Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gabrielle's Forever Home

About two years ago, I pulled a beautiful Border Collie out of the local pound before she was scheduled to be put down. She was a smart one too, she had learned how to open the kennel doors at the pound. When I put the slip leash around her neck, she was just terrified. Reluctant to get into the car, the other volunteer I was with and myself had to lift her in. We coaxed her into the shelter and put her in the kennel that was to become her home for the next two years.
Beautiful Gabrielle and I created a special bond with one another. Every time I walked in, she ran to the fence waiting for her kisses. If I was in the kennels and she wanted my attention, she would just bark and bark until she got me over to her. She was very afraid of all people, and men in particular. I would have to introduce her to someone new multiple times and they would have to spend a lot of time with Gabrielle for her to warm up to them. She and I created a game where she ran inside and so did I. Then she ran back out and so did I. Then, the last part of the game was for her to show all of her top teeth to me as a smile. Oh, how Gabrielle loved to play.
But, as much as she and I loved one another, it was still very sad that this beautiful angel was sitting in our shelter for two years with no interest. Finally, one wonderful day, a lady came in and stated that she had seen Gabrielle on our website for a couple of months now. She had been looking for a companion for a while, and just kept coming back to the picture of Gabrielle. So, the introductions started. She was very nervous at first, but her foster mommy was right by her side, so it was okay. This wonderful lady spent a lot of time letting Gabrielle warm up to her and her husband came down to meet Gabrielle as well. Though Gabrielle was apprehensive, she was alright with the husband too!!
Time for the home visit. Everything was basically alright, Gabrielle stayed fairly close to me though-comfort of mommy. Everything was well with the home visit, so I put the leash on Gabrielle and had her new mommy take her outside to walk around without me, her security blanket. Myself and the other volunteer observed them in the yard without Gabrielle knowing it. When we felt comfortable that Gabrielle would be alright until she was completely comfortable in her new home, we snuck out the front door.
Gabrielle's new mommy has since called us and told us that Gabrielle is doing great. She has taken to her new mommy very well, but is still reserved about her new daddy. But, the patient man that he is, he is fine with her reservations and knows that one day she will come around.
What a wonderful miracle for Gabrielle!

My Beloved Phoebe

My little Phoebe came to me when she was just a tiny 3 1/2 week old kitten. She had a brother we named Bing and they were just beautiful. Both of them had conjunctivitis so bad their eyes were "pasted" shut, they were both entirely too skinny, and little Phoebe was terrified. Bing got along well from the start...he gave kisses and hugs and loved to purr. Phoebe was scared to even be held. So, I started putting her inside my shirt. Oh, she loved it!! She was close to me yet still felt hidden. We did this for about two weeks straight and she just seemed to come around.
Well, Phoebe and Bing got sterilized and vaccinated and were ready for adoption. Bing found a home were there was a young boy who just fell in love with him and wanted to play with him all the time. Phoebe found a home with a single woman who had just rescued another kitten and wanted to find her a friend.
After Phoebe went home, her new adoptive mother called to tell us Phoebe and her new sister were getting along great and that Phoebe still loved to climb inside shirts and robes. She would just lay there purring and sleeping.
Then something horrible happened. Phoebe's new mom chose an elective surgery for poor Phoebe, declawing. How anyone could mutilate a kittens hands and cut their fingers off at the first knuckle is beyond me. And if this little angel had already been anesthetized to be spayed, why would you anesthetize her again just 3 months later? Well, without our knowledge, (for we would not have approved of our little Phoebe being declawed), her new mom decided to have this procedure done. Her new mom uses the same veterinarian as we do and I happened to walk in for another purpose and got to kiss my Phoebe goodbye, for she had gone in to cardiac arrest on the table and the veterinarian could not pull her out.
Unfortunately, when a person choses to make a decision for a voluntary surgery to mutilate a baby, the outcome is never good. Whether it is that the baby will now have to live with the tips of her fingers cut off or the poor baby doesn't pull through surgery, this type of procedure is inhumane and uncalled for.
With all my love, rest in peace my beloved Phoebe!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Irresponsible Pet Ownership

When people surrender their animal for adoption, one of the most common excuses is: "The kids are not taking care of the animal any longer."
I just recently had a dog surrendered to me for that very reason. When the man came to the door, I asked him why he wanted to get rid of his dog. He said his daughter didn't want the animal any longer. I asked how old the child was and he said 12! I literally said to him, "WOW! I didn't know a 12 year old made that sort of decision in your household!" He told me that the kids were not being responsible for the care of the animal any longer. When I asked him if he realized that the responsibility ultimately fell on he and his wife, he said yes and that is why we are getting rid of the dog. To teach the children that they lose the animal if they don't care for it.
Unfortunately, we hear this excuse far too often. People obviously don't realize what they are teaching their children is not responsibility, but irresponsibility. An animal is a life, it is not something that is disposable such as their video games. Teaching responsibility is by example. The example here states that when you are finished with something, living or not, you can just discard it. When in fact, the parents should be just as active in walking the dog, cleaning up behind the dog, feeding and watering the dog, and taking care of the dog's medical needs. A parent should then include their child in these activities and show them the proper way to care for the animal. When the child grows up having to care for the animal, seeing their parents care for the animal, and having the animal for it's lifetime, that teaches commitment, love, nourishing behaviors, and RESPONSIBILITY. The child will then take all of these lessons into life with them. They will be able as adults to care for an animal properly, a child and a relationship. Everything we learn in life is so much more complex than what it appears on the surface. When we say it is okay to disregard something as important as a life, how can we expect these children to grow up into responsible parents and husbands or wives? They have been taught that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

"The greatest of a nation, and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated." A very wise quote from Ghandi.

