Tuesday, November 17, 2009
A Hurray for Precious, a Whole Lot of Sick...and a Special RR Unit
Tue, November 17, 2009 | link
After what seems like an endless day--that is not over yet--we came home without Baby and with an armload of ten sick puppies.
I was going to "call" their quarantine early--they seemed so fat and happy. Against Mike's better judgement, I was
going to allow the Mama--who is just a doll--to mix with the herd and move the babies into the pool in my closet today.
As I went to pick up the puppies, one sneezed. Another, and another. They all have an upper respiratory
infection. I hope that it all it is. No, I am praying that that is all it is.
The golden rule of at least 14 days
isolation/separation (21 days if you really could) is still going to hold fast here. Animals don't show that they are
sick at the shelter. It takes time to relax, let their guard down, and as they do, the virus or disease ramps up. (I
almost wonder if the adrenaline that comes along with being scared and captured keeps the immune system running at full force.)
There is a period of a good week usually where the animal appears well. Then "Whammo!" Today was our
Precious had been coming in and our of our bedroom all day--in fact she wanted to be in our room
when it was time to go to the vet to pick up Baby. I felt bad having to stand in her way and send her back to her pen.
If I am not at home, I don't know her well enough to know how she and the other dogs would react to each other, say if there
was a bone possession issue, etc. I can't take that chance.
Baby's wound around her ankle fell open when that fashionable
green cast was taken off, Dr. Garza said that it was oozing some pus (sign of infection) and it needed two staples.
Eek. Isn't it always something! To keep her from chewing them off/out, little Baby has a tiny white e-collar on--and
looked so tiny but very well. Everyone loves her at the clinic.
Dr. Garza took her outside to show me that she can stand
and the staff is getting her to walk some by enticing her with food. He said that the new cold laser that some vets
have would help her immensely--I just happened to have started working on this story! How God works. A vet pretty
close to the Rescue Ranch just installed that exact laser. I am going to have little Baby referred to him and I can write
about the laser AND feature our precious Baby at the same time! (I have no idea what those visits will cost but Dr. Garza
said it would reduce her pain and speed her recovery time immensely.)
With a perfectly beautiful card and tray of home-made
brownies under his arm (from Michelle who stopped by to see Baby this morning), we went home with a nebulizer (on loan for
two days), medicine for ten days for the 10 two week old babies, and a heavy heart.
I was thanking God all day
that just last week, a RR Angel sent unrestricted funds--we finally filled the Tamiflu prescription that we'd been holding
on to. Dr. Sears, who was here just a few weeks ago, said run-- don't walk--to keep Tamiflu on hand. Before we even
went to the vet today, I made up a solution and started the babies on it. I am happy to share if a rescue/r can tell
me that they even suspect distemper. The earlier we start, the better the result.
While we were at Dr. Garza's,
Jae called to let me know about Armand the puppy's visit to a new vet--a reader/RR Angel read the motor oil/mange story and
immediately acted to help him. We found out today that he has two ulcers on his corneas--probably from the hot oil on his
eyes or from scratching at the burns on his eyelids/area; his ears, too, are scorched, even the inside is full of crust and
With special shampoo, the antibiotics that he's been on since this weekend, and eye and ear drops and
more hard work and TLC from Jae and her daughter, Andraea...well, it is going to take time but Armand has a good chance of
recovering--just no guarantee that his fur will all grow back but that is so minor. I am worried about his eyes and
Dr. Garza told me that we can cut down the diseases from the shelter, like Kennel Cough and Upper Respiratory,
by nebulizing the animals from the get go. He will teach me more Wednesday. In fact, he is ordering a set of animal
breathing cups for me so we can treat all sizes and he loaned me his nebulizer for two days. I need to find my own and
fast. (I have to nebulize each puppy for ten minutes a day.) He said his father donated one when he was done with
his medical treatment. I am hoping that someone has one they don't need any more (a human one). I can't take a chance
though it if was ever used for distemper...
This begins the very difficult part of rescue--keeping groups of animals
isolated but also keeping the illness isolated. Changing clothes, flip flops, spraying exposed skin with 91% alcohol,
taking care to not transmit anything from the sick room, taking many showers a day. My skin takes a beating.
moved the babies into the front guest room--so I can use a vaporizer and put their medicine in it--since tonight the nebulizer
isn't working right. I'm improvising. Every six hours or less, they will get meds, Tamiflu, supplements...and
I hope beyond hope, that in three days or so, we see a turn around for the better.
Back to the fabulous Miss Precious...when
we got home and opened my bedroom door to let some of the herd out, Precious made a bee-line to my room. She has been
there all night--in two different spots. In one of them, I put down a sweet as can be fleece blanket with "Precious"
embroidered on a bone-shaped cut-out--it was another surprise in the box of pink,green and blue fleece blankies that arrived
a few weeks ago from her anonymous admirer! (The photos will be in her next update story.)
(Precious is using one of
the bright green ones in another spot in the living room. Bobby, the Min Pin, cried and cried tonight when I was passing
out blankets for the night--he wanted a bright green one, too, and tried to pull it into his crate. Who knew!? I put it in
his crate--on top of the blanket he already had, and he practically danced--he was so happy to have it.) Miss Moneypenny's
puppies love them, too, so I have to carefully dole them out. Along with baby gates and Dingo bones--fleece blankets
are on the top of my most needed list.)
I was feeding everyone dinner and Precious didn't move--so I got a bowl and
put it behind our unused exercise bike. I thought I heard crunching so I muted the TV--sure enough, for the very first
time, Miss Precious ate dinner out of her pen. There was non-stop crunching coming from behind the bike! This was HUGE! She's
never taken anything from me to eat--other than a marrow bone--when she has been out of the protection of her kennel and play
Such is the life of a rescuer--the highs and the lows from morning to night are great. The triumphs and the losses--even
very sadly tonight--that I read in emails have my heart on a rollercoater. We are never far from that gap between life and
death. Every single day, we cherish--or should cherish--the sweetness of life.
I live in the very minute of it--I absorb
and enjoy and give back and give love in the very moment by moment of my days and nights. I think this is the way life
should be lived--but alas, it is hard to do. Cherish who you are with, where you are, what you are doing, where you
are doing it...for the next minute, the next hour, the next day, things could be oh so different.
I'll call and check
on Baby today--I'd like her to come home as soon as she can. There is something special about the RR--and I am praying
that it is enough to help Mama's 10 and even Baby's ankle. It is amazes me to watch over the course of almost a year, that
the number of RR Angels is growing--and as one RR Angel wrote tonight, she said she thinks of all of us as the "RR Brigade"!
That is a pretty powerful unit, who can accomplish amazing things--at the RR and wherever else we venture to go or to pray
I can see day by day, that Precious is feeling it and Mama and Miss Moneypenny and...a whole herd of precious
animals that are here, living a wonderful life--with your help, with your prayers, with your blessings...and of course, with
your treats. We are very lucky--no, very blessed. I pray that many of these blessings spill over to you.
you for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Precious' Big Break Through!
Mon, November 16, 2009 | link
For awhile, a little 30 pounder--Precious--an Australian Shepherd mix--has been at the Rescue Ranch. She was tranquilized
on the property of a daycare and brought to a high kill shelter. For days, she sat in the kennel, pressing her newly
ruptured eyeball (missing) against the cold concrete block wall--her only pain relief.
Mike and I, with help
from a dog whisperer who worked at the shelter, LaJeane Thompson, got Precious out of there and to a vet. Then to an
eye doctor. She is now close to being able to have surgery--her anemia should be better by now--the heartworms are always
a risk but can be treated afterward. Of course, this is all a calculated risk.
Precious has been staying in a gigantic
kennel--with a puppy play pen attached to it, so she can come out and watch the puppies and dogs playing but still feel safe.
She began jumping onto the top of the kennel--and then leaping out of the pen, sorta like a mountain goat--but it was only
once in awhile.
As of yesterday, Precious no longer wants to be in her little zone--she has had a gigantic break-through.
We woke up on Sunday to Precious sleeping next to Mike (his side is closer to the door)--behind the hasn't-been-used-for-a-year
exercise bike! What a surprise that was!
