Sunday, February 28, 2010
A Day Off Before Project Hope Begins Next Phase
28 feb 10 @ 5:02 am cst
Mike wanted me to used this photo with the three Itsy-Bitsies--Dizzy, Baby and Jade--with
flashed-out eyes instead of "normal" eyes. He thought it looked, "Cool." The blue thing behind them
is the pee pad frame that I had just washed. It keep paper pads from being shredded or sliding all over the floor!(Petsmart
Just a short update since it is almost Sunday and I do indeed need a little rest. I have to
start writing the Monday blogs on Sunday evening--at the latest.
The three little ones (above) have the run of our master
bath, walk-in closet and another little room--when they are not outside playing or sleeping/playing on my quilt! We
have pads and blankets, a crate and toys, chews and food/water, etc. scattered all over the area for them to run and play.
Tonight, I was changing all of the linens and wanted to wash their floor. The big dogs were outside playing so they
could not go out and I had just sprayed their crate to clean it, too. I should have coordinated this better with Mike working
on the bigger dogs linens in another room but it was too late. I had to think on my feet.
I had no where to put
the three Itsy's and then I saw the shower. For but a minute, while I vacuumed and washed and dried their floor, I put
them in the shower--it was dry of course--and they could watch me the entire time. It was so cute the way they were
watching my every move so intently, when I looked up from Swiffering, that I just had to take a picture.
We went to
pick up Brindy's special medicine today--Chloromycetin (a very good antibiotic for pneumonia especially when combined with
Penicillin--per Dr. Sears our distemper treatment inventor) at a special compounding pharmacy and met Michelle there, who
is created a volunteer project Yummy: Dine-In For Doggies To Help Animals--making a meal each month and donating the proceeds to help rescued animals.
Last month she made cheesy chicken
enchiladas--and froze a pan for Mike and made a pan of vegetarian ones for me! That will be a big change from my usual
dinner of two slices of oatmeal bread and a slice or two of pesto jack cheese (HEB). Some of her patrons also donated
some extra things for the Rescue Ranch like a bag of assorted first aid supplies and bags of dingos. Boy, did they all
come in handy when I got home. (Thank you to everyone who helped!) Michelle was able to spend time with Baby and met
Precious, Bunny and Millie, too!
Millie the broken-jaw puppy sweetie-pie is staying at the RR for the weekend.
She would have been alone a great part of the weekend if she was hospitalized and it was not necessary. We are prepared
to help her--and have everything she needed until Monday morning--when she will have surgery. Once the vet does the
surgery, he will let me know what I owe him and then I will set up a way for others to Chip In--or to donate direct if his
office can handle that. That story will most likely be on Tuesday.
Miss Brindy is feeling so great that she had
her first part of a slice of pizza tonight! I had a credit for a free pizza of whatever I wanted and so we ordered extra
cheese and we all enjoyed some of it. Every person (Mike and I) and animal got to enjoy at least a bite. Brindy, sitting
quietly on Mike's lap next to the pizza box, opened it up and was eating a whole slice (trying to), before we realized it.
Brindy had already eaten three bowls of kibble today already (Her favorite is Natural Ultra Mix for Puppies--a holistic,
chicken-based food with chips of carrots, apples and bananas in it. We get it at Petco.) She was so full of life despite
her bandages and her skin has stopped bleeding. Now the ointment has to work at softening up her skin and killing the
Demodex mites from the outside as the Interceptor (we are using 1 mg/pound daily for 21-31 days) works from the inside since
she cannot have Iverectin. She has a soft down fur starting to grow on her baldness. She is cute whether she ever
grows back all of her fur or not!
Mike has an interview Monday morning after he takes Milie in for surgery. We
sure would appreciate your prayers. It is in Houston and so is the job--which means if he gets it, I wouldn't have to
run the RR alone, thank heavens! (This is just the first of several, I'm sure we won't know anything for a few weeks.)
We do have some ad-or-able puppies who need to find their forever homes. If you would please copy this link: www.firststop-laststop.com/meet_the_puppies.html and send out an email to your friends and contacts telling them about these babies, we would appreciate it. Their
mother was a medical case--arriving here walking in circles after being hit by a car while pregnant and suffering a severe
concussion--and then we discovered that she also had a broken leg.
Within a week, Miss Moneypenny gave birth
to seven healthy, wonderful puppies--five boys and two girls--who are now six months old and about 25 pounds each. They
don't need the medical attention that is available here--and as cute as they are, and as much as we love them, they are taking
up time and resources that could be used to save more pregnant or injured animals.
What we really need is some
Adoption Partners who take the animals--and foster them--AFTER we get them all fixed up. We could save so many more
lives that way. We have several other animals about ready to be adopted like Cherry and Timmy (see previous blog entry below).
Of course, to be the best advocate for the animals, we would need Adoption Partners who do home/vet/reference checks.
We can't just give away an animal to someone without knowing they will be safe, loved and well-provided for.
I forget, I had an email this week from a Producer at Dogs 101 the TV show on the Animal Planet Chanel! They are interested
in possibly doing a story on Gideon, now Gidget, the hero dog! I put him in contact with her rescue group and hope that she
gets all of the accolades that she deserves. I am so proud of Gidget! One of these days, I want to get up to see her.
She has been available for adoption for several weeks. Anyone have room for a hero? To catch up on her story if you
missed it, please read: SAVED: Hero Dog Rescued! Update
We are ready to start making the distemper serum for the treatment of canine distemper--but we need donor dogs. Just
like a dog could donate blood at a veterinary blood bank, they can now donate blood to be made/spun down by a lab to capture
the serum which kills distemper if caught before it reaches the neurologic stage. (There is a protocol in Dr. Sears' work
that can kill the advanced stage of distemper as well which will also be available.) The first article of two is: Dogs Can Be Blood Donors And Save Lives The second article will be the specifics--how, when, who, etc. of volunteering your dog as well as how to get the serum if
you have a distemper animal.
This will be a publicly-funded project (donation-sponsored) and the serum will then be
free to those who need it--and agree to participate in the screenings for distemper which are being sent to, and tested by,
Texas A & M. It is our intention to get a peer-review article for vets all over to learn from what we are doing.
How often do we get a chance in our lives to do something that can change the world?
This is a huge blessing
that we are working on--but we can only do it if we do it together. Remember...Project Hope came about from trying to save
baby Hope's life. Now, she is in our Angel. Vets will be saying, "Distemper? There is Hope--and
a Treatment" instead of "euthanize the animal."
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring.
Especially for caring.
The book on the tub? Getting In Touch
With Your Dog by Linda Tellington-Jones. A book about how to do T-Touch massage on animals--all types of animals--for
a vast majority of ailments. A topic for another day but T-Touch is easily Googled and on Youtube.com you can find videos on, "How to do T-Touch massage"--which is how I first learned after I was told the basics about
it. The animals line up at the RR for their "turn" and when they feel the need, jump on my lap and wait for
me to do T-Touch from their neck to their rumps usually going down their spines. It is easy and has amazing results--it
even relaxes hyper or nervous dogs.
Baby Hope is looking at a photo of TeddyBear, the first blood donor of Project Hope and her guardian angel. Now, she
is his. We were able to make the NDV-induced serum which so far, has saved ten lives--and there is still a little bit
left, and even though it could keep for five years, in this area, it could be used up by the end of this week.
we run out, we need to make more serum--since in Houston alone, we really need "gallons" of it according to one
of the vets working on this project. In order to get gallons made--we need lots of donor dogs--OR enough documentation
to get a animal blood products company to add this serum to their veterinary catalog which is one of our goals. Won't
that be an accomplishment!?
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Who Would Have Guessed
27 feb 10 @ 1:18 am cst
Just a day ago, I would have never guessed that we'd have Millie, a little Boxer puppy, here with a badly broken jaw!
How life can take unexpected turns!
I am cc'd on so many rescue emails it is hard to keep up some days on what animals
are in dire need of rescue and which have been saved by the end of the day. But, when a fellow rescuer forwards one
in particular to my attention, I know that this may be a call to action for me.
Whenever I post an animal in my blog,
I am prepared to do what it takes to save it--especially if it is an injury case. Some how, some way, I found my way
to care for these last chance animals and will not turn one away if they come across my life.
Millie, is a joy--she
is sweet, always wagging her tail, wants to be with people--and at the same time, the side of her jaw is dangling and swinging
with each breath she takes. It is very hard to ignore this injury even second by second. (I put some updated photos
in the Chron story, Update: Hey, There's A Dog In The Treat Box! Special Needs Dog Gets Mobile)
Millie's bottom jaw is broken in the center and in half again on the left side. Her
baby teeth are scattered all over her mouth, still attached to the tissue. It is amazing that she is still eating and
drinking--and wagging her tail!
In the next day or two, once I get her settled at the hospital Saturday and
discuss further what her surgery will be--we are trying to save as many adult teeth as well that are embedded in her jaw bone
still--it may even be after surgery on Monday that I can truly write a story with the expenses and details--we would appreciate
angels to join us in taking care of this little girl.
Had Sally, her rescuer, not found her walking in her yard and
taken her into her kennel for a cold night, this baby would have been wondering around until the exposed bone in her mouth
that looks like an elephant's tusk jutting out!--would have gotten infected and she would eventually have collapsed and died.
This was her last chance, and by Divine Intervention, she will be A-OK. Thank God.
Brindy had a bath after Millie
and for the first time, her skin did not bleed through the pores as I was bandaging her up! That was such a great moment.
I could not resist kissing her little bandaged head. Slowly but surely, she is recovering. Today, on her own,
just wondering around, she ate three bowls of kibble dry (We free feed at the RR--food of five different types is in bowls
in different places and outside. The animals can nosh here and there or eat dinner all at once. We keep special diets locked
down from the Cookie Monster, Ada Brava, and Big Mandy--and feed those dogs on a schedule and separately.) This is the
very first time since she has been here that Brindy did not need to be hand-fed. My heart was quietly smiling as she
happily crunched away!
The other dogs are being very patient with our giving so much time and attention to the newcomers.
They know that I am 100 percent theirs, especially when I lay down for a rest or a nap. I also make it a point to pet
each one each time I pass them and to give each one individual treats each day. Yes it is time-consuming but each one
feels special at least for the moment in time that I am admiring them and hugging them and loving them. I can see by
the light in their eyes that it makes a difference.
It is almost the end of the month--March brings the introduction
of our Project Hope Distemper Treatment DVD as well as the beginning of serum production for this treatment protocol in Houston.
This is HUGE. We are carving out the model that other groups and individuals can use in their cities to engage and involve
their vets--and to save animals. No longer should distemper and euthanasia be automatically used in the same sentence.
If caught early enough, the serum kills the distemper virus in 24 hours. We have been sending screening tests to Texas
A & M to verify the cases and to collect data. Once we have enough documented cases, we'll be able to write a (vet)
peer review article and from there, all vets will hear about this miraculous discovery by Dr. Alson Sears, DVM.
so many stories to tell and so much information to share, sometimes it is hard to pick and choose what story or article takes
priority. Always feel free to email me or post a comment reminding me to write an update about something or somebody.
Thank you for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
If you can help with February's expenses or needs, there are still two days left. Please go to our website www.firststop-laststop.com and click on the "How to Help" page. Thank you kindly!
