Lucy …

… is ready to go to her new home!  Lucy — a 2.5-year old Lhasa Apso — arrived about five weeks ago, the product of a divorce in progress.  The owner, now a single mom and working long hours, made the decision to do what was best for Lucy.  And that did not include being crated for nine to twelve hours a day.

Lucy is a red/white parti-color Apso.  On the small side, she weighs about 13.5 pounds.  A very smart dog, she needs an owner that can work on training with her.  IOW, you need to be smarter than the dog!  Lucy would do best in a home where the owner was either semi-retired, retired or worked from home a good portion of the day — no children under the age of 12, please!  She gets along with other dogs and the resident feline.

She is crate trained, house trained, current on her vaccinations, tested negative for heartworms, recently had a dental, and has a micro-chip (lifetime registration of the ‘chip to the new owner is included in the adoption fee).  Lucy is a loving dog who likes to chill on the couch with her pack … or a walk is just as good.

If interested in Lucy, please contact me directly at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.  Please note we will require an e-application, vet/personal reference checks and, finally, a home visit.

Lucy

Darkness Has Settled …

… bringing with it the frigid temps of a Colorado winter.  Fourteen inches of new snow have fallen since Thursday evening, blanketing the previously brown winter landscape.  It is late Friday night and ice crystals still float in the air … whether wind-borne from the snow cornices drooping on the roof’s edge or falling from the low grey clouds, I cannot tell.  The deepening silence and chill is fitting for contemplation and composition of tonight’s post …

Jackson ...

Jackson came to rescue in 2009, a casualty of the down turn in the economy.  His owner now worked two jobs and no longer had the time or funding to take care of him.  Giving him up was very difficult as the owner had planned to begin training to make him a therapy dog.  

Fostered by Michelle in Wellington, Jackson’s stint in rescue was a relatively short one.  Linda first met Jackson at the Fort Collins Fire Hydrant 5 where we had a rescue/breed booth set up … and where she was immediately smitten with this little dog.  Shortly thereafter, in May of 2009, Linda and Troy added Jackson to their family.  As Jackson was such a nice little dog and didn’t know the word “stranger,” Linda took on the owner’s goal and they became certified as a therapy team.  Linda later fostered Jasper for us and we got to see her and Jackson on numerous occasions as time went by.  Jackson was one of those dogs whose face exuded joy.  No matter the circumstance or the activity, he was a happy dog, his eyes a sparkle.

Linda called me from the veterinary teaching hospital at CSU on January 19th, advising that Jackson had awoke that morning, unable to walk or use his back legs.  After evaluation and diagnostics by the vets, they were of the opinion Jackson had suffered a fibrocartilaginous embolism.  While not rare per se, it is more commonly found in large dogs.  Linda wrote later:

This was harder than I thought. Jackson was put to sleep on Thursday night. He had an autopsy at CSU and then cremated. He is still sitting on our counter and I’m not sure why? Anyway it was a FCE. An embolism. A piece of spinal cord broke off, traveled through a blood vessel and went back to the spine. By the time it lodged, much of the spinal cord had blown. Meaning, the paralysis would have eventually gone to the sternum and suffocated him. There was nothing to do. Pretty rare for a small dog, but the age group was right. He was filmed by CSU through all this is and will be immortalized by teaching vets about this. I’ve attached some photos of the boy. He was truly special and we are a little lost without him. We were honestly loved by Jackson.

As pet owners, we all know that life is transient with our beloved companions.  We watch as the years tick off, collecting vignettes in time from which to draw upon for comfort when we have to let them go.  However, I don’t think any of us can steel our hearts for the untimely loss of a healthy, young dog.  Linda mentioned to me in a phone call how fitting it was that this therapy dog in life would — in death — go on to teach the healers among us.

Jackson cruisin' on the ATV

Jackson’s cremains will be interred in the family plot at some point.  For now, and for as long as it takes until that happens … he’s home.  And I know, without a doubt, that this would have been Jackson’s last Will.

Godspeed, little one.  It was an honor to have been a part of your life.

A Different Perspective on Rescue …

"It's All About Attitude" (from the exceptionally talented artist at ArgoStar.com)

I used to say I’d live in a box before I’d give up my animals, years ago before my involvement with rescue as a coordinator.  Over time, my rescue experiences have brought about a different perspective  Honestly … would living in a box be fair to my animals?  If life’s circumstances had deteriorated to the point that I’m living in a box, would I even be able to provide food or medical care for them? Would it be fair to ask them to live such a life?  Am I truly thinking of them … or my own emotional needs?

