Friday, April 30, 2010

A Sense of Failure

Silverwalk recently became part of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, Inc. in Jackson, MO, a licensed, 501c3 tax exempt sanctuary mostly for cats with some dogs and now Silverwalk Hounds. Silverwalk remains in Cape Girardeau County, MO, specializing in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Silverwalk Hounds for more information about Silverwalk and Safe Harbor, our dogs and "adorable adoptable" cats needing very good homes.

I have failed.  I fave failed a dog and his rescue.  Scout is an English Coonhound.  He was at his original shelter for a month and a half, not putting on weight and thin as a rail.  Very scared, very nervous.  No one looked for him though he had a hunter's collar w/a tracking device on.  Rifle shots send him into the house; almost anything out of the ordinary sends him to a safe place, meaning his crate or the back of the car.   I have had Scout for over two years.  He has made some progress but is still very nervous, very reactive.  He will walk w/me and volunteer dog walkers; he loved going to CGC class w/Melanie - he was there to socialize as we knew he would not pass his CGC.  He loved class - well, he loved being picked up by Melanie, anyway :).

If I am not very careful, Scout will get into squabbles w/other dogs - sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses but always it is the result of his basic insecurity.  I failed his rescue by not keeping them informed of his progress and then, lack thereof.  They were very surprised and dismayed to learn how difficult his life still was....after some email discussion, we have agreed Scout needs to return to his rescue - they will try to find him a foster home w/fewer dogs and much less turnover than I have here  :(.   I was not always polite  - for some reason, because those of us directly involved w/Scout knew what was going on, I expected his rescue to know the same....unfortunately, no one else can read minds, either.  I know part of my impoliteness was my frustration at not being able to "fix" Scout.  However, I wasn't able to "fix" Lady Bird, either and she is flourishing in her new foster home - even enjoying doggie day care!

Bottom line - I failed to communicate.  This rescue loves their dogs and goes to the mat for them; so do I and I have respected and liked fostering for them for several years.  Why did I not think they would be understanding?  Do I always have to be right? (no, Mom, you cannot answer that - even from heaven).  

The upside is we have now communicated, we have discussed what would be best for Scoutie Pie and that will happen hopefully at the end of next week.  Current plan is to seek a foster home w/fewer dogs, continue to use his crate and then, seek a one dog home.  Scout deserves better - and so does his rescue. 

Fosters, remember to keep your rescues up to speed on your dogs, especially, as I do, you live far from them.  Rescues need to ask how dogs are doing as well - which this one was but I had it under control, don't you know, until I didn't :(.   ALWAYS do what is best for the dog.  Sometimes it means acknowledging you have done all you can for a dog and he needs to move on. 

This post is an apology to both PAWS of Marion, AR and to Scout.  For me, it is a learning experience from which I plan to benefit the next and current dogs, as well as their rescues.  I want to be the very best, small sanctuary possible - most times,  I fall short.  Learn every day.... then apply and assess. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rest Peacefully every Day

Here is a heart warming photo from the news 
in Sana Catarina, Brazil.
 
A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard.  
During the night,
the folks came across this scene.
 
An abandoned dog was looking for a 
comfortable, protected place 
to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. 
 
No one had the heart to send him away, 
so he was there all night. 
 We should all have the good sense of this dog 
and curl up in   
 Jesus's lap from time to time.

 This was an email shared with me from two sources.  Thank you!   

Silverwalk recently became part of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, Inc. in Jackson, MO, a licensed, 501c3 tax exempt sanctuary mostly for cats with some dogs and now Silverwalk Hounds. Silverwalk remains in Cape Girardeau County, MO, specializing in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Silverwalk Hounds for more information about Silverwalk and Safe Harbor, our dogs and "adorable adoptable" cats needing very good homes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Silverwalk finds a Safe Harbor and Two "Seniors" go Puppy

Silverwalk recently became part of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, Inc. in Jackson, MO, a licensed, 501c3 tax exempt sanctuary mostly for cats with some dogs and now Silverwalk Hounds. Silverwalk remains in Cape Girardeau County, MO, specializing in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Silverwalk Hounds for more information about Silverwalk and Safe Harbor, our dogs and "adorable adoptable" cats needing very good homes.

So, this evening, I put Agnes in Scout's inside crate for her safety as both Katey and Cane were in the house.  Agnes is losing both her hearing and sight, I fear.  She doesn't well tolerate much commotion any more.  Commotion?  I only had two older dogs in the house along with Shiloh, sweetie pie Beagle.  Did you hear the rumble?  Those two "old" dogs were playing like puppies.  Katey would go after Cane with her nose down.  He would whip around and chase her into the back room where SHE would whip around and chase him into the front room.  Folks, that was well over 160# of dogs thundering through the house - and they sure didn't sound like the Dachshund mix puppies of the recent past, Pip and Squeak!  Katey is 6 y/o, a blind Bloodhound and Cane is a new foster, an 11 y/o Bernese/Husky mix.  Incredible to see them both playing and having a great time.  At this moment, both are sacked out on the floor sleeping and snoring.  I am not disturbing them as I, too, need to get some sleep. 