Timmy and Cherry, the mama of Mama10, are fast-moving, love-to-play-all-the-time friends now! It is hard to get photos
of them standing still! She is a distemper survivor as well, after being treated with Dr. Sears' distemper treatment
protocol, in December, 2009. Both are beautiful animals and really would love a home together--any one falling in love...with
a big, fenced yard? My email: email@example.com
Friday, February 26, 2010
What A Difference A Day Makes
26 feb 10 @ 3:18 am cst
Just 24 hours after switching to new medicine to treat mange and switching antibiotics, a few new supplements--and some
plain double cheeseburgers, look at the difference in Miss Brindy! For the first time in almost a week, she gave me
kisses and played with, of all dogs, my beloved baby, Poppy! Brindy adores playing in Poppy's furry mop! It is
endearing to sit and watch!
(Brindy has Demodex--and a horrible case of it--but it is non-contagious mange to dogs
and people. We are not encouraging tons of one-on-one contact but just a little to keep her spirits up. She is a puppy
Gold eyes and all, Poppy and Brindy are about to get a little mischievous! Mike had come home with a little treat
for me (my all time favorite cookies that I haven't had in a long, long time) and I was sharing little bites with the dogs--but
apparently not enough.
Poppy took the package and Brindy took a whole cookie! I was so glad to see her eating it without having to encourage
her, I just smiled. Poppy got the cookie he had started to eat but I took the rest back.
Afterward, we took them outside for a potty break. Brindy's bandage from one foot had come off but since it
was nearly bath time again, I didn't need to replace it. She was just outside for the blink of an eye.
some below-the-belt emails about saving these sick animals. I understand that "you" don't want them to suffer--neither
do I--but I also don't want them to lose their lives needlessly. I consult multiple vets--usually at least two--before
making the decision to help an animal and how. I do countless hours of research online and readers are also kind enough
to send me their research as well (I welcome it in fact). I don't believe that they should be in pain, so if they have
a particularly hard procedure or injury, etc., I do ask the treating vet for a prescription for pain meds for them to get
them through a difficult time.
Glorious, wonderful, happy animals are alive and well today because we had the guts to
stand against the grain and NOT euthanize but instead, chose to give up nights of sleep, all luxuries and extras, all free
time...all to give them back their lives, to right the wrongs that were done to or that happened to them. Brindy may not have
been so sick had she not been spayed and vaccinated at an age that she should have been nursing--or kept in a "hot"
shelter that is implanting distemper into our communities.
What I have learned is that having lots of people to help--expands
what we are able to do. Sponsors to help with individual cases allow us to take complicated, medical cases like the
injured jaw puppy we are picking up this morning--please see today's story in the Houston Chronicle for more about this new
puppy and see her photos Hey, There's A Dog In The Treat Box! Special Needs Dog Gets Mobile Once we see a vet or two, I will write up a story with photos or update the story above--I hope some of you are moved
to help her if we can, God willing.
Life on the Rescue Ranch is a sacrifice--and helping to save these animals requires
sacrifice from others--but together we are doing something amazing--we are saving lots and lots of lives. It is an incredible
blessing to be able to do this.
On Monday, I will be announcing the next phase of Project Hope. How to get the
DVD's, how to help sponsor the serum production in Houston (which will be public property--like the first batch of serum was/is--and
will be free to distemper dog/puppy owners)...and most importantly, how to volunteer your dog as a donor dog.
around a year (or two) old, 100 or more pounds, unaltered and fully vaccinated is the ideal. If Heartworm postive, must
have been treated awhile ago. I'll have the variations and specifics Monday in my Houston Chron blog. There are no side
effects. This could be your way of volunteering and/or helping to make a huge difference in the world (advancing the
treatment of distemper) if you volunteer your dog. Please think about this over the weekend.
It's bath time for
Brindy, and nearly nap time for me. I have to get ready to help the new puppy--who needs a name! Any ideas?
I'm away, blog comments will be in my inbox until I get back to approve them. (I won't be approving any more cranky-pants
comments.) Please check back later in the afternoon or early evening to read the constructive and encouraging comments.
(I'm not against a difference of opinion--and if we can all learn or consider your point of view, I will post it, too.)
for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Sweet Brindy All Wrapped Up
25 feb 10 @ 3:18 pm cst
Taking care of sweet, lovable Brindy all night has put me on a different schedule. My blog writing is now during
the afternoon while she naps instead.
Last night, after her bath, Little Brindy was getting dressed up for a nice photo--but
when I looked at them, all I could see was how her little chin was bleeding and immediately put some prescription ointment
on it which soothed her skin and stopped it.
Overnight, some of the bandages come off as her skin get moist and stops bleeding. This afternoon, she is sleeping
next to my pillow as I sit and write. She just finished a bowl of her chicken broth and went outside for a little walk
in the yard.
Today's ointment has a little sulphur in it--hence the yellow all over her. It will wash off in her next bath
tonight. I will take some new photos of her skin to see if it is making a difference. Her feet, neck and head
are still the most fragile areas and hardest to bandage! Thankfully, little Brindy has been a great patient and does
not need the e-collar any more to keep her from taking her bandages off.
As she lays there now, I can hear her nursing
again in her sleep. This baby is so young but I feel great about being able to help her. The dozens of things
we need to help her, most we had and some we had to order or you've sent. Brindy received two new shirts last night
which will heip since we have to change her clothes often--and will make really cute photos!
I would have never
ever have purchased a Snuggie--and especially for dogs--but sometimes, necessity is the mother of invention. They are soft,
warm and keep a nearly-furless, cold animal comfy-cozy as we say at the RR. If this were the Olympics, the dog Snuggie
gets a "10" from us! It even washes well. (Walgreen's $10). I'm hoping she moves from small to
medium in the next few weeks. That will be an accomplishment.
Thank you for caring. To catch up on Brindy's
diagnosis and condition, please read the last few blog entries below.
Brindy Has A Long Road Ahead
25 feb 10 @ 8:20 am cst
Putting their heads together, thankfully, several vets are working together to keep little Brindy alive and hopefully to
make her well again.
Yesterday, we took this little puppy to the vet in the late afternoon. She weighed
in at 9.5 pounds-which was great news--she was continuing to gain a little weight. (Last week, she was 9.0.) As
I took off her pink Snuggie (so soft and warm) and cut off her bandages, in the light of the vet's clinic bulbs, the damage
that systemic demodex manage has done was even clearer--little Brindy has lost most of her fur and some of her skin was raw
and bleeding. Just from holding her from the lobby to the exam room, my own shirt had blood on it.
The vet looked
her over and we discussed her reactions to the Ivermectin--the easiest way to cure any type of mange--but there is no reason
in Brindy's case to try it another day. If it is toxic to the animal and not just to the mites, we can't use it again.
But, that leaves us needing something to treat the mange. Dr. Sears, our distemper guru, suggested trying using Interceptor--a
monthly preventative for dogs but using it daily. "Yes," he wrote to me, "Daily." (There is a specific
dose to use--please email me if you need the dose or the doctor's name if you have an animal with mange who cannot take Ivermectin:
Thank goodness, Brindy's local vet carried it and the stuff is chewable and easy to
divide in two. In addition, Brindy smelled it and decided she liked it on the spot. Thank goodness this part of
nursing her back to health won't be so difficult. (Little Brindy is a master and spitting pills back at me.) The
vet reinforced that this disease is an immune-system deficiency--basically, all dogs have the mites but can keep them at bay
if they are well--and that we need to bolster her up from the inside...out. Unless we do that, Brindy will not be able to
fight off the millions (eek!) of mites buried in her skin and overtaking her body.
Her lungs also sounded like the
distemper-induced bacterial pneumonia has started up again (shucks)--a very tough thing to cure and the cause of many animal's
death, misdiagnosed as upper respiratory infections--even before the distemper would kill them--so she'll be continuing on
several antibiotics for the weeks to come. These distemper animals are usually infested with worms and/or parasites which
can be life-threatening, too. In Brindy's case, despite being wormed twice, she was infested with worms. Every
two weeks now, she has to be wormed with Drontal Plus.
We left the vet with a list of things to add to her diet like
Vitamin D and fish oil. (She is already taking astragulus, colostrum and probiotics.) We went right to the Vitamin Shoppe to restock on Vitamin E oil (there we can buy by the bottle and I use it in the goop for her skin) and a few other odds 'n
ends for both Brindy and a few oher animals. We learned long ago, to combine natural, homeo-, and regular medicine.
They complement each other most of the time. Occassionally, we have to choose one way or another and in those cases,
we try to weigh each and choose which is "best" for the animal.
We brought along a jar of homemade, salt-less,
chicken broth in a cooler for Brindy to drink. She seemed really hungry when she was drinking so I asked Mike to find
a McDonald's. There was only a Burger King in sight, so that was our stop. Brindy ate an entire double-cheeseburger
(plain)--leaving just five little pieces of bun in my hand. Then, she drank the better part of a small bowl of water
I offered her. If she continues to eat and drink like that, we'll be able to get all of her supplements and liver into
her--she has to be on a daily liver feedings just like Precious. Thankfully, we know just where to go to buy 60 pound
boxes of pig's liver! (We were told that this has a higher iron content than cow's liver. Precious' surgery is finally coming
up in the next couple of weeks. We are waiting for a surgery date.)
After a stop at Petco to get two gigantic
bags of food (Mike sat in the car with the dogs while I went in), when we got back to the RR, Brindy went right into the tub.
It took nearly an hour afterward to mix up and ever so gingerly spread goop on her wounds and bandage her up. Her little
chin kept bleeding and that is one spot that I just can't bandage but finally, with a thick enough coat of ointment, it stopped.
She was so patient, despite being in a lot of pain. Once bandaged up though, I could tell that it was soothing to her.
She then wanted to play a little bit! I was so very glad to see that.
Every two hours now, I wake her up or Mike
does--and we pick her up to go potty and to get some broth or water. This will continue until I know for sure that she
is drinking enough on her own and the edema in her feet and legs does not return. Seeing her feet and legs, so swollen
that they looked like inflated balloons, really scared me and I don't want to see that happen again. The vet did explain
yesterday that sometimes this happens when the mites die off in massive numbers from the Ivermectin but many animals work
through this phase. Those animals though don't crash like Brindy did--twice--after being exposed to it. It is
not worth continuing. I would rather exhaust all other options some of which are exhausting.
Dr. Sears, is incensed
that this puppy was spayed at such a young age--and clearly with demodex. Spaying/neutering too early turns off their immune
system, he teaches. Animals with demodex will usually recover after puberty IF they are not altered. In Brindy's
case, she had to be six to eight weeks when she was spayed, vaccinated and exposed to tons of live diseases at the shelter.
with the guidance the vets working together to help her, in a month or so, we should see a drastic (and positive) improvement.
In the meantime, she'll be getting 'round the clock care here to help her physically and spiritually. I find that a
happy, loved animal will usually recover if it is physically possible. One that is neglected and alone probably won't--so
we do whatever we can to make their days happy.
Brindy wants to be held a lot and is very affectionate so I carry
her around like a little baby--and when I am writing, she wants to be sitting on my lap, with her head pressed up against
my heart--a gesture so endearing, it breaks my heart. This young puppy probably was separated from her mama far too
young. At least now, she has a "herd" of animals to be her substitute family.
Thank you for caring about
Brindy. It makes all the difference to all of us knowing that we are not alone and that a whole lot of people (I hope)
are cheering for, and praying for her to get well.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring.
Especially for caring.
