LIMESTONE, TENN – With the season of gratitude and Christmas miracles upon us, comes the story of the Ledford family of Limestone, Tennessee who after losing nearly everything in a fire are thankful for their extremely lucky little dog Abigail and her new lease on life.
On the evening of Saturday November 24tth Fall Branch firefighters Pat Boone, Jonathan Martin, and Michael Conally responded to a late night call. When they arrived on the scene they found Vicky Ledford’s house engulfed in a relentless blaze and almost completely leveled. As Vicki and her daughter Jennifer Arnett stared at the ashes and rubble that was all that remained of their home, they assumed their beloved family dog, Abigail, a Chihuahua, had succumbed to the thick smoke and deadly flames. Devastated, the best they could hope for was that she had made it into the giant dog park in the sky (Doggie Heaven.)
The team of firefighters had been working for over an hour to put out the fire when firefighter Pat Boone thought he saw something move beneath the rubble. He could hardly believe his own eyes. Boone, who has been employed as a firefighter for nearly a decade, described what he saw to WTVR Channel 6 CBS news, “ You never see a house that has fully burned to the ground… and 90 percent of the home is gone. I mean it’s up in smoke – and something lived. Next thing I know there’s a little dog coming out from the floor space, I reached in and grabbed her – and pulled her through the hole.”
It seems that Abigail had managed to wedge herself under a floorboard while everything else around her burned. As Boone told WTVR, “ It’s just amazing – people and the animal bond, especially in a time of need. You just never know. Miracles do happen.”
Who could have imagined that this unassuming, small, brown dog could posses such MacGyver skills? Never underestimate the intelligence of Man’s Best Friend.
While Boone and the other firefighters were attempting to free Abigail from the space the dog had found under the floorboards they began calling the dog by the nickname of “Miracle” since they did not know her real name. Once Miracle was rescued she was brought immediately to the Jonesborough Animal Hospital.
The Ledford family rejoiced upon hearing the news. “We cried. We thought we’d done lost’em,” Vicky Ledford told WTVR.
Jennifer Arnett added, “Houses can be replaced. Family and animals can’t.”
The Doctors at Jonesborough Animal Hospital expect Abigail to make a full recovery, but she will remain at the hospital for a short time for further monitoring of her condition. When she is ready to be released, Abigail will stay temporarily with firefighter Boone until the Ledfords find a new place to live. There has been an outpouring of community support to help the Ledford family get back on their feet. An anonymous donor has even been paying for all of Abigail’s veterinary expenses.
The moral of the story is that in a holiday season that has become overwhelmed by commercialism and consumerism, there are real reasons for rejoicing. For the Ledford’s, the season provides an apt time to give thanks to the firefighters of their community for never giving up during their search for survivors of the destructive blaze. ‘Tis also the season for the Ledford’s, and dog lovers everywhere, to be grateful for the courage and will to live of a plucky little pup named Abigail.
Written By Chloe Taylor.