These questions come roundabout as a result of one of the “ask” forums.  Someone was asking if it would be “okay” for them to return a dog recently adopted from a shelter.  The dog’s age and size were misrepresented or misunderstood at some point in the adoption process and the new owner thought he was getting dog that would grow to be much larger.  The dog was small and was going to stay small … not what the new owner had expected or wanted.

The ensuing comments were vitriolic — to say the least — and expounded on what a bad person the poster was.  My reaction, just the opposite:  return the dog to the shelter so it could have a chance at a life with an owner who wanted a small dog and who could appreciate its many qualities.  Why doom the dog to a lifetime with someone who wasn’t happy with it from the get go?  Do we really think that shaming the owner into keeping the dog is going to change how they feel about the dog?

The flip side is that rescue would like to see every prospective owner carefully consider the impact of adding an animal to their household.  Do they have the time needed for care, training, and socialization?  Do they have the financial means to provide food and medical care?  What breed of dog is most suitable to their lifestyle and home?  Are there small children in the home?  Anyone with allergies?  Are they prepared to commit to the dog for its lifetime?

While it would be great if every dog lived out their life in one home — their forever home — I also understand that there are some circumstances beyond our control.  Surrendering an animal to rescue takes forethought and having the animal’s best interest at heart.  Yes, we still get the occasional lame excuses and, really, I don’t care when considering the big picture.  It is not my place to judge … my responsibility as rescue is to see that the surrendered dog is placed in a home that meets the dog’s needs on every level.  If someone comes up with a seriously lame excuse, then that dog really needs to be some place else!!  If their reasons for surrender are valid or beyond one’s control, then we have to recognize their efforts to do what is best for the dog when they could just drop it off at a shelter and walk away (or worse, yet).

In the end, all that truly matters is the dog and what his or her life is going to be from that point forward. 

And the little dog returned to the shelter?  While the owner was standing in line for the return, she was adopted on the spot.

Sharing …

… photos as promised!  Our latest foster, Sang-Po, has been in his new home since just before Thanksgiving.  During a marathon of should-have-been-done-before-Christmas errands done in the New Year, I finally got the new family photos taken.  Sang-Po joins BooBoo (a former foster), Kathy and Don in Loveland.  Sang-Po is a good boy, a loving boy … but definitely still a puppy and is keeping them on their toes!

Murphy, our long-legged boy

During the holiday season, I so enjoy hearing from folks who have adopted one (or two) of our former fosters.  Often times the greetings are accompanied by photos, which is of particular delight as many of our fosters came in and leave as young dogs so we get to see how they’ve matured.  The blond boy Murphy is now red gold … Elwood has lots of freckles and a new name (Leonardo) … Bubba has a new name (Max), a new canine sibling (Abby) and sports a thick, healthy coat.  The greatest gift is, however, knowing they are well loved and an integral part of the new family.  To those who shared photos, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Lou, DaVinci (f/k/a Sterling), DeLores, Piccalo, Dean and Leonard (f/k/a Elwood)
Cindy, Max (f/k/a Bubba) & Abby

It is also a time when we must reflect on these little lives, so much more temporary than our own.  Word arrived that we lost Buddy to heart failure.  He was our foster from Casper who was placed twice by the shelter in Casper … and returned twice … before landing in rescue in Loveland.  He then went on to live in Aurora with Sonya in 2006.

Gone, too, is Ms. Frisky Boots at the grand age of 16-years old.  Her elderly owner had died and the family surrendered her in 2004 when it became painfully obvious (literally) that Miss Frisky and the four-year boy in the house could not co-exist.  Having met the child, I’d have bitten him as well.  Miss Frisky had a long, full life with Roberta and Vincent in Wheat Ridge and I know they are sorely missing her.

So it is we start the New Year.  Thankful for the families who share their hearts and homes with the rescues … and tucking away memories of those special dogs who have crossed my doorstep.  Soon, very soon, I will welcome two others as they begin a new journey in rescue.  Stay tuned!