If you can want to help us with our work saving last chance animals, please go to our
website, www.firststop-laststop.com and click on, "How to Help." Taking in animals who need extensive care or hospice, sanctuary or just a soft place
to sleep while they recover from abuse and/or neglect, is the purpose of the Rescue Ranch. It is very expensive doing
this work and we gladly give our lives and time as volunteers. However, the medicines and supplies, food and vets (all
discounted) just this last week were nearly $1000. We cannot possibly do this alone. Thank you for caring.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Brindy Needs Help/Will Update Later Tonight
24 feb 10 @ 2:31 pm cst
Please read the last two posts to catch up on our little patient, Brindy, a survivor of distemper and pneumonia who is
suffering terribly from Demodex (mange). Another long night, she ate a plain cheeseburger but doesn't want to drink
so she is being syringe-fed and occasionally is drinking broth and water on her own.
We are taking her to the vet now.
Dr. Sears, our distemper treatment vet, gave us another idea on how to treat her since she cannot have Ivermectin. I
will share it later. Please keep her in your prayers. The poor girl has blood droplets spontaneously oozing from
her head and legs/paws. She needs extra special help to keep going--thankfully her spirit is strong!
On a good day, Brindy is taking a break before her bath--and shares one of my sugar wafers.
After her bath, little Brindy's skin is oozing blood through her pores. The bandaging and ointments stop this
and keep her skin from cracking wide open. An advanced case of Demodex is very difficult to treat but I know, I just
know, we'll save Brindy!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Complications Take Their Toll
23 feb 10 @ 9:57 am cst
It is very hard physically and emotionally taking care of last chance animals. Every day--some times every hour--you
are on the verge of life and death. You have to do your best and pray. What happens next is often times out of
Yesterday, I went along for the ride to pick up Bunny, Pasha, Dizzy and Brindy from Erchonia laser therapy.
One by one, Mike got each dog and put them in the car. Brindy was in a crate as was Dizzy. I decided to take her
out and hold her in my lap on the way home. She looked so lonely in the crate.
As I pulled her out, I noticed
that her front paws didn't look right. At first, I thought that she had been gnawing at her paws. (Mange is very itchy.
Brindy has systemic Demodex--her whole body has v bad mange.) As I held her, every time I shifted her weight or even moved
the blanket, she was whimpering.
I called the vet who is treating Brindy and he was already gone for the day.
I did speak to his assistant discussed a few options of what was going on. Once I got on to the internet, I learned
that she could have edema--retaining water in her limbs from an advanced case of mange.
When we got home, I
gathered up some first aid supplies and headed straight for the bathroom. I put Brindy right in the tub to soak her
feet. Once she was out and I began to cover her in goop and bandages, I noticed that all four legs and feet are swollen.
They are all swelling to the point of splitting and bleeding. When she walks, she is limping. It broke my heart to see
her like this.
After bandaging her up from head to foot, literally, I held her for several hours just letting the goop
that I made soak in. I spread prescription antibiotic ointment where there was blood/open wounds, and mixed up some
soothing oils and salves to slather her whole body in.
At first, I had to syringe-feed Brindy water and
broth and then Hill's a/d and broth--it gives animals a kick start--and when they get a little energy, they will eat on their
own--and she did finally, just finishing breakfast, which was a Thank God moment for me. Now, while she is napping
and resting peacefully, I am going to try to get in a cat nap myself.
Please say a prayer for this baby puppy today.
I hope the edema is temporary and her amazing vet will be able to prevent this from happening again. Having the bandages
and tape to keep her all bandaged up and the supplies that I need makes all the difference in the world. I cannot imagine
facing a critical care case like this and not having the resources to immediately act. I thank all of our RR Angels every
day--each piece that you send or sponsor, adds up to make saving lives like this possible.
Thank you for stopping by,
for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Marrow Bones Make a Happy Herd
22 feb 10 @ 7:09 am cst
We have a butcher near the RR, who cuts up big femur bones for the herd, freezes them and stores them up until there are
five or six full bags--(everyone needs one). Then, Mike goes down and picks up a very heavy (gruesome to me) box that
causes a whole lot of excitement here.
After thawing them just enough to break apart, we spend an hour of two, rotating
bones in and out of a gigantic pasta pot of water. They stay in just long enough to turn from red to brown/grey but
not long enough to boil out the marrow. It is something we have to babysit to get it just right.
The bones are
all piled up in my biggest ceramic bowls--pasta bowls that I've never used for pasta yet--and the steam fills the kitchen
and so do the dogs. If there wasn't an island in the middle of the room, they would pack themselves in as close as possible
to those steaming bowls.
Once I get the bones all skimmed out of the pot and the water has cooled off, Mike puts the
broth into containers to keep in the frig to mix with kibble during the week. Just heating it up and mixing with kibble
makes a boring meal a little more special--and nutritious. Some of the animals like to just drink the broth that night.
We just have to limit their daily intake or we have to suffer the consequences--cleaning up diarrhea!
safety, I never let them get too close to the oven, boiling water, or hot oil but it is not for want of trying. They
try to be the closest and dart in and out of each other positioning for the best seat. I feel like a referee trying
to cook the bones and keep everyone at arm's length.
Little Chula Hula Hoop, a Min Pin, came to the RR recovering from
burns that went from her neck all the way down her back to her tail. They are all better now and she is a joy despite
the horrible pain she went through for months. Most of her fur covers her burn scars--about 95 percent now and eventually
they will all be covered--but her injuries really reinforce to me on a daily basis how careful we need to be with cooking
or hot liquids or whatever hurt her--we'll never know. I just thank God that she is well now.
Once the bones are
all cooled (they have to be rotated in the big bowls to cool evenly), the dogs all RUN to their spots--everyone has to be
on a towel--that is a RR rule. They each are trained to eat their bones on a folded up bath towel. The puppies
have many towels since they tend to move all around eating their bones.
Since everyone gets a bone at the same
time--I give them out in order of who was here first--honoring the doggie pecking order so to speak--and since they know that
I will give each one part of whatever I have, no one panics or barks or gets upset. They just wait for their turn.
One by one, carrying gigantic pasta bowls, I pick out a bone that is dog appropriate. (All dogs are treated equally here--if
one gets something, they all get it, too, even if it has to be just a tiny bite of a sandwich by the time we divide it up.)
Ada and Timmy get the gigantic ones. Girl, Cherry, Precious, Pasha and Bunny get the next size down. The puppies,
now six months old, can handle large bones but ones that won't crack since they use great pressure teething on the bones,
and the rest of the dogs get the small to tiny ones. I think Lil' Bits, or Dizzy's bone, weighed half as much as he
The good thing about marrow bones is that they last all week. Even though they chew off the meat and
lick out the marrow in the first hours, they continue to nosh on the bones here and there a few times each day. I know
when to throw them out when they have been sitting untouched in a corner of their crate or lost, balled up in a bone towel.
A butcher near you, or even your local supermarket guy/gal, can order marrow bones for you. Just ask. It
may take a week or two to get things rolling, but once a month, the RR herd gets their bones. (I think they would still
pick Dingo's over marrow bones they love Dingo's so much!) Just set aside a few dollars a week for this very much appreciated
(Some people do not cook them. Do a little research about this and see what your animals prefer.
Only a very few RR animals would eat anything raw if we offered it.) And if you can't get marrow bones, think of something
else that is a special treat. I would rather experience the joy, that giving the animals something special brings, than
doing anything for ourselves. It is truly precious.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring.
Especially for caring.
If you can help us with the RR February expenses (no overhead is included), please
go to www.firststop-laststop.com and click on "How To Help." Thank you kindly!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sunday, Our Day of Rest
21 feb 10 @ 7:29 am cst
Hoping you have a wonderful, restful, blessed day today. It is our off but there are a couple of errands already
on Mike's "Honey Do" list both at the RR and out and about. We'll try to make do until Monday as long nothing
we need is an emergency--bandages and medicine are always valid reasons to go out.
We've learned to appreciate these
quiet days. No alarms, no meetings, no appointments, no calls or interviews. We can sleep as long as the dogs
allow--and go back to sleep after breakfast-and lunch if we want to.
On Sunday, we say our prayers like we do
every day but we also try to get in at least a few TV chuch shows. Lately, it seems like the TV is our mainstay for
church. If we cannot leave for three or four hours minimum, we cannot safely go.
Today, we have a few things
that cannot go undone. Little Brindy needs her baths, all the dogs need new linens (so we have to keep the washer and
dryer going 'round the clock), feeding, watering...basically we will work but won't go out to the store or anywhere else.
always think a bubble bath and a good book or magazine would be marvelous on Sundays but don't seem to make it there.
I have the body soap and bubbles all lined up, but to pour them in is different situation.
Starting at about 4
PM, we hope there is a good movie on TV--some weekends we find many and others we don't. Mike will air-pop two gigantic
bowls of popcorn and mix up my secret flavoring--half melted butter mixed with half (cold pressed) olive oil. It is
good for the dogs' coats AND our hair and skin! Once the sauce is mixed in, one bowl is distributed to each dog in a
pile--the second dish is ours but we still wind up sharing it, too!
For dinner, something left over but warm for everyone.
Left over pizza, boiled tortellini, or even cheese sandwiches or omelets could be on the menu Sunday's foods have to
be quick and easy both in preparation and in clean-up. Brunch could have been some popcorn or a Twinkie. Nothing too
So, on this Sunday morning, I encourage you too to take a day easier than the rest. Walk your dogs and
enjoy the birds, sky and trees. Sit with your kitties and pet them while you read a good book. Sundays are glorious days no
matter what time of the year, the weather, or the circumstances. Just go out and let the sun shine upon your face--feel
the warmth and cherish it--even if it is but for a moment.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially
PS For those asking about Mike's interview last week, the interviewing manager decided to send
his resume' to another department (to geology, which will be a better fit.) The eternal optimist, I believe he will
get a job and it will be a great job--and you will be the first to know! (Anyone in an Oil & Gas company, can you help?
Please email me for his resume'. Animalrescuevolunteer@yahoo.com Thank you kindly!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
A Few Minutes In The Clouds
20 feb 10 @ 4:52 am cst
Our life on the Rescue Ranch is anything but normal. I realized late this afternoon how blessed we are--and also
stood for a minute to ponder how we got here--we are on the brink of proving and spreading the distemper treatment for dogs
that Dr. Alson Sears designed years ago.
Mike was heading out the door--delivering Project Hope serum, picking up dog
meds, special dog foods, sulfur ointments...the list was long (Dingo bones was on that list--a RR must have.) I was
staying home writing, working on this project--it will be a world-wide education campaign and we need DVD's copied and protocol
manuals copied. There are all kinds of things to do to prepare for something like this.
I stood there, in my room,
looking at all of the dogs--big and small, tiny and gigantic--most survivors of something horrible--an accident, an illness,
abuse, neglect...all happy and playing, chewing on their bones whiile I was about to sit down to hours of research and email,
helping animals all over the world that inquire/need help, direction, input. (It is after 4 AM now and I am still not
done--it was 4 PM when I was standing there.)
I don't know how we got here--one thing led to another and I found myself
working on Project Hope, the distemper project. If you had told me this last summer when I began in earnest trying
to figure out how to eliiminate distemper, I could not have guessed that this is where we'd be. I was just mad one day
at all of the animals, especially puppies, dying from distemper and no one knew what to do. Well, here we all are, at
the brink of producing serum in Houston for the first time--and collecting data and information to take this project to the
I was so stunned and amazed, grateful and overwhelmed by the significance of this project, that I
walked into my closet and got down on my knees. Through my tears, I could only Thank God for what we are all doing.
With Dr. Sears' work, and with Professor Ed Bond keeping it alive for so many years, and now our community in desperate need
of a distemper treatment and people willing to sponsor the serum, all together this may be a gift that is priceless.
