Rescue Stories

 One of the reasons for writing Love to the Rescue was my fond memories of our own rescue dog, Beau.  We shared our home and our hearts with Beau until approximately age fourteen.  He was a joy and a wonderful addition to our family.

 I hope this and other stories posted on my website will encourage others to rescue an animal and also experience the delight of pet ownership as we did!

Please enjoy these dog stories below – Beau, Tasha, River…

Please enjoy these cat stories below – Hercules and Callie…

   Here is Beau’s story…

Our family (husband, me, and our two sons) first met Beau in the Red Deer dog pound, hidden in back of his enclosure plastered against the far wall.  We couldn’t convince the terrier/poodle cross to venture out to meet us, so my husband crawled into his enclosure, picked him up, and carried him out to our waiting arms. You never saw such a sad excuse for a canine in your life!  Scrawny, fur matted beyond belief, shaking in his boots (well, paws), and wary-eyed.  I recall telling my husband, “I don’t want that sorry-looking dog.”  Thankfully, my husband saw something in him that I hadn’t.  The dog came home with us, and headed directly into the bathtub!  I named him Beau (handsome in French) because after the bath he did look considerably better. He received a proper haircut and bath two days later at the groomers, and he continued to love his regular visits there.  He’d prance into our house after a grooming, a bow in each silky ear, as if to say, ‘ hey, look at how handsome I am’!

 Beau loved kids and women.  Men, not so much. He was so skinny, you could feel where the broken ribs had mended after the abuse he must have endured. With two busy boys seldom home, he soon became ‘Mom’s dog’ since he adored me, and I loved him dearly, too.  Eventually, he learned to trust men and snuggled up on the sofa with my husband as often as he did with me or the boys. Your arm would fall off before Beau would tire of his favorite game – fetching a tennis ball.  If my youngest son’s alarm clock rang but he remained in bed on a school day, Beau would race downstairs to his room, jump onto his bed, and cuff his head with his paw.  My son soon learned to scramble out of bed when he heard Beau coming.

 Our family enjoyed many years of fun with this dog. Beau loved automobile rides and he didn’t care where we were going as long as he was coming along. He was equally tickled on a ten minute jaunt to the corner store or travelling thousands of miles across several states or provinces with my husband and me in a semi truck.

Beau loved camping, especially visiting my friend’s camper to share breakfast with her husband. (We finally discovered why he was so eager to leave our trailer every morning.) We still fondly recall evenings sitting around the campfire while Beau, dressed warmly in his red woolen sweater, sat nearby on the riverbank doing ‘Beaver Patrol’. Beavers were cutting down young trees in the newly-built facility and the campground owner wasn’t happy about it.  Beau was enlisted to help discourage the beavers of this habit. And he did so with enthusiastic barking whenever he spotted one of the animals crawling up the river bank out of the water, with gnawing on a tree in mind.

 As Beau aged, he slowed down (as we all do). And my youngest son decided we needed a puppy.  Our new puppy, Candy, became the bane of Beau’s existence. The puppy would out run him when chasing the tennis ball, and she’d pluck it right out of mid air. The poor old fellow didn’t stand a chance anymore, and he frequently voiced his displeasure to the puppy. She totally ignored him and ran even faster.  Sadly, we had to say goodbye to him at age fourteen. Beau had become a member of the family, and he is still dearly missed.

 PS  Candy was an adorable little dog and she lived to age fourteen, too. I’m certain Beau and Candy are romping around in doggie heaven together. Hopefully, someone is throwing a tennis ball for them to fetch. I hope Candy lets him catch it at least once in awhile.

* * * * *

Hello everyone.  This story is from Shirl Deems, an avid reader/reviewer and fellow member of the WHRBC from across the border in Montana.  She has kindly sent me the story of her beloved rescue dog.  Isn’t she a beauty? Thanks, Shirl, for telling us about your pet.

Here is Tasha’s story…

Tasha is my 6- year-old Malamute rescue dog. When she was seven weeks old, her breeder left her and her step-siblings (her natural siblings and mother had died) at a boarding kennel. The breeder only came once in a while to bring food for them. All the puppies were going to the local animal shelter.

The kennel owner told me about the puppies she had, and if I wanted one before they went to the animal shelter. She informed us that Tasha was a climber. She used to climb up on the hay bales in the yard at the boarding house, and climb over the fence into the different runs. When we went to look at the cute little pups, Tasha climbed that hay bale and fence, and ran right to us. Of course we immediately said that this was the puppy we wanted. We found out that the breeder wanted full payment for her. We said we would only pay half since they were going to the pound anyways. Luckily, the breeder agreed to sell her to us. We brought Tasha home, and Sadie Bear, our older Lab/Malamute, accepted her.

Tasha has always been shy of other people all these years, and she carries around a toy “baby” (hedgehog) everywhere she goes. She will run back to the bedroom and “sing” howl like malamutes and wolves do. I started singing back to her, and if I stop she gets louder as if she is saying “keep singing with me.”

Tasha is a very spoiled member of our family, and goes everywhere with me. I couldn’t have asked for a more loving dog.

 *****

Lisa , a reader from Southern California, writes about her beloved dog, River… 

Here is River’s story…

I just finished reading your book, Love to the Rescue, and I have to tell you how much I enjoyed it.  Rover and our dog River have a lot in common. My family has always adopted unwanted pets, and each one has been unique and very much loved.

My husband and I currently are enjoying retirement with what we jokingly call our fourth child:  a wonderful canine companion our son adopted from the humane society.

She was full grown, looks like a small golden retriever, and was undernourished and covered with ticks.  She had been on her own for quite a while, and it took Jon a full day to remove the ticks and bathe her.

Jonathan named her “River” because she was so happy to see him at the end of the day that she made her own “river.” Things seemed to go along fine until he adopted another puppy from the humane society a while later.  Then she started chewing up anything she could get a hold of, the remote control, instruction manuals, his wife’s praise music… (she’s on the praise team at their church). That was the final straw. He called me one night in a panic and said he’d have to return her to the shelter.  I had already bonded with her and told him to bring her up to our house. Fortunately, my husband didn’t object.  He’s always been partial to cats, but a coyote got our last one and we’