Monday, November 30, 2009
One Puppy Left of Mama 10
30 nov 09 @ 5:48 pm cst
At 9:30 AM today and then at 4:15, puppies 8 and 9 died. Of all weekends, Mike had to be in Dallas for an interview
The last girl is isolated with Cherry, her mama, and just ate some dog food and nursed.
two Saturday, five Sunday and two today, I think. I am too exhausted and heartbroken right now to think straight.
am stunned and devastated beyond words but ever so grateful that I had the time to hold almost each one. The first two died
next to each other sometime overnight Fri/Sat morning.
I learned some lessons in the last few days, taught to me by
tiny, two pound, dying babies. I took notes as the hours passed with the only tools I could find in an emergency--a
gold highlighter and some canvases that were meant to be paintings. Now, I have three of them filled with lessons that
I hope to share, perhaps in a little book.
I'll wrote more later on this site and on my Chron blog.
all for caring--and for your prayers. I could feel them all day long.
Mama10 Down To...God Help
30 nov 09 @ 1:57 am cst
I need to take the day off from writing. My hands are full. Please forgive me. There are three puppies left--although
if one makes it, it will be a miracle. Joe and Daryl (Strawberry--red) are holding on by a thread. One is still
My love, a little German Shepherd-looking fluffy girl, I named Honey, died at 10:40 PM tonight in my arms.
She never stopped looking directly into my eyes even at the moment she passed away. It was as if she was trying to spend every
last second she had with me. She never lost consciousness. I did the same.
For the first time, I asked Jesus to come
Himself--to take my puppy to heaven. I told Honey, before she died, that she would be Jesus' puppy now. Tonight,
I think she just may be dancing with angels...as all animals should.
This is what vaccinating during pregnancy
does--injects live distemper into the developing puppies. Your vets are doing it--I know my vets are doing this, as well as
the shelters. I will write an article soon about this subject on my Chron blog www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer that I hope you will ALL print and take to your vet/shelter--but for now, please keep the Mama10 in your prayers.
is grief-stricken. She tore apart an upholstered chair and a twin mattress in the guest room/nursery looking for her
babies that had passed. My heart is shattered for her, for the babies, for what could have been.
wiped out by man's stupidity this weekend that I have personally known. How many others...just how many others.
you for your prayers, your comments and for your donations. I won't get to answering email for another day or two. (I had
meant to email the Baby walking video to ya'll but this emergency came up.)
We had about $350 donated over the weekend
on our online donation link (on the RR main site/How to Help page)--and need about $2500 more to catch up on all of the animals'
outstanding medical and rehab expenses and supplies.
Since I've had so much to think this weekend, holding dying babies--in
addition to writing an outline of a sweet book--inspired by my sweet baby, Honey--I decided that I will set up a monthly Chip
In soon--I cannot continue our work without help. We are too busy saving lives--or trying to--to worry about making
money. I need someone else to worry about that.
I have to eat a quick dinner and take an hour nap before I head back
into the nursery--two are having seizures now, but with medication, there is a chance they could make it. The last,
is so far, symptom free. Cherry is howling up a storm in mourning, especially with me not right there with her but I am falling
down exhausted and hungry. Cherry knew I was helping her babies and would lay next to me and kiss my cheek.
is what happened to Ada when she arrived--she only had one baby. She was so depressed she was on antidepressants.)
I pray that Cherry's last baby will be a blessing.
God? We need you again at the Rescue Ranch...
for stopping by and for caring. Especially for caring.
PS IF you want to do something today/this
First, my one year review on the Houston Chronicle site is Friday. It
would be a blessing if the editor were to hear from my readers--to not only hear what you think about the community
service that the blog is BUT to also get some exposure/commited space on the Chron.com main page. We need more people
to be educated, to help and to get involved. The only way is to expand the audience. (If someone can get his/her
name and email address/phone number and post it in the comments section, then everyone else can check back and get it, too?
Second, we are so close to getting 2,000 "recommends" on my www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer blog--but we need new readers to get the last 200 or so votes before Friday. If you could start posting the address
and forward to friends/contacts to get that number up, this may help with my request to get some time on the Chron.com main
Thank you all so kindly.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Mama10 No Longer: Prayers Needed
29 nov 09 @ 11:04 am cst
My heart hangs heavy as I write. In a sudden (24 hour) development, the Mama10 puppies went from stable/upper respiratory
infection to full on neurologic distemper. With violent seizures, a tragedy happened that can only be blamed on a high
kill shelter--it is contaminated and is vaccinating pregnant animals--embedding distemper directly into innocent puppies.
By the time they near four weeks, whole litters are being lost and hearts are being shattered.These babies would have been
four weeks on Wednesday.
First we lost two, then another two, then one. Two are hanging by a thread. Three,
seem ok for now. Ruffy and Scarlett and the big gray girl, I called Pooh, all went to heaven last night. My love,
Honey, had seizures all night--but then they stopped when she went to sleep. I don't know if she is going to make it.
The other one hanging by a thread probably will not.
I will write up their story--for it deserves to be told.
In the meantime, please hold the rest in your prayers.
From here on, if I do continue to do this work--and right
now I am not so sure that I will--there will be no other BARC animals featured in my blog or website.