How we all are getting the opportunity to take part in something that will change the world amazes me.
When I pull
my head out of the clouds, I have to give Brindy a bath in Iodine to keep her Demodex mange mites down to a dull roar while
her immune system is kicking on. I have to let dogs and puppies in and out and I work/write/research about 12 hours
a day or more. Animal care the rest of the time-baths, medicines, clean-up, play time, feeding, watering, feeding again...leaving
really no time for eating, sleep, etc. I fit them in when I have time, if I have time--or we wait for Sunday
to rest. Thankfully, Sunday comes every week.
I hope this weekend you have a chance to get an ice cream--with
yourself or a loved one--just do something special. Distemper and Pneumonia Gone: Time For Butterfinger Sonic Blast
We have important work to do in the next two weeks--we need to find a big, healthy donor dog, we already have a vet
willing to make the serum, and then we have more animals to get treated and data to assemble into articles and grant applications
and more. This treatment is the model to cure the elephant herpes that the zoo just had; human MS; maybe even cancer.
I don't know exactly where this is going but I know this is very important and the faster we proceed, the less lives will
(Thank you all who helped Soldier the dog! He had his surgery and I hope to have photos sometime over
the weekend to update you. Together, you saved a dog and gave a family--Hope. I stand in awe of your caring and generosity.)
time for me to come back to earth for Brindy's bath, breakfast, medicine and then, I hope, I can get in a nap by the time
the sun rises. Anyone who would like to meet Gideon, now Gidget, the hero dog SAVED: Hero Dog Rescued! Update is now available for adoption and will be at the Petsmart in Conroe, TX today. I think the correct store number is
(936) 494-2500 Call and make sure this is the site of the Smart Rescue Adoptions. If you are interested in possibly
adopting this wonderful dog, please email Tina Quinn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget to stop
by our "Meet the Puppies" page by going to the Rescue Ranch main site: www.firststop-laststop.com We have seven great Min Pin mix puppies available to go to forever homes and a Great Dane mix boy looking for love
as well! I just know that their forever homes are out there somewhere...
Thanks for stopping by, for listening
and for caring. Especially for caring.
PS In today's Houston Chronicle story, Distemper and Pneumonia Gone: Time For Butterfinger Sonic Blast there is a fairly urgent need for a temporary foster for a black lab, named Camp (formerly known as BJ). There is another
little black lab mix puppy who needs a home, too. If you can help, please email me: email@example.com
Also, Click Here for the link to help with the Rescue Ranch animals. We are just a little short of our February goal. Thank you
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Sick Today: How to Help Soldier (the dog)
18 feb 10 @ 7:30 pm cst
After an exhausting few days, my liver decided to act up and put me down. When this happens, it feels like I was
hit by a bus and nothing works right. Even the ends of my fingers and toes hurt. Liver and pain meds only take
the edge off of it and I can barely move until the swelling of my liver recedes. Nearly 20 hours later, I'm finally functional.
good news today is that Brindy didn't have to be hospitalized! With the combination of new meds and lots of baths and
goop, she is on the road to a great and full recovery! I'll write up a new story for the weekend. Another dog treated with
the Project Hope serum last week recovered as well! We are now about to make serum again--with the hopes now of documenting
everything for an article in a veterinary publication.
Our little project will reach out beyond Houston to help
animals all over the world! I hope you are putting away your Starbucks money to help us with the next phase. We
also need another donor dog. (More about this early next week. I just want to plant some seeds...)
In the meantime,
I am working on a story about Soldier, the dog--who was hit by a truck after he was found skinny and dirty looking for food
by a CVS. The family who took him home is a single mom of three kids. After spending over $400 for x-rays at her
vet, and hearing the price for surgery (eek) there which made saving Soldier not possible--another vet told her to contact
me for help.
Soldier was in a tremendous amount of pain trying to walk on his leg that was out of the socket. I asked
Stephanie to bring Soldier to Dr. Garza (Baby the Chihuahua's surgeon). The surgery to fix a badly dislocated leg is
$500 plus a little extra for medications and aftercare. I'm figuring $650 is enough to save Soldier.
you can help her--and I know several of my readers have already expressed an interest in doing so, we have two options:
You can go online now at www.garzavetclinic.net and click on "Donations" in the navigation bar to the left side of the home page. Just fill out the page
and where it says "Organization Name" write Stephanie's Dog--Solider.
The other way is to call Garza's clinic
on Friday and leave a credit on her account. Please leave your email address, too, so Stephanie can send you a "Thank
You" email and maybe even a new photo of Soldier once he gets home. She needs to raise the money by 5:30 PM CST
Friday (Feb. 19). You can help from anywhere! Garza's Clinic phone is: (713)695-0088
stop by again Friday for a new blog entry. I just wanted to update you in case you are wondering what happened to me!
Thank you in advance for helping Stephanie save Soldier. To see more photos/read more about saving Soldier, please go
to my story in the Houston Chronicle: Single Mom Saves Soldier (the Dog): Hit And Run Driver Injures Leg
Soldier and Stephanie's kids who just adore him! Please help fix Soldier's leg if you can. Thank you for
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Rescuers Live A Different Kinda Life
17 feb 10 @ 1:39 am cst
A few weeks ago, I was watching a movie--or trying to. Mike unleashed the little dogs--and soon, I was covered
in kisses, hugs and lots of mouths to share my popcorn with. (Can you name them all?) He also took an unauthorized photo--but
one that I wanted to share for a reason.
Rescuers are not just animal lovers--animals are our lives. We do everything
for them, give up everything, sacrifice whatever it takes so they can live, be happy, eat well...Our hearts could not beat
and our lungs could not breathe if we didn't do whatever we could to help them. Your kindnesses allow us to help more,
to do more and to reach out more--and we are extremely grateful for all you do. Extremely. I wish more people would foster,
adopt, volunteer and well, just help. We could save so many more lives together.
But this is not why I am writing today.
in my Houston Chronicle blog, www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer, I just finished an article about Pam and Jim--two very active rescue volunteers in the Houston area whose new house just
burned down. They bought it and moved there so they could save more animals--lots of animals means needing lots of land
or at least a good piece of it.
By the Grace of God, Jim and his friend were driving home and got there as the
fire was engulfing their home. Even though the fire department told him not to enter the house, they did--breaking a
window and uncrating each of the animals and sending them back out the window. It was a horrible, nerve-wracking, painstaking
time for them. Most of the animals were saved, thank God. I thank God that they were brave enough to do this and
had the strength of spirit and of body.
Speaking from a rescuer's point of view, losing just one of those animals
hurts--it creates a deep wound that is filled with sorrow and love. We want them all to live but sometimes, things are
not in our hands and we have to accept that God called their names, no matter how hard we tried or prayed or did anything.
It was His will.
About five years back, a friend of ours who rescues Saint Bernard's, had about eight dogs
and five cats in her house. She had a new refrigerator delivered, set up and went to work. There was a wire short
and the kitchen caught on fire. The fire department came and a neighbor called her at work. She raced home.
dogs were not killed by the fire but by the smoke. They had all huddled in the other end of her house--too scared to
move and comforting each other. The firemen were able to save one dog--our dog's playmate--and a few of the cats were
able to be brought back with CPR and oxygen. She lost her entire house, had to rent an apartment (that took her dog)
and rebuilt over the course of the year. It was a very, very sad time for her--and for all of us.
I don't know what
the answer is to fully protect our animals. Put stickers on the windows of the rooms that they sleep in when you are
gone. Install lots of smoke detectors and if you can afford it, sign up with an alarm company that calls the fire department
if they go off. Train your animals to listen to you in an emergency--have fire drills so to speak. There is no
way we could carry out each animal BUT if they know a whistle means run to the far corner of the yard, do it over and over
again until you condition them to react by instinct. If anyone else has any tips, please share them with us.
have asked Pam and Jim for a list of other items that they need to set up the trailer--I know they need help with a building
to house their dogs and fosters. If anyone knows who can help, I am willing to ask and to write a story about a donation or
kindness to help this family get back on their feet. (I am sure they need prayers and cards of encouragement would be appreciated.)
all love our animals--and being a rescuer, it is even deeper than that. We live and breathe for the animals. Not having the
space and tools and supplies and comforts needed to do so, is unimaginable. Although we are struggling, we are fundamentally
Please say a prayer for Pam and Jim and if you can collect some things they need, have a building they can
borrow or rent or want to help them otherwise, all of the information is in my www.chron.com/rescuevolunteer article today, Animal Rescuer's House Burns Down: Most Animals Saved.
Thank you for stopping by, for listening, (for laughing at our photo!), and for caring. Especially for caring.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Need Homes For At Least Three Puppies
16 feb 10 @ 1:01 pm cst
Taking care of critically ill animals and helping them get better or helping them to the end, is what I do best.
It is very hard work--weeks of hardly any sleep, constant worry and need for supplies but there is a peace knowing that it
is all in God's hands. I can do only what I can do--the rest is up to Him.
When we agreed to take in Miss Moneypenny--who
had been hit by a car and had a bad concussion and broken leg--we were told that she was also pregnant. I love birthing
puppies and taking care of them but whatever group asked me to do this, I ask to take back the animals--especially the puppies--when
the are weaned or done nursing. This was the agreement I had with Miss Moneypenny's rescue group but they didn't keep
their end of the bargain.
Delay after delay, request for new photos and measurements and delay again, they never took
the puppies back. They are now six months old. They are adorable but 25 pounds each. This is always the risk of fostering
a pregnant dog--you have to anticipate having to place all of the animals just in case. For some reason, I thought this
group was honorable but in reality, I think I know what happened but I caught on too late.
Breed specific groups don't
want mixed animals. I hear too often of a rescuer going to the shelter to pick up a dog in their breed, getting into
the kennel on the animal's last day, and deciding then and there that the animal is not purebred enough, they will turn around,
leash in hand and leave the animal. I get crying calls about how hard it was to leave the animal but I have not one
bit of empathy.
If you've gone that far, I would rescue the animal AND all of its kennel mates--AND empty the
kennel on either or both sides of it. I never go to a shelter and bring home one dog. Getting Precious is the
one exception--I knew we got her out of the shelter on a wing and a prayer and if I stopped to do anything else, we may jeopardize
getting her off the property.
With Miss Moneypenny's rescue group, as I think back on it, they kept asking for measurements
and new photos. I have never ever had a rescue group do this. I think they didn't take the puppies because they
were not pure Min Pins--but in leading me on with the false hope that they would move them to other fosters let too much time
pass by. Cute tiny puppies are now beautiful dogs almost.
I really need some relief so I can concentrate on the
critical care cases. At least three of the boy puppies need to move on. That will free up the kennels and the
room that I need to take in others. Right now, we are really sacrificing in so many ways.
Can anyone make
room at their homes for one of the boys? Cubby, Goldfinger or Sue need loving homes with a large fenced yard or a jogging
partner--no small animals (Min Pin's have prey drive instinct). Big dogs who are not aggressive are OK with these smaller
guys. They are used to playing with a Saint.
The hardest part about being in this situation is that I cannot care
for critically ill animals AND go do adoption days. While I'm in quarantine, Mike needs to be taking care of the herd.
We are not set up to do adoptions and never intended to. But, when a rescue group abandons a litter (and the expenses
of getting that litter vetted), what is a foster to do?
I'm giving this one to God. I am powerless and I need
help. I don't know what else to do but pray. I hope someone hears me--I don't care how far away you are.
