Two weeks ago another rescue asked us to take a 12 year old one eyed Shih Tzu from them. They were concerned that she would be difficult to adopt due to her age and physical issue (only having one eye). We agreed and the cutest, spunkiest girl came along to live with us! She was all wags and wiggles! We named her Winky!
Winky fit right in with our crazy crew!! She loved the big back yard and climbing into our bed for long naps! She looked so forward to snacks and would do the cutest wiggle dance to get one. She had a happy spirit and an easy going nature and she was a joy to have around.
This afternoon when Adam took her lunch to her she was gone. She was sleeping peacefully and just slipped away. We are shocked and sad. She did not have any health issues that we were aware of.
We surround ourselves with lives that are fragile. We just have to remember to celebrate every day that we have with these angels. The last couple of days I have had the urge to give her a little more time, attention, snuggles, and kisses, and thank god I did. Thirteen days with you was not enough Winky Dink…we love you!
Early this morning I drove to Texarkana on a very special mission that actually started about three years ago….
Three years ago I saw a post on a rehoming page about an elderly woman in Arkansas who could no longer care for her Chihuahuas. One of them had no front legs. I was so worried that these dogs would end in the wrong hands that I went and got them. There was a third Chihuahua but she wanted to keep him for companionship. So at that time Rocky and Jack joined our family. Sadly, Rocky died in his sleep recently and Jack has a very bad heart so we are grateful for every day with him. Both are very sweet boys who were wonderful additions to our family!
I left Arkansas very concerned about this woman. Her health was very precarious and she was living in an area that was not safe. She has a daughter who is very devoted to her well being but the woman is difficult and makes it hard for her daughter to properly care for her. I also left concerned for the other Chihuahua. I planned to stay in touch with her to check on her well being but also to be available in the event that she needed help with the remaining dog. Unfortunately her health has continued to deteriorate and she could no longer care for him.
So today we made the journey to bring Tater to our home. My heart hurts for him. He has spent 18.5 years in the same home with his mom. He must be so confused. But we will work hard to make him feel at home. Daphne, Bella, Juliet and Macho made the trip with me and welcomed Tater.
We made our customary stop at Chick Fil A and sang Queen songs the whole way home and he looked like he was having fun! Tonight we trimmed his very long nails. met new friends and cuddled on the couch. It was a tiring but good day!
Hattie is a hard dog for me to write about, talk about or even think about although I do very often. She was only with us for a few weeks but the situation around her arrival speaks volumes about the problems with animal welfare in this country. I live in Texas and I think it is especially bad here. We have taken in many dogs that just literally ripped my heart out. Hattie was one of them.
I was asked to transport Hattie to a new home in Houston. I was meeting the women that were taking her in Waco. When the transporter arrived we discussed that she was in terrible shape. Her little body was very thin and she had lost a lot of fur. She looked like she had never been cared for. She probably wasn’t. As it turns out, Hattie had a chip but the “owners” never bothered to return the calls on Dallas Animal Services to reclaim her. In all likelihood they had put her out when she became old as often happens here. She was very weak, listless and just seemed to have given up. Elizabeth (@springblizzard) said she was sleeping on a hard concrete floor at the shelter with only a thin blanket and nasty food on a paper plate. When the adopters learned that she needed medical attention they decided that they were not able to take her. So, I had the choice to take her back to the shelter (a certain death) or bring her home. I chose the latter.
Hattie went to the vet first thing the following morning. She got a body score of one out of five, her teeth were so rotten they were encased in plaque, her sodium level was very low and her white and red blood cell counts were way off. They treated her for an infection (she had a badly abscessed tooth) with the plan that we would clear up the infection and then get her strong enough to have a dental. Some times that can change everything quickly. She was also tested for Addison’s Disease due to the low sodium. As the medication began to take affect Hattie started getting up and walking! She even went out in the back yard by herself and walked around! Then she laid in the sun. This happened for several days. She ate very good and we started to notice that she was putting on a little weight! We did notice that she had Dementia. This is evident when a dog walks in circles but does not have Vestibular Syndrome. We didn’t care! If she could get healthy and have some quality to her life we could live with Dementia. We have several others who also have it so she was in good company.
