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...