We will get the puppies to you.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
To see photos of the puppies, go to www.firststop-laststop.com and click on "Meet the Puppies"
Monday, February 15, 2010
Near Isolation Hard But So Worth It
15 feb 10 @ 7:58 am cst
A little 8.7 pound puppy is sitting next to my in my favorite overstuffed chair in the den. She is finally feeling
well enough to share my latest favorite snack--Popcorn Indiana Kettlecorn. (A must try! In a red bag at Wal-green's and Krogers.)
She has come a long, long way since last Sunday.
On Superbowl Sunday, she arrived at the Rescue Ranch, not eating,
her skin in life-threatening condition and with a bad case of pneumonia. The pus and blood and coughing and lethargy were
so bad cumulatively that I was wondering if we could make a difference or just make things easier for her last few days.
felt great to read one of our RR Angel's recent comments who met little Brindy Saturday. She thought Brindy looked so much
better in person than in her photo all wrapped up in bandages looking like ET's cousin. Saturday, she was unwrapped--we
had just been to see another vet who took her bandages off to access her condition--and afterward, Brindy was active and happy.
The almost solid week of dedicated nursing care paid off! Iodine baths every four hours, special mixture of salves and
ointments, oils and medications mixed up and applied after each bath, body wrap bandaging, special oral medications, sleeping
with, syringe feeding her...all added up to a glorious Saturday afternoon--but as I learned Saturday, Brindy's journey is
not over by far.
She is a Project Hope serum puppy. Three weeks ago, after being diagnosed with distemper at her
vet, Brindy received Dr. Sears' NDV-induced serum, a treatment for distemper. She had an advanced case of distemper--green
crusty nose, green crusty eyes, pneumonia...and she had a skin condition of some sort. The distemper was dead in 24 hours
according to Dr. Sears. The other issues have yet to be cured.
Many of the distemper animals are dying of the
distemper-induced pneumonia. Just like what happened to Brindy, for a month, she was treated as if she had an upper
respiratory infection and given Doxycycline--great for Kennel Cough--but ineffective against the illness she really had.
In fact, not only ineffective, the entire time, the pneumonia gets worse while the foster or owner thinks they are treating
the illness. (I use a five day rule--if there is no positive change in an animal's condition in five days, I get their
medicine changed. If your vet won't listen to you, go to another vet. Waiting longer, means things could be getting much worse,
even irreversibly worse.)
Sunday night, little Brindy was feeling pretty good--it was the first time she barked while
she played, ran around the den like a kitten playing with a ball of wool, and ate very well. I began to really wonder
if she needs to be hospitalized--she is scheduled to go in later Monday for the week. I picked her up and held her while
we watched a show on TV. (Yes, Brindy likes to watch TV, too!).
When I put her down on a pee pad to go potty,
I looked down at my white shirt--it was covered with blood. Brindy's skin--unwrapped--just oozes blood even though we
have gotten the pus pustles to go away, she still has a serious problem. I took her right into the bathroom, bathed
her and rewrapped her from head to toe in salve and bandages. She will be needing these for weeks to come.
the first week, she cried and winced just touching her. Taking care of an animal in this condition, is very much like
taking care of a burn patient. It is painful for me to just see them and try to help them--and it is excruciating for
them to live through. They have to have a strong spirit and will to live to even make it through being this critically.
For that reason--in addition to monitoring them--I move into our isolation area just like I did with Baby Hope.
A guest bedroom, den and bathroom become our "home"--and Mike has to provide our food, medicine--basically anything
that I forgot to bring into isolation or that we need. He also has to manage the care of the herd since I cannot cross-contaminate
the house/all of the animals if I risk exposure.
Selfishly, I can tell you that it is really neat to be able to spend
one-on-one dedicated time with one animal or even set of animals (if we rescue a sick litter or set of sick animals). They
need to be snuggled and held and played with--in addition to the special care and feeding that they need. Nothing else matters
to me during this time except making sure that animal is cared for and feels loved. It is like being a 24/7 dog nurse and
nanny all in one.
It is also exhausting--because there is no one to relieve you. If you use their nap time
to clean up and do their laundry, etc. when they wake up and need care, you will never sleep. Knowing that this could
go on for a week or two or more, finding a fine balance is key--and even after having done this time and time and time again,
I still get flat-out exhausted.
Being able to help little Brindy, is a blessing. I feel like we have another chance.
Even though Baby Hope took us so far, this puppy will take us the rest of the way. Step by step, we are moving toward eliminating
distemper. As we help each animal, they help us get another step closer by building bridges or providing information,
What is fascinating, is that this same disease model--what Dr. Sears' is using to treat distemper--can be used
to eliminate human diseases like MS and maybe even cancer. Yes, this is huge--and we have to do a little bit each day.
What we are learning and teaching, thanks to Dr. Alson Sears, will make a difference in this world.
It is amazing
thinking about the big picture--especially in the middle of bandages and fevers, gooey salves and sleeping in a chair with
a sick puppy. I would do it, and have, even if this project were not underway. Every animal deserves the chance
to live and to have a good life. Whatever we can do to help them along, we are committed to doing. Every life
is precious. That is exactly why we are trying so hard to eliminate distemper...
Thanks for stopping by, for
listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
PS If you can please help
us with the expenses of the RR, we would be grateful. I have updated the February Chip-In. We simply can't do
all of this alone. Please Click Here to help. Thank you for caring.
Brindy's skin was paper-tihin and covered in crust, pus and blood. She was in tremendous amount of pain and had
stopped eating and drinking when she arrived at the RR. Here, she is beginning to drink a little on her own...
Four days later the crust has come off but the disease has progressed to encompass almost her entire body, including
her legs and back now. (She is wearing shirts to keep the bandages on and to keep her warm since she has lost most of her
fur now. She takes a size "Small" if anyone feels inspired--but will need Medium soon.) She has a major skin
infection and although the pneumonia is getting less bad--it is lingering--and so she will need to be hospitalized this week--probably
right after her cold laser treatments today.
When she gets back to the RR, she will need to continue with round the
clock after care and bandaging, medication and TLC. We want this little puppy to live--and to live the best quality
of life that she can. We are learning to use Dr. Sear's protocols and in doing so, can teach others-and their vets--how
to save their animals, too.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Happy Valentine's Day!
14 feb 10 @ 4:01 am cst
A day of romance for the world--a day of rest and sleep and taking care of animals and not much more at the RR. In
our earlier days, Mike and I would celebrate the holiday. Now, we are lucky if we remember it.
In my heart
of hearts, I am glad there is still romance in the air--people going out to lovely, loving dinners, holding hands and feeding
each other fondue. At the Rescue Ranch, we would rather toss a ball or squeak a football. Candles are a no-no--too
many puppies in the house. The garden tub, big enough for long, leisurely baths, is now the twice a day spa tub of iodine
baths for a sick puppy.
I will write more later in the day when my eyes can stay open. I hope on this Valentine's
morning that you are surrounded by love--the love of your family--whether it be human, animals or both.
are alone today, there is no better day to adopt an animal and save a life. Many organizations are offering two for
one or half price adoptions today. Save a life--and bring home a wonderful friend. It will be the best Valentine's
Day present you could ever ask for (just remember it takes a little while to get used to each other).
Thank you for
stopping by, for listeninng and for caring. Especially or caring.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Penny's Big Escape--And Thankfully, Return
12 feb 10 @ 6:26 am cst
Last night started out to be uneventful. Mike had run out to the grocery store to get bread and popcorn (my diet
staples along with cheese) while I let the dogs and puppies out to go potty. A turkey was in the oven, that a RR Angel
had sent over for the herd, and everyone was looking forward to their dinner.
For whatever reason, I just don't know
what I was thinking, but I decided to open the front door and look outside go look for snow. I could have done the same
thing out back. I think since the back door was open, I would be able to get a cool breeze flowing through the RR--since
I love cool weather. A handful of the bigger dogs lined up at the screen door next to me and we were all enjoying the
I noticed something that needed to be picked up outside and looked down. The dogs around
me would listen and not go out uninvited and so just as I opened the door just inches...I saw something low and brown dart
out and run as fast as her chubby little legs could carry her! Penny, our Maxi Pin, got out. Ugh. Of course, I
was in the middle of washing some of the dogs' collars--with their tags--and Penny didn't have a collar on. These are
the moments that you have to say a prayer and hope that He is listening.
Mike was home by then thankfully and
went out after her--that's when I noticed it was pouring rain. He was walking down the street without a coat or an umbrella.
I had him come back and get the car. The delay in following/tracking a run-away dog could be critical but since we could
not see where she went in the dark or in the rain, it wouldn't matter. Calling her name and driving slowly, we watched
for anything moving. Something was coming out of the bushes and toward the car--and toward the back door. Penny
wanted to go for a ride--thank God!
I opened the back door and she slowly approached the car. She smelled it first--I
guess to make sure it was "her" car and then hopped in. I was so grateful to be able to close the door and
turn around, heading back to the RR. To make sure she was rewarded for her behavior, I had Mike take me back and drop
me off, but continue on with Penny for a ten minute ride!
Penny loves the car and whenever we come home from
shopping, as Mike unloads groceries, Penny will be sitting in the front seat--or if the doors are closed, she'll jump in the
trunk and sit and wait to go for a spin. We always take her out if we can--and fill up the car with anyone else who
is wise to what we are doing. Sometimes, the line is so long with those who are "wise," that we have to make two
or three group trips in a row!
Call us crazy--but it is a good crazy. Our lives are short but their lives are
shorter. We cannot deny anyone at the RR such a simple pleasure as having the wind blowing in their ears and fur.
Any opportunity we can take to make an animal happy, we do our best. Why not?! Their wagging tails and happy twirls
are just priceless--and make us happy to see!
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially
Penny came to the RR to lose weight--she was obese. Now, she is a big girl, but all muscle. Her previous owner, a grandma
who loved and adored her--and still calls to check to see if she is happy--used to place dinner plates full of treats all
over the yard for all of her dogs to share. Guess Who, used to gobble them ALL down!
Penny was surrendered
with a little bag of dried chicken strips and giant Milk Bones--and to this day, I try to keep the treats that they grew up
with on hand. Just knowing a little something about their "past" lives is kinda sentimental. We often
don't know a single thing about the animals that come in--most times, not even their names.
Just a few PPS (Post-Post Scripts): Mike has a casual lunch interview
today--thanks to a RR Angel. (I know several of you are trying, too! We would both appreciate your prayers. He
has been out of work almost 11 months--eek! (Anyone in Oil and Gas? Please email me for his resume'. Please. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Also, "Yes" on our newest resident being in a full body wrap--(If you missed her, scroll down this page until
you see ET's cutie pie cousin laying on a red blanket). We sure could use 4" wide gauze rolls (going through 2
at a time--4 to 6 needed a day for the next two weeks or so), tape to keep them on, wound toppers or large wound pads and
a new blue hose for our nebulizer box. I'll be introducing her on Monday. She was extremely weak when she arrived
on Sunday--but despite a fever, a horrible set of ailments, she had me up most of the night to play with her--and to hold
her while she slept. She is just a doll-baby!
I have also updated our February Chip In--taking Brindy in
(due to complicated medical care, and despite a mama who loves her, her life depended on it) added significant and unforeseen
expenses to our budget. She is a Project Hope survivor (treated with the NDV-induced serum and survived distemper), it is
important that she survive and recover fully from everything plaguing her. (We believe all lives are precious.) We sure would
welcome your help.
We have several Houston vets now listening to us/Doctor Sears and about to take the next steps.
