At the end of Tanya Tucker’s music video for “The Wheels of Laredo,” there’s a message of support for Redemption Road Rescue, an organization that cares for neglected horses. During a recent interview, she explained how she discovered the program and where it’s led her. Here’s her story, in her own words:
It all started when my stylist was doing my hair: “Oh, Tanya, have you seen this?” She showed me this horse, the grandson of Seattle Slew, and they had starved him. And I go, “Find out where that horse is right now.” It made me angry. Then I thought, “No, anger’s not enough. I gotta do something about it.” So I called the people at Redemption Road Rescue. It happened to be in Jackson, Tennessee, of all places.
And the other place that I’ve recently become involved with is Colorado State University of Veterinary Medicine in Fort Collins. I happened to be there visiting friends on the way to California and my dog Kona, my Golden Retriever, would have died, because he had cancer in his heart. But they took him in and saved his life. The number one cardiologist in veterinary medicine was in Fort Collins.
A lot of those kind of places are not on the level, and they use animals to make money for themselves. This place is not that way and I was very impressed. I said, “I want to do something to help you guys.” Because they’re all volunteers and the work they do is just unbelievable. So I went to work for them and I’m still going to work for them.
And the things that they did and the way they handled it, I’ve never been treated that good in a hospital. They even had the therapist come in and evaluate me — a grief therapist, in case I lost him. And I said, “Man, I’m going to work for them, too.” … This dog is a piece of me. He’s a part of me. And without him I’m not going to be the same. And it’s going to come, it’s going to happen, but I didn’t want it to happen right now. And you never want it to happen. But I said, “I’m going to go to work for these folks.”
They told me, most people would just put the dog to sleep because it’s expensive. And so not only did they save my dog, but they also learned [something new] when they were doing it. On this procedure that they wouldn’t normally be doing on a dog, unless somebody’s willing to pay the bill. And I was willing. So I want them to have more funds to do the things that really are miraculous like they did with Kona.
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Sitting here in Fort Collins at the Colorado State University animal hospital for my beautiful Kona. 🐾 He's always been a fighter but I want to give my deepest thank you to The James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital for trying to keep him here just a little longer. •⠀ If you have the means to help out future animals in need, please swipe up in my story to donate directly to the hospital. ❤ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ #charity #animallovers #giveback #animalshelter #fundraising #veterinarian #veterinary #vetmed #animals #vet #veterinaryhospital #animalhealth #animalcare #pethospital #vetschool
And I think it helps humans, too. I don’t believe in, and I do not approve of, testing on animals as far as for makeup, and anything that’s not important to the physical body. You don’t sew a rabbit’s eyelids up so you can test baby shampoo. Those things should not be happening. But these kinds of things that are really going to contribute to the medicine and to their learning — it was really spectacular.
Now I have a Chihuahua that has been with me for 14 years and they’re going to do an MRI on his brain and see why he kept having seizures. To be able to go to them, and get really into what is causing these things, it would be so great. Because everyone that has Chihuahuas knows they have seizures. Let’s fix this now, if we can, and if it takes my dog to do it, yahoo!
I think it’s important. So I like to go to work for people like that. There’s all kinds of things I try to contribute to, as much as I can, when I can.
And my dad always told me: “The way you can do that is to make your platform bigger. And the bigger your platform is, the more people will hear you and listen. They don’t hear you down here. Get your platform and do what you do well, and then people will listen to what you have to say and there’ll be more of them that listen.”