In general, as
we near a year of my writing 8-12 hours almost every day plus doing rescue work, I simply cannot believe that there are not
more people who care about this work and that there are actually detractors thinking that I am doing the wrong thing trying
to be a "super" rescue volunteer. It is difficult enough to stand in my shoes--and to do so without help and with
nay-sayers to boot is almost too difficult to bear.
The heartache is too great to allow BARC (City of Houston,
TX high kill shelter) animals into people's homes. Can you imagine how many tears I have shed or sobs I have uttered or times
that I called out to God in the last day/night? Innocent fosters and adopters do not need to experience this. They can
save lives from other places, other shelters--places who are responsible about their disease control and who actually care
about the animals AND the community who wants to help.
Thanks to some ridiculous bureocrats in Houston, a plaque is
being perpetuated. The answer is not to euthanize the animals but to quarantine the old building and property and start
anew. Sadly, another foster and myself are grieving horribly this weekend because it hasn't happened sooner.
Cherry, the puppies' mama, is grieving, too--and no matter what I tried or knew what to do, and no matter what she tried to
do--trying to help all along the way, we could not make a difference.
Thank you for your prayers.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
$117.44 How Much Longer For The RR?
28 nov 09 @ 1:41 pm cst
Thanksgiving at the Rescue Ranch was greatly delayed. One of my readers/who became a foster to a litter of four puppies,
lost one a few days before the holiday. He suddenly became ill, had grand mal seizures and died. I met the remaining
three puppies the night before Thanksgiving. One had a fever, the others a little sniffle. All were gorgeous and
sweet, adorable puppies. Alas, there is only one left this morning.
Overnight, on Thanksgiving Day, another puppy
got sick, was rushed to the doggie ER and died. Another got sick and died on Friday.
I was so overcome
with a helpless feeling--and mad--this was a Thanksgiving tragedy that could have been avoided. The mother of these
puppies had been vaccinated twice while she was pregnant--thereby exposing developing puppies to a modified live distemper
virus. I knew there may be problems--and warned the foster--but neither one of us knew how deadly would be.
could not eat Thursday despite our dinner being all cooked. In fact, it took until late Friday night before I could
even consider eating again. My stomach hurt so badly from the stress and frustration over what was happening to that
litter. I knew I would just get sick if I ate.
Needing some time to think, I went to bed--my beloved quilt pulled
up over my head, listening to the television. "Black Friday this..." or "Black Friday that..." kept being
repeated over and over again on each new show. I wanted to ask some of those people, who were standing in line all night,
if they would be willing to stay up all night to save a life--which is so much more meaninful that for more than a sale on
a George Foreman grille! We need more hands in rescue--both to educate the public but also to educate vets.
attended the private seminar by Dr. Alson Sears to be on the cutting edge in the fight against distemper and other diseases,
we stll couldn't save these puppies. There were too young for the serum he developed plus there is no vet in the Houston
area currently up to speed to even make it. Like watching sand pass through my fingers at the beach, the lives of these puppies
slipped away from us.
(I am working on an article about the dangers of vaccinating during pregnancy--which I hope that
each and every one of you print and take in to discuss with your vet. If we could not save this litter, we can perhaps
prevent another litter from suffering the same fate.)
Today, at the Rescue Ranch, we have a bunch of rambunctious puppies
who need to find forever homes. They are tired of being in a puppy pen (no matter how big) and running around the property.
They need to be walked and to go for rides, to go through a McDonald's drive-in (yes, they have had McD's carry-out and LOVED
their cheeseburgers), to meet new animals while they are young enough to accept them all. (If you missed the photos
of the current adoptable litter at the Rescue Ranch, please see: Oh-So-Sweet: Bond, James Bond Gang Ready For Adoption
We used to be able to send puppies on to be adopted at 8-12 weeks. Plenty of people were adopting and there actually
weren't enough puppies--especially those that were protected/born in foster care and did not come directly out of a shelter.
Now, with the economy being slow--and many losing their jobs or being fearful of the same--they are not taking a chance
at adopting. People are afraid to commit to another mouth to feed--or a pet to take care of, just in case they wind up losing
their homes and have to move to an apartment--or wind up, heaven forbid, homeless.
Why mention this? All
of the foster homes are backing up, including the Rescue Ranch--we are full, more than full, with perfectly adoptable animals
with no where to go. Not only are we supporting an ever growing (bigger) bunch of puppies but we cannot save new animals.
If you cannot adopt, can you foster for awhile? If you cannot foster, can you help with food and supplies?
a rescue/r in your area and lend a hand, please. Too many rescue volunteers are beginning to starve in order to feed
their charges. Saving animals is a group effort--it takes the hands, efforts and prayers of many working together.
Somewhere there is a gap here that needs to be filled.
This Christmas/Hannukah, why not make a donation or give a gift
to a rescue/r and ask them to send out a card to someone on your gift list? I'll bet more people than we know would like to
receive a card that says a live-saving gift has been made in their name.
Another great way to help, is to sign
up for the matching gifts program that your company may offer. Decide on what group you want to help and find out what
information your company needs--and send the group or rescue an email. The deadline is coming up in the next few weeks
for 2010. Please don't let this opportunity to double your donation pass by. (You can help the Rescue Ranch this
way--but email me for specific details.)