The DVD is shipping today to the Project Hope volunteers--and hopefully by the end of next week, will be in those vets hands!
Please Click Here if you can help us with the Rescue Ranch. We are saving lives here at the RR--and learning things and sharing them
so that others can save lives far and wide. We can't change the world all by ourselves--but we can together. Thank
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Incredible Erchonia Laser Days
10 feb 10 @ 12:47 pm cst
We started taking just one dog to get cold laser--Erchonia laser--treatments, little Baby the Chihuahua. After surgery
to repair two broken legs and pelvis, the vet who did surgery, just in passing, said that she would really benefit from this
therapy to ensure her speedy and full recovery and to reduce swelling and healing. She now zooms around the RR inside
and outside, chasing dogs and playing. It is a miracle to behold. Just a week or so earlier, I was given a card with
a vet's name on it who used the Erchonia--and I knew him.
Starting with Baby three times a week, then two times for
many weeks, she is now down to once a week. On the off chance the neurons for a distemper dog like Bunny could also
be regenerated, we took Bunny for a visit. She was accepted and we started on the same schedule for her.
On the off-chance, it could help Pasha, we brought her along...it is helping her. Bunny can now stand up vertically
on her back feet to get treats, can propel herself across the floor and yard and can lift herself four inches off the ground
and wrestle/chase other dogs. Pasha's feet and tail both move when I massage her back, touch her feet or in her sleep.
A paralyzed dog is seeing the nerves regenerated.
When Dizzy came to the RR, with his tail being amputated up into his
spine and his urine and feces just running out of him, we sent an email to Dr. Dan. Could the muscles around these areas
be regenerated? Dizzy now goes to cold laser therapy twice a week. His poop is normal now--no more streaming diarrhea,
and he is a playful happy dog--instead of a depressed, sick sad-sack. His coat looks beautiful and his weight is normal.
He is no longer a walking skeleton. (Untreated tapeworms will do this--and was also one of his many issues.)
on Sunday, when Mike picked up our little mystery girl (see her picture in the entry below), and brought her back to the RR,
she was in tremendous pain and would have died had she not had intervention. She was in very bad shape. Again, I sent
photos of what's under those bandages that cover her body and her other symptoms/history. Dr. Dan told us to bring her,
too. She began cold laser therapy. I chased her yesterday through a field and fed her a half McDonald's double cheeseburger
on the way home! A miracle for certain.
When we were done at the vet yesterday with everyone's treatment, I open
the exam room door and a whole bunch of dogs with different issues/unusual conditions literally spilled out. (I was
holding our new little girl.) There was a family in the waiting room--mama, girl and boy--waiting for their identical
twin dog to Baby almost. The children's eyes were wide with surprise--they had clearly never seen special needs animals.
I stopped to explain what was wrong with each and how were were helping them.
It was their priceless faces that made
me realize how out of the ordinary our lives--and what we are doing--really is. We live here and it all just becomes
"normal" to us but on those children's faces, I could see how beyond-normal that it really is! I thank God
we are able to do things beyond the ordinary to help so many dogs--and we could not/can not do it alone. I thank God for everyone
who helps! The blessings and the awe we saw yesterday is yours, too!
Thank you for stopping by, for listening
and for caring. Especially for caring.
If you can/want to help, please Click Here for our February Chip In Fundraiser. For other ways to help, just go to the main RR website, www.firststop-laststop.com, and click on "How To Help." Gift cards and a list of things we need are listed there. (Imagine the
bills we are acruing doing all of this!) Thank you kindly!
Too Tired to Write More: Stop By At Lunch
10 feb 10 @ 6:46 am cst
It's been a long day and it is already 6:30 AM. I have not been to bed yet and my eyes are crossing. I need
to get a little sleep and then I'll share another RR story. I have a new baby puppy here who is very sick--but who,
after just a few days is doing much better already!
Can you guess what she is--other than the cute cousin of
ET--and why she is here? (Her story is in the works for the end of the week). Thanks for understanding.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Snow, Come to the Rescue Ranch!
9 feb 10 @ 11:00 am cst
We love snow. Well, the dogs and I love snow. Mike is the one who has to shovel it so he says he doesn't love
it as much.
A few months ago, snow came to the Rescue Ranch. It was all but a quarter of an inch or less but
it was still white and cold and fluffy and well, it was snow. Mike took the dogs out to play and I watched through the
window. I was in quarantine with Baby Hope (she was recovering from distemper) and could not go out but I appreciated
every moment of joy that the big dogs were having--and laughed at the little dogs reaction to their first time stepping on
snow. They weren't havin' any part of it!
When our Saint, Mebs, was alive, she was slowing down and we had a feeling
that our time together was running out. Mike took vacation, we packed up the car and went on a two week trip--to follow
the snow! She loved to run and romp in the snow. We went to Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and California--we followed
the snow going west and then all the way back. It was on that trip, that we came home with Kasey.
trip took us to the Grand Canyon (yes, you can take your dogs out and walk them all over there--and we did! We were
quite an attraction of our own. Everyone came over to pet the dogs as we stood in awe of the Grand Canyon.) We went
to Santa Fe, New Mexico and several other towns. We had an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime trip together just looking
We went to Reno, Nevada and Lake Tahoe, California, and to places we'd never heard of even. We
would ask locals where the snow was and they would tell us twenty miles north, take X street--and we would. Into country
fields and neighborhoods, we found the snow line, parked and unloaded the car and had a blast. It was a glorious, wonderful,
silly vacation by a rag tag bunch who normally never ever take vacations.
Ii think my funniest memory was of Poppy.
He was getting lost in snow drifts but in his heart, he is a big snow dog in disguise! He loves to eat it, tunnel in
it, leap through it--all twenty something pounds of poodle/terrier of him. Since he loves his fur, and we let his curls
grow out, he has a substantial coat and is nicely insulated from the cold so he kept running around. When it was time
to go (I was cold), I called Mike and the dogs back and Poppy came a runnin'--but he was carrying about 30 snowballs of different
sizes--all attached to his fur! (We have photos but this was before we had a digital camera so I have to get Mike to
scan them.) They were all bobbing along with him as he ran toward me.
Mike carried Pops to the car and we had to turn
the heater on high and snow ball by snow ball, I had to melt them out of his fur! It took me over an hour and a half
to get his fur back to normal. The memory is priceless and still make me chuckle today.
I wish we could go back to that
time. It was a spontaneous trip that we took just to take Mebs to see snow. We wound up having so much fun ourselves
and created memories that will last a lifetime. When we got back, Mebs was diagnosed with lymphoma. A few short
months later, she was gone--but she saw SNOW. And lots and lots of it. I thank God that we had that opportunity.
to the weather this morning on the news, I can't help but secretly wish that one of those blizzards would come to the Rescue
Ranch. I want to make a snow angel, throw snow balls for the dogs to chase, laugh as I watch the dogs race through the
snow, sit inside and drink hot cocoa and appreciate the beauty of softly falling flakes of snow. The peace that comes
from just sitting there and watching snow fall is precious and stays with you.
A blizzard probably won't come to Houston
but with the grey overcast sky and cold chill in the air, I'm pretending in my heart that snow is coming, that Mebs is bounding
through the snow mounds and Poppy is trailing behind accumulating snow balls. A herd of mixed shapes and sizes of dogs
are following them and they are all laughing. The hot cocoa is waiting for us on the stove. It will be a glorious day.
you for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sometimes People Make Bad Choices
8 feb 10 @ 3:38 am cst
This has been a very tough three days for me. We have been overwhelmed with puppy and dog owners who have distemper--or
think they have distemper. They are all very sick. Some people found their way to us after reading my articles, others by
doing research on the web, finding Professor Ed Bond in New York and then being redirected to us.
Some owners have tried everything under the sun to save their animals
and as a last ditch effort are wiling to try Dr. Sears' protocol (There are now vets in Austin, TX and Atlanta, GA and a few
on the West Coast. I think there is one in Dallas but don't know who it is--if you do, would you please post it?)
cannot treat the animals but I take their medical records and current symptoms and ask for a current rectal temp and tie it
all up in a bow and email it to Dr. Sears. He reviews each case and gives a recommendation of what they should do--get
treated with NDV, get more tests, he even works with their vet to see if there is something else going on besides distemper.
If the people need a referral for treatment or the serum, I try to direct them. So does Ed.
Two cases this weekend
seem out of the ordinary. One case, the dog is supposed to be very sick and in need of urgent treatment as of Saturday
morning. When I requested medical records/or itemized bills of what the dog has already gone through/medications that it is
on, the owner told me that her copier/scanner is broken at home. I suggested using a friends and/or going to Kinko's
to get the records to me. I also stressed that every hour counted in the battle of distemper and this needed to be done
On Sunday night, the records arrived via email. No current rectal temperature or photos of the dog's face
as requested (tells a lot when looking for distemper). I forwarded to Doc and he said again, despite the dog starting
to have tremors or twitches (possibly going into neurologic distemper--for which only the NDV in a spinal tap in the brain
maybe could reverse it--the serum alone may or may not work since she waited so long). Again, Dr. Sears said that the dog
should be treated with serum. Just maybe it would still work.
Of course, I cannot administer it since I
am not a medical professional but the person who could have--and who has the serum--was on call and willing to help, even
on a Sunday night. The owner instead, said she needed more time to research. As of 3 AM, no word from her.
Either she does not really have a dog or she has just missed the window to save its life--if it has distemper. There
is no side effect of the NDV serum so why not try it if it is available? I don't understand.
On Friday (last
week), we were contacted about an urgent case and I forwarded the information to Dr. Sears. He immediately asked to
speak to the dog's vet--and spent nearly an hour on the phone formulating a treatment plan. Dr. Sears was having the
serum and the NDV itself sent over to the vet to treat the dog.
The rescue group only had to sign a release--saying
that they understand the NDV treatments are experimental and not guaranteed--and everything would be provided at no charge
and if there were any vet bills, they would have been covered. Instead of allowing the dog to be treated--and probably
save its life--the rescue group's leader called the vet and told him to euthanize the dog. The serum was almost there!
A dog died Friday--for what reason? Being afraid to try something new? Euthanasia is final. If something
new could work, why not try it first? If it didn't work, euthanasia, sadly, is always an option.
person who made that call, rescued the dog's life partner (a girl) the week before and left him behind in a cell at BARC.
(I was told that her husband did not like male dogs.) The maie dog had a clear nasal discharge--and should have been
taken to a vet. Instead, the next day, he was transported to a boarding kennel. He didn't make it to the vet for
days--and after sitting at BARC, then a boarding kennel which takes dogs directly from the shelter. He became very sick--from
the shelter or the kennel is an unknown--but possibly exposing the entire kennel AND all of the animals at the person's home
who eventually fostered him.
Earlier in the week, I emailed the same person who left him behind, and who later
made that call to euthanize him--I wanted to know when the puppies were due/excited that she pulled the pregnant dog. I love
new puppies! I was told that she authorized a late-term spay on the mama dog. All the puppies, who should have been born,
I do believe are dead. I've asked her to confirm this, but there has been no response. Other rescuers confirmed the
late-term spay and yet others asked me to "go easy" on her--she is a good rescuer.
make very bad decisions. Unfortunately, they can cost a poor animal its' life. Good people make mistakes--I understand that--but
a pattern of bad decisions, means to me that someone has either lost their way or is just plain on the wrong path. Either
way, the papa dog is dead. The puppies are all gone. The other sick dog may not have a chance now--when the gift
of life should have been given to it on Saturday. Thankfully, there were others, who chose to do the right thing for
the animals--and who were brave, knowing that there is no alternative to treating distemper--and they are still alive.
sharing this so you can see that the life of a rescuer is very difficult--it is an emotional rollercoaster and a triple full-time
job. We don't mind the sacrifice if it all adds up to save lives. Each one is so precious. It is
the unnecessary loss of life that weighs heavy on our hearts.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring.