Examine what our children are taught about animals and how they should be cared for and see what these same children do in every aspect of their lives as adults.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hope for Sugar

At the local Animal Control Shelter (aka-the pound), a poor little puppy was picked up. They quickly contacted us when they saw this little angel's personality and the condition that she was in. I rushed up there and there I saw my Sugar. She is a white, with a little brown, wire hair terrier mix. She is just barely a year old and weighs in at only 23 Lbs.
When I arrived at the Animal Control, the officers had kept her in the office with them until I got there. Then I saw it. A choke chain collar grown INTO her neck. And yet, she was still running around and giving kisses to anyone that would have them. I quickly threw her in the car and took her to the vet. There, they had to literally cut the chain out of her neck and stitch her neck shut.
We gave her some pain medications to help ease her pain and some antibiotics to help heal the horrible infection she obviously had going. Animal Control, due to the strict restrictions that are placed on them, are not able to definitely prove ownership, so therefore, they are unable to press charges against the heartless people that did this to our sweet little Sugar.
She has now been spayed and vaccinated and is up for adoption and I know in no time at all, this darling angel is going to find her forever, loving home. Thanks to the caring officers for picking her up and calling us to help her, there is now hope for Sugar.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

My first bottle babies

I love helping orphaned kittens. My first set of orphaned kittens came to me a couple of years ago and they were all of 1 DAY OLD! Everyone that I spoke with to get advice told me not to be upset if I "lost" any of them. That trying to pull babies that young through was very difficult. I got my own formula for them-because the store bought stuff is based on cow's milk which a cat cannot digest-so I had to find my own. Then I started.
The first night was very trying. The three little babies just cried and cried and cried. No matter how much I fed them or how much I stimulated them to go potty. Then, upon doing more research, I found out that these little angels cannot shiver for the first 2-3 weeks of their life. So, I got a heating pad and they were happy as could be. THEY WERE COLD!
I got up with them every two hours so they could eat. I had to bathe them and then blow dry them (again, very important not to let them get cold), but I had to be very careful there too, because you don't want to burn them with the hot heat of the blow dryer.
They were all doing very well, and when they were about a week and a half old their eyes opened! It was so wonderful to know that they could see me for the first time.
There were two orange tabby males and one gray tabby female. For those that know the cartoon Garfield, you will understand where I got the names from. Garfield and Odie for the two orange males, and Nermal for the gray female. (In the cartoon, Nermal was Garfield's gray tabby cousin.) They were just the sweetest little angels I had ever seen in my life.
A few more weeks passed and it came time to start weaning them. Garfield and Odie did exceptionally well, but little Nermal was not in the least interested in the canned food I offered her. She kept drinking her milk while her brothers ate their canned food, drank a little milk, and learned how to drink water. The boys were growing wonderfully, but poor little Nermal stayed just that, little Nermal. She wasn't getting much sustenance, and therefore not gaining weight. Her brothers started to play a little rougher, as kittens do, and it scarred me for Nermal because she was so much smaller. I pulled her away from her brothers into her own room so they couldn't be rough with her and she stopped eating. She started to get weak and I was so scarred she was going to die. I made numerous phone calls asking for advice, but everyone told me it sounded like she was about to die and to prepare myself. NO! I couldn't let my little Nermal die, I just had to figure out what was the matter. The only thing I had done different was take her from her brothers, so I thought maybe I should put her back. RELIEF!! She started eating again...SHE WAS LONELY!!!
Now, at three months of age, Garfield and Odie are about 2.5 Lbs, and little Nermal, still not eating solid foods, is only 11 oz.!! Again, very concerned for her welfare, to be that old and weigh what a 3 week old kitten should weigh scarred me. Then, a very dear friend of mine told me to try this hard food that has very tiny kibble. I went and got a bag, offered her some, and it was like a miracle, Nermal started to gobble it like it was the best food in the world. Then she started growing by leaps and bounds. Through all of this, she had an adoptive home waiting on her and rallying for her. They finally were able to take their little angel home. One of their friends took Garfield and I kept Odie. They are all now 2 years old and Nermal is bigger than both of her brothers.
And to this day, she will not touch canned food.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My love of animals

I love animals with everything I am worth. All animals are angels. They are on this planet to love unconditionally and they are always happy to see you. I think there are far too many people that do not put enough "stock" in animals. I once read a story of how a young boy, about 6 years old, had a dog that had been in his life since he was born. The dog was about 15 years old and just at the end of his life. The parents set up with the vet to come to their home to put the beloved pet to sleep. After the dog had passed, the vet and the parents are talking about death and why animals have so much shorter a life-span than humans. The young boy pipes up with "I know the answer to that question." All the adults very interested in what the boy had to say, they asked him to proceed. "Humans have to live so many years to learn how to be happy and how to love unconditionally. Animals already do that and therefore do not have to spend a life-time figuring it out. They give love and happiness from the moment they are born to the moment they die, which is possibly longer than most humans." What a divine statement from such a young child!!
I think we can all learn so much from animals. We claim to be the superior species because of all of our technology. But, think of this...All of our technology is what is destroying the very planet on which we have to survive!! The animals, in my point of view, are far more superior than humans. They do not destroy the planet they live on, they simply live off of it. They also do not rape, murder, and steal as humans do. They do battle yes, but it is the survival of the fittest and not lets kill everyone.
For those who think, which I have heard many times working in animal rescue, that "God" created animals simply as disposable items for our pleasure...think of this. If that was in fact the case, then WHY WAS NOAH SO DILIGENT TO GET TWO OF EVERY SPECIES ONTO HIS ARCH?! Because they are not disposable and are just as important as humans. They do have feelings and souls. I have looked into the eyes of countless animals and no one in the world can ever convince me otherwise.