Donations are down by 70 percent or more this year--I think what happens is
that other people think that everyone else is helping and that their donation isn't needed or sadly, think that too much giving
will make the organization "rich."
I can tell you that with all of the thousands of readers and people
who email me, less than ten people help in any form regularly--only one helps with funds close to monthly. We are grateful
for those who do help. We have to prioritize--to make hard choices--and sometimes, while the animals get fed, we personally
have even skipped eating many nights in a row just to conserve funds. (I think this is happening to many--they count
on your help and without it, will be "belly up" soon.)
What makes me kind of sad, is knowing that Lakewood Church, for instance, has over $70 million dollars a year in funds donated. Of course, we love Lakewood and the Osteens and
don't wish them anything less. But in comparison, the Rescue Ranch, saving animals here, locally and consulting around
the world--all for free--gets less than $1000 per month in donations (gifts, gift cards and unrestricted funds). The RR account
has $117.44 left in it. How far will that carry us?
Expenses alone are $4-6,000 depending on the food and medical
needs of the animals that are here at any given month--and does not include any overhead or salaries. (Technically, our mortgage
should be included, too--since we don't waste funds on boarding the animals--which saves a ton of money. Yet, rescues who
have huge boarding bills, get plenty of donations to cover them. Go figure!)
How long can one family really continue
to sustain this? Our time is running out. In a very short time, there will be no more money to help another animal.
I will be forced to wind down my rescue efforts and volunteer writing to go back to work. I don't know what the impact will
be but I know it wil be a terrible shame.
Nearing my one year anniversary (Dec. 4) on writing my Houston Chronicle
blog, www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer, as well as the founding of the Rescue Ranch--with Mike out of work since last March--we can't carry this incredible blessing
alone. It has been a miracle that we have lasted this long, actually.
Because of the blog, trying to lead by example--and
seeing emails of promised support--our rescue efforts have grown and so have the bills. Even some of our special projects
are unfunded--Pasha's rehab is way behind in payments and Baby/Bunny/Pasha's cold laser treatments have not had a single donor/sponsor
come forward. Mike and I paid $360 last week just for that--money we do not have. We don't expect anything--but we will
have to take the necessary measures to save our house and to feed everyone's tummies--ours included.
I'm so thankful
that everyone loves my stories and what we do--and we have saved many lives, both animal and human, but we cannot continue
doing this on goodwill and prayers alone. Calling God...
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring.
Especially for caring.
If you would like to help, please go to our How To Help page on the Rescue Ranch main site. There is an online donation button as well as our mailing address. If you
have any ideas on how to raise "help", please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you kindly.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
We Give Thanks Through Happy and Sad Times
26 nov 09 @ 4:46 pm cst
Today is Thanksgiving. A day we recognize at the Rescue Ranch as a day to give thanks for all things. All things.
I could share my life's story from beginning to end, you would find that there have been far more sorrow-filled times than
smile-filled times. That said, I/we continue to give thanks--for we recognize that there is always a blessing in everything--even
if we cannot see it--or even imagine it--in the present moment.
Today, we have a turkey in the oven and lots of yams
cooking that a RR Angel donated. Mike has been out of work since the end of March. In addition to trying to keep
ourselves afloat, we have many animals coming and going (more than I can even write about) depending on us for food, shelter
and obligations for extensive medical care.
We could "jump off of a bridge" because things look bleak
right now--but we never will. We have to believe that good will come or good will eventually happen--even if it is an
hour by hour or day by day happening. Even if we lost everything, we have the love and happiness that we have accumulated
in our hearts--no one and no thing can ever take that away from us.
Today, as a day of Thanksgiving, I took out the
2 lb bag of Pup-Peroni that was donated by one of Baby's admirers, and handed each puppy and dog a stick (most came back for
two...some three--(Ada and Monroe!) and wished them individually a "Happy Thanksgiving," too. After all, it
is their home and holiday, too, and during this difficult time for us personally, we can create simple, happy, joy-filled
moments--moments that I thank God we are able to just have.
Since I don't eat meat any more, my treat this Thanksgiving
is a bottle of sparkling apple juice and my favorite cheesy spinach dip from Boston Market. I will be sharing them both
with twenty some odd interested furry faces--and Mike! Everyone will just get a bite or a tiny sip but we make it an
oh-so-great wonderful moment and savor it. I give thanksgiving just for the fact that we were able to taste them at all.
as I cut up dog food rolls (Natural Balance) that were sent to us by a RR Angel for Precious---they are now saving Cherry,
the Mama of 10, who has decided that is all she will eat right now. I thanked God that we had something that she would eat...and
she must eat with so many babies depending on her. I thank God for the goat's milk you have begun to send in--for it
is allowing me to supplement these babies since Cherry can't keep them all alive on her own--she was emaciated and weak.
gave thanksgiving for having the privilege of writing for you day in and day out--and for you writing back to tell me that
you've been inspired...and for caring, for sharing...for saving lives, for finally taking the step to foster, to adopt, to
collect blankets, to volunteer. It doesn't matter where, it just matters that you do.
