“Mac’s story is about a beaten dog who was given a chance to live and then proved himself worthy of life by fulfilling a miraculous mission,” says Dick Palazzo, Owner, Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts. “Each year the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals recognizes a canine hero’s lifetime achievements at its Awards Ceremony. Mac’s story is especially touching because of my personal connection to the dog. His resilient spirit will undoubtedly inspire stories of survival and hope.”
Mac’s life began with hardship and horror at the hands of abusers, but his luck turned around when an animal group from New York rescued him. The organization subsequently wrote a story on the Great Pyrenees that resonated deeply with RuthAnn Meyers of Colts Neck, NJ who drove to Upstate New York to adopt the dog.
From the beginning, Mac had severe separation anxiety and after six long months of work, RuthAnn was able to gain the four and half-year-old dog’s trust. Mac also frequently boarded at Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts where he bonded with animal behaviorist and trainer Dick Palazzo. Life was on the upswing for Mac; then, as life sometimes does, it dished out more hardship. RuthAnn developed an aggressive form of cancer and in desperation called Dick to help her rehome Mac. Dick agreed to take Mac because he was keenly aware of the dog’s desperate situation.
Three years and three failed foster homes later, Mac found a home at the age of ten in an unexpected place. Grieving from the loss of their beloved dog Bear Orsa, the Deraska Malinowski Family of Colts Neck, NJ drove to nearby Long Branch for a walk on the seaside boardwalk. This is where they came upon Mac and his handler from Purr’n Pooch. Diane Deraska Malinowski asked about the dog and was stunned to discover from Dick that Mac was her friend RuthAnn’s pup who she met years earlier.
Diane immediately agreed to foster Mac. After a week with the dog, the family formally adopted him. During the first few months in his new home, Mac suffered severe separation anxiety as expected by Dick, but he soon got into the rhythm of activities with the family and today is always by their side to enjoy life with them.
One evening this past February, Diane and the kids were sleeping soundly upstairs. Suddenly at 3:00 a.m., Mac, physically unable to climb stairs due to a spinal condition and severe arthritis, appeared, barking loudly, at the foot of Diane’s bed. He then made his way to the children’s bedroom where he planted himself firmly on the ground. With Richard away on business, Diane got out of bed astounded as to how Mac had made his way up the stairs. She went downstairs to find the home engulfed in smoke. Quickly she gathered the children and pets and removed them from the house. Mac never left the children. The fire alarm did not work that night and it was determined that the home heating system was the cause of the fire. To this day, no one understands how Mac could have possibly made it up the stairs in his physical condition. His actions were truly heroic and saved the lives of his family.
“Our pets deserve good, enriched lives for however long they live. Senior pets like Mac especially play important roles in our lives. So many pets in shelters have a life’s mission,” said Diane Deraska Malinowski. “At the moment that Mac saved our family from the fire, Mac’s life mission was fulfilled and we thank Dick for allowing us to bring him into our lives.”
Mac’s story is miraculous and the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals is honored to have been a part of his rescue and rehabilitation. This world’s animals deserve a chance to live and love.