Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pits In Need

I received an email about Pit Bull puppy sisters who need to be placed with a rescue. As I understand it, $1100.00 has been raised for their care, but the shelter will not release them unless experienced rescuers sign them out. If you know of a rescue or work with a rescue that can help, email me: portiasmom@live.com

Friday, September 21, 2012

Georgia On My Mind

Georgia, my 'Grand Dog', is a six or seven year old Yellow Lab. We don't know her precise age because her first family dumped her at the local humane society where she stayed in a cage for quite a while until my daughter rescued her five years ago. Yesterday we received the news that every pet owner dreads. Georgia has cancer. Today she is having an ultra-sound to pin-point the location. The only hope is that the cancer is in the spleen, which can be removed. If not.... Please pray that the veterinarian will make an accurate diagnosis, that Georgia will receive the best treatment with as little pain as possible. And pray for my daughter and three grandsons who love Georgia and are facing the possibility of a great deal of emotional pain. UPDATE: The diagnosis is pulmonary hypertension and the prognosis is not hopeful. Please pray for Georgia and her family.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rescue Saints

As I have often said, dog rescue is not for the faint of heart. It is frequently heartbreaking. Too many dogs are being bred on purpose and too many dogs breed "accidentally" because their owners will not spay or neuter them. The only people who should even be thinking about breeding dogs are people who are devoted to a specific breed and who are active in the show world. That is a very limited number of people. These are interesting times for Greyhound rescue. Interesting in the sense of "May you live in interesting times." Tracks are closing down. The Greyhound racing industry is hitting hard financial times, and thousands of dogs are in need of rescue. The sad fact is, many thousands will not be rescued in time, but will be destroyed. Greyhound Adoption Center is unique among rescues in that it has kennel facilities for up to fifty dogs. And recently, the kennel has been operating at close to capacity. As racing kennels and breeding farms are being emptied, we are seeing some old dogs who had the bad luck to be chosen for breeding when their careers as racers were over. Eight and nine year old brood bitches and breeding studs are not at the top of the "adoptable" list. So when one of them finds a home, it is a cause for great joy. Yesterday, that happened. Some people are rescue saints. About four years ago Greyhound Adoption Center had a hard to place dog, a handsome dog with "issues". Then a couple, knowing his history, took him home, loved him, and gave him a wonderful life. Last week, while he was running around the backyard, one of his legs shattered. The nightmare of any Greyhound lover. It was bone cancer, and the dog had to be euthanized immediately to put him out of horrific pain. The couple was devastated with grief. But they knew that there would be another hard to place dog at GAC. So yesterday they went to the kennel and made friends with an eight year old who had been used as a brood. She also had a broken ankle that had not been attended to and so it healed incorrectly. She's a dark brindle with tuxedo markings and her face is beginning to turn grey. Against all odds, she has a wonderful new home and will live out her years as a treasured companion. The grief of losing a dog is unspeakable. People have to come to terms with that loss on their own timetable. But some people are able to reach out to another needy dog as a way to cope with their loss. Bless them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Plus 11

An alternate title for this post would be: How A Street-Wise, Mixed-Breed, Rescued Dog With Issues Helped Me Make It Through 9/11
The dog in question was Daphne, our first rescue. I always called her a Wheaten-Whippet, but she very well might have been a Wheaten-Greyhound. She was a Disney Dog, adorably scruffy, perfect for movies and advertisements. Perhaps she had been bred with that goal in mind. She was, after all, found wandering the streets of L.A. as a year old pup. Her adorable looks had been both her curse and salvation. Her looks proclaimed her Very Adoptable, so she was selected for rescue from L.A.Animal Control by the kind people of Pet Orphans of Southern California, located in Van Nuys. However, puppy time on the mean streets of L.A. had taught Daphne some pretty mean street ways, and her first two placements--who were really expecting a Disney Dog--fell through. When I saw her wonderful face, just pleading for John and me to drive up to Van Nuys and bring her home, she had been at the Pet Orphan's kennel for 2 years. She had not been happy to be kenneled. As the nice people at Pet Orphans explained, Daphne had issues. Talk about jumping in at the deep end of rescue! We brought Daphne home on a hot April Sunday in 2001. We had a steep learning curve. Daphne would fight another dog to the death for a tiny crumb of food. Lesson: Do NOT have another dog around in the presence of Daphne and food. Daphne was certain that noisy trucks and motorcycles were going to kill her, and so she would fight back with all her might. Lesson: Always take an ample supply of treats to stuff in her mouth during walks in case a truck or motorcycle was encountered. Daphne did not stop for screens if she saw something to chase outside. Lesson: Turn on the air conditioner. But Daphne also brought a joie de vivre with her that was contagious. Every morning, she woke me up, tail wagging, twisting side to side, saying, "It's a glorious day, Judith, and if you don't get up Right Now, you might miss one second of it and you won't want to risk that!" She also loved and really treasured her toys and tennis balls. Each morning, she would remove them one by one from their basket and during the day, she guarded them with love. On 9/11, John had left for work and I had gone back to sleep. Daphne was still asleep when the phone rang shortly after 6am, PDT. It was our daughter, who lives in Mountain Time. She was crying and close to hysterics. Which was only realistic for the mother of two little boys who was five months along with her third. "Mother! The twin towers have been hit! The Pentagon has been hit! Turn on the T.V.!" I really couldn't absorb what she was telling me. So I said, "I'm going to walk the dog first, and then I'll turn on the T.V." And that's what I did. As if I could somehow put off fate as long as I walked Daphne. But of course, we finally came home and I turned on the T.V. to witness the horror unfolding. I sat down and began to cry as I watched. In a little while, I felt a soft nudge against my leg. It was Daphne. She had brought me her favorite toy, a pink dolphin she had "chosen" on a trip to a pet supply store. "Here, Judith. Here is Dolphin. I've licked him as best I can and he always makes me feel better. I think he'll make you feel better, too." And on through the day, Daphne continued to comfort me with her toys. And when her toys were exhausted, she brought her tennis balls, one at a time. In times of trauma and fear, it is the little kindnesses that get us through. And for me, having a dog around at such a time is one of life's great comforts. Thank you, darling Daphne.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Bingley!

Today, Bingley is nine years old. He has lived with us for four and a half years, so pretty soon, he will have lived with us longer than he lived in any of his other living arrangements--mostly racing kennels.
There was never a sweeter dog. Bingley had to travel from Florida to Arizona and then to California to meet us. And if it hadn't been for Greyhound Adoption Center, we shudder to think of what might happened to our lad. Here's hoping you live to be a very old dog, Bingley!