I told Mike to ignore her--she is still people and camera shy.
She just wants to be a fly on the wall, still, but that is OK. She is getting socialized just by modeling--watching
what the other animals do and how Mike and I treat them/interact with them. One of these days--maybe in a month or two--I
am sure Precious will come over to be petted. It happened with Beauty--it will happen with Precious.
and got the camera--and pretending to take a photo of another animal, did get a photo of Precious in our room. It will
be in her update story later this week. (Her story was delayed with helping Baby the Chihuahua who had to have emergency
surgery.) I was so proud of Precious--I wanted to hug her but I know that I can't--yet.
All day long, Precious
came in and out of our room. We never saw her leave but we would notice when she was back in her spot. She began laying
under my cookbook case--which has a direct view of our bedroom doorway--and every time we were napping (Sunday is a day of
rest for all here)--or just watching a show, Precious would come in for a few hours. It was so amazing I wanted to congratulate
her!! For a dog who was so traumatized to begin to want to be a part of the "herd" was amazing! (A dog pack
is the proper name for a group of dogs--but at the Rescue Ranch, we literally have a growing herd!)
By nighty time,
Precious was wandering around the house--trying out all of the dog's beds! I was sick Sunday--so I'm behind on sending out
my "thank you's" for helping Baby (forgive me)...Mike was coming in to our bedroom to tell me where Precious was
here, there and everywhere! Holy cow. I wonder what finally gave her the courage to start exploring.
week, this girl has to have special blood work done, getting her ready for imminent surgery. I will let you know ahead
of time so we can keep her in our prayers while she is under anesthesia--a dangerous time for any animal. I have three
choices to make for her surgery--while we were going to leave her eye lids in tact and open, I just found out that that leaves
direct access to her skull/eye socket. So if a stick or dirt flew in, it could be trouble.
The other option,
is to have a ball placed in the socket--so it doesn't collapse into itself/cave in--and the eye lids are sewn shut but there
is a minor risk of infection with the implant. OR, just having the surgery with no implant, sewing the hole closed after
taking out all of the parts that would come out with the other two choices. I sure welcome any input/opinions and any
one with experience with this. You can leave me a comment below OR send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yeah! for Precious!!
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Visiting Baby, Getting Ready For Her Homecoming
Sun, November 15, 2009 | link
Little Baby the Chihuahua, just had two major surgeries--she had two broken legs and a broken pelvis after being hit by
a car. Although I only got to know Baby for a little more than 12 hours or so when I was caring for her/trying to decide
who to entrust her care to--she seemed to know who I was when she saw me today! She was happy, excited and gave me kisses.
That was just priceless.
Her vet, Dr. Garza, took a lot of time to compare pre- and post surgery x-rays, explain what
he did/what she will need and took out her I.V. catheter while I held her. It is not the most pleasant thing in the
world, especially if the tape is stuck to her skin. Poor girl was very uncomfortable, but it was only for a half a minute.
Garza understands that I want to also teach my readers, about the issues we are dealing with with each animal we save, so
he saved the broken off femur head--top of the bone in Baby's leg that has a big stitches line on it now--Post Surgery: Baby, the Chihuahua, Gets A Hospital Visit He held the bone piece up against an x-ray so we could see exactly where it came from in her little body. I could not
believe how small Baby's little bones were.
We had also brought Ada Brava along to get her nails cut (all black, big
nails are very hard for me to trim) and to get some blood work done. Now that I know he has the ability to check the
actual heartworm levels in her blood, I will be using this test instead of the more common SNAP quick test that most vets
But, as usual, Mike and I were late--there is always poop and sometimes throw-up to clean up, escaped puppies,
dogs who have to go out--again--just before we want to leave. Always. It is as if the animals sense we are about to
go out and take turns deciding who will do something to keep us here. They do try their best! "OK Everyone...poop on
Being late meant that we have to take Ada back again another day for her blood work and exam. Not an
issue. We will bring Ada back when we go to pick up little Baby.
Getting ready for Baby's homecoming, we had to
go do a little shopping for her. A new crate and an orthopedic mattress was part of her doctor's orders. She will
need to be contained for two months to make sure that the bones heal and grow about the pins and raw bones.
It was the
first time Ada went to a pet store--ever. She was so good, just literally plowing ahead down the isles like a good bull dog,
with the coloring of a German Shepherd. Ada (and Mike) tried about four or five types of dog beds for fun, waiting for me
to take the photos I needed for my story on a rescue group. I caught Ada laying on--and Mike sitting on--a gigantic
dog bed in the middle of the isle!
It took a little more time than I expected to take the photos. Two
of their animals need eye surgery before they lose the sight in their eyes, so I tried to get a good photo for my story of
each. If you have ever tried to take animal photos, you know that it is not easy. For every photo that is in my
blog, I take a whole bunch more to make sure I can pick just one that will work. Most times, my system works--once in
awhile, all the photos are not good and I have to do it again.
Pill pockets (a must, along with American Cheese for
animals needin' medicine) were on sale and a few sets of attachable crate dishes--a set for Baby and a set for Jade (both
the same size--and I think they are going to be fast friends)--we left with the crate, mattress and just one squeaky toy for
the puppies--it was on sale or $3. At Petsmart, that is a steal.
Today is Sunday--a day of rest at our house and
of worship. On the days we can't get to church, we watch several different TV pastors like Ed Young, Joel Osteen and
Terry Shook--and also do the rosary/pray for an hour (do that every day). Doing this daily, reminds us of who is really
in charge--and where our strength and blessings come from.
What I have learned over this incredible journey of
creating the Rescue Ranch, is that when we are weak, He is strong. You just have to look above the current circumstances to
know that in the blink of an eye, in a minute, a day or a year, things will be changed for the better--and remain faithful
through the bad times to the good times--and don't forgot Him in those good times. Just like I share my joys as well
as my sorrows with you, He would like to be included--in the same--of your lives.
Thank you for stopping by,
for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
PS PLEASE read my story about a little puppy,
Armand, who was horribly injury by someone's mistake. EEK! Hot Motor Oil Is NOT A Cure For Mange
Saturday, November 14, 2009
What About The Injured Animal We Don't See
Sat, November 14, 2009 | link
As I was working on today's article for my blog on the Houston Chronicle, EEK! Hot Motor Oil Is NOT A Cure For Mange, I was deeply moved by compassion for the little dog, Armand, and for his rescuer. I know how hard it is--physically and
emotionally--to care for animals with horrific injuries and illnesses.
Sometimes, you don't even want to get
out from under the covers--but you must. A little--or big--animal's life is at stake. Giving them their pain medicine,
antibiotics, supplements all have to be done on schedule--whether you feel like it or not.
Working on this article today
made me think--as rescuers, we see some pretty rotten things that were done to animals--but what about those animals were
were intentionally or accidentally injured and left to suffer alone until they die? Their owners, either afraid of being
arrested or of being thought to be stupid--don't take steps to get their animal/s the care that is needed. (If it is because
of expenses, take the animal to an animal hospital or vet and surrender the animal. At least it will have a chance to
live.) I've taken care of animals literally screaming from pain--they are not sitting silently at their abusers--or tormentor's
feet--until they are worn out and near death.
Awhile back, I had an email about a litter of puppies that was let out
the front to run down the street--and with great mal-intent, someone was running them over--killing them--one by one--like
target practice. I am still sick to my stomach and heart about this story. I was paralyzed--I lived too far to
run out and stop this monster in the act--by the time I got the email, most likely the little puppies were all dead.
day, I have to put Precious' eye ointment into her empty socket--what or who intentionally ruptured this dog's eye--popped
it like a water balloon. Who raised these people--or what went wrong in their lives/spirit, to make them think things
like this are OK or even, entertaining?
I pray today that all of those poor animals living unprotected with abusers
and in filth and starved, find relief. I pray that more people join us to rescue animals. They are nothing but
LOVE wrapped up in all different colors and shapes of fur--and even some that are hairless! Who could do anything but
cuddle and kiss one of these precious animals? I guess, it is the right thing to do to pray for them, too.
is time to go visit Baby, the little Chihuahua, who had been hit by a car and had two broken legs and a broken pelvis. Baby, the Chihuahua: Diagnosis and Surgeries Needed After HBC I'll be back again later this afternoon. I just had to share. Keeping it bottled up won't help anyone.