Especially for caring.
PS We have new RR resident...can you guess who? I don't know if you've
met her yet--but she is a Project Hope recipient when she was at her foster home. With another illness/condition, she
is here temporarily to get better since she needs round the clock care right now. Her story--and incredible photos--will be
coming a little later this week.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Her Family Says Good-Bye To Sadie
6 feb 10 @ 6:22 pm cst
After her original family abandoned her, and she was shot multiple times with a pellet gun, a neighboring family took
her in--had her groomed, vetted and was getting her ready to be adopted into her forever home (see this blog on February 2,
2010 for more background).
Sadly and suddenly, she became very ill and passed away. Grief-stricken,
her family wrote this good-bye note to her--which will be placed in a plastic bag and buried with her cremated remains in
their garden. Since so many of us followed their story and her rescue, I thought you'd like to share this as well.
(You can post condolence messages after their letter)
Goodbye Sweet Sadie
It’s been two days now since you left us so suddenly and the heartache we feel
from your leaving us will take some time to pass. You were such a sweet girl and you touched our lives in a way that we will
never forget you.
We knew sweety, and we’re sure you also knew you were very sick and your time here on this
earth was soon to end. We hope your last few weeks with us gave you peace in knowing there are people who care about you.
We didn’t intend for the medications we gave you to make you so sick those last couple of weeks. We wanted so much for
your life to continue on in a loving family after your years of hardship.
We apologize for all the mean and abusive
people you have known in your life and the fear you had to live with of all people. We apologize for all the time spent at
the vet’s with all the tests and procedures. We apologize for making you take those nasty medications every day. All
of those things we did, we did for you. I think you knew that, and I hope you didn’t think we were just more mean people
trying to hurt you. We wanted so bad to change your life for the better. We wanted you to know a life with caring people who
would bring love and companionship into your life, who would spend time with you, talk to you, hold you and pet you. We wish
you could have fought this sickness as hard as we were trying.
Your entire time spent with us you seemed so content.
You never complained about anything. You so loved all the attention we gave you. You so loved having your head, face and chin
scratched. You were such a sweet, loving girl. You seemed resigned to what you knew was coming.
I can’t explain
why some people do the things they do. I can’t understand how your original family could leave you behind when they
moved away. I know you patiently waited at your home for them to return for you some day. I’m so sorry they didn’t
sweety. I know the new family at your old home treated you like an intruder, chased you away and didn’t want you around
We wanted to make everything right for you. We wanted to find you a family to care for you and love you. I’m
sure you don’t know it, but we did save your six surviving puppies last summer and they all have good homes now. I know
your in a better place now, playing with your puppies who went there before you. I know you have some new friends there, including
our loving puppy Cheyenne to keep you company and show you a better life there.
I wish we could have saved you so you
could live the life you deserved here on earth. I wish you could have known our other puppies. They would have loved you like
a sister. We loved you sweety, and we hope you knew that. We only wanted what was best for you. We didn’t want you to
continue to live your life alone on the streets, having more puppies who would have a tough time like you did. Your life shouldn’t
have been that way.
You deserved what every animal deserves, a comfortable, carefree life with people who genuinely
love, care and look out for you. I sorry you only got a brief, partial glimpse of what could be. I wish you could have been
around longer and gotten over your whipworms so you could have come into our home, met our puppies and been more comfortable
before you left us.
We will never forget our sweet Sadie and our short time together. We wish things could have worked
out differently, that your story could have a happy ending. We feel blessed to have known you, sweety. We hope you left us
here on this earth knowing at least a ouch of love and companionship, that you were wanted. Most people are good-hearted people,
sweet Sadie. We will never forget you sweety! ! ! ! ! ! !
Best friends forever--John & Tileena
2002? - Feb. 2, 2010
Rest in Peace Sweety
Friday, February 5, 2010
Three Possible Distemper Cases Today--More Tonight
5 feb 10 @ 12:59 pm cst
Three separate people with distemper animals contacted me starting very early this morning. Unfortunately, they all
waited until it is far along in the disease stage to contact me. Now, with Dr. Sears and their vets' help, they have
to figure out what the animals really have. There are diseases that are easily treatable that mimic distemper--but,
like one person did today, sadly chose to euthanize the dog this morning rather than try to treat it. Maybe there was no alternative--but
maybe there was.
Another person waited an extra week to consider the NDV route. It is a new treatment and it is
different but now that dog is critically ill, at the vet and struggling to breathe. With an urgent plea to help, I called
Dr. Sears at home--knowing that I would bear a chastisement from his wife for doing so--but also knowing that a life was a
stake. The Houston-area vet and Dr. Sears are hopefully chatting as I write.
Thankfully the vet had at
least heard of Dr. Sears work. He said that, "the jury is still out"--which to me meant that he didn't have
any experience with the NDV protocols. If he did, he would already be using it--and would be saving lives. The great
news is that he is willing to talk to Dr. Sears and go over the symptoms, the history and the possibilities. Canine
Herpes presents similar but is easily treatable with NDV-induced serum, Dr. Sears told me.
While I wait for a
call from Dr. Sears, another email came in. A woman from Houston had emailed Ed Bond in upstate New York asking for
urgent help for her distemper dog. This is all the email said:
Subject: my dog
Do you know of a vet in Houston , Texas that uses
the serum for dog distemper? I am desperate. Thanks………….
Since I am in Houston, Ed forwarded it to me. I immediately wrote back and ask the questions
that Dr. Sears or any vet needs to make a more accurate assessment of the dog's health. What is it's vaccination history?
What medicines has it/is it on? What are the symptoms? And...What is it's rectal temperature. Distemper usually
presents with a higher fever that will not go down with antibiotics. I have not heard back from her yet. I hope
she doesn't discount my questions. Dr. Sears' work may be the only chance she's got of saving her animal.
between all of this, I have been dealing with the medical care of the dogs at the RR--quite a few on the list this morning.
I started at 2 AM and at noon, I still have not been able to complete my blog on the Chron about Dizzy! I have the photos
formatted and have begun to write but can't do the complete blog the way I like my readers to enjoy them--so it will be finished
In the "And The Last But Not Least" section under Dizzy's story, are three
cats--two black and a Calico--who all lived together for years. Their owner just passed away from cancer and they are
left homeless. Her friends are trying to find them homes--and one just happens to be a RR Angel and contacted me.
I am hoping once my readers see them and have empathy for them that they will be adopted quickly--maybe even together.
There are many other animals who are coming down with distemper in the Houston area. The "hot"--as
in hot beds of disease--shelters are just untreated letting the disease mutate, get stronger, and pass on and on. A
"gift" that keeps giving from the City. One point that Dr. Sears said today was that we should not let our
animals be spayed/neutered/operated on at the shelters. The animal's immune defenses are down and they are put in a
situation full of disease. That is just asking for trouble. My interpretation was, "Skip the low cost programs
and go to private vets out in the country, away from the city shelters--and city vets who see so many of the shelter animals."
My day is just beginning after nearly twelve hours--this will probably be an overnighter kind of day/nght.
Sunday at least is coming soon--I can sleep as much as Mike and the dogs/puppies will let me. They all love to sleep
with me, too--so as long as they can share my quilt, they will nap all day!
Please read my
articles about distemper on the Houston Chronicle site. I will put a link to them on the Rescue Ranch main site on the "Project Hope" page. I cannot stress enough that you should be well-read ahead of time. Even
fully vaccinated dogs are getting sick--you do not have time to research everything while your animal is having a seizure
or a high fever. You need a vet who has done their research and who is willing to consider an alternative to euthanasia--at
least try something else first. If it works, you saved a life. If it doesn't, no other harm would be done and
you can proceed with your plans.
I have the first draft of the DVD of Dr. Sears October lecture in
Houston. Ed Bond did the editing of an all day/many hours lecture down to a long movie-length lecture. If, after
giving your vets the articles printed out, he/she is interested in learning more, please let me know.
have to get our vets thinking differently about disease. They need to stock the antibiotics that work--not just the
money-makers/high mark-up ones--and treat our animals not just kill them. That is the brutal-and honest-truth.
Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Treating Distemper: So Much More To Learn
4 feb 10 @ 3:37 am cst
After I posted my story, Project Hope: NDV Distemper Treatment on TV News!, I thought that I'd add a few more notes to complement that story that may help you if you are dealing with distemper.
Please remember, I am not a medical professional. Everything I share is from my personal experiences. You should
print these articles and notes and discuss all of this with your own vet.
There are three ways to use the Newcastle's
Disease Virus according to Dr. Alson Sears--rehydrated, in an IV; by using it in a donor dog and making NDV-induced serum;
and rehydrated, replacing a tiny bit of the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid in the brain) with the NDV. The last, MUST be done
by a medical professional who has experience doing spinal taps. Just one slip, and the animal can be paralyzed or killed.
first two options, however, (I am not advocating anything at this time), are being done by rescues and dog owners around the
country with or without medical supervision. The NDV (La Sota strain is preferred by Dr. Sears) can be purchased online--without
a prescription--for approximately $5 per vial. The blue fluid that comes with it to rehydrate it should be thrown out--and
another sterile IV fluid substituted. (I cannot make medical suggestions here, however, you can read more on www.edbond.com/distemper OR email Dr. Sears directly. His contact information is on that website.)
Some rescues have vet techs or nurses
or even vets willing to insert an IV catheter for a nominal fee--and the owner or rescue provides the NDV. It has been
my experience that this should be done very, very slowly--so if the animal
is going to have a reaction to the NDV in an IV (whether for treatment OR for the making of the NDV-induced serum it is the
same precaution), you are prepared to deal with it. A vet or vet tech or nurse should be prepared ahead of time. (Again,
see the above website OR email Dr. Sears for more information).
What I have learned, is that the NDV IV, although very
inexpensive ($15 or less for supplies, barring no allergic reaction), cannot be used on every animal. Young puppies
or severely immune-compromised dogs or those without developed immune systems, will not respond to this say like a 1.5 year
old dog who has distemper and who was otherwise healthy.
It is my understanding that instead, as long as they have
not reached the neurologic phase of distemper (chewing gum seizures, tremors, and progressing...), for puppies, etc. the NDV-induced
serum--given as three SQ injections, 12 hours apart--as I understand it, will arrest the distemper. Timing is everything--the
damage done up until the treatment is finished will need to be addressed and may take some time to recover from. (At the RR,
one of our vets is using Erchonia laser treatments to regenerate neurons in the brain of Bunny, a distemper survivor.)
Dogs may need medicine to calm the left-over tremors and even seizures--pre and/or post treatmnet.
To calm the severe neurologic distemper seizures of Baby Hope, she had to be given liquid valium rectally while we waited
for the NDV to work. (She needed this help three or four times a day for the better part of a week.) Dogs with tremors
or twitching can be given other meds to ease their discomfort but it is really time that will allow them to heal/recover.
The distemper may be treated but the damage it did needs to be repaired by the animal's body.
Making the NDV-induced
serum, could be done by your vet or other medical professionals who have the centrifuge, sterile vials and other things needed
for this protocol. The donor animal must not have any infections--not even ear or urinary tract--or heartworms.
