STAY AT HOME orders came on March 19, 2020. In spite of that, on Ryer Island near Walnut Grove, CA, life didn’t change much. Primarily an agricultural area, it is sparsely populated by folks who have spent much of their lives there. Sadly, though, it has become a popular place for people to abandon their unwanted pets, as has much of the Delta, with a notable increase since the virus struck.
And that is probably how “Betty” came into the loving home of J.R. and EllaGrace Wilson on Ryer Island. Prior to the virus, J.R. had been attending nursing school and working part time while EllaGrace managed their home and her health issues. Betty, a Redbone Hound who appears to have had a litter recently, showed up but kept her distance. She showed signs of abuse and malnutrition and was terrified of humans. It took four days of tempting her with food and kindness by J.R. to get near her. Gradually, the fear in her golden eyes was replaced by gratitude, trust, and love.
A trip to the vet showed that she was not chipped, and no attempts at locating her owner were successful. By then J.R. and EllaGrace had fallen in love.
They wanted to keep Betty but the financial issues were not making it easy. Then, a post on the local Delta News Facebook page brought support for Betty and the Wilsons. Generosity flowed and a fund has been set up at the Rio Vista Veterinary Clinic to pay her bills. Food was dropped off and a new collar and bed arrived for the lovable hound. During this stressful time Betty helped to bring the community together, to do something good, and numerous people wanted to help.
In the midst of all the terrible virus stories, the fear and the anger, people were waiting for online updates and current pictures of this sweet survivor. Betty had a home. She had a family.
Betty is a Delta dog now.
EllaGrace says that Betty is at her ideal weight now, her scars, both internal and external are healing, she loves cuddles and enjoys her walks in the pear orchard with the Wilson’s. She has had a tough journey but it is over now. She – and the Wilson’s -are now surrounded by Delta Love.
Demi Stewart is a local Bridgetender and long time resident of the Walnut Grove area. She enjoys photography and sharing her love of the Delta through her photographs.
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