It’s All In the Numbers …

Edie -- Ambassador for the Breed

On September 18, 2011, I attended the “Bark in the “Park” expo sponsored by the Arapaho Kennel Club at the beautiful Exposition Park in Aurora.  Dante’s co-owner/breeder came down with two of her dogs who had the very important assignment of being breed ambassadors.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day in Colorado!

While there, we did an intake on a puppy being surrendered to rescue.  Notable in the fact it was a puppy — we rarely get puppies in rescue — and this marked our 40th foster dog.  Doesn’t seem like 40 fosters but it is when counting them down.  Of those 40, 37 have gone on to new homes.  Unfortunately, three of our fosters were euthanized while in foster care … two for unprovoked biting issues and one for medical issues.  That’s probably the hardest part of rescue [euthanasia]  because “rescue” isn’t supposed to end that way. 

Sang-Po ... a happy boy!

In any event, meet our newest foster … Sang-Po!!  Given a Tibetan name in homage to his ancient origins, it means “kind and gentle.”  That describes this boy to a “T”.  He’s a very loving dog and would like nothing better than to sit in one’s lap.  His ideal home would be one with a dog in residence — a dog that likes to play and is willing to put up some puppy antics.  A home where the new owner will follow through on the crate training and finish up his house training (he’s working diligently on the house training but he’s still a puppy and will need an owner that can provide routine and consistency). 

He’s still in the assessment/training phase of foster care and will not be placed in a home until the end of October.  However, we are accepting applications at this time.

Make sure you get my good side ... and my pearlies

Another One Home …

Tootsie, Jane & Jerry

Tootsie had the good fortune to find her forever home in late June.  Jane and Jerry from Cheyenne made a special trip down to meet Tootsie at our rescue booth at the Fort Collins Fire Hydrant 5k … it was love at first sight!!  Ten days later, she was on her way to Cheyenne.  I have no doubt that Tootsie is loving her new home and being a part of a family.  Whether she’s ever had that in the past, we’ll never know … but it is certainly her life now.  She’s settled in and is doing quite well … and probably getting a bit spoiled, if the truth be known  lol.

You’ll note the background in the photo is a change up from our usual “family photos.”  That’s because our house is down for the count for the time being.  We’re in the midst of a home update which included taking out all the carpet and putting in hardwood throughout the house.  Between the carpet’s age, all the dogs, and the pukin’ cat, it was either replace it or go to hard surface.  We chose hard surface and haven’t looked back … most likely because there isn’t anything to look back on.  To get to hardwood, we had to completely move everything off the main floor.  With the exception of what’s in the kitchen cabinets, literally everything is either in a box in the basement or sitting in the garage, covered with a sheet.  Even my “kitchen” is in the garage, making cooking a real challenge as it’s either microwave, grill or crockpot.  Today, all the sinks in the house come out as the new counters will be installed on Monday.  Alan keeps reminding me I should be thankful we at least have one functioning sink … in the garage.     :::sigh:::    Obviously, his morning routine to get ready for work doesn’t include a sink being handy!

A Good Day …

… to be a dog in Colorado!  That was the theme for our rescue booth at the Larimer Humane Society’s Fire Hydrant 5k in Fort Collins on June 11th.  We had a beautiful Colorado day for the event — bright blue skies and light breeze.  Our fosters, Tootsie and Leo, were in attendance putting their best  paw forward.

Our thanks to the foster families who brought them up for the day!  Deb and Elle brought Leo and then participated in the 5k which is a fund-raiser for the Larimer Humane Society.  Kay and Dave were in attendance with Tootsie.

As it turns out, Tootsie met her soon-to-be family at this event … Jane and Jerry who made a special trip down from Cheyenne, WY just to meet Tootsie.  We’ll be posting more on that later!

I received a special treat for the day … Jaime who came up from Denver just so we could visit with her and Mae-Mae!  She’s done well in her new home and is, how shall we say … just a tad bit spoiled  lol.  Some more photos from the day …

Leo, Tootsie and Kay
Dave, Kirby (f/k/a Ruffy) and Alan
Leo ... lookin' for love!

Leo is a 3-year old neutered male who would do best in a home where he had no exposure to small children or grandchildren — older teenagers would be fine.  He is current on vaccinations, tested negative for heartworms, is on a HW preventative, had a rear dewclaw removed, and a microchip implanted.  Leo gets along with dogs and cats alike.  His ideal home would be where he had a canine friend that likes to play.  Leo is also crate trained and house trained.

If interested in Leo, please contact:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.