Maybe, just one life will be touched today by my words, my prayers--your words, your prayers.
Thank you for stopping
by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Friday, November 13, 2009
A Catch-Up Kinda Day
Fri, November 13, 2009 | link
Gosh, there has been so much activity at the Rescue Ranch since early this morning, I have just had a chance to sit down
and write again. Let me see where to start...
For those of you who are just joining us, we just saved Baby, a
little black and white Chihuahua, who had been hit by a car--and had a bone sticking out of her leg. Turned out that she had
two broken legs and a broken pelvis. She had surgery yesterday on one leg--and today is the rest of her surgeries. Please
keep up with her progress on my Houston Chronicle blog,www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer. Please keep her in your prayers today and over the weekend. We are particularly worried about preventing infection
in the joint of the leg/bone that was exposed. So far,she does not have a fever,which is great!
Pasha is off to rehab--alone.
This was very hard for me. Dr. Wall/at her rehab center, feels that he has done all he can for Bunny. This breaks my heart
since she is so close to getting her feet to touch the ground--we just wanted her to steer her wheelchair with her front feet.
Without this, she continually crashes into walls or trees--or the house...when trying to play with the other dogs.
think with two or three more months of rehab we could achieve this. I think part of the problem--why he doesn't want to continue--had
to do with "soliciting donations." Those words came out during our meeting--I think if he can't make the dog
walk, he feels bad accepting help. Pasha is walking three and five steps here and there now, so her progress is evident.
it will be much harder for us to take Bunny to another rehab center, I cannot just abandon her efforts/progress. She
is only a year and a half and can still improve. Her evaluation/2nd opinion at a rehab center downtown had to be moved to
next week--with little Baby needing emergency surgery. They have several new technologies that Dr. Wall does not have,
so maybe this is a little dose of Divine Intervention. I won't know until we get there!
I was up at 3 AM (an hour
late today) starting my RR duties--yesterday, we stopped at the butcher and bought four bags of marrow bones. Mike cooked
them up last night--and as they were cooling in a gigantic bowl, Mandy stole one--then came back and took another--and they
were way back out of reach. She is the classic definition of a counter surfing dog.
Early this morning, as the
sun was coming up, I went to each dog and the 12 week old Miss Moneypenny's puppies, too--and handed them each a size-appropriate
bone. It was like they were being given a side of steak--a few dogs had obviously never had a bone, but once they smelled
them and tasted one, it was "disappeared."
Mike is in the middle of shampooing the carpeting again--on a floor
that we made the mistake of not tiling when we built the RR. Who knew it would be the dogs' favorite place in the whole
world--and who knew, we would have two special needs dogs in wheelchairs--who are incontinent some times! It is back-breaking
to keep doing this several times a week. Even with diapers on the girls when they are sleeping, they are sure to scoot
out the door and leave a trail of something yellow or brown behind.
We are getting ready to have a Memory Tree planted--for
Belle, Angel, Marilyn and Clifford--the four RR babies that were called to heaven this year. Clifford's mama wanted
to help sponsor the tree and also bought a beautiful marker. We had to wait until the weather was good for tree planting--I
have the pebbles and stones that you sent along when Belle and Angel died--and will place them under the tree.
had the planter come and look at the spot, suggested some types of trees and now we have to go and look at them. I hope
by the end of the month we can get the tree in. (If you have suggestions, please let me know.)
Thank you to those who
have volunteered to be collection points for the December Linens and Treats and Everything Dog and Cat Drive. I will
be organizing a list of volunteers this week. If you have sent me an email already with the "area" that you can
cover, great! If you need to update me, please send another email. We especially need comforters, 50 x 60 inch fleece/softy
blankets for puppies whelping boxes, baby gates, Dingo/rawhide chews/bones, goat's milk (canned evaporated)...I'll make up
a more complete list before the collection starts. (If you live out of the Houston area, I will help you find a rescue
group or shelter that you can help.)
Ada is going to go to Dr. Garza, hopefully on Monday. She is heartworm positive
and we've been treating her with the slow, gentle oral Ivermectin treatment. She has gotten very chunky--and I want
to have some blood-work run on her to see if the heartworm has progressed and she is retaining fluids from it/has ascites
(late stage disease/retaining fluid in her abdomen) OR is Miss Ada simply eating everything in site? The girl sure does
like to eat!
Everyone else is fine. Momma and her ten puppies are still in the tub! I was going to move them two days
ago and Mike was supposed to keep her outside walking until I was done. I usually turn on the front porch light to let him
know it is OK to come home. He thought I was taking too long and forgot--so Mama caught me cleaning out the tub and
in the middle of moving her babies.
She has been so lovely and just plain joyfully, tail-wagging happy being
in the bathroom. She was upset to see me moving them from their little nest---so I'll leave them there for the weekend.
We'll skip the medium pool and put them right into the giant baby pool with the stairs and slide--as soon as they open their
eyes--the end of next week probably. They will need the extra room to learn to crawl and walk. Ten puppies is a lot
of puppies--so they will need the room for sure.
One of Miss Moneypenny's puppies, James, James Bond, has adopted me!
He was the first to escape from their puppy playpens. I will wake up to James playing with my ponytail ribbon just like
a kitten would! He will sneak into bed with me and sometimes I'll wake up and he's under my quilt at my ankles--other
times, he is nuzzled under my neck. It is so hard to not just fall in love but i can't adopt another dog. I have to
find him and the other six puppies new homes.
They will be able to go mid-December--and yes, it will break my
heart but I have to love them enough to find them wonderful homes. If anyone is interested in little Min Pin/Hound mix
puppies, they are listed on the Min Pin rescue site www.minpinrescue.org under the Texas page--toward the bottom---the James Bond Gang, I think. A link to my email address is at the bottom
of their photos. By Monday, I will have new photos of them on our Meet the Pack page. You will be amazed at how they have grown! I think, full grown, they will be about 20-25 pounds.
rescuing, the world seems to go by so very fast. If I forget something, or you want an update on something or someone
I forgot to mention, don't be shy. Just remind me! Together, we are doing amazing things.
for caring. Especially for caring.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Are We Crazy?
Thu, November 12, 2009 | link
Yesterday, I didn't feel so great. I took a nap and got up around 4 PM to check email. Mike was on doggie duty.
I wished I had checked it earlier--maybe our latest rescue, Baby, could have had surgery already.
In my Inbox, there
was an urgent request to help a little 8 lb seven month old Chihuahua. She had just been hit by a car--and instead of
taking her to a vet--the witness to the accident brought her right to a high kill animal shelter, thinking that they would
help her. (I wish someone could educate the general public--that shelters are not boarding facilities, for rehoming
or repair shops.)
I made myself that promise a long time ago that I would not turn down a direct request for help from
a person or an animal. This was a direct request. Three rescue volunteers were calling/emailing me to help this
dog. I am nobody. All I am is a rescue volunteer and a writer. I cannot save all of these animals--at least,
I can't alone.
I took one of those leaps of Faith that got me in a little hot water at home. Out of work since
March, Mike is terrified of losing our house, the Rescue Ranch. Not only would we be left homeless but a lot of animals
who have been given sanctuary here would have no where to go. Hanging on by a thread on unemployment, we cannot afford
to spend thousands--even a thousand--for surgery. I OK'd taking her out of the shelter--she would have been dead within
the hour if I hadn't--and believe that other people will help save this girl,too--there must be other rescuers in the wings
who have jobs and who care. We can do the work but we can't pay the bills.
Today, I have two appointments for
her to see a general and then an orthopedic surgeon. The break may go across the joint--which makes things a littler
more complicated. Instead of just a cast, she will need a pin and maybe a plate--and most likely an open cast--one that
I will need to change frequently--the ooze from wounds like this is profuse. I have dealt with them before. It
just takes time and patience but the leg, I hope can be saved. Please say a prayer for Baby today...
had her eyeball ruptured. is supposed to have a blood test today to check on her anemia. We are also going to have an
x-ray done of her heart for the surgeon--he wants to see how heavy her heartworm positive really is.
scheduled to have a second opinion for rehab--I don't know if we will get there today. An open wound with an exposed
bone trumps anything else. That is our first priorty today.