T. came and picked up Bailey today, taking her to her new home w/T. and her new canine sibling, Sally.  I have already heard that Bailey and Sally have hit it off with Bailey riding well in the car from Cape to KS.  The plan is to spend the summer in the mountains.  I wonder if I can get adopted, too :). 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Calling your Attention to....

Dog Rescuer's Life is a blog I follow daily.  Amy has tons of information, support and yes, rants.  She allows those of us in rescue & sanctuary to vicariously rant and rave about stupid simply by reading her blog.  Recently she was interviewed by the Pet Talk Blog.  Here is the link: www.paw-talk.net/blog/must-love-dogs. I encourage everyone to read her interview, then THINK about what she is saying.  No, we are not all rescuers, work in shelters or have sanctuaries.  However, we all have been given the gift of a mind which can take in information.  USE IT.   The animals, earth and your fellow humans will thank you for your applied, knowledgeable compassion.  Thanks, Amy!

Silverwalk is a small, private, licensed dog sanctuary in Cape Girardeau County, MO. It specializes in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Silverwalk Beagle & Hound Sanctuary, Inc. for more information about Silverwalk and our dogs needing homes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sanctuary

A fellow Safe Harbor board member questioned my changing Silverwalk adoption fees to more match those of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, Inc., of whom Silverwalk is now a small division and, being so, 501c3.  She had recently put to sleep a senior Boston who had cancer, white gums and was lethargic.  This was my reply.  I  hope it encapsulates what Silverwalk is all about.  It really has nothing much to do w/the Boston.  I never saw her so do not know if I would agree w/her dying or not.  I was most concerned about the cost vs life issues.

"Careful reading, M., will show we at Silverwalk never got the higher adoption prices anyway.  Very good homes are worth my needing to work an extra shift now and then. 

Your Boston was lethargic and a little off?  Was she still happy? 

I don't believe in suffering, either, but I will allow a dog to live her life as long as she is happy - I set up 3 qualifiers for each dog before I euth.  The qualifiers depend on what is important to the dog.  When she no longer can meet her qualifiers and I see the spark go out of her eye, she will go to heaven in my arms, not alone. 

Raggedy Ann was given to me by Ellen of St. Louis Senior Dog Project.  We knew her time was limited.  She already had a grade 3 heart murmur.  Ellen knew she would have a loving home w/me.  She finally was on 5 heart meds; one day I found her down on the steps, alert but unable to respond to my direction.  I could feel her heart just by putting my hand on her side.  Picked her up, my "Bossy Aussie," and took her in.  Dr. Monica Keith had just come on board at LaCroix.  She offered meds, all of which RA already was on to the max dosages.  We agreed she had run her course - and TRUST ME, she DID NOT SUFFER till the very end when she could no longer boss me around. 
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Agnes looks and acts sore all the time; I am sure she is, due to her arthritis, yet she happily jumps into the SUV to do errands w/me.  She is also losing her sight and hearing.  She is still happy.  She is still here, I hope, for a long time.  What I have noticed about Labs (Agnes is a Lab mix) is their stoicism.  I have to be careful in my assessment of them since, unlike hounds, they will put up w/a lot more pain and discomfort than the average dog - in my limited experience.   Agnes is on high protein/no grain food plus pain medicine for her arthritis.  She still sparkles :).
 agnes collar1.jpg

Harry was presented to me as a "blue tick coonhound."  He came via transport from GA as his owner's ex-husband was going to shoot all her dogs.  Initially, Harry is not a handsome dog; however, he turned out to be a "Skin Horse" of a dog - wonderful and LOVED his Wubbas.  One day, he came into the house coughing.  Had been fine for an old dog.  He got up on the couch, coughed and LOOKED at me.  I looked back.  His eyes said, "Mom, this is no ordinary cough."  We went to the vet immediately.  His platelet count was 2 :(.  Ann tracked me down at the hospital that night.  He was drowning and scared.  Of course, we let him go to heaven.  UNTIL THEN, he was an old, not ugly dog who loved life and his toys.
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You should remember Thomas, the TWC who was GORGEOUS.  He came as a last ditch effort as he had twice been scheduled to be euthed.  He was here a year and starting fighting and bloodying the Beagles :(.  He, too, had no offers and I did send him to heaven on behalf of the pack due to his "aggression."  Knowing what I know NOW (learning curves never end), I may have been able to manage him but Ann says, don't go there - you did the best for him at the time; move on.  She is a wise vet and friend. 
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I hope your Boston was as happy as these were and are.  You have had a longer learning curve than I.  Because people know dogs are here at Silverwalk for life or adoption, I do get donations - not large but very heartfelt.  Dog sanctuary has become an avocation for me, a lifestyle choice, part of the life given to me by God.  How I practice sanctuary is a response to my faith and my trust in a God who loves every sparrow.  He will provide.  I had no offers on any of these - they are (were) welcome here as long as they are happy and their health issues manageable."

During my recent license inspection, the comment which warmed my heart was "Your dogs all seem so happy!"  And so, I believe, they are. 
 