From this tiny laptop (thanksgiving
here for having had the screen fixed a few months ago) so much good has come. For this, I thank God. On my knees, with
tears in my eyes, I thank God--for though this blog and website, we have all been a blessing to each other.
brings one of those bittersweet moments--I don't even know if I can write through my tears. I had the honor of seeing
three adorable puppies again last night--they were soft and chubby and the cutest puppies I've ever seen. One died today.
She had Grand Mal seizures on the way to the emergency room. Their mother had been vaccinated twice during her pregnancy--a
man-made disaster waiting to happen.
The foster family is devastated beyond words. Foster animals become your
own priceless treasures while they live with you--and long after they have gone on to forever homes. Unfortunately,
I can say, that I have experienced their pain many times over the years--once is too many.
Today, I share their
grief--their tears and their loss. We all share their loss. I give thanksgiving, though, that I had the honor
of meeting them but it makes these moment ever so much more painful.
I only have words--and I don't know if they can
help or comfort but I hope that they can. When an animal passes away, when I review or relive what happened, I have to boil
it all down to, "Did they know love?" Did the animal, who was hit by a car, know love when you lovingly picked
it up with a soft blanket and took it to the ER--softly cooing and petting its head? Did the animal know love who spent
its last weeks or months chewing on marrow bones and cuddling on a soft quilt before it died from terminal cancer? Did
this puppy know love before she had seizures...
I know deep in my heart that she not only knew love but this baby puppy
gave love. She made her caretakers laugh and roll on the floor like children to play with her and nuzzled under their
chins and was given the best that they could give her.
In the end, we all die. It is an inevitable part
of life that we cannot run, walk or fly away from. And, though her time came far too soon, when she died, this little
puppy knew love. Her foster family gave her a gift she would not have had otherwise--if she had stayed just another day in
the shelter. She would have been euthanized with her mama and siblings before she was a week old.
On this Thanksgiving
Day, I will say a prayer for her and all who have come before--and who will come after her. In my heart, I cherish the
day that I will get to heaven (I hope) and all of the animals will come running and bounding to see me--like they do at the
Rescue Ranch when we just come home from the grocery store! On this Thanksgiving Day, I thank YOU for stopping by to
share our lives and to share yours. We feel very blessed by all of you--and by Him.
Thank you for stopping by,
for listening and for caring. Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Medical Fostering a Whole Different Ballgame
25 nov 09 @ 11:11 am cst
When I first started fostering, all I had to do was to feed, walk and groom whatever animal the rescue group chose for
me. It was just like having another pet in the house. I remember distinctly when things began to change.
got a call from a rescue director--a big Saint name Christy was in heat and needed a save place to go until she could be spayed.
It is too bloody (pardon the pun) and risky to spay a dog during heat or when they are nursing.
A big Saint arrived
at my front door with nothing but a leash. No crate, no diapers...Mike and I should have gone out and brought home a
crate for her--or even doggie diapers. Instead, we took out the quilts and comforters that would absorb the mess and that
could be frequently picked up and exchanged. That was the beginning of a huge laundry streak that has never ended!
by little, animals began to arrive needing surgery or recovering from surgery--with broken bones and broken hearts.
With each animal I learn something that would help the next one coming somewhere down the line--even today, each animal presents
with something a little different, a new infection, injury, way to fix it. I thought I had seen it all. Until yesterday.
was asked to meet another rescuer at the vet's yesterday--just to consult on what would be a first time injury for me to see--with
a relatively simple couple of surgeries to fix. I was told that the animal may have a congenital (birth defect) issue
or even be an abuse case. A little boy dog's penis was hanging off of his body--I couldn't begin to imagine what that
I took Baby along, too. She was one day shy of getting her stitches and staples out. Poppy and Kasey jumped
in the car--those are my "boys." We had to stop and get Bunny, Pasha and Baby at the vet who is doing their
Cold Laser Therapy--and head right over to Baby's vet to see this little dog in question.
I knocked on the door when
I got there--the vet had already started examining little Dizzy (I will write a full story on Dizzy Friday with photos) and
was trying to figure out if he was a hermaphrodite (male and female) or did he have birth defects or terrible injuries--that
could have been intentionally inflicted. With some time, x-rays and an very thorough exam, we all understood what was
finally going on.
Little Dizzy had most probably had an extreme blow to the rear--maybe hit by a car--which amputated
his tail, blew open his urethra and tore open the shaft of his penis, so the organ was no longer protected and was hanging
loose from his body. The areas were infected, there was blood in his urine and he was miserable--he also has mange.
injections of pain meds, antibiotics and some ivermectin for the mange--and cream for his skin--Dizzy will be stabilized until
his surgery to put him back together again this Monday.
We'll never know what really happened to Dizzy. This could
have been intentional--in so many different ways. And that is often the case with complicated medical foster cases--the
ones that seem to gravitate toward the Rescue Ranch. We can suspect malicious intent or accidental something or other,
but it can't be proved---and even if it were, it would matter not. Our goal is to fix the animal up--to repair the damage
done physically and spiritually--to right a terrible wrong.
Had this little boy wound up in a different place, I was
told that his penis could have been amputated and he would have been left with no sexual organs. I don't think that
is necessarily a road he will walk (especially since he is going to be neutered when his private parts are repaired)--but
it would have been bloody and traumatic to the animal and his body.