Rescuing last chance animals is a lot of work--I've
been up since 2 AM--(I sleep from 10:30 PM to 2 AM every night) get up, give out medicine, walks, do medical care, etc.
If I'm lucky, I would take a nap at lunchtime but today doesn't allow for a nap.
Mike wants to know where the other
rescues are--and why they leave the most expensive cases for us. Well, that is exactly the point, I said. We save
lives and don't let expense stand in the way of living. The business of rescue is tough--they calculate how much it
will cost to fix up and animal and get it to the "adoptable" stage. If it doesn't make sense--dollars and
cents--many don't care. The animal goes down. We take a different approach--dollars and cents don't matter--I ask can
the animal be saved and where is the best/reasonable place to go.
Some rescues are boarding half the number of
dogs and puppies that we have at the RR, and paying $3-4,000/month on boarding fees--donations that could be used in better
ways. We save the boarding fees, per se, and have the animals living amongst us. They are better cared for, loved,
socialized, played with...but I don't like having to ask for money or for sponsors or donations. I would rather be able
to do this on our own--but right now we can't--both because of Mike losing his job AND the size of this rescue has tripled
this year alone.
I believe if you help someone...help someone/animal, you, too, get the blessings that come along.
We don't save animals to get blessings--we do it to save lives. But, I was taught that it is in giving that you receive.
We give all of our time and effort--and we need others to provide other resources and together, we can forge ahead where others
fear to tread.
Are we crazy--doing what we are doing, given our circumstances? Nope. We are just
full of faith and just believe that He will provide. He has so far.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and
for caring. Especially for caring.
PS The last Kuranda bed that we needed has been sponsored!
Hurray! If you want to help, go to our How to Help Page...there is also a link for much needed items. The little Chihuahua, Baby, will be added by tomorrow morning
to our URGENT page. Thank you for caring!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
On Veteran's Day, Animal Lovers Can Help Troops
Wed, November 11, 2009 | link
In the U.S., today is Veteran's Day--a day that we "salute our troops." There are parades, graveside ceremonies
to place flags, wreaths, acknowledgments of soldiers sacrifice. Hopefully, volunteers are visiting veterans in hospitals and
those who are shut-ins at home...
While some people may not agree with the war/s, we cannot lose sight of the people
in those wars. They are just following orders and a little taste of home, a little caring, would mean the world to them.
my own family, my father, uncles, brother are all veterans. While we never had many discussions about what went on overseas,
I was brought up with a strong sense of pride and patriotism. As much as I love to travel and have been to many countries,
I am always glad to be "home."
That said, working on my story today on adopting a US Soldier, Animal Lovers Can Salute Troops: Adopt US Soldier Program, I thought about the ways animal lovers could cheer up the troops. Wouldn't it be great fun to get some silly photos
of our pets? Or how about a t-shirt or deck of cards with your favorite cat or dog breed on them? Many soldiers
had to leave their pets behind--whether they were at their parent's homes or their personal homes, I am sure that was a heart-breaker.
fact, our little Kasey, a Cocker Spaniel, was the dog of a soldier--who was shipped overseas. I can just see Kasey sitting
on his lap going to McDonalds, Burger King and even Taco Bell! Kasey cried every time we passed a fast food restaurant--and
especially now, when we go near a Mickey D's. He has got to have two double cheeseburgers--with all the fixin's--and
not many dogs will eat them that way. He loves his fries and shakes, too. I think Kasey was the constant companion
of his soldier.
Kasey came with a little bag of possessions--one of which was a camouflage-like leash, a bag with two
Greenies left in it and ear infection medicine--that was six months old. His soldier had entrusted Kasey--whose name
was originally K.C.--to a friend and his wife. When we found him, the woman told me that she was afraid to put ear medicine
in his ears--so she just didn't. Little docile, affectionate Kasey, lived with a worsening ear infection for six months--until
we found him--or I should say, until he found us.
One day, on vacation, I opened my car door. It was 8 AM and
we were going to visit Mike's grandmother for breakfast. Kasey literally jumped up into my lap! I didn't see him coming.
Wasn't I surprised. We called the number on his tags, they came to meet us and said that they would take him to a shelter.
They were tired of him running away--they were letting a "bird dogger" (we call him that) out in a yard with no
fence and were mad at him for chasing the birds! Of course, we wouldn't let any animal go to a shelter if we can help it,
and so, Kasey joined us on the rest of our vacation and long drive home. For days, he never left my lap. (Of course,
we had other dogs with us, too.)
I'm sharing this because I can see how beloved K.C. was to his soldier. I have
tried to find the man--his name is on all of the medicine bottles. His telephone number at the vet was long since disconnected.
Every once in awhile I send out emails to try to reach Mark--I just want to let him know his little treasured boy is safe
and sound and happy. To reunite them would be a dream...
Having been sensitized to soldiers and their pets, and
having done a story also on sending care packages to War Dogs (the link is in the story above), I thought today would be a
great day to ask animal lovers to share a little of their joy with someone else. Soldiers love animals just like we do!
Take some extra funny photos, write captions on the back (since they will most likely be passed around to a group), share
your day with someone stuck in a hot desert, who would love to hear about having to shovel snow--or too much rain this week!
have asked for the Rescue Ranch to be connected to a group of soldiers--I hope soon I will announce how you can participate--you
will be able to write letters, send photos and send them to us--and we will ship out a box of letters/little gifts to a unit.
Hopefully, each soldier will write back to you and we can all begin making a difference--I know I have some very funny photos
that I can print out and some adorable ones, too. We all do. Remember, it just matters that we try.
for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Before You Act, Consider Your Animals First
Tue, November 10, 2009 | link
Little, now eight pound Jade came to us from a loving family who made a bad decision. Mother, father, kids and five
dogs--three Min Pins and two Poodles. Looking to move out into the country, they found a wonderful house and signed a "No
Pets" lease. They thought they could rehome their animals for a year and then buy a house of their own.
was not as easy as they thought. They couldn't give them away--even just temporarily. Some of the people who said they'd
help, changed their minds. Soon after they moved in, an unexpected drop-in by the real estate agent who leased the house to
them--and the beans were spilled. The dogs were all running through the house when they opened the door. It didn't get any
better when Jade's little brother walked by and pooped on the carpet while she was there!
The family called
Min Pin Rescue and I was asked to pick up Jade and her brother. Relatives were taking the other animals so the family
could stay in their home. Sad, but a choice they knew they may face.
We went to get the dogs but I was given only
one--Jade. The other boy, a friend was going to take. Jade was quivering--she wasn't quite sure what was going
on when her mama handed her to me. After a few hours, Jade was sleeping in my arms and stealing the spaghetti (literally)
out of my plate. She would be fine.
Jade is adorable no doubt--but the minute she started to bark, I knew one
of the reasons why I have Jade. She has a piercing, high-pitched bark--and in a new house with a small yard, there would be
no way Jade could be "hidden."
The family started to realize that the other dogs needed to go, too.
Sadly, thinking a little cash would help, they sold Jade's brother for $300. He was a little bit of a thing but he was
not potty-trained (Jade was not either). The family who bought him was angry about this--and threatened to take him
to a shelter or give him away.
For what seems like painful months, the emails went back and forth--I was privy to some
of what was going on--I was on stand-by to take him into rescue, too. Jade's mother realized that she made a terrible mistake--a
gut-wrenching terrible mistake selling her dog and was in daily anguish. Finally, the new family let her buy her baby
boy back--and we were all relieved. At least he is back with his family--for now.
(Occasionally, I email new
Jade photos to her family so they can keep up with her life--I know how very much they love her, despite what happened.
At least they loved her enough to do the right thing if they could not keep her...and I'm here to help if they need me again.)
All of this sadness and anxiety could have been avoided if the family had just found a property that allowed animals.
I think five dogs may not have been easy to get approved--but going a little farther out into the country, just about any
animal is allowed!
It is wise when you are about to adopt a dog, that you adopt one that is appropriate for your circumstances.