I don’t think Hattie ever had any love in her life. When she first came she tried to get away from us when we held her and tried to cuddle her. The concept seemed very foreign to her. It only took a few days for her to decide that she liked it and we held her often and told her how glad we were to have her with us. I hope she heard us. She was so tiny and she looked like a newborn baby lamb. Somewhere along the way her nose had been broken. She would lay in my lap and I would pet her little broken nose and wonder how it happened. Broken noses often happen due to rotting teeth. The infection from those teeth can cause other bones in the face to decay. This is what happened to Nochi. I hope it didn’t happen because someone hurt her.
Last Thursday I can home and found Hattie laying on the floor rather than on her bed. When I went to pick her up she was very cold. Her heart was barely beating. I knew it was too late to do anything. I wrapped her in a soft blanket and we held her until she took her last breathe. Even though she had only been here a short time it broke my heart and I have cried for days. Hattie was failed by everyone. Her owners should have been found and arrested but that will never happen because all they have to say is that they gave her away or she got out. The people who saw her throughout her life and never reported the neglect or tried to help her. And, the shelter should be held accountable for leaving a dog that sick and frail laying on a concrete floor with a thin blanket. We tried to help but it was too late. Too much damage had been done to her tiny body. If you ever wonder where your donations go, this is a great example. Our vet bills for Hattie alone were over $1,200. We didn’t win this time but I would try all over again.
Hattie deserved better and so do so many others. I will continue to try to change these lives in memory of all of the Hatties that have come through our home. We love you all.
Fate brought Trudy and me together… I took a short cut through a really bad neighborhood one day and I saw a darling terrier mix running down the middle of a busy street. I tried to get her in my car but I scared her and she ran out in traffic so I was afraid to try again. I remembered that the Humane Society was near there so I went there and asked for help. They said no. They told me that she had been thrown out of a moving car along with a box of puppies. They had retrieved the box of puppies and set a trap for her but when homeless people in the area stole the trap they had given up. They said they were not willing to try again due to the cost of the trap. I worried about her all night and finally made a post about the situation on Facebook. A wonderful woman contacted me and offered to help trap her. We tried for two days but she was just too smart!…. Finally, a bemused police officer who had been watching all of this suggested that we offer to pay the first homeless person to catch her $20. He said we would have her in five minutes. It turned out to be thirty seconds…. Trudy is much younger and much larger than most of the dogs that come through here but she is so loving and grateful to have a home that she will be a permanent resident of the nursing home for dogs… We love you sweetness!!…
We tend to partner with smaller shelters that are smaller and get less exposure. One of our very favorite shelters in in Corsicana, Texas. They are a very small shelter but they have a wonderful staff that really care about the animals and work tirelessly to get them out to safety. So, when they call we always try to help! Recently they called about fourteen senior dogs that had been left behind when their owner died. Two of them were very small and we agreed to take them and let them live out their lives with us. Their names are Hilde and Chico. The same day they asked if we could take Bella and we agreed. But for today I am going to focus on Hilde…
When Corsicana Animal Services arrived at the home of the deceased person they learned that all of the animals were living in rusty cages. There was a roommate that was feeding them thankfully but the conditions in the home were deplorable. Sadly, this is often the case with elderly that do not have the energy or the money to care for themselves, their homes or their pets. Many do not have family that is actively involved in overseeing them so they are left to fend for themselves. I think that may have been the case in this situation. The roommate said that Hilde is twenty years old. She had lived in that rusty cage for much of her life. Her teeth had rotted out of her head and she had horrible skin caused by fleas and I later learned malnutrition. You can see the missing fur in the attached photo. She was filthy and matted and actually appeared to be deceased when she arrived. Actually, I think she was just weak.
The first thing we did was to get her groomed. Once we did this it was like she was a different dog!! She became perkier and her eyes started to show some sign of life! I think the dirt and mats in her hair were really hurting her. She was very proud to show off how beautiful she was with her hair cut too! She paraded all around the back yard with her three good legs! The fourth leg is completely atrophied from an old injury. Interestingly, in recent weeks we have noticed her trying to use the bad leg. She has a renewed confidence in what she can do! Anyway, all of the other dogs admired her new haircut and let her know how darling they think she is!
Because Hilde is frail she likes to reign supreme from the safety of the sofa. Every day we put a big, soft blanket and she curls up right in the middle of it. She watches everything that goes on around her and barks out orders to Adam when she is hungry, thirsty or wants to go out. He is happy to comply! She deserves the best! We don’t know how long we will have Hilde. We were told that she was twenty years old when she came here but we are not sure. What we are sure of is that she will have the best days that we can give her right up until the very end. We are so lucky to get to give this precious girl a retirement home!
