Casey knew those collars had hurt her, she didn't want her new friends to feel that pain, and she wasn't going to let me put them back on the other dogs. To this day, my "children" have been romping without their collars, thanks to their protector, Casey the Wonderdog! - Lynne Fridley

Dog rescued with embedded collar tries to save other dogs from her fate

Can a dog who's had something terrible happen to her not only try to protect herself from that same thing happening in the future, but the other dogs she lives with, too? She can if she's Casey the Wonderdog!

Being in humane work for the past 36 years, I've had the pleasure of sharing my house with a variety of dogs and cats with varying personalities. But Casey is one who truly stands out in the crowd.

Her name was Gracie when we first met. She was residing at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, and I noticed her because she had a very prominent wound circling her neck. Her previous owners had put a collar on her when she was a puppy, and never adjusted it as she grew. It had grown into her neck so deeply it required surgery to get it out, and months for the wound to heal.

I'd met her at the shelter in early fall, and through my subsequent visits, I noticed she was still there, still looking for a permanent home. The director told me the staff had grown attached to her, and I had to admit, she was a friendly, happy dog, who began tugging at my heartstrings!

Finally, a few days before Christmas, I brought her home to meet my husband and our other four dogs, and she fit right in, running and playing with abandon and joy. We named her Casey.

Mysteriously, within a few days we noticed the other dogs' collars were missing, and we found them lying around the half-acre of fenced yard. I gathered them up and put them back on our canine children, not thinking much of it.

A few days later, all of the dogs were naked again. What was going on? This time, I only found one collar; the rest were gone! I put that collar back on Charlie and started looking harder for the others. Turning around, I saw Casey with a firm grip on Charlie's collar. He was standing still, she was pulling backwards and off slipped that collar - which she immediately took under the house and hid with the rest of the stolen goods!