October 3 should have been Daniel’s last day alive. The Beagle was placed in an Alabama gas chamber with 16 other stray dogs and the attendant turned on the carbon monoxide pump and waited. When the killing was done, the door opened, and there were 16 dead dogs.
Daniel, however, walked out wagging his tail. He was sick, but alive.
11th Hour Rescue in New Jersey heard about his story and flew him to the Garden State. Daniel recovered and was adopted by Joe Dwyer and his family, who already have four dogs and are clearly wonderful dog people.
Its nothing short of a miracle, Dwyer says. Whatever higher power one believes in, God has chosen him to live. Daniel was named for the biblical figure who survived his time in a lion’s den.
As for Daniel’s temperament after everything he had been through: “He just has an incredibly beautiful disposition that just points him out, Dwyer says. Hes amazing.
I know it doesn’t really matter whether it was an act of God or, as one vet surmises, an air pocket Daniel could have breathed from while others perished around him. Daniel, like our friend Patrick, is a true miracle dog. But it really does make you wonder how this little Beagle managed to beat death. (It also makes you wonder why someone would give up such a good dog. I know it happens all the time, but seeing him really brings home just how horrendous and widespread the problem of disposable dogs is.)
Daniel’s survival may have far-reaching effects. Gas chambers are still legal in 31 states. An anti-gas-chamber bill named after him is being considered in Pennsylvania, and legislation in other states may follow.
“The Lord works in wonderful ways, because not only was Daniel saved, but he became a symbol and an impetus for us to get this bill moving,” says Sen. Andy Dinniman, a primary sponsor of the bill. “Dogs are fortunate: they can live in the moment and not resent the past.”