Silverwalk is a small, private, licensed dog sanctuary in Cape Girardeau County, MO. It specializes in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Silverwalk Hounds for more information about Silverwalk and our dogs needing homes.  As of April 6, 2010, Silverwalk became a "small division" of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, Inc.  Safe Harbor and now thus Silverwalk are 501c3 tax exempt; we are both licensed through MDA.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hounds Running with Bulldogs: Notre Dame style

 This past week, Silverwalk was blessed two mornings by the presence, work and joie de vivre of Notre Dame students as part of their community service hours (as I understand it).  They were given choices of the type of service they wanted to do: outside, inside, clerical, and others I don't recall.  Dogs were not specified but Silverwalk Sanctuary was an "outside" option.  Thank you, God, Brother David, Mark Koehler and his wife, Jenifer as well as the students. 

Tuesday morning, Katie, Nathan, Orry and Chelsea helped pull dead weeds which last year had grown so large and thick they could not be mowed nor pulled up; now, before they had a chance to get a good start, the students pulled them up by the roots and moved them out of the field.  YESH!  I now plan to take my gold weeder thing and get more roots.  They then walked dogs and how.  Oxford went twice, Farrah, Scout, Sassie all were walked; Danny was held and coddled just as he likes.  Jack likes to fetch.  Even Sheila Sheltie was walked, then carried home when she quit.  I found out later one of the girls helping this day did not like dogs; I sure could not tell - good for you, Chelsea.  Neither Scout nor Sassie are easy dogs to walk - both are strong, Scout can be fearful while Sassie wants things "her way."  Those who walked them did wonderfully not only at walking but paying attention to my directions and concerns involving both. 

Wednesday morning brought five different students: Will, Bill, Jason, Laura, and David. We pitched junk from the yard, filling up those huge yellow bags - old bedding the dogs remove from their crates, play with and virtually destroy; tossed out some old decrepit lawn furniture once useful but now fallen apart.  Jason helped me fix the "hernia" in the tarp over the outside pen; after I dumped water on my shoes, it is now in a more serviceable condition.  Again, dogs were walked; Oxford stranded Will in the garage as he rested after his third walk in two days on the cool concrete.  David hung out with Bailey, the black and tan Coonhound.  Margie leaped away from Bill when she had to see what Shiloh and Agnes were up to across the road  - he got her quickly.  We all laughed, wishing we had video, as Shiloh played a mouse in the road and neighbor's yard before eating him for "first breakfast."  Towards the end of the morning, we adults decided the students were getting hungry: Margie's name changed to "McNugget," Annie's name became "DoubleCheeseburger."  More dogs were pulled out to be walked.  Finally, chairs from a truck were out, dogs and kids relaxed in the sunshine after a morning of hard work and walks.  Another name change came from Laura, who fell in love with Seymour, renaming him "Phillip."  When asked from where Phillip came, she replied "Phillip Seymour Hoffman."  Wonderful actor - wonderful Seymour!  What a great time!

One thing I heard both days was how multiple students really liked Agnes.  What a nice tribute to a very nice old dog.  Thank you.  She is so special.  And so are all of you who gave us such a wonderful start to spring, blessing the dogs, myself and Silverwalk with your gifts of time, enthusiasm and commitment.  A joyous Easter to you all.  THANK YOU, NOTRE DAME!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dogs of the Day: Katey, Oxford....

This morning, Katey pushed open the breezeway window from the TOP.  I can fix it w/some (more) screws.  I now have most of the crates in the breezeway not only because the current weather is AWESOME but as a (limited) deterrent to Katey's need to be with Shiloh, who, frankly, pays her no mind - unrequited love.   Earlier this week, she broke glass in a lower window without hurting herself - sigh.  Consequently, if I am not home, she is either in the pen or the house to save herself and my property.  HA.  She is such a good dog and loves to be loved on; she just feels the need, the need for following her nose and heartthrob. 

Oxford's skin is so bad - he needs his thyroid med of which he has been without for several days (mea culpa) as well as another bath ("GAG" - quote the Ox).  I have ordered a supplement from England for him which has had great results on other dogs with bad skin issues.  They have been most helpful in getting it to me - it is in the mail right now; they were at Crufts, had a wonderful time and saw many of their dog customers do well at the show.  I am ambivalent about English breeding after seeing the video on the UKC and how many dogs suffer as a consequence of poor breeding....especially by "professionals."  I really look forward to trying the Yumega on Oxford.   I found it on one of the blogs listed, Minnie-Moo - who is the model on the tube :).

OH - speaking of listed blogs, please pay attn to the "Dog of the Day."  It will NOT have a separate blue entry for a new entry - instead, if you just click on it, you will see a new Dog of the Day once a day plus have a chance to see the Cat and Pet of the Day as well.  I will try to do something to make it at least look like it needs to be clicked.  The stories are heart warming like today's of a Samoyed who helps his mom's foster Collies. 

Silverwalk is a small, private, licensed dog sanctuary in Cape Girardeau County, MO. It specializes in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Silverwalk Beagle & Hound Sanctuary, Inc. for more information about Silverwalk and our dogs needing homes.