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.

Paypal Address is

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover" nor a dog!

January 2012 was no different than any other month. In rescue, we are always getting email pleas and telephone calls to help save an animal. Sadly, I have to delete so many messages because it tears at my heart. So many animals are euthanized because the owner doesn't have their pet spayed or neutered. There is an overpopulation, it is so unfair to these animals. A North Georgia animal control facility sent out their regular plea for animals needing rescue as they required room for more unwanted pets and/or strays that just keep arriving by the day. These dogs are literally on death row. So, we stepped in, how could we not squeeze another dog in to our already crowded foster homes. We have great foster homes, that's how. They are willing to sacrifice their time and space for one more life! We offered to take four dogs.

After all the dogs on death row had been spoken for by us and other rescues, one remained. She would be killed because no one came forth for her. She was a three to four-year-old Jack Russell mix and had been there way too long; tomorrow was euthanization day. Animal control had named her “Kay.”

Some people shy away from Jack Russell’s and Jack Russell mixes because they are typically known to be quite hyperactive, and unfortunately at times can be harder to adopt. As animal rescue has gotten harder with the downturn in the economy, adoption has become harder, foster homes scarce, donations tapering, and animal rescues are not exempt from hard times.

As this animal control told us about “Kay,” a sweet female Jack Russell mix that had been overlooked for weeks, euthanization day fast approaching, and she was the only one left, what could we do? Looking into those sweet eyes to her beautiful soul, we agreed to take her. Having little room for the four we already agreed to take in, well what’s one more!

This little girl came to my house greeted by all of my other foster dogs as well as personal dogs, all well over 50 pounds. Poor little “Kay” weighs a whopping 20 pounds soaking wet! She met each dog one at a time, showed herself to be submissive, and in no time was part of the pack. She quickly caught on when eating time was, play time, quiet time, and sleep time.

After her quarantine period, she was spayed, microchipped and appropriately vaccinated. As Kay was so sweet, we renamed her Mini Sweet Pea as I already have a Sweet Pea, who is a sweet pea for real. My Sweet Pea was abandoned at a farm in Blue Ridge many years ago. My husband and I were looking at property and we found her living in an old couch with no cushions in an old rickety barn in the dead of winter. She was so happy to see people, she wiggled all the way over to us when she saw us. She has been one of the sweetest dogs we ever have had. It became confusing in my house when I had two sweet Peas, I renamed “Kay” Pumpkin.

While under my foster care, Pumpkin was quiet, submissive, totally housebroken, great with other dogs, quiet all night (and slept in my bed), just absolutely perfect, and I was falling in love! I knew I was doomed and had to do something quickly or I would have yet another personal dog! As any one who fosters how easy it is to “fall in love” with the foster pet. You get to know them, know how wonderful they are and worry no one will appreciate them like you do. They love you back too, so much, it gets hard to let go. It is a struggle.

I contacted Penne, a great foster home that has smaller dogs, and asked if she would consider fostering this Jack Russell. She looked at me like, “What! Are you crazy! A Jack Russell? They’re maniacs.” I assured her this one was different…truly. Penne agreed, I think somewhat reluctantly, but albeit agreed; but how could this be, a quiet Jack Russell, rare and unheard-of.

Once again Pumpkin proved herself to be a perfect little lady. While Penne was bragging about this little girl at work one day, word got around that she was available for adoption for that perfect home. A family with a young daughter contacted Penne asking to meet Pumpkin.

Emma and Pumpkin, February 2012
Maggie and her daughter Emma came to Penne's house and met Pumpkin one evening before a long holiday weekend, thinking that if Emma and Pumpkin fell in love with one another, Pumpkin would have the long weekend to adjust to her new home. They did fall in love with one another and Pumpkin was immediately adopted. 

Throughout the four day weekend Penne was sent “updates” through text messages and email with comments and pictures showing how happy Emma is with her new Pumpkin, which by the way, is her mom's pet name for Emma!

Little did we know that day that this girl slated for euthanasia in a matter of less than 24 hours would turn out to be the perfect little princess Pumpkin bringing joy to all the lives she touches.  

Always keep an open mind, your heart open and loves comes pouring in...