A piecing bark is not a good idea for an apartment complex--or trying to hide from your landlord (find an animal friendly
complex--and pay the pet deposit). A big dog--like a Saint Bernard--might actually be better for a small space!
They are low key, don't bark a lot (except for Big Mandy at the RR--who was terribly abused and that is a nervous side effect).
Do your research. Spend a few hours with the animal you are thinking of adopting--if you can. It is not
good for the animal to be rehomed time and time again. Just like an orphaned child, they want and need stability and love.
And if you commit to owning one, bend your life around the animal--find places to live that allow them; have yards
or places to walk them--or drive them to the dog park; come home on time to feed them--and at lunch, too, if you can...Once
you own an animal, they should be--and are--a part of your family.
Other than death or tragic illness, please
do everything in your power to keep them with you--and if you can't, rehome them or give them to a rescuer--but please don't
sell them. A small rehoming fee, like a donation to a charity--is OK--and send along all of their belongings (all washed
and organized)--and buy a new bag of their favorite treats to send with them. Please.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening
and for caring.
Just a few personal notes...
I'd like to say a special thanks to the
RR Angels who sent birthday packages for the ever-growing Rescue Ranch. I hope to have the photos formatted by Monday
at the latest. What fun and thoughtfulness!
Also, a new RR Angel was made yesterday--she called Bunny and Pasha's
rehab center and caught their account up to date. I don't have an email or mailing address so I'd like to say thank
you very much! I'll have an update on the girls later this week. (Please email me if you want to say, "Hi")
of the three Kuranda beds on our "...Needed Right Now" page were just donated. Kuranda sent me a notice that
they were being shipped this week. Now, the arguments over beds will ease up over here!
Just a PS on my chewed-up
flip flop story...I am between a size 8 and a 9 so I usually just get 9's. Thanks to some thoughtful readers offering
to keeping an eye out---I think it will be February or March before Wal-greens puts out their summer stock--and months after
that before they are on sale again! I went to the doctor and looked at my last pair--it has a puppy bite taken out of them!
I had to laugh--I think I may just have to go barefoot!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Need December Collection Points/Collectors
Mon, November 9, 2009 | link
A lot of the private rescuers--and the Rescue Ranch--are in need of comforters, dog beds, crates, towels, food, rawhide
chews/Dingos, basically anything cat or dog. Used is great as long as it is in usable condition--no major/costly repairs needed.
like when we did the Belle and Angel collection earlier this year, I'd like to have four or five drop-off spots available
around the area (Sugarland, Pearland/Clearlake, Katy, Greenway, downtown, etc.) or people willing to do pick-ups and then
meet Mike when the collection is over. It would be from Dec. 1 to Dec 23. If you can help, please email me: email@example.com
PS If you live outside the Houston area and want to do a collection for a local group, I'll find one
for you to work with--just send me your zip code.
Bunny and Pasha's Rehab in Jeopardy
Mon, November 9, 2009 | link
I'm apprehensive today. This afternoon is Bunny and Pasha's rehab consultation--the two dogs at the Rescue Ranch
who are in doggie wheelchairs. It is the day when the vet sits down with us, shows us video and/or photos and discusses the
plan for the next set of sessions--or not.
Last time we went for a meeting like this, I had to fight to keep Bunny in
the program. The vet doesn't really know how to measure the progress of a non-walking dog--so he doesn't think her progress
Since our goal for Bunny is to have her front feet touch the floor--to steer in her wheelchair--I
am not worried about her walking. She is less than an inch away from that goal. I am also seeing a huge difference
in her strength--in her ability to make a single leap and land on the very top of my bed; in being able to hold herself off
the floor to play with the dogs; to use her front legs to steer on the floor--out of the chair--and to nest--she can hold
herself about two or three inches off of her bed while she moves her blankets around on her bed until she thinks it is cozy.
These things were not possible before they started rehab.
Pasha is standing and walking three to five steps at a time--here
and there. It surprises me every time it happens. Her tail wags on occassion--all very measureable developments.
What I am afraid of, is the vet wanting to continue Pasha's sessions--and Bunny will be left behind. If
you have been reading my stories for awhile, you know that "being left behind" breaks my heart. I think it
would torture Bunny having to stay home when Pasha leaves for rehab--and it will break my heart as well.
Part of the
problem, I'm sure, is not having the bill paid--for the set of sessions we are in already. Ugh. I don't like dealing
with money but the reality is that we are less than $200 behind from the last sessions---and now we are already two or three
days into the next set, for which there is no credit, which shows waning support for rehab. Although it is expensive, the
vet is giving us a 50% discount--and still, when I go in this afternoon, I am going to hang my head.
how hard I try, I haven't been able to pay him in full--and he is not a forgiving kinda' guy. I am also embarassed that Mike
missed their closing time on Friday--that's another lecture I am going to have to endure. On my watch, that would have never
I don't want to give up helping them but I don't know what to do.
Bunny and Pasha
have a special bond--I think they both understand some how, that they are mobility challenged. Of course, they see the
chairs but it is deeper than that. I see head motions and different gestures going on between them that I have never
seen going on between two animals. Almost like doggie sign language. They are helping each other get through this life
as best they can.
Bunny is laying next to me. She is running in her sleep. Her back legs are like a race
horse's--her front legs are "swimming" as they run. She has the sweetest face ever--and one of the most expressive
barks I've heard to date. How do you tell this baby girl that her chance at just steering a wheelchair is over?
is sleeping on the bed she was surrendered with. Everyone wants that bed--especially Ada and Beauty (I have to get them
one--they've had too many fights over this bed!)--so we had to put it out of the way, over by Mike. Pasha runs in her
sleep, too--and her tail goes, Thump, thump, thump..." for a paralyzed dog, it is a miracle to behold. How do I tell
her that the nerves that are regenerating are going to shrivel up again if we stop rehab. I feel so helpless.
I go to get the update today, I am going to ask Him to hold me up. I will be crestfallen if the girls rehab is over
but at least we tried. I could not have lived with myself had we never tried.
Thanks for stopping by, for
listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
If you miss the girls' story, please read more about
them on our URGENT page. Thank you.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Feels Like 101 Dalmations
Sun, November 8, 2009 | link
A long time ago, I made myself a promise. I would help any person or animal who crosses my path. I don't seek
them out but if they come before me, I will move whatever mountain I can to help.
This last week, a sweet dog and her
ten newborn puppies came before me. They were literally days old. No rescue stepped forward to help them (which
greatly disappoints me). Staring at the end of their time (which would have been today), I finally decided to take them
in here--even though we are full. Death is so final--and after losing Sassy and her babies when the shelter did an untimely
end term spay/abortion--I didn't want any more heartbreak if I could help it. With some sacrifice on our part--and hopefully
some help from my readers--we'll be able to do this.
We had to move dogs around to be able to give momma her privacy.
Nursing dogs do not want to be in Dog Central. Timmy, Charlee and the now returned Bobby all had to move into kennels--the
area that was quarantine is now needed for a little dog family.
Of course, this means, we have to sterilize that area
first--cleaning and spraying the area with 91% alcohol--and boy is that strong--so it has to air out for awhile before any
animal can live there--never mind puppies just born on Nov. 4. (You are going to fall in love when you see them!)
also means, we have to sterile three kennels to move the dogs--with our already back-breaking work load, Mike and I are exhausted--but,
a little (big actually) doggie family will live.
I will write a story in a few days about mama and her babies--they
each need a bath (they were crawling in feces at the shelter and have fleas)--and each one has to be dried with a hair dryer.
Then I remembered, I gave away my hair dryer just a few hours ago to the shelter--they needed one for the dogs going to adoption
days! Ugh. Well at least maybe today, some other dogs were saved...(We had a gift certificate to CVS and Mike
is down there now, getting some medicine and a hair dryer so I can bathe the babies tonight. He will bathe the mother.)
nursing mother needs a whole ton of food to support her babies--and ten is a lot. Right now, the mama is a walking skeleton
with a bag of milk hanging down. She is leash-trained and very gentle. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that she
was someone's pet who obviously was never spayed--and after many litters, they grew tired of all the puppies and turned her
into the shelter.
