On June 18th, 35-year-old Brayden Morton was working from his home office in Cranbrook, British Colombia, when he heard a disturbance outside.
He couldn’t see Darla, his 3-year-old Chinese Shar-Pei, lounging on the outside deck.
He called for her.
He got ‘that feeling’ and rushed downstairs and outside only to see a truck speeding away.
Darla was inside the truck….stolen from the safety of her yard.
“I immediately started running after them.
They were gone.
I couldn’t believe what had just happened.”
He called the police, who took it seriously.
They immediately issued a release on their social media feed.
As did Braydon.
He took to his Facebook page and wrote, “Please share and help me. A blue older model Ford truck just pulled up behind my house and took Darla.”
He offered a $6,000 reward to anyone who could provide any information regarding her whereabouts.
A friend gave him $2,000 to add to his $4,000.
“It honestly felt like my world had just come crashing down on me.
This is my dog and I love her. This isn’t stealing a bike out of my garage; this is much more serious.”
By the next morning, and having such a terrible night, there were hundreds of replies from all over the country.
And then he received a call from a young woman.
“I picked it up and all I heard was what sounded like a young lady crying.
I knew in my heart this person had Darla. I told her I wasn’t mad at her, and that I would grab the reward money and come to her.”
The 20-year-old woman told him to meet her at a local gas station.
As he drove into the station…..there was this young woman.
“The moment I saw her I just ran to her and picked her up. It felt almost too good to be true. She was so happy to see me. We were so happy to see each other.
It was one of the most overwhelming feelings I’ve ever felt. I was elated.”
He looked over to the woman, crying uncontrollably….
…..and he saw himself.
And he knew exactly what the score was.
You see, Braydon was an addict since he was a teen, and got control of it and became sober in 2015.
Yeah, he knew the score.
“She was very evidently hooked on drugs.
She is just a kid, and she was standing there bawling. I went and gave her a hug, and I said, ‘It’s all right.’
I was in out and of treatment 16 times. I was the hopeless addict who was never supposed to get better.
Going to treatment was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it’s also the most enlightening experience I’ve ever had.”
After rehab, he volunteered there….and then decided to help others in the same boat, and became a Clinical Drug and Alcohol Interventionist.
So he shared his story with the woman.
And then she shared her own, how she stole and sold herself to feed her addiction. “When you’re a fentanyl addict, your number one fear is detoxing and getting clean,” Morton explained. The woman told him that she and two other people stole Darla and planned to sell her online. But then she came across his post on Facebook, and “couldn’t live with herself,” Morton said. “She told me she’s a dog lover.”
He called Westminster House, a residential addiction recovery program Morton often works with that treats youth girls and adult women.Susan Hogarth, the executive director in addiction recovery at the rehab facility, confirmed to CNN that Morton has put down a deposit to reserve a bed for the young woman and he will be paying for her medical and rehabilitation treatment when she arrives.“As soon as she turns up, she will be flown by Westminster House into treatment,” Hogarth said. “She will be provided with medical attention immediately and medication to stabilize. We work regularly with Brayden who is an amazing support.We will do whatever we can to get her well… [Morton’s] heart is truly in it. In this whole situation that happened with him and his beloved pet Darla, a normal person would be angry, but his anger just melted off of him as soon as he noted that this girl was so sick.”
And there’s more to the story.
Before he got the call from the young woman, one of the tipsters fingered a man who drove a blue truck.
And in his desperation and haste, Braydon confronted and accused him.
The young woman confirmed that he had nothing to do with it.
Shortly after being reunited with Darla, he saw the truck driving down the road.
He pulled him over to apologize.
He found out that the man was homeless after catching his wife in an affair.
He was living in his truck with his most prized possessions….his two dogs.
Braydon took him to a motel, and with the help of some friends, they paid for a few weeks of lodging.
And helped him buy a trailer and land a full time job.
“I just wanted to help him get his feet back on the ground.”
“One day, I hope she looks back on this story and it motivates her to help somebody else.
We need to advocate for each other.
I would say honestly, more than anything… it was exactly what I needed in my life at that point in time.
Those people helped me immensely.
They really warmed my heart and humbled me.
I’m just as grateful for those two relationships that I made in this whole ordeal and I’m happy that I was able to meet them.
It was very humbling, and actually, those people helped me too.
I was going through some personal stuff at the time and it was very emotional and they warmed my heart.
I’m thankful for them.”
A whole lot of thankfulness.
A whole lot of thank you’s.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.