Several months ago two rescues went to a home where there were 32 dogs living in squalid conditions. The rescues each selected the dogs that they wanted and at the end there was one cage left on the back porch of the home. In that kennel was Lulu. She was the only dog not chosen by either rescue. Luckily, one of the rescues called me and I met them and got her. Lulu was not chosen because she is old and blind.
Shortly after Lulu came here one of my Instagram followers said they wanted to adopt her. Sadly she had some medical issues that delayed her trip there and they decided to adopt another dog. Maybe she was meant to stay here after all!!
Lulu has really come out of her shell. She loves snacks and loves the big back yard!! Even though she is blind she spends hours wandering around the yard but when she is ready to come back in she stops in her tracks and barks and barks! Royalty always gets carried into the house after all!!
Those rescues missed the boat and left the best girl behind!! So glad she’s mine!!
I first laid eyes on Cooper in Dog Alley at Canton Trade Days in East Texas. He was in a playpen at the back of a breeders booth. He was just cast aside. For me it was love at first site! I learned that the reason that he was not with the other puppies was because he is deaf and was deemed unadoptable and surely would have been dumped or put down. I asked the breeder if I could have him and he said yes. He was and still is the cutest puppy I have ever seen! He became my constant companion and best friend. We made many road trips to Florida together where we snuck him in the “no dogs allowed” beaches late at night so he could run on the beach!! He did this with such joy! Cooper has one black spot in the center of his forehead. I always told him that God put it there for me to kiss. I have kissed him there a zillion times.
Unfortunately due to bad breeding Cooper had many health issues. He has horrible allergies which have taken many medications to control. We are at the point where the medications are no longer working and he is suffering. He cannot enjoy the outdoors because of his allergies and because he scratches his face on the brick of our home until it bleeds. It is very hard to watch.
Last year Cooper was diagnosed with cancer. We have controlled it with medication but in the last thirty day’s he has lost five pounds although he is eating so it seems the cancer has spread. Today will be our last day together…..my sweet boy….I will love you forever…
Daphne (Daffers, Dafferdil, Daffy) was a wonderful surprise addition to our rescue! She came to us in an unusual way. Several months ago a sweet friend of mine went to a residence to pick up three dogs that were being surrendered to another rescue. She saw Daphne running around the neighborhood as a stray. She verified that she did not belong to anyone and picked her up thinking the other rescue would take her. The other rescue was full and suggested that we take Daphne. Since our rescue is focused on extreme seniors, hospice and special needs dogs and Daphne is a dwarf we were very glad to take her. It was one of the best decisions we ever made because we adore her! Daphne is very, very bonded to me. She tolerates Adam but she is my girl 100%.
Daphne is very determined to never let me out of her sight. If she sees me getting dressed she runs between my room and the door making sure that I cannot slip out! At night she sleeps with her body across my neck and if that becomes too hot she sleeps right by my head with her paw on my neck. I wake up many times during the night and give her a tiny kiss or cuddle. Daphne is very loving. She welcomes any new dog but also makes sure that they know that she is #1 girl in this household! Sometimes I think that she never had anyone to love her before now and that makes me sad because she is so sweet and precious. But, I am so glad to be the one that is the recipient of her affection and so glad to be able to give her the love and affection that she needs.
Daphne has many unique quirks. She has the funniest run because her body is so round and low to the ground and her legs are so short. Sometimes she gets running so fast that she starts rolling. She jumps right up from this and seems to be laughing at herself! She also rolls when she poops! Her center of gravity is so low that she is always off balance. Thankfully she is very good natured about pretty much everything! Daphne’s favorite thing in the universe is Chik Fil A!! There can be no car trip for her that does not involve this delicacy! Pretty much every CFA within a 20 mile radius knows her! Many times at the drive through the employees take her picture and laugh at her unbridled joy when she sees the bag containing her chicken headed out way!
Daphne is a younger dog. Our vet estimates her to be between 5 and 8 years old. Hopefully that will mean that we will have many years with her. Daphne was recently spayed and had her shots. She still needs a dental which she will have soon. Her breath does not smell like roses but it is not nearly as bad as many that come here with mouths full of rotten teeth. I cannot even imagine the pain and suffering that those babies go through before we meet them and can get their teeth taken care of! The expression “great things come in tiny packages” absolutely applies to this darling girl! Thank you for the many laughs every day my angel!