The puppies will begin to eat at an earlier time than normal since she will not be able
to supply them with full nutrition for more than a few weeks. Canned food and goat's milk will be their staple--and
I hope, sometime after New Year's, we'll have 10 more healthy, loving pups ready to go to forever homes.
We are definitely
going to need sponsors--in addition to food and vetting, we also need to buy more two puppy playpens since they are in use--and
will be by the time they will need them. Those are at Petco. A litter this size will be too cramped with just
one. (Please see if you can.)
I always tell new adopters and fosters, to give yourself five days to adjust to the new animals in your
lives. I am doing the same thing. We feel overwhelmed now but it is only the end of day one--I have four more
days until this feels like second nature--and I know it will. I wish other fosters/adopters just listened to me and
waited instead of giving up on the animals too soon.
It is fast becoming time to build a new Rescue Ranch. Mike
and I are going to start talking about what can be done sooner than later. So many lives to save...We are not quite
as full as Cruella De Vil's home with 101 Dalmations when they were all saved--but it sure feels like it. Boy, it sure
feels like it.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Bunny and Pasha's First Night Away
Sat, November 7, 2009 | link
Mike went to the city to run errands. Although we only live about five miles from real civilization, and thirty miles
from the city, it seems like it takes forever to go out and back. Living on the RR is like living on a self-contained
planet--one where canines rule the world and the humans are their caretakers--and none of us want to leave. It is just
too cozy and comfortable!
By choice, Mike does not wear a watch. He doesn't like being encumbered by any "jewelry"
as he calls it--but the funny thing is, he always wears his wedding ring. I think that is more than a decoration to
him. The problem with Mike not wearing a watch is that he is always late. He doesn't have a good perception of time
or time passing.
Yesterday, he did have a list of errands as long as his arm that had to get done. A few more
were even added onto that. He started out early enough in the day but of course, had to wait here and wait a little
there and before he knew it, it was late afternoon.
The last stop on his list was stopping at the vet.
Since he was only there to pick up a few things that I ordered, he wasn't a priority. Animals coming in with this illness
or that injury were all passing him by in the waiting room so he sat down to read a magazine! Had I been there, I would
have stood at the receptionist's desk and just picked up my orders, paid and left. A five to ten minute stop.
an hour later, I called. Mike was still waiting for the receptionist to help him. He had lost track of time and they
kept passing him by. At that point, it was an hour 'til he had to pick up Bunny and Pasha at rehab. On a good
day, that was cutting things very, very close.
Finally, the receptionist helped him--but it was 5:20 PM by then.
There was no way he could make it back on time to get the girls at rehab! I don't drive and felt really helpless. I
was only a fifteen or twenty minute drive away but couldn't go get them. The highway was in gridlock--just stopped.
His first option was to call one of our friends in the area--once before, when I had to get Precious and take her to
the vet to look at her ruptured eyeball, we were late getting the girls. My friend, Elizabeth, went to rehab and took Bunny
and Pasha into her car until we could meet her. This time, she was too far away to get there on time.
On a Friday
night, the rehab people didn't want to--or couldn't--wait. Bunny and Pasha would have to spend the night there.
Since it was the first time, the rehab center would not charge us.
All I could think about was how upset Bunny, especially,
was going to be. Pasha is more social, ready to go anywhere with anyone. Bunny is more of a home girl. She
is very social and loves going out, but she LOVES coming back the the RR. It is like she relaxes and breathes a sigh
of relief when she gets to her bed. I knew she would probably not sleep all night long, wondering if she was abandoned.
She has never spent a night away before.
Mike has to pick them up between 8-9 AM this morning. I was up for hours,
making sure he didn't oversleep. I miss my two special girls. I'll update this post as soon as they get home.
I hope they are not too upset. I wish we could call and explain what happened but we can't. This was the first
time they've been away...
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Bunny and Pasha are back. I was right--Bunny had to have been up all night. The minute she got to her spot,
she wagged her tail and fell asleep. Pasha came over for a hug, climbed up on her bed and is fast asleep, too.
We all know--the people and the animals--how lucky we are to be here...and to be together.
Friday, November 6, 2009
My Last Pair of Flip Flops
Fri, November 6, 2009 | link
I started the fall with six pair of flip flops--(the kind with the material straps that connect the sole at your big toe.)
Five black pair were on sale from $20 to $1.99 at Walgreen's end of the season sale (my favorite by Panama Jack) and one "splurge"
pair that was pink. They were the first to be devoured--and after last night, I have one pair left. I guess we have
puppies running around.
I always leave my flip flops at the side of the bed. I expect (more or less) that they
will be there when I get up. Some times, they are under the bed--dragged there by a dog or puppy who is taking a nap
right under me. Some times, one will be across the room, having been carried there by a dog who wants to sleep with
something of mine. That happens all the time when I am doing laundry. In piles, lined up waiting to be washed,
pieces of our clothing find their ways into dog beds or crates. We are forever having to track down our wardrobe!
week, I lost a pair of the black flip flops--an anonymous puppy borrowed them and successfully finished their teething; one
of the pink pair, much to my disappointment, was destroyed during one of my naps. I woke up to a single sandal waiting
for me by the side of the bed. I hoped to see the other one, just nudged underneath the bed. When I didn't see
it, my heart dropped.
Searching all over, I found the sandle in question next to the sleeping, very guilty party.
There was nothing left of it but the sole. So much for my splurge (I like my black one's better...).
I took another one of those naps. Everyone was sleeping. Nothing could possibly happen to my sandals.
woke up and my sandles were together and looked like they had survived! I got up and put my feet into them and went
to walk--my feet when right through--the toe thong/holder had been chewed in half! I could not believe it. Mike told
me that he had a puppy in our room while I was sleeping but he thought everything was safe--well, at least I know who the
cute culprit was.
Down to one pair of sandals, I am getting concerned. The ones I bought are the most
comfortable in the world. I can wear then all day and all night and don't have a care in the world--in my feet, at least.
Now, I'm going to have to be very careful with this last pair. I can't find them anywhere else--I've been looking online
and in stores. I don't know what I am going to do if I have to wait for Walgreen's to stock up for next summer.
sandals? We wash our shoes all the time--if we go to a shelter or even a pet store--or every day at the end of the day--every
day--we soak them and wash them either in the washing machine or the shower. Why?
Shoes carry all sorts
of diseases home--and we don't want to expose the animals here--especially the puppies--to anything. If we have to wear
regular shoes (Mike does), they are left out in the garage and he changes to house-only shoes or flip flops. Shoes are
sprayed with 91 percent alcohol and stay in the garage to dry. They don't come in.
So today, I am going
to find a way to elevate my last pair of my favorite flip flops. I have to leave them somewhere other than next to the
bed! Life just won't be the same without them. And as far as my little sandal chewers--and one big one...well,
they are just too cute to be upset with.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Beauty Has A Break-Through Moment
Thu, November 5, 2009 | link
When an animal arrives at the Rescue Ranch, I never know really how long it will take for it to heal--most times, the damage
done is much greater than what we can see--the physical injuries. They have been abused or neglected, suffered emotionally
or spiritually or all of these.
When Beauty arrived last December, she was very, very pregnant. She was not very
tame--in fact, she was borderline feral (untamed/wild). She had been living in a backyard, on hay, a stop-gap to preserve
her life. There was a dog house for shelter. With many animals to care for, her rescuer could not devote much time to
I crated Beauty to get her to the RR. We were called because she needed an indoor sanctuary
to have her babies--it was December and too cold for newborns to be outside. (Beauty would have some of the most beautiful
puppies I have seen.) When I opened the kennel door to pet her, hundreds of winged insects were crawling through her
fur and onto my hand. In addition to that, she had sarcoptic mange. Saving last chance animals is never easy.
story short, for some day I will write out her story, after her babies were adopted out, Beauty was very shy. She would
stay in her crate and run outside with her tail between her legs. Knowing that watching and being with "the pack"
makes a tremendous difference (just like I am using to help Precious), we moved her crate next to my bed--and now she doesn't
even use a crate!
For months, once she graduated from being in her crate, Beauty watched from under my desk--she watched
the dogs jump into my arms, come and cuddle, snuggle under my quilt, sleep across my head, in-between Mike and I...and I knew
she was taking it all in. Slowly but surely, she began coming over to me to be petted, then she would let me hug her.