There just is not a need to do all of this
drastic surgery--unless the goal is to do it fast and cheap. And, knowing me as you do, I want to do it right, as the
lowest price--but the right way. I am willing to beg on a street corner or have a lemonade stand to help any animal
that I commit to helping. I will not leave them mid-recovery.
So, animal by animal, they are teaching me and
I am teaching you. We are learning how to care for them and what to use but also how they love and forgive and play
and protect. Living almost solely with animals like this is quite an experience--maybe even a Discovery Channel moment.
I just hope that what I've been so fortunate to learn will help save another animal. That is as far ahead as the dog's
think--right in the here and now.
And of course, having a very stocked first aid closet and the guts to do what has
to be done--and willing supporters who provide different things along the way--all work together to make a difference. So
today, you, too, have made a difference in not only Baby's life but in Dizzy's. That is something great to be thankful
for on this Thanksgiving. We are standing in the gap between life and death, choosing life...fighting for life.
you for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Laser Therapy Surprise to Tapeworm: A Very Varied Day
24 nov 09 @ 5:50 am cst
From morning through the night, rescuing animals is never boring! Tonight for instance, I was taking little Baby,
the chihuahua puppy, out to go potty. All was well I thought. When she was done, I picked her up and checked her
stitches/surgery sites. Two stitches had popped open.
I always keep butterfly band-aids in my first aid pantry--they
adhere to one side of a wound and pull it closed to reach the other side of the wound--but medium was too big for a tiny eight
pounder. I sent Mike off to Wal-green's as I swabbed the site. Mike found Steri-Strips (similar concept) that I could cut to fit what I needed to do. After sterilizing the scissors in 91 % alcohol, and
putting on sterile gloves, I fitted five Steri-Strips to little Baby's incision (I needed two but did a few extra for "insurance.")
After giving her pain medicine and antibiotics, I put Baby back to bed. She is so sweet and a great patient.
This is just one example of why being a medical foster/caring for sick and injured animals is so very different than pet ownership.
You have to be prepared to fix just about anything--especially in the middle of the night!
I went back to pick up her
poop and was very glad that I did. I happened to catch two white glimmers on the poop--and had Mike get me a clear sandwich
bag so I could pick it up safely and examine it in the light. On the outside of Baby's poop was two moving tapeworm
segments. (Always check INSIDE your animal's poop--the worm segments quickly disappeared...)
This didn't surprise
me given how covered in fleas she was when I first saw her. But, as a rescuer, this is the one thing that just turns
my stomach--and I see a lot of guts and gore.
The worst case I've ever seen was Taco, also a chihuahua. Literally,
the first day or two of writing my Houston Chronicle blog (almost a year ago), we found him running through a busy intersection. After making posters and hanging them up, a
Fed Ex driver picked one up and brought it back to work to a coworker who was missing her dog--thereby finding Taco's owner!
But, during the time that Taco was with us, I gave him a bath. And again, at 3-4 AM, the tapeworms literally
came out of him--bright white and alive--looking for places to lay eggs. It was like watching an alien coming out of
the dog's body. After that, tapeworms are my least favorite thing to deal with--even though they are easy to kill.
Thankfully, I had some tapeworm medicine and little Baby took it like the good girl that she is. It needs to be repeated in
several weeks as a precaution.
On a brighter note, today, Bunny, Pasha and Baby all went to cold laser therapy--with
the Erchonia laser. (I decided it would be easiest to start them all together on the same schedule.) Maybe, this is
where Baby's two stitches popped--after all, during the last session, I saw stuff ooze out of a wound when the lasers were
being held elsewhere on her body (and now that wound--with the two staples--looks totally healed.)
The vet, Dr. Dan
Kainer, did Baby's two broken/healing legs and pelvis first. On Bunny, he used the lasers on her brain and upper spine
and on Pasha, on her brain and where her spinal cord was severed. They have to go three times in a row this week, and
then twice a week for the next six to eight weeks. (Each session is $40--with a rescue discount--per dog, so for one day/all
three dogs, I gave Dr. Kainer $120.)
For the last year, Bunny has needed to be picked up and put into the car.
She cannot walk--her front legs kinda swim along the ground. BUT, in utter amazement, today after only her first laser
session, when Mike opened the car door, Bunny literally lifted up, got in the car by herself, and then climbed up on the seat,
positioned to go home. For the first time...for the very first time.
This therapy is new to me--and I don't know what
happened inside of her, but I can tell you that this was stunning. Whether it was laser therapy related or not but it
sure is coincidental--and amazing. I will do whatever I can to help Bunny--she is a great puppy--to reach the point
of steering her wheelchair (or more if that is possible). By exploring different alternatives, I hope that we all learn
and know what is possible for other animals, too.
Two of Cherry's baby puppies are still sick--one may even be blind--little
Scarlett. She could not find some goat's milk that I put down for them to lap in their whelping pool tonight.
She was so near but so far--and just kept circling it while the others went straight to it--and she was panicking that she
could not find it. I'll have to do some additional testing. Eight are much larger and their lungs are clear now--thank God.