Nochi (Pinacchio) came into our rescue from another rescue several years ago. At that time his brother Noli (Cannoli) also came with him. They had been deemed “unadoptable” because they had come out of a situation of extreme abuse and neglect and had some health issues and behavior issues related to that abuse. I was shocked and heart sick when I met them. They were very thin and both of their mouths were so rotten that the entire inside of their mouth had decayed. Their jaws were very unstable. Noli was blind and Nochi is vision impaired. I stared at these poor, sweet souls and tears slid down my face. All I could think was “Why?”….I found out that they had been dumped along with five other dogs at a local shelter. No cruelty charges were filed. On their way out of the shelter their ‘owners” encountered someone in the parking lot who was coming in to surrender a puppy and they took that dog off of their hands. That poor baby….
We had only had them with us for about six months when Noli had a massive seizure and died before I could get him to the vet. I was really frustrated and angry. He had been with us for such a short time after a life time of abuse. It didn’t seem fair to me but life is not always fair sadly. I am just glad that he had a time in his life when his tummy was full, he had a soft bed, great vet care and most importantly love. He was a good boy and I am so glad that we got to know and love him. He is still very much missed.
Nochi is a total character. He is very opinionated and full of life. He loves to dance around the kitchen on his back legs and beg for treats! There are not enough treats in the world for him because he is always STARVING even after a big meal!! We have to put any treats way in the back of his mouth so he can hold onto it. He knows this and gladly holds his mouth open wide and leans his head back! Then he does a little happy dance and begins begging for the next treat!! He can be dead sound asleep and if the refrigerator door opens he will start dancing! Nochi has no bones in his nose which is kind of odd at first but we got used to it and now it is just one of the things that make him so unique! Nochi is an old man now (probably 16) but he can kee up with everyone else. He loves the big back yard and he adores his soft, comfy bed where all the girls want to cuddle up with him! He is handsome in an interesting way! There will never be another Nochi! I am so glad to share life with him!
What is the difference between a heart dog and a dog that someone loves very much? I have learned that while we love every dog that comes through our door immensely there are some that just grab ahold of your heart and you love them in a different way. It may be their background story. It may be that they remind you of a dog that you loved very much in your childhood. It may be that they look at you differently than the others or interact with you in a different way. I am not quite sure but I do know that heart dogs exist. Anyone who has been following me for very long knows that my ultimate heart dog was Wally. I rescued him from Mesquite Animal Services. He was a giant ball of matted fur, long nails and horrible attitude. He growled and snapped at me every chance he got and he was terrified of us and everything about us. He had obviously been treated very badly. When I had him groomed what I found underneath was four pounds of the cutest Pomeranian I had ever seen. He did not even look real. He blossomed into a total love bug although he always retained his sassy attitude including pulling my hair every night while he was perched on my pillow. I didn’t care! Everything he did was precious and I adored him. He died very unexpectedly three years ago. At that time I came as close to completely collapsing as I ever have. I cried so hard I screamed. I did not sleep or eat for many days probably even weeks. I have never grieved like that except for when my dad died. Wally was my baby and his death left a giant hole in my heart. It is still there but I have earned to deal with the pain and the hollow feeling but believe me, I thought for a long time that I needed grief counseling or a psychiatrist. I felt so lost without him. Part of me thought NEVER AGAIN will I love a dog that much but then came along Macho….
Macho and his mother landed at Dallas Animal Services for reasons that are unknown to me. They came to us via another rescue because they were older and difficult to adopt out. Machos mother, Flaca, was blind and he was very intent on looking after her. There are photos of him covering her with his tiny body in the shelter because she was very scared there. He has always been a protector and is certainly protective of me when he knows I am upset. Both of them had a very bad parasite when they came and that parasite had caused them to lose their hair. Although we cleared the parasite up their hair never grew back. Our vet said that particular parasite came from living in filthy conditions. Sadly, a year after they joined our family Flaca’s heart gave out and we lost her. Macho was devastated. Some people say that animals do not grieve but I know that is not true. I started taking him everywhere with me to try and cheer him up and he and I quickly bonded. I can honestly say that he is my best friend. Macho understands me. He is very in tune with my emotions and without speaking offers me great comfort and love. He is an amazing listener too! He is so much a part of me that I hate being away from him. Although I still miss Wally every day, Macho has helped my heart heal. His tiny quirks make me laugh and the fact that he always looks like he smells something bad is hilarious. This tiny boy that someone left in a loud, scary, dangerous shelter with no regard for his life means everything to me. It is true…one person’s trash is someone else’s treasure! He sure is mine!