In the last few weeks, she was venturing into the bathroom when I was brushing my teeth. This has been a huge step for
her. Each time I saw her, I would praise her, pet her head, tell her how wonderful she was doing.
like every other day, I was taking my early afternoon nap and prayer break. Like a clock, the same time every day, all
of the animals (and Mike) know that it is quiet time at the RR. Everyone settles down and there is a reverence in the
air. It is a very precious time of the day--seven days a week.
In the middle of my prayer time, for the very
first time, Beauty jumped up on the bed and lay down next to me! I could tell that she was apprehensive--she was waiting
to see if I would scold her and tell her to get down--or would I let her stay. Well, of course, you know the answer...I
kissed her on her head and praised her for having the courage to do this. It was an amazing moment--long coming (almost
So, for the rest of my prayer time and nap, Beauty kept me company. I don't think she slept much but
I do think she was proud of herself. She should be. This beautiful dog, with fur so soft it amazes me, was never held
and cuddled as a little puppy. She missed the cooing and holding and petting that a puppy so deserves. She wasn't
even given affection or much human contact as an adult dog--(she is young)--until she arrived here. Here, everyone is
beautiful, smart, precious, funny, free to express themselves, loved...and the animals just blossom.
Soon it will be
time to move Precious' crate next to my bed. She is not ready for that yet. First, she has to learn to either
follow me outside or walk with a leash to go outside. So far, she is now taking herself in and out--a HUGE accomplishment
from having to carry her in and out in a crate! It is all a matter of time--watching the other dogs, modeling behavior
they were never taught or never were exposed to--and a matter of love.
There is a lot of love here for each and
every one of the animals--and the amazing part is that they give back more than their share. I consider myself to be
very, very blessed to be able to spend this amount of time with the animals. I am sure all of you who have animals in
your lives, know what I mean. It is good to be us. Very good to be us.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and
for caring. Especially for caring.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Cherish Every Moment
Wed, November 4, 2009 | link
All day and all night, I see emails pop up in my Inbox with animals needing to be saved--some more urgent than others.
I try to help as much as I can. I rejoice at all of the animals saved--and I just love seeing their updates and photos, some
come even years later. I also am deeply saddened by the ones that we lose--either to euthanasia, to surgery mistakes,
If you could hook up a monitor to me, all day long it would go up and down: happy, then sad...very
happy, thrilled...devastated--then happy again. Rescuing animals is like living on an emotional roller coaster.
What I have learned is to savor--like precious nectar--the sweet moments. They don't come 'round all that often.
I read that a little puppy, Starla, was lost on the operating table during a simple spay operation--I just began to weep.
She had her whole life ahead of her--and it was now over. Just like that. Spaying/Neutering Too Early: Causes Immunity Problems, Sometimes Death
Seeing all of the little puppies here, in the corner of my eye, happily taking up the center of our living room floor,
I couldn't help but grieve for Starla and her foster family. I went over and picked up little M, and kissed her feet
and hugged her tight. I can't answer the "Why's"--why this happens, why this puppy, why now...but I can pray
for her. And I can smile, with tears in my eyes, when I think of her running with the angels now.
made me cry, too, for another dog that I found out was lost this week. A beautiful, white Pit Bull had been at a shelter
for 7 days. At the end of that time, not thinking that there was a foster, a "rescuer" gave the OK to euthanize
this dog--BUT there was a foster for her (who contacted me trying to save her) and on Monday, other people contacted me who
were also trying to save her. Sadly, I found out that she had already been put down--several days before.
know, maybe in life--time is precious and every minute counts. We just never know how long our beloved pets or fosters (or
loved ones...) will be with us. Tomorrow, they could be adopted, moved--to another foster...gone. We just don't
know what life has coming and so what I am learning, time after time, is to appreciate--no, cherish--the present moment.
awhile, the stuff that bothered me, doesn't matter any more. The accidents and spills, torn up this and eaten that...just
don't matter. What matters, is that each and every day, that we can reach out and share some gesture of love.
A kiss, a pat on the head, a stroke down the neck, a hug, a smile...even better, an "I love you!"--yes, I even say
this to the animals--sometimes, I whisper it in their ears, other times, I shout it enthusiastically. They know exactly
what you mean even if they don't understand your words.
Ada is sleeping (still) with her 10 lb. box of Milk Bones.
She carries it around with her like her baby. Beauty is sleeping on the other side of it. Precious went out and actually
explored the yard today on her own. Kasey and Poppy are at my feet, my little writing companions who can't stand to
be away from us for a minute...Jade and Chula are sleeping together in a crate, next to Bobby in his crate--on top of a bed.
Miss Moneypenny is on my quilt, back to back with Monroe. Girl is at Mike's feet on the bed, her front feet crossed
in blissful sleep. Bunny and Pasha sleep on their beds on Mike's side--everyone else is on my side of the room...
is out sleeping on the tile next to the puppies on their Kuranda bed. Precious is next to them. Charlee and Timmy
are just up the hall in their play area, just waiting for one of us to get up to let them out to start their first romp for
We live a very different life, I know, but I think that we all can learn from the profound lessons that come
before us. Cherish and love those animals--and people--in your lives today. Now. Love and life is so very, very precious.
for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Precious Took Herself Out! Ada In Love With Milk Bones Box
Tue, November 3, 2009 | link
I am really lucky to have Mike to help me right now. When I don't feel so great, like today, he took the "day
shift" so I could stay in bed and get better. Living at the Rescue Ranch is a lot of work--there is never a day or night
off and for many, many hours a day and night, full time doggie/puppy care is required. We get to take a break in-between
litters getting adopted or when other fosters/adopters step forward to take in one of these animals. There is just so
much two people can do.
Yesterday, Miss Precious took herself out for the first time! We were so surprised, we
could hardly believe it. The puppies had gone out to play, had just come back in and the door was still open. Precious
went right outside--no leash needed!
After doing her business, she found a spot on the back porch to enjoy the
nice weather. I brought her out a big marrow bone and she stayed there for a good hour. I kept peaking at her through
the window but she was as happy as could be. When it was time to go in, I didn't have to bring out a crate to carry her back
in--I just had to coax her gently and she got up and went into her playpen/crate area on her own!
Ada is still in love
with the 10 lb box of Milk Bones. She has carried it around the room and now has it sleeping with her on her bed!
She will share the bones if I give them out but she wants the box to be with her. I've decided that Ada is probably
a mix of a Bull Dog and a German Shepherd. She walks like a Bully but has the coloring of the GS.
is probably here for life--I've decided that since she was so depressed when she got here--her chin was literally dragging
on the ground and her tail was up, between her legs--but now, she is so funny, tail always wagging and she seems very happy
playing with her best friend, Beauty, that I couldn't take any of it away from her!
Monroe has been cranky lately.
He doesn't want the girls to be near me and he doesn't want Poppy to be near me--and Poppy has the key to my heart!
He must be going through something hormonal. I've had to separate him several times today. He's decided that only
Monroe can sleep under my quilt--no one else. That doesn't go over well at the RR where a whole handful of little dogs
want the same real estate.
We have Bobby, the red Min Pin, back at the ranch. He is doing very well.
Charlee and Timmy added him into their play group seamlessly (thankfully). We try to keep three or four dogs to a "play
group"--that way we can play with them, give them attention and they don't get overwhelmed. There are times when
ten or twelve animals go out together which is fun to watch.
For readers who have been following the blog, there
is a dog, Ginger, who really needs a new foster home--or forever home. Just Google my blog and Ginger to see her photos--"www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer and Ginger"--the people who were supposed to foster her bailed out after just a week and her temporary guardian
sounds kinda desperate. Please help if you can. We don't want someone with a good heart to be disheartened because
of something like this. Little Max, the small black dog who has been in my blog is also in need of a forever home still.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Monday, November 2, 2009
The Dogs Just Amaze Me
Mon, November 2, 2009 | link
I'm trying to type with Jade in the crook of one arm and two puppies on the other (they keep escaping from their playpen
so I just let them stay out). Ada is snoring up a storm--she is snoring so loud that I woke up Mike to go and check
on her. All is quiet for another hour or so until the sun's rays come through the windows and wake everyone up.
was a quiet day at the RR. Everyone just slept in, got up, went out and went back to sleep. Sometime around 6 or 7 PM,
everyone sprung to life. The puppies were clamoring to play, the dogs were all excited to get a Milk Bone...but wait,
I could not find them! A RR Angel just donated a new 10lb box of Milk Bones (and other birthday presents yet to be opened).
