BY ANDREW JONES
"Saving one dog won't change the world, but it will change the world for that one dog."
So goes the mantra of Chuckey's Dee Roby, who proved during last Sunday night's flooding that she is ready to back up her words with her actions.
Roby operates Dee's Dawg House as a dog sanctuary under the auspices of Feral Friends of Greene County: a local organization that captures and neuters stray and feral cats and either provides them a home or attempts to find homes for those that are adoptable.
Under Roby's care are 56 dogs, three rescued horses, seven rescued cats, and a rescued goat.
The dogs were until recently housed in two kennels on the side of her barn. But then Sunday night's rains came.
With the deluge, a nearby farm pond overflowed and began to flood, she recalled this week in an interview.
The current from the overflowing pond flowing in a ditch past Roby's barn washed away both kennels.
Without a second thought, Roby got her boots and a leash and went out to rescue her dogs.
"These animals are my family," she said.
When she got out to the ditch, she saw Ashly, an Irish Setter mix, standing on the opposite side of the water. The dog, seeing her friend, jumped in toward Roby and was immediately taken by the current.
Thinking fast, Roby jumped into the shoulder-deep water and threw the leash toward Ashly like a lasso. Amazingly, it fell perfectly and Roby pulled herself and the dog to safety.
"The only thing I had on my mind was saving her," she said.
Although all of her dogs survived the ordeal, Roby lost two kennels, six dog houses, 12 bales of hay, and much of the gravel on her driveway.
With a full-time position as an executive administrative assistant at Tusculum College, Roby knows the task ahead will be time-consuming and expensive.
She says she needs help cleaning damaged fencing and debris, needs to regrade her driveway, and needs to buy the fencing, posts, dog houses, and concrete necessary to rebuild the kennels.
Anyone who wants more information or who would like to help in this effort can contact her at 423-948-9992 or, by email, at (email@example.com)
Financial assistance should be directed to Feral Friends of Greene County Dog Sanctuary, P.O. Box 1041, Greeneville, TN 37744.