Please say a prayer for the puppies--although they are doing better, they are not out of the woods altogether yet.
you for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
(If anyone would like to
sponsor Baby/Bunny/Pasha for a Cold Laser session/a day/or part of one, you can call Dr. Kainer's office 281-367-6800.
The account is under Kitty City Ferals--we are fostering for them. Thank you kindly!)
Monday, November 23, 2009
A Tough Weekend Brings Turn Around
23 nov 09 @ 4:58 am cst
Three days ago, I began urgent nursing care of some very sick puppies and fearing the worst. I never want to say
the "D" word (distemper) but I was afraid that was what they picked up on their first day of life at a filthy shelter.
They were dragging their newborn bodies across concrete and through their own mama's excrement trying to find her.
just this reason, I would rather take in a pregnant animal and birth the animals from "scratch" so to speak.
I bent the RR rules for this litter--ten puppies and a sweet mother were too much of a loss to bear if I could help it.
I am tired of mourning the losses. I want to hear more victories.
With lots of hard-won knowledge under my belt,
and a new tip from the vet who just operated on Baby--the Chihuahua puppy, who had been hit by a car--I think we have turned
a corner. From being listless and having an infection deep in their lungs, the puppies were rolling around tonight--wrestling
with each other.
A few of the smaller, weaker pups still have a little clear discharge around their nose--like
a little sinus infection lingering--but I pray with another five days of antibiotics and vaporizer and nebulizer, they will
beat this, too.
Ada, who had a deep cough--had scared me--but she, too, has made a tremendous turn-around. She
has stopped coughing and is her cute, chubby self again. She is finishing her last vaporizer treatment now and after
that, can move back into the "herd." She has been in isolation since late last week. (This was a big lesson for
me--against my better judgment, I let her come into Petsmart to get Baby's crate and mattress so she could have some "fun"
and socialization time--she must have picked up Kennel Cough there. She had no contact with Mama10.)
has not left her spots in my bedroom--she is taking treats and apparently has moved in! I don't know what we are going
to do for her surgery--she will have an e-collar on an there is no way she can squeak under my bed!
Baby Baby is starting
to feel her oats--she is practically racing me around and around her little crate (our exercise path). Instead of me
trying to encourage her to follow me just a few more feet, she thinks this is now great fun--like we are going for a walk
to the park--and is all excited and happy to be zooming around and around in my closet.
Early on, Baby figured
out that there was a whole, big world out there--beyond the bathroom and closet. I started taking her with me into the
kitchen or letting her watch a movie in bed with me. Instead of growling at the other dogs, now, Baby has realized that
they are her friends and can't stop wagging her tail when she gets to come out and socialize. Her wild enthusiasm for
Dingo bones should be on a commercial--she chews on her bone, tosses it in the air, grabs it, chews it up, gives it to me
to play tug with...I wish it were as easy to make people this happy.
I had my hands full with nursing care this weekend--and
hope that now that everyone is on the road to recovery that I can send out my thank you's for helping Baby with her surgery.
I am several weeks behind on email as well. There just were not enough hours in my days and nights to do it all.
Please forgive me. I love you all for helping and for caring. Please accept my "thank you" now--I promise,
I will send a separate email.
This week is Thanksgiving--a time to say, "Thanks" for our blessings.
I count each and every one of you among ours.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially
PS On Monday morning, I wanted to give readers who were traveling over the weekend, a chance
to see Baby's Laser experience--Cutting Edge Medicine: Cold Laser Therapy--Baby, the Chihuahua Puppy, Begins Healing so I will be posting a new story a little bit later morning on my www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer blog. Thanks for being patient!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Getting Ready For a Muddy Day: It's Raining, It's Pouring Outside
21 nov 09 @ 9:34 am cst
Writing my Houston Chronicle story overnight on cold lasers helping to heal, Cutting Edge Medicine: Cold Laser Therapy--Baby, the Chihuahua Puppy, Begins Healing, I was multi-tasking again--writing, eating potato chips and listening to the rain! (I need carbs to stay away overnight
when I am exhausted.)
The rain is very welcome at the Rescue Ranch--we have trees and grass that need a drink. I worry
though because we only have satellite service (when we built the first RR, the wires were not down in our area. We went for
six months or more with no internet/tv before reverting to this service.)
With the slightest burp in the weather
or lightening flash, it turns off. If I am in the middle of posting a story, I would lose it! Staying up every
night and typing for 6-8 hours--to see it get lost--is awful.)
We also have puppies who love to go out and jump and
run in puddles--no matter how small or shallow, they will find them! We have bigger dogs who just like walk through them.
way, lots of dry towels are waiting at the back door. We are going to need many! Yes, we could be party-poopers
and leash walk each puppy but they have to run and have fun, explore and experience "glee." Not many things bring
that level of excitement!
To try to mitigate mud puddles, a few years back, we had french drains put in along the side
of the RR. At ground level, there are several grates that allow the excess water to drop down under the lawn--and pass
through tubes to the street. This was a great investment!
I don't like going out in the rain much--I like to admire
it from the window! Today, though between puppies and having to take a few animals to a vet, I am going to experience
the rain first-hand!
It is time for medine at the RR--little Baby has three, the new puppies have two. By the
time I measure out each dose and give it to each animal, practically and hour and a half or two hours will go by. I
don't try to speed through this chore--too much medicine would get lost or spilled!