I had opened the Milk Bone box on Saturday night--after all, the "kids" could not wait to open everything!
space where the box was, was definitely empty. It was as if someone plucked it out of its place and didn't leave a trace.
Mike and I felt really dumb that we didn't know what had happened to the Milk Bone box. We started back-tracking, doubting
ourselves. Maybe we didn't bring it in from the car? (But we did!)
After about twenty minutes, I turned a certain
way and caught a glimpse of something red in Ada's crate. I leaned down, and sure enough, she had the entire 10 lb box
with her in her crate! Since I could not believe that this was the new one, I went to pick it up---like it was the older
one that is now empty. Nope, it was FULL--except for a few missing bones. I don't know how in the world she did
this--and especially not spilling it, or having us even hear it. I guess we know what Ada loves! (I did take a photo
which I'll post this week).
After I finished petting Ada and telling her how amazing she was, I went to go into the
kitchen and Precious was laying on top of the kitchen table! I felt like we had a house of amazing animals. I
don't know how she got out of her playpen--I checked and the gate was latched--but she was laying there as if it were the
most normal thing in the world. Mike got the camera while I just marveled at how she is coming out of her shell--and
put her eye medicine in while she was easy to reach.
All night long, Precious was up on a crate, on the table, in the
kitchen, in someone else's crate--she is really starting to get active. While she hasn't socialized yet with any of
the dogs, Big Mandy leaned over the table to check her out and they seemed OK together--I was braced for a growl but none
came. Day after day, she is watching the dogs and puppies playing and getting hugged and loved and eventually, she will
want to be a part of the pack. It is just a matter of time.
I took Timmy and Charlee out together and decided
to see if they can play catch. I have an old, very chewed up Chuck-It (a great invention if your dog loves to chase
a ball) and dug it out for Timmy. With his long, long legs, I figured that he can run much farther than I can throw.
I was right.
Time after time, Timmy surpised me by running after the ball and bringing it back and dropping it at my
feet! After seeing the condition he was in--so skinny and living at the end of a two foot chain--this really surprised
me. Someone had taken the time to teach this happy big puppy. Maybe he lived with a prior owner before the owner
he was rescued from.
Mike joined us and took photos of Timmy mostly playing and Charlee watching. They like to
run around the property together but Charlee wasn't much for playing ball. Maybe he's a Frisbee kinda guy? I'll
have to try that today.
I don't know if you remember Bobby, the Min Pin, who we saved from the shelter as one of the
nine who went to the vet together a few weeks ago? Well, his foster family has decided that they can't foster right now--they
are in transition, trying to rebuild their house after Hurricane Ike. It is too hard having to walk an active Min Pin in an
apartment, so Bobby is coming back to the RR probably today. I'm sure Charlee will be really glad to see him--they were
getting to be fast friends when he was here before.
And today, Bunny and Pasha have their rehab evaluations--and I'd
like you to say a few prayers if you could that it goes well. The vet feels that he has to see a literally measurable
difference in order to continue. I see such a difference in the strength and activity level of both girls. Maybe it
isn't measurable in inches, but it sure is in their quality of life. Please join me in praying that he'll see fit to
continue. It means the world to these dogs.
I'll have updates this week on all of the dogs and will be changing
the website photos, too, in the next few days. I can hardly believe that it is November already. I think Mike
and the dogs can already smell the turkey baking in the oven...
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring.
Especially for caring.
PS If you can help Izzy with her surgery scheduled for tomorrow, I would be grateful.
Cherry Eye: Little Izzy Needs Help Tucking Hers Back In This was an unexpected expense for her foster mom and it would be a blessing if she doesn't have to worry about how
to afford it. Thank you!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Halloween Passes, Counting Down to Holidays Now
Sun, November 1, 2009 | link
Last night was Halloween night, but all was quiet at the Rescue Ranch. For a variety of practical and personal reasons--like
too many dogs and puppies barking every time the door bell would ring--we don't give out candy. Every year it is a conflict
but every year, I know we can't do it. We don't "celebrate" Halloween.
I was in the kitchen making dinner
and boiling new marrow bones for Precious, when I saw flashlights going down the road. I just had to take a peak and
admire the cute little kids, all dressed up and looking forward to a fun-filled night. I remember those days.
I would always remember the people who gave out my favorite candies--and I never have forgotten the one "trick"
house we came across when I was about ten.
Just like any other Halloween, my siblings, friends and I (parents in tow)
rang the door bell of one of our neighbors--who happened to have teenage kids. We said the normal, "Trick or Treat!"--getting
our bags open for candy--when the teenagers burst out of the door with socks filled with flour--and "beat" us with
the socks until we were all covered in flour and running away. We didn't get hurt but I can tell you so many years later,
that I can still remember every second of that experience as if it were yesterday. I think it was a bit traumatic.
I was making dinner, Timmy and Charlee were running through the house and paying close attention to what I was cooking.
About to give them each a bite of my cheese, just for the heck of it, I said, "Sit." Timmy actually sat! Charlee
just jumped high and higher, trying to just look cute.
As I played with them and really got to watch especially Timmy's
movements--his legs, his floppy ears, his potential to be huge--I realized that he may indeed be a Great Dane mix and not
a white German Shepherd like I first thought! He has grown so much in just two weeks, that we have to let his collar
all the way out last night. That rate of growth has me leaning much more toward a Dane...which would be very, very neat.
well, there is no doubt that he is a wiggly waggly, happy little Min Pin. No need to guesstimate what his genetic make-up
his. He looks like a mini-Chula to me--and in fact, I have to really try hard to tell them apart. Chula still
has a few spots on her back where the fur is still growing over the horrible burns that she had earlier in the year.
Her spirit, thankfully was untouched by that tragedy--she is a happy, loving, sweet dog.
When I had the bones boiled
and cooled down, I put them in a huge bowl and opened the 'frig. I slid in the bowl and just as I was about to close
the door, Timmy ran over, took a bone and happily ran off. It was just as natural as could be and so I just let him
go off and enjoy himself. Charlee saw what happened and just looked at me with "those eyes"--everyone with
animals knows them--and I gave Charlee a bone and he ran off happily, too.
Mike called me out to the living room.
I had given Precious the first bone of the bunch and apparently did not latch her playpen area closed. There she was
in another crate in the dining room, chewing on her bone! "Good for her," I thought. She's getting adventurous
even with other dogs out and about.
We have two puppies now who can climb up and out of their puppy play pens--James
Bond and Cubby. They are just as pleased as punch at their newfound ability--I am pretty proud of them myself for figuring
it out but don't want them to get hurt. Soon, we'll have to start using crates to keep the puppies safe and to crate-train
them. Just one more milestone on their journey to their new homes...
Everyone was fed, taken out and sleeping
when I sat down to write. Then Bunny decided that it was "play time!" In one leap, she jumped from the
floor to land on my bed--it is amazing to see. Then, she lifted up and landed on my shoulder and decided to play tug
with my headband--with a big mouthful of my hair in there, too. I knew she was playing and her tail was going a million
wags a minute so all I could do was laugh through the pain--and try to get my head back!
I hope everyone had a safe
and restful weekend. I can hardly believe that it is the first of November--we have birthdays coming up here next weekend,
the big holidays are coming soon--and in-between the puppies will be moving on. I love the cooler weather and asked
Mike to hang up some Christmas lights early this year.
We usually can't put up a tree--too many puppies can get
into too much trouble! But some pretty lights and music, it will feel just a little bit more like Christmas is coming.
We haven't exchanged presents for years--we get special somethings for the dogs and that makes us happy. And instead of the
tree, I keep my little manger on our fireplace mantel (and the two angels that you've sent me) year 'round to remind me every
day of Christmas.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.