dedicated.
Many folks told us that he hit the jackpot with us. But, I feel we hit the jackpot with him. He changed us. For the better.
He was blind. He was found tied up to a pole in Roanoke City and left to die. He had sores all over his body. Inches of his tail was missing. His ears were scissor cut. He was afraid, and he was severely underweight.
He came with some baggage, and rightfully so. He had trust issues. So we fed him by hand and let him decompress. Then we starting walking him. Miles per day. He walked all his frustrations & trust issues off. It only took a few months. He was by anyone’s standards 100% rehabilitated. My husband named him Healey after the blind musician that we both loved so much (Jeff Healey). He, like Jeff, didn’t let a disability stand in his way.
My dog, our dog, was an ambassador to his breed. Our dog was an American Stafford Terrier.

He was loving, sweet, good with dogs, good with kids and even though I tried to let him walk freely in our home, he just didn’t like it. He liked close surroundings. It made him feel safe. He would get a little anxiety when walking freely inside. The one thing our dog didn’t ever have to worry about, was stress or anxiety.

We made many accommodations for him. But, I don’t want to talk about the things we did for him. Let me talk about the things he did for us. For me, personally.
He taught me about forgiveness.
He taught me that a disability doesn’t define who you are.
He taught me how to be strong and determined.
He taught us about the joy of loving a senior dog.
He taught us about blindness.
He taught us so many things and I will always be so proud of our boy for being the dog he needed to be, after likely, years of neglect.

Through all his “severe” skin issues, through all his issues with Lyme Disease, through it all, he excelled. He was a true fighter. Most of all, he was the most sweetest, lovable dog, and one of the best decisions on adoption that we ever made.
He has always loved me, but in all honesty, he was a Daddy’s boy.
He would bark and whine when he heard Ray come home from work. He knew us by smell and our touch. And his hearing- wow… he could hear Ray’s car in the driveway all the way downstairs while sleeping at night in his crate.
He loved walking more than anything in this world. LOVED it. I have never owned a dog that enjoyed walking as much as Healey. It was like a new world opening up to him, each, and every time.

I am SO thankful that Lori Fusaro and Laura Coffey featured him in their best selling book “My Old Dog.”
I always felt his story needed to be told. I’m thankful it was. He deserved that.
I’m thankful The Roanoke Times did an article on him in the newspaper. ❤
We were proud of him when he rehabilitated nicely and turned into a wonderful well-balanced dog, many years ago.
I’d like to crush the theory, in it’s all in how they are raised. Certainly, he proved that to be untrue.
We were proud and so thankful for Angels of Assisi. Without them, he would have been PTS the day after I met him at the pound many years ago.
We were so happy that we adopted him. To see him thrive without worries, made us the proudest.

We have lost our beloved boy to cancer today. But he didn’t give up without a fight… In the end, we knew how uncomfortable he was. He was unable to urinate due to a mass found on X-ray.
Thanks to Botetourt Veterinary Hospital for not giving up on this dog who was determined to not give up. EVER. We tried it all. However, we could not let our pet suffer the kidney/bladder issues, inability to urine, the liver issues, skin issues, and weight loss any longer. He even lost interest in drinking his water.
He would have been 18 this coming summer. I know we gave him a good life… but you know what? He gave us an even better life. The hardest part about loving anything, or anyone, is letting them go. I must focus on all the good he introduced us to. The legacy he leaves behind.
Rest easy baby boy. You were truly one of a kind…. you will be embedded in our hearts forever. Not only did your love touch us, but you also touched SO many others around the world.