Friday, February 28, 2014

Oodles of Poodles and Then Some...

Our Special Dogs

Guess I should rephrase that, all our dogs are special, but these have some special needs.  Our first is Pepper.

     Pepper came to us about a year ago from a rural North Georgia shelter.  She is about ten-years-old and weighs about 12 pounds.  She is heartworm positive.  Due to her age, our vets recommended we treat her with Heartgard and retest her in the future.  Pepper is due to have her teeth cleaned and a heartworm test within the next week or two.

If you would like to sponsor Pepper's teeth cleaning for $165, please make a donation.  Thank you.

   This little man, renamed Dash, is a five pound poodle who as you may recall came to us just recently from our vet in Canton. The owners turned him in as they could not care for him and our vets asked if we would help.  He was a matted mess and has an old injury to his right eye. He was anemic and we are awaiting blood tests soon to see if he is strong enough to undergo surgery very soon.

If you would like to sponsor this little boy, please make a donation. Thank you.

    Rosie is a senior who came to us from a rural animal control east of Atlanta. She was labeled as a poodle but is a mix. Rosie is precious, delightful and easy to care for. She gets her little bursts of energy, but likes to lounge on the lanai during the nice times of the day along with her foster brothers and sisters.  After vet check she has a thyroid condition,and is on medication, and doing well. Rosie is available for adoption.

If you would like to adopt this sweet little girl Rosie, please contact us at

    This is Tess, the newfoundland senior who was bannished to the barn "to die" in the heat of last summer.  One of our volunteers rescued her.  She lives with a dozen or so other dogs is a happy camper.

Occasionally we take Tess to Furry Friends Gentle Pet Grooming in Woodstock for her spa day.  Tess has arthritis and has a hard time getting in and out of a car, so we use a horse trailer to make it easier for her.  She will remain one of our sanctuary dogs.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Behind The Scenes: Act Four: The Right Place At The Right Time

It was a normal Monday, April 29th 2013.  I, Cindy Lisk, CAN groomer and foster home, was driving a coworker home from work at approximately 9 pm.  A pick-up truck pulling a trailer was in front of me.  We were in Waleska near highways 140 and 108 when suddenly I saw a dog go flying through the air.  The truck kept going and never even slowed down. I was mortified.

Naturally, I pulled over immediately to offer assistance to the dog. We found her lying on the side of the road; obviously she was the dog that was hit.  She was trembling but seemed very friendly.  She looked to be a young adult black lab mix.  My coworker and I carefully carried her to my car and took her straight to our emergency vet’s office.  As soon as I got her in the car and turned on the light, I saw the huge gash in her right side.  Once arriving at the vet, x-rays were taken.  She was found to have a fractured pelvis, her bladder was unable to be seen and the status of her lungs was unclear. 

They sutured her up with 30 or more staples and put in a drain tube.  The vet decided to keep her overnight to keep her sedated to control pain and swelling.  She did well through the night and seemed to be holding her own.  At lunchtime, “Ciara” began struggling to breathe.  The vet called me immediately and stated they thought one or both of her lungs were probably collapsed or crushed.  After another series of x-rays the lungs were determined to be severely compromised and there was also a question of damage to her trachea/windpipe. 

After hours of fluids, she still had not urinated and her abdomen was becoming distended; it was obvious her bladder was no longer functioning.   After all receiving this information, the vet and I decided the most humane thing was to let her go in peace.  She was still wagging her tail and happy to be petted and loved on to the very last minute.  Her head lay on my lap as she crossed quietly and softly without any struggle to the rainbow bridge.  I on the other hand was crying wishing we could have saved her.  Yes it hurts but I am glad I was there to see her through her transition to her next life and she didn't sit on the side of the road and suffer.  I firmly believe God puts us where we need to be to serve His purpose not ours.  As hard as it can be at times and tears my heart to pieces, I still love rescue and never see that changing.

As I would wish for myself and my loyal companion, we searched diligently and found the owner of "Ciara."  We told them what had happened,  they didn't ask any further questions or thanks, just an "okay." We left feeling so sad and empty for Ciara, but our hearts were happy we were there for her "at the right place, at the right time." 

Ciara’s emergency vet bill was $928.00 for a dog I did not know.  Please open your heart to this sweet girl and help us cover her expenses.  We appreciate your support. 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Radar: Who Rescued Who?

Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday…

It was November 6, 2009.   I was with one of my rescue partners, Maria.  We had a hold on a few dogs at a local animal control so we were going there to pick up the dogs.   In the past, I had been sent to pick up dogs at animal controls, but I always ended up with extras because I have a hard time saying “no.”  On this particular day, Maria suggested she go in and I should wait in the car because we really did not have room for any more dogs other than the ones we were already taking from animal control and foster homes are hard to come by.  She was afraid I would come out with six instead of three.  I agreed and waited in the car.  

As I was waiting in the car, a young couple drove up and sat on the bench outside animal control, almost right in front of me.  I tried not to look, but I could see they were holding a white dog with really red skin.  They were holding the dog, hugging each other and were crying.  I turned my head and hoped they would go away.  After a few minutes, I peeked back and they were still there sitting and sobbing.  I thought least I could do is offer something, perhaps they needed dog food or were not sure what the skin problem could be and I would offer some advice.  I got out of the car and as I got closer, I could see how red the small Jack Russell’s skin was and how little hair he had left.  To me I thought it was just an allergy to his food or fleas.   I approached the couple and offered my thoughts.  They said they could not afford to keep him and could not afford the vet bills.  They were told animal control would probably put him to sleep so they were putting off taking him in.  We now we’re all crying.  I told them I was part of a dog rescue and I would be happy to take him if they wanted me to.  The couple was so happy and agreed.  They told me his name was Radar.  I took the lil guy, who was sweet as could be, got back in the car and sat him on my lap as I watched the couple drive away thanking me.

Shortly thereafter, Maria came out of animal control with paperwork for the dogs we agreed to take.  She took one look at me, threw her hands in the air and said, “You don’t even have to come in and end up with dog!”  Hey, what can I say?  She just shook her head and laughed saying, “Next time, you stay home.”  We all know how it is in rescue, it is just never ending.  I couldn’t quit laughing and neither could she.

As we took our other three dogs from animal control, Maria drove home, I with Radar on my lap and he seemed content.  He was a Jack Russell and fairly calm, well at least for now we thought.

We’ve taken in Jack Russell’s that have quite energetic, some that have been calm as can be and some in-between. They have a wide variety of personalities just like any other dog and people too. 
Radar proved himself to be a demure Southern Gentleman.  We started him on a fish-based food, flea control and got him vetted.  He did wonderfully, his skin cleared up, and he was excellent with people and other dogs.

In early June 2010, Carol called inquiring about Radar as she had seen him on Petfinder and fell in love with his picture.  Carol’s mom lived with her as well and had a Jack Russell too.  My sister, Cheryl and I met with Carol, her husband and Carol’s mom to meet Radar.  It was a perfect match.

Carol would keep in touch, let us know how Radar was doing and how great he was for her mother.  Her mom’s Jack Russell was much more active and Radar calm and loving.  He spent much of his time with her mom sitting on her lap and being loved, enjoying every minute of it.

Just today, February 4, 2013, Carol contacted us.  “Ladies, I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you (once again) for saving my baby Radar! He spent the last two and a half years of my Mother's life on her bed during the day and giving her the kind of loving that only a dog can give. I lost her on the 11th of January and he is missing her too. He is now helping me to heal and continues to sleep with me and stay right by my side. This little Jack Russell dog has certainly been a blessing in my life and I cannot express how much I appreciate all you have done and continue to do for all of God's special little innocent creatures. I love this little fellow more than I can tell you. Once I heal, I will have some additional time to do volunteer work, donate funds, etc. and will keep your organization in mind. The Spay and Neuter Coalition is also close to my heart. Thanks again and may God be with you both.”

Our email conversation went on to say:  “Thank you for such an inspiring testimony to animals. We are so happy Radar has done so much for you and your Mom. I am so sorry to hear about your Mom's passing but we are happy Radar was there to help her until the end. God has a way of sending us what many people think is an unwanted animal and then he sends a special person who needs the animal as much as the animal needs them. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Radar.” "Can we have your permission to post this?"

