Belinda Stevenson and her family were dealt two harsh blows. First, the beloved patriarch of the family, Johnny Brooks “Pops” Stevenson died in February of this year. Then, in May, a strong storm took the family’s fence down, allowing “Pops’” beloved Savannah to wander off. The family was heartbroken without their special reminder of the man they loved and missed so much around.
Son Terrell Stevenson, 24, drove from one animal shelter to the next searching for the 3-year old husky. Though he looked frequently, he just couldn’t find her. Then one day three weeks later, he spotted her familiar smile on a Facebook page for Carpathia Paws, an animal rescue. They were trying to find the owners or new owners so the dog wouldn’t have to be put down.
By the time the Stevenson’s contacted Carpathia Paws, their beloved Savannah had been placed with Julie Ogden in West Wood, N.J. She had taken her place with her new owners, sleeping on the foot of the bed, from the very first night and her new family adored her. They could tell she had come from a good home.
Terrell sought out Ogden on Facebook. Ogden agreed to bring Savannah to Georgia in an effort to raise awareness about shelter animals and their fate when their owners cannot be found.
She rolled into town in a caravan of cars, trucks and vans escorted by a dozen or so motorcycles driven by members of the bike group that had bestowed Pops with his nickname. Belinda knelt down and called the dog, which was in minutes surrounded by her first family. It was like getting g a little bit of Pops back.
The loss of Pops and Savannah gave the family a new purpose.
Terrell has decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. He is in the Army, having completed two tours in Iraq. He created the programs for his father’s funeral and relied on his graphics arts background. Now he is enrolled in a graphic arts program at the Savannah College of Art and Design where he will put his gift to work – inspired by Savannah and his dad.
As for Belinda, she saw the events with Savannah as her cue to become more involved in caring for animals, no matter what she has to do. Thanks to Ogden and an 800 mile road trip she made, the family has been reunited with their living reminder of Pops and has found new purpose.