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Kimber, a German Shepherd, was rescued from the side of the road. She was in rough shape, severely malnourished and covered in mange and secondary skin infections. It was also obvious she had a strong aversion to men. She would cower and shake when a man came anywhere near her.
But her life was about to change– for the better! The Charleston Animal Society took her in and nursed her back to health. Then, A young marine, named Steve Hall adopted Kimber. They had a special connection and even though Steve was, in fact, a man, Kimber wasn’t afraid of him.
Hall served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan then returned home with PTSD. He suffered from flashbacks and nightmares. It was almost as if Kimber could sense Hall’s trauma and knew she could relate. She eventually became Hall’s certified therapy dog, bringing him much-needed comfort and love.
Then last March, Steve Hall agreed to allow Kimber to participate in Charleston Animal Society’s annual calendar shoot. That’s when Kimber met someone very special, another man, named Rob Tackett.
Kimber and Tackett were paired up for the photo shoot. Immediately the pair bonded. Doubtfully it was because of Tackett’s washboard abs and dashing good looks– it was certainly something deeper that drove Kimber to fall head over paws in love with the firefighter.
The photoshoot and quick bond inspired Tackett and Hall to become fast friends. Tackett, an army veteran, could instantly relate to Hall and what he had been through. Plus Hall could see that Kimber saw something special in the man and was rarely a poor judge of character.
Then Hall needed help with Kimber. He was set to have neck and back surgery and knew he couldn’t care for Kimber while recovering.
“Unfortunately, his illness and condition prevented him from caring for Kimber the way he felt she deserved. So with a heavy heart, he decided that it would be best for Kimber to be with someone that would be able to care for her,” Tackett wrote on his Facebook page once Hall asked Tackett to formally adopt Kimber. “Knowing how special Kimber was, he reached out to me asking if I would be able to permanently adopt her.”
“I often wonder, when little Kimber was brought to the Charleston Animal Society – abandoned and plagued by mange – if the volunteers knew what an impact she would have on the lives of soldiers throughout Charleston, SC,” his post continued. “I wonder if they could tell that she was one of those dogs, blessed by God, to see through tragedy, straight to the vulnerable parts of all of us – the parts we so aptly hide from one another.
“I wonder if the donors, the calendar sponsors, the men and women who buy the Charleston Firefighter Calendars and the CAS staff knew that she would minister to the lives of so many. I am not sure if anyone knew of her life’s purpose, but I do know they cared enough to save her life, and I know they were able to do so through the generosity of our community and the fundraising made possible by the CAS Charleston Firefighter Calendar.
“It is because of these acts and the overwhelming generosity, and support, of our community, that I have had the privilege of watching one special German Shepherd provide so much joy to our soldiers. Now, I wonder – how many more incredible souls, like Kimber, might we save? If you haven’t already, please donate, or purchase one of these Calendars. I have personally seen the effect it has not only on the animals but on the lives these animals touch.”
Kimber and Tackett = A match made in heaven, “fur” sure.
To learn more or donate to the Charleston Animal Society, click here!
To purchase a calendar, click here!