“Thank you so much Cheryl and Michele for the sentiments. Of course, you can post it. I hope through this posting that other folks will realize the love and peace that a pet can give to an elderly person who needs a lot of love and is often neglected by their families. Theirs was certainly a match made in Heaven as she ALWAYS loved animals her whole life. Her own Jack Russell was too wild to be around her very much. She would jump on Mother and hurt her. Radar was always so calm and sweet and lovingly giving her kisses. I originally adopted him for myself, but he quickly showed us that he could love more than one person equally.....”  ~ Carol ~ Hiram, GA

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Behind the Scenes: 
Act Three:  Charlotte

Charlotte came to us just two months ago from Cherokee County animal control. 
This 12-year-old wirehaired dachshund that had obviously produced many litters of money making-pups for her owner had been turned her in to animal control because they were "moving and could not take her along."   Well, here we go again...pulling at our heartstrings.  We again asked ourselves, "who is going to adopt or rescue at 12-year-old dog"...not many people - well really probably no one, so Maria, CAN's die-hard animal rescuer, went to animal control and told them we would take Charlotte.
MARIA RECALLS: "Charlotte settled in my home and surprisingly made a huge impression.  She decided it was her responsibility to mother and school one of our young pups.  She also became an effective and surprisingly loud watch dog, and enjoyed patrolling the front yard.  She also seemed to enjoy helping with the horses at feeding time.  Even though she was with us such a short time, I truly  believe she was comfortable and happy in her last home, my home, knowing she was so loved as wise seniors dogs should be and pampered. 
With no previous signs of illness, Charlotte suddenly appeared disoriented and a little different last night.  She always sleeps on a pillow on my bed, and usually settles down to sleep before I go to bed, but last night I had to lift her onto the bed. I sensed something was wrong.  I watched and wondered what to do, but she settled quietly on her pillow.  I laid next to her as I always do settling in for the evening.  I stroked her and sang her a sweet lullaby, and she gently passed to the Rainbow Bridge.  We lost our sweet Charlotte December 11, 2012, at 10:32 pm.  
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Charlotte, until we meet again.  All my love, Maria"

Monday, November 12, 2012

Big Dog-Big Heart

Tess took her doggie treat and hid in the bushes to enjoy it all by herself.

One of the CAN volunteers spoke to a lady who told her she had a dog living in her barn. Tess, a Newfoundland,  and her brother used to live together,but Tess' brother passed away. She said he died two years ago and explained Tess was old, couldn't hold her bladder anymore so she put her in a stall in the barn to 'live' but really to die.  She left Tess alone and abandoned in a horse stall. 

Tess is a Newfoundland. This is such a wonderful breed, known to rescue humans in distress, great swimmers, surely working dogs. But Tess was just waiting to die. She had no visits or love pats, just necessary food and water.

Tess enjoying the sunshine.
The volunteer was able to convince the lady that CAN had a great home for Tess if she would give her up. Of course, that was really not true but the volunteer could not leave Tess to have a forgotten life. She called Michele, CAN's President and told her Tess's story. Michele said 'yes' please bring her here. Michele knew it would be next to impossible to place Tess. No one was calling CAN to adopt an old, abandoned large dog with matted hair, who was overweight and had possible tumors. 

Our CAN volunteer brought her directly to our groomer, "Furry Friends Gentle Pet Grooming" in Canton.  When she arrived there, it was unsure if she was matted or may have tumors, so it was suggested she be taken directly to the vet.  We contacted our vet who allowed us to bring her in immediately.  The vet examined her and determined the "tumors" all over her were matted hair and suggested Tess's fur be shaved.  Poor Tess had been living with matted hair pulling on her skin. It must have really hurt but she was kind though it all. While at the vet's office, tests were run to see why she was so grossly overweight and if there was anything medical that needed immediate attention.  Tess was diagnosed with a thyroid condition causing her obesity in turn making it hard for her to breathe especially in the hot weather.  She also had an eye infection, ear infection, skin infection and urinary tract infection.  The veterinarian prescribed treatment for all Tess's conditions and she is improving.

 We do have to keep her on cranberry pills to keep her from getting a recurring urinary tract infection. She is also on thyroid medication and is slowly losing weight. She weighed 135, now about 120. She needed to go back to the vets office to adjust her thyroid medication. Michele put her in her car and drove the 10 miles to the vets office and Tess moved to the floor of the back seat. She actually was stuck in the car. It took Michele and 2 vet techs to get her unstuck. Her next visit to the vet was in an ambulance, really a horse trailer. Sometime, you gotta do what you gotta do! 

Michele helping Tess in the horse trailer.
She rode well and entered and exited with ease. 

Yes, Tess is available for adoption. Right now, she is living with Michele and several other rescue dogs.  It will take a special person who will even consider adopting Tess. She only has a limited time on earth but she deserves love. She never did anything wrong. I can only hope someone will care enough to lover her. For now, Michele will give her the care and the love she needs. She may be with Michele until she crosses the Rainbow Bridge. 