Dr. Sears has an ideal donor dog profile (www.edbond.com/distemper).
Ideally, donor dogs would not be spayed or neutered. (A subject for another time. Dr. Sears says it
is best to spay/neuter after the first heat would have been completed for the female of the breed--which in general, produces
dogs with stronger immune systems.)
Once the NDV-induced serum is made, the three injections, given exactly 12
hours apart--are easy for any medical professional to give. (Rescuers remember, no matter how easy it is to give these
sub-Q injections, we cannot practice medicine without a license.)
Once an animal goes neuro--exhibits signs of neurologic
distemper--the only protocol that will probably treat the distemper is the NDV into the cerebrospinal fluid--not only is that
not easy to do, but it is expensive to find a vet who will/can do it. The NDV-induced serum may-or may not-make a difference
at this point if the NDV/CSF is not an option. Again, you can run your specific case by Dr. Sears and get his advice.
I am just a writer and animal rescue volunteer.
There are several other diseases that look very similar to distemper.
Familiarize yourself/your vet with them on the www.edbond.com/distemper website, read up on the NDV and how it can be used to treat distemper and be informed ahead
of time. Educate your vet and ask him/her to begin doing research and reading. Encourage a dialogue with Dr. Sears.
Even though distemper may or may not cross your path, you could be saving someone else's dog just by educating and encouraging
(Subject for another time: Pregnancy-induced distemper (caused by vaccinating pregnant dogs).
Please ask your vet or shelter to never do this! Read more on the website above.)
Euthanasia is NOT the solution
for distemper. There is HOPE--and a treatment.
Thank you for stopping by, for listening and for caring.
Especially for caring.
PLEASE forward this on to others.
The more people we reach, the more animals we can save.
PS If you can help
sustain our life-saving work at the Rescue Ranch, please Click Here for to see our February Chip In Fundraiser and update. Thank you kindly.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Sweet Sadie Passed Away Today
2 feb 10 @ 6:45 pm cst
Sweet Sadie was not a Rescue Ranch resident although it feels like she was. One of our RR Angels rescued her--and
took care of her in her last month or so of life. I thank God that she knew love.
For a long time, Sadie was wondering
her neighborhood, trying to go home again. For whatever reason, her owners left her behind when they moved out of their
house. When she was finally "saved," x-rays revealed that she had been shot multiple times with a pellet gun.
had puppies in a field near her old home--she had to recover from her wounds there--both physical and emotional. She
had to learn to survive. She was a pet dog and then suddenly on her own--outdoors, hungry and alone. Unfortunately,
this is a common story of rescued animals. One day, they are on cushy beds eating warm food and the next day they are
sitting on death row in a concrete cell at a shelter or turned out, dropped off somewhere to fend for themselves.
am still so sad about losing Beautiful Beauty at the RR--she literally dropped to the floor and died. We were just ten
and fifteen feet away and got to hold her at the end but it didn't make it any easier. It was shocking and sudden and
there was no warning. The night before, Beauty and I had fun together--she was spending a lot of time with me, wanting
to smell my breath/be as close as a dog can get to a person, give me hugs, was playful, silly and then she was gone.
God called her name. I understand, oh too well, another's pain and sorrow.
It was the same for Sadie's last night.
All she wanted was for her mama or daddy to pet her, to talk to her. The animals know that their time is coming to an
end, even if we don't. Thank God, both Tileena and John gave her all that they could and stayed with her until they
took her to the vet early in the morning. And once they heard she was failing, they left work and headed to the vet
to say good-bye.
Just like prayers, love and good-byes transcend the physical. Even though Sadie's heart had
stopped beating, I believe that her spirit lives on. And that beautiful spirit, can feel--and even hear perhaps--our
good-byes and "I love you's." Whenever I miss or think of an animal or even a person that has passed on--even
years later--I don't hesitate to call out an "I love you...!" It feels a whole lot better than holding it
in--and if they can hear it or even feel it, then so much the blessing.
After searching for a long time for her original
family, Sadie found her forever family. I thank God for that. After eating scraps and being hungry, Sadie was full--full
of burgers and full of love. After being lonely, living out in the bushes, Sadie had three friends--Scooter, Gracie
and Molly. After sleeping on matted grass and weeds, Sadie had a soft bed and toys and treats and just everything that
every animal deserves for its entire life. I thank God for this family. For, if they had not tried so hard to bring
Sadie in from the cold, she would have died without being at peace.
I wish I could take away the pain and the
grief that Sadie's family is going through. But all of us must go through this whether we lose a pet, a child, a parent,
a friend. It is not easy but over time, it does become easier to bear. Those broken hearts are the hearts with
more compassion, more love, more caring and in time, will heal enough to help another. And some day, in the far future,
I pray that we will see our loves again--waiting for us as we cross over. That will be the beginning of heaven--and
an eternity together to laugh and run, hug and love...
Missing you, Sadie. Thank God you and your family found
2 feb 10 @ 4:48 am cst
In a normal household, only muddy footprints are the aftermath of a rain storm. The dogs run out, do their business
and run back. At the RR, we have special needs dogs who want to go out, too--the only difference is that they slide
out on one part or another depending on what parts don't work--run around--and come back in covered in mud. It only
takes a minute to make an hour of work to clean them up again.
After a hard rain this past weekend, there are parts
of of the property that are still draining. We can see where to avoid and where the grass is dry. Taking the dogs
out, it seems as simple as carrying them over to the dry areas--which are plenty big enough for them. But once I turn
around to help one or to get another one out, like little kids, they head for the mud--and once in the mud, they laugh and
play and almost frolic in the mess. Who can argue with that! I'd rather let them have all the fun they can and
spend the hour washing them off then interfere.
Pasha was chasing Baby and Jade--who don't like to get dirty--so
they ran around the mud--while she went through it. Bunny doesn't like getting dirty so she went around the mud while
some of her play pals went thorugh it--and back through it! I thought I made it in without stepping in the mud but when I
looked down, one of my feet was covered in hay and a whole load of mud. I guess Mike has some work ahead of him leveling
out some low spots.
Years ago, when we bought our first house, the front yard came with sod and plants/trees, but the
fenced in back yard was a dirt lot. On one very rainy weekend, the water was pooling toward the house and Mike had to
go out and intervene. He spent an entire day digging in the mud (and the pouring rain) so that the water ran away from
the foundation instead of toward it. I stayed inside taking pictures. The poor guy was so dirty and wet and cold
when he was done. We will never forget that weekend.
Now, when I mentioned that he has some of that work to do
again, he just groans. Some of the work he has to do was caused by puppies--digging. Today, I found a valve to
a sprinkler system. I think he may have more work to do than just filling in holes and redistributing dirt! We
have to dig out his boots and his leather gloves--its been awhile since he's had to use them.
In an attempt to
fill in the low spots, he put down a bunch of sand a few months back. Sure it worked temporarily but now all we find
is sand in and on everything! It is like coming back from the beach day after day. No matter how often you vacuum
it up, it is back the next day! I think, when the weather is nice, Mike and a couple of young helpers are going to have to
bring in a truckload of dirt and distribute it. I'm sure something he will procrastinate about for weeks before he realizes
that there just is no alternative.
So, until then, we'll enjoy the rain and the mud. The dogs certainly have fun
(most of them at least)--and are easy to hose off in the tub. Thankfully, our clothes and selves are washable, too--cause
at the end of a muddy day, we look like we need to be hosed off, too. We've learned to just enjoy these moments.
for stopping by, for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Email Me Please Instead of Calling
1 feb 10 @ 6:54 am cst
Anyone who reads this blog, knows that we take Sunday's off. It is our day of rest--other than our RR duties (the
puppies and dogs here even know it is a quiet day)--we do our prayers, go to church or watch it on TV, and take naps, walks
and spend the day in reflection and in quiet. It is a "must do" each week and it has been this way for years.
There is no running to the store, no errands and even no phone. We don't even talk to our families. Email is limited to scanning
for emergencies only once or twice, usually late afternoon and once before bedtime.
There are many people who don't
take Sunday off, however, and who may not understand our need to take a day to ourselves. By Monday, my voicemail box
is so full that I cannot possibly return all of the calls or even some of them. I don't even try anymore. It takes
too long to go through the messages. Most are from people who know my email address and who know that Sunday is a day
of rest at the RR. When the box is full, Mike will sit down and listen to them all. Usually, I've already
addressed everything through email.
I don't want anyone to feel neglected or that I don't care to help because I do.
But imagine if I spent an hour on the phone with each person who called--I literally would not get anything done at the RR--nor
would I sleep, eat or rest. As those people go on with their lives, my life backs up and I wind up having to give up
sleep for a night or two at a time to catch up with my chores--which up until a few months ago I was willing to do but now
this makes me very sick. I can't do it any more.
In the last few months, I have had to make adjustments to my
life so I can manage my liver threatening to need a transplant. When I get too tired and worn down, my skin begins to
turn a pale yellow, my ankles and feet swell so I cannot see my veins or even my ankle bones and can't fit into any sandles
or flip flops, never mind shoes--and my liver and spleen swell and it feels like I have a board inside my abdomen. It
is outrageously painful. I cannot let myself get this sick and yet, it happens at least once a week now--and it takes
a few days to get back to normal. At least, so far, my body is still rebounding albeit slowly.
The catch here
is that I've decided that I won't have a transplant. Mike and I have talked about it--and talked more about it.
He is pro-transplant but I don't want to do through that--so unless I manage my health--and my time/sleep/rest--I won't be
There is no cure for PBC--Primary Biliary Cirrhosis--an autoimmune disease (not alcohol related) which
destroys the bile ducts in my liver. (I had never even heard of it before the doc gave me the grim news last April.) The next
phase is uncontrollable nose bleeds, spleen/bleeding issues...well, I'll spare you the details but you can see where this
It is a nasty disease and I need my readers/fosters/friends who have my telephone number to use it--sparingly.
It is for use to use if we are late, meeting somewhere, have a question about an urgent email...If I wind up going into the
later part of this phase of PBC, I will be in and out of the hospital and will not be able to write or help anyone or any
animals--any more. Please take this into consideration before you call. Just send me an email. I love email!
Email is a direct line right to me. I scan the subject boxes first, the sender's names second. That is really
the fastest, most efficient way to reach me. Tell me what is wrong, what you need, who it is about...give me everything
I need in a "nutshell" to help, to offer advice, to set up a pick-up, to update you, to just say hi...If I am really
sick and can't crack my laptop, Mike will read me the subject boxes and the emails and he'll respond for me. It has been a
real blessing that he is home--ironic that he lost his job at the same time that I got sick. Perfect timing?
am so grateful for the animals at the RR right now. When I am at my sickest, I have six/eight/ten furry friends surrounding
me--sleeping with me, walking with me, even guarding the door to the shower. If I cry, they lick my face to comfort
me. If I want to sleep but am so cold I can't rest, they share my pillow and quilt and surround me with their warm bodies.
If I can eat, I have many happy and eager to share my pizza or my cheese sandwich. I am never lonely. They make being
sick, fun! (Too bad they can't answer the phone...) And when I am happy, I have a whole herd of wagging, jumping, twirling
dogs and puppies to celebrate with me--from the tiny to the large, they are always willing to celebrate and turn anything
into a joyous event.
I'm sorry I had to go into such detail but this is the only way I can really emphasize "Email
me" if you need me or just want to say, "Hi!" Let's keep the phone for emergencies or those once-in-awhile
calls. My life is not "normal" right now--and probably won't be again. Thank you for understanding.