Blossom was born on the streets of Kingston, and never had the luxury of regular meals or a proper shelter when it rained. She used to curl herself up very small inside an old tire under a tree when there was a storm, and somehow she managed to survive like that for several years, even when people passed and threw garbage into her precious little makeshift bed.

Image credit: Cindi Scholefield

Then one day an angel called Debbie came across her, and she began to get good nourishing food every day – and she began to smile!

Image credit: Cindi Scholefield

But even with her happy face in the photos that were taken, no one wanted Blossom, because she was just an ordinary brown and white dog of which there are thousands on the streets of Kingston. Added to which, she was undeniably old, as you could see the grey fur gathering around her snout, and the missing teeth from malnutrition, tearing at wire fences, and biting on stones in her desperation to find something to eat.

Blossom was on my adoption list for two years without even an inquiry, and suddenly a lovely young man arrived in Jamaica, and not only professed himself to be a dog lover, but said he would like to adopt Blossom.

Shocked. Flabbergasted. Thrilled. Those of us who had been trying for Blossom for so long could not believe it. We were in such a hurry to get her out of her ghastly situation that we jumped at the first chance. The new home for Blossom was at the top of a hill surrounded by wild brushland, but one person’s car was leaving behind a trail of oil from a leak, another person’s car was lent out to a relative, and the third person didn’t have a car and couldn’t leave work, so she decided to use a trusty taxi driver. Blossom was duly collected and on arrival at the bottom of an almost vertical driveway, with an electric gate that worked only when it felt so inclined, the “trusty” taxi driver opened the door too early, and Blossom hopped out. Instead of approaching her gently and holding the leash, the man chased after her, frightening her so that she dashed off – and went right over the precipice into the bush!

General panic ensued with people diving into the undergrowth in heavy boots and thick clothes until after dark, but all they found was Blossom’s blue leash, hanging on a shrub. At least, we said, she hadn’t snagged it on something and hanged herself. But finding her looked like a dim possibility. We were all depressed. This could not be the end for Blossom. . . . . . .

Next morning, having retrieved my car, something told me to drive up the hill. I went slowly with all the windows down, calling her name and telling her it was alright. I felt stupid doing it but I had to do something! Of course there was no sign of her and I went home feeling defeated.

Only to get a call from Debbie a few hours later. She was so excited she could hardly speak. Something had told her to go up the hill not too long after my fruitless trip, and as she approached a turnoff just before the big house she caught a flash of a brown and white tail in a bank of ferns on the roadside. She sprang out and called, and Blossom came running and licked her face till it turned into a sticky mask.

Image credit: Cindi Scholefield

We marvelled at the fact that if she had arrived at that spot half a minute earlier, or later, Blossom would have been gone forever. It gave everybody goose-bumps.

The poor girl had not fared well on her adventure, and had a good number of scratches and cuts from slithering through the sharp cactus on the hillsides, so she was taken to the vet, where she spent a few days recuperating, having a bath, and eating, while we orchestrated, once again, her final journey home.

And this time it worked. On arrival she was understandably a little bewildered. After all, it’s a lot of activity and drama for an old lady who had spent every day foraging for food, and every night curled into a rubber tire. Now she had plates of food and bowls of water at her paw-tips, towels to lie on and friends to rub her head.

Home at last!

Image credit: Cindi Scholefield

Grateful thanks to Debbie for being an angel, to Christine for never giving up, and to Adam for giving dear Blossom a secure and comfortable place to spend the rest of her days.