You are a compassionate person who cares. If you can't adopt, you can still help Tess. 
If you'd like to make a donation to go towards Tess' care, please see the Paypal link at the top right of the blog. Thank you so much!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Behind The Scenes

                  Act One-

He was wandering around rural north Georgia rummaging through garbage cans and garbage in ditches by the roadside to find something to eat.  Animal control was alerted when people were throwing sticks and stones at him to chase him out of their garbage. His teeth are cracked down to the gum most likely from chewing on a chain all his life, his flea-bitten skin from head to toe rubbed raw and infected, his eyes infected oozing with pus - it is a wonder he could even see, his ears bitten and bleeding from flies, his elbows calloused and swollen - a telltale sign from laying on cement for years, lesions on his back from deep scarring, and starving.  

I ask you, what rescue in their right mind would take this dog? It was heading toward the last few hours of his life. He was not considered adoptable. This dog would be destroyed never knowing any life except pain and hunger.

It's was a year just this past September 24, 2012, that Major, previously known as Cage #584, came to us from a rural animal control in absolutely deplorable condition.  No dog or animal is immune to stupid, uncaring, or just plain ignorant owners.  

Major is a beautiful purebred yellow lab and for his mere age estimate of seven years, was in despicable condition.  It is no wonder he was never claimed by his owners, they would have been charged with animal cruelty, at least I would hope they would. Animal control picked him up as a stray. Animal control officers are so over run with   unclaimed dogs and family pets turned in because the family found a free puppy or the kids are tired of their once beloved pet. Like an old toy, the dog is discarded. Our society looks the other way as millions of pets are killed at shelters, afraid, alone and dragged into a gas chamber to suffer until their last breath. 

It is unfortunate but with this economy, we smaller rescues have little money, rely on donations as we are not state-funded, and do not have enough foster homes to help all the dogs we would like, but Major was one we couldn't let be euthanized at animal control on a steel table all alone not knowing love at least one more time.  It wasn't his fault he was in this condition, it was because of a human; he deserved better so we just made room for "one more."  We weren't even sure if Major would live, but we knew we couldn't just leave him there.  This once  noble soul deserved more dignity.

Once Major arrived at home to our rescue, we made him a nice fluffy bed to rest his weary and emaciated body, and a nice bowl of quality dog food along with some chicken soup since as we all know chicken soup always makes you feel better.  Major seemed to be so relieved he slept so soundly for three days straight only to get up to eat and go outside, at times we would check him to make sure he was still breathing.  It seemed he was relieved he didn't have to scrounge for food, look out for predators, or find a place to sleep for the night out of harms way and the elements, after all the seasons were changing, winter was coming.

We scheduled Major for a check up with our vet.  He had a series of x-rays, blood tests and ultrasounds.  Along with the obvious infections as stated above, he was anemic from starvation, was diagnosed with megacolon (a condition in which waste remains in the colon causing the diameter of the colon to become abnormally enlarged. It can be a congenital or acquired condition; it can also be caused by trauma to the body, limbs and/or pelvic/spine area), was noted to have had extensive trauma and arthritis along his spine, and may have cancer.  He had intestinal blockages, which had to be removed before he was interested in eating. Perhaps he is older than seven, we just are not sure.  On a positive note, Major was determined to survive, and was surprisingly heartworm negative.  

What could Major's life have been like?  What had he gone through?  And for how long?  Was he just let go?  Was he "taken to the country" and left to fend for himself?  Where was he for so many years of neglect?

After months of research, testing, medication, good food, the love and devotion of his foster mom, Major is slowly gaining strength and endurance.  Along with the use of standard medications and holistic treatments, Major's megacolon has come under control.  We do still have to watch what and how he eats, but he has improved immensely. Having gone without food and companionship for so long, Major is still an indifferent eater and has to be tempted with variety. He will leave his food immediately if his foster mom leaves the room. He is determined he will not get left behind or abandoned again. He is happy, active and enjoying life. We will continue to work on Major’s health and ensure that he stays happy and healthy as long as possible.

Major is now the "grandfather" of the pack and schools all the young puppies.  He still follows his foster mom around from room to room, inside and out, as if he is still afraid of abandonment even after all this time, but that is "just dear Major," as his foster mom refers to him. 

Since we cannot guarantee his health, Major will remain a permanent resident of Canine Adoption Network to live the rest of his life loved and cherished with his foster mom.

If you would like to make a difference in a dog's life consider fostering.  If you cannot foster, consider sponsoring Major for a monthly donation of whatever you can afford, or a one time donation to Major or any other dog.  Every dollar helps.

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