Champ – The Story of Survival
When award-winning children’s author Fiona Ingram (South Africa) read about an abused and abandoned dog called Champ that was left for dead at a California shelter, she was appalled and moved. Appalled that such neglect and abuse could even happen in the first place, and moved by a little dog’s immense courage, fortitude, and most importantly his will to live, and his ability to forgive and love humans again. Champ’s motto is: “Never give up!” Champ did not give up and he lived to become a healthy, happy, lovable little dog, bringing joy and hope into people’s lives. Surviving against terrible odds, Champ has become an inspiration to many people, proving that the impossible can be achieved, and there is always a light at the end of every dark tunnel.
Fiona Ingram was inspired to document his story for several reasons. The first is to help raise funds for S.A.F.E. Rescue, the non-profit rescue site (in California) that took Champ in www.SAFEanimalrescue.com. The second is to raise awareness about animal abuse, and offer advice on the many ways people can help.
Fiona says: “I first thought, ‘How about a blog post?’ Then I thought, ‘How about a little e-book?’ That way, I could donate my writing and create something to generate on-going funds for Champ and the site.
S.A.F.E. Rescue were over the moon and the rest has been a flurry of gathering photos and information, getting Champ’s story down, and some creative stuff on the side, such as Champ’s “Happy Eva After Pome” and his short story How Superdog Champ Saved the Day. As I wrote, so people worldwide sent in messages of love to be included in the book; some even sent messages from and photos of their own rescued dogs. But it all starts with one act of kindness. Every person involved in rescuing an animal, be it a glorious tiger in the jungle, or an elephant in the wilds, or just a little dog that perhaps no one would miss—his abusive owners did not care—the unsung heroes are a growing army of compassionate people, vets donating skill, supporters donating funds and food, volunteers donating their time. There is very little fame involved and definitely no fortune. Many large animal organizations and the humblest of animal shelters rely on public goodwill to keep going.
Champ’s messages, included in his book, also moved me when I read how many people said Champ and his brave little struggle for survival had changed their lives. People saw their pets in a new light; some people began to work with animals; some people saw their own life in tandem with Champ’s and decided if he could survive, so could they. Champ’s tomorrows look very good. From being beaten by life, he has risen to stand head and shoulders above everything. Although fame was something he never expected, Champ handles his new celebrity status with grace and aplomb. To so many people, he has become a little ray of hope and sunshine in a dark world. Champ is the most adorable, loving little dog and since a blind dog called Joe has been taken in by the shelter, Champ and Joe are working on a second book called Champ & Joe: Best Friends Forever.”