Mama10's puppies have incredible
taste buds. They are also fiercely independent and let me know that they would rather have mama's milk than their meds.
Who can blame them--but having always tasted what I give to my pets/rescues, I can tell you that this is good stuff!
(I always taste any medicines that I dole out. It helps me to anticipate the animal's reaction and predict its behavior
to get them to take the medicine.) Cherry's puppies keep spiiting out their medicine. For every 3 ml I try to
give out, they reject 2 ml of it! Ugh. I think they are doing a little better today--and so is Ada. Thank God.
is on days like today, that I am thankful for pee pads. They are an easy clean-up over the mud baths that are to come.
Don't you agree?
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Multi-Tasking A Must but Fame and Glory?
20 nov 09 @ 8:34 am cst
Until I began writing my (almost) daily blog on the Houston Chronicle, www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer, I just lived day to passing day, without ever giving a thought about life at the Rescue Ranch.
Over the past
months of writing, which will be one year on December 4, I developed a new awareness--after all, I had to be conscious of
what was going on/what I was doing, so I could share it with my readers.
Two nights ago, I was on the phone with the
company who hosts our RR website for hours, troubleshooting, trying to find out why my blog was locked up--I couldn't post
I had my laptop open on my lap, switching between several emails and working with them to try different
things to unlock the blog. In my left hand was the phone, in the right, I was typing and petting/holding back puppies
from walking across the keyboard--my feet were petting Beauty who was sitting between them and I finally asked Mike to bring
me my toothbrush when I saw 2 AM roll by--I had to fit that in somewhere.
It was at that moment that I realized
how often and how important the ability to multi-task is. I didn't realize how often I/we do it and to what extent.
I had to chuckle when I stopped long enough to brush my teeth...
Today, for instance, I am in the middle of writing
my story on Cold Lasers--Cold Lasers Aid Healing: Baby, the Chihuahua, Starts New Therapy. BUT I have to check email frequently--I am in the middle of helping someone save a distemper puppy; Poppy is at my feet,
so I periodically pet him; my breakfast is sitting on my desk--a Pepsi and some Multi-Grain Wheat Thins--so I take a cracker
and a sip as I can; I have the news on (In all of this, I realized that I have certain shows, that have to be on for background,
while I write); I have to take a break now to go nebulize a dog; the puppies need to go out but it is raining--so I'll have
to dry them; in the back of my mind I am apologizing to you for being so late in sending even thank you emails for sending
help or packages (forgive me?)...Well, you get the point, I'm sure.
Now that I realized this, I find myself realizing
the comedy of it all at points during the day and all nights that comprise living at the RR. Sick animals get sicker
in the night--I can bank on that. Instead of being bothered by messes, I now laugh.
I told Mike last night
that there is a perception in the rescue world that we do this work for the "fame and glory." "Glory,"
he said. "I pick up poop all day and night. If that is glory, I'm happy to share!" I realized that he
was multi-tasking, too--taking out puppies, spraying the rug after Pasha had diarrhea (rehab fed her new food), trying to
drink his long-since cold tea...and spooning down a can of baked beans for dinner, while he was putting pee pads in the laundry--and
taking a break to walk Mama10, Cherry! I was amazed (in my mind) when I realized that he is doing this, too!
were quietly helping animals for several reasons. It is easier (for us) to do our part in the community by fostering
than it is to volunteer somewhere outside of the RR. I always felt guilty leaving for long weekend days--my own animals
were lonely while I was at adoption events! I also kept trying to quench the absolute grief I had from losing a much
loved dog much too young--who was like our child--our big, baby girl. The glory was seeing the animals saved or recovering
or passing away in peace--and all of our Glory went to Him not to us.
Fame? Geez, we are the same people we were
before the blog--maybe a little more ragged--but what this has allowed us to do is help a whole lot more animals at the RR--and
elsewhere--that we would have had no other way to help.
All I can say is that "fame" has a price, just like
they say. Mine is no sleep, no personal life/time, 24/7 living with and saving animals and it is as hard as it is amazing.
If more people join us, we can do more. If the only way for this to happen is for me to share what life is really like
here--from triumphs to tears to triumphs--and a heart is opened, an animal saved--so be it.
I am just grateful
to have this opportunity to be of service both to the community/my readers and of course, to Him. Without His blessings,
this miracle of the Rescue Ranch and the growing brigade of RR Angels and new fosters/adopters, animal lovers and helpers...could
never be. Every day, I give my heartfelt thanks-- no matter how hard it is for me or what the sacrifice. Together, we
are all making a difference.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Baby is Home and On The Road to Recovery
19 nov 09 @ 12:49 pm cst
We are having some technical difficulties since yesterday morning with this blog--I could not post or edit. Ugh!
I just got off the phone with support and they fixed the glitch BUT the archive to my blog is not showing. I can copy
and paste each one and add it back in--which will take hours--or I can start anew. Here we are...
Thank you for
your prayers. Things are MUCH better today. I always remind myself that you cannot look at your circumstances--but
instead, I have to just keep them on the Lord. No matter how grim or difficult or even rainy it seems, the sun always
come out afterward.
The animals at the Rescue Ranch are here as an interim--to be born, to recover from an injury or
illness or to transition through to heaven. It does not matter if that takes a day, a few months, a year or forever.
Although busy, it is a peaceful, loving--and fun--place to be. It is not a boarding facility where animals are caged
all day and no one cares. We live with the animals--and each and every one is treated as if they were our own.
Baby is an example of this. Hit by a car a week ago, this tiny eight pound Chihuahua--who still has some baby teeth
I was told yesterday at the vet--was within an hour of being euthanized. A caring vet, at a high kill shelter--on a
holiday to boot--put out a call to save her. No one answered. Not because they didn't care or weren't concerned
and heartsick, but because the medical care costs and rehab time/cost would drain a rescue's resources--and prevent other
dogs/cats from being saved.
Our situation is different. We walk in faith AND we have You. I never know ahead
of time, on a given challenge, if anyone will pick up the baton with me--but I trust that some of you will. Each situation
is different and so some may inspire you to help, others to pray. Others you may choose to sit out by the sidelines.
When I agree to accept an animal or animals, I am also bracing/committing to help the animal alone but of course, with a little
prayer beforehand, I always ask for Help!
With pressure and overall acceptance to amputate Baby's limb before me, I
knew that was not my first choice. I don't mock those who choose that for their rescues but I do ask that they reconsider
this accepted practice--because it is cheap--with more reverence for the animal's limbs. I would walk on fire if that
meant I could save someone's/an animal's leg or other body part.
After doing a lot of research, networking and finally,
finding a vet who could help Baby at a reasonable cost--I took another chance. I entrusted Baby to his hands/care. I hope
and pray always that the turn-out is what we want. In this case, after less than a week, little Baby--with two broken
legs and a broken pelvis is WALKING--a "Thank God" moment for me to see yesterday at the vet.
is guarded--with an infection in a wound and a socket that has to grow scar tissue to hold her leg in place, but with constant
supervision and "protective custody," Baby may just cha-cha-Cha! next year! I took responsibility to save
her leg, get her surgery and now will do the same to ensure her pins, staples and stitches don't all pop out! Baby is
here to heal--she is not my pet and can't be considered for adoption until the vet and the rescue, gives an "all clear."
we were to release her prematurely, what if her leg popped out of the socket or an infected wound infected her little body,
endangering her life? Not only would Baby have a reduced quality of life in the long term, but who would then be responsible
for those bills? If the owner could not raise the help of many, little Baby would be euthanized. That is NOT where
I want her life to go.
I know she is cute and cuddly, affectionate and funny BUT less than a week ago--she was within
an hour from death. She has a long road to go. IF you care about Baby's best interest, only a very experienced
medical foster can continue to help her. No one else stepped up to save her--and now that she is here, she can
be a group treasure for all of us to marvel at, for the months that she is at the RR.
Thank YOU for all you do to help
these animals that come before us. It is truly a miracle to behold. A bunch of people, who don't know each other,
are guardian angels to a lucky group of rescued animals.
Do's & Don'ts Policies At The Rescue Ranch
19 nov 09 @ 2:52 am cst
This is just a quick post to say thank you for stopping by our new blog site. With
the volume of readers, it became clear that this was a must-do--the site was frozen otherwise.
For new and current readers, we'd like to post and reinforce the following policies. Tomorrow, we hope to have
a great update for you again:
The Rescue Ranch has never been a direct adoption
organization. We have always used third parties--other rescue groups--IF and WHEN an animal is deemed to be fully adoptable
and no longer requiring any medical care or supervision--an adopter will be told where the animal will be transferred to and
the interested party can begin the appropriate screening process. This policy will remain in effect. No exceptions.
The Rescue Ranch does not allow visitors or visitation of the animals for the safety and well-being
of all. There are recovering animals and unvaccinated puppies at the RR who simply cannot be exposed to any outside
anything. We also do not want to be subjected to the unwanted "dumping" of unwanted and homeless animals. This policy
will remain in effect. No exceptions.
People may send or give freely to
sponsor an animal however, that in no way obligates the Rescue Ranch to have a relationship with, visiitation of, guarantee
adoption or even fostering of an animal. There are no obligations or promises implied by the Rescue Ranch by accepting
or discussing anything.
Appropriate and loving care is given to each and every
animal. The Rescue Ranch is large enough to have separate areas, where appropriate, including isolation and recovery.
It was built for animal rescue. There are volunteers specially screened who assist occasionally with functions of the Rescue
Ranch but it is by Invitation Only.
When necessary, animals may be transferred
to other rescue groups or may stay at the RR. It is not our obligation to discuss the movement and housing or care of
the animals with any one other than the Board of Directors of non-profit groups that we volunteer with or for.
The Houston Chronicle Blog, From Under The Bridge, www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer is for entertainment and education ONLY and is a volunteer activity of one of our members. It is not required to be
a complete detailed examination into the Rescue Ranch operations nor does its contents obligate or imply any variation
from these policies It is a bird's eye view of some aspects of life at the Rescue Ranch written simply as a community
We reserve the right to change these policies at any time, however,
it is highly unlikely that this will happen. These have been long-standing policies that have proven to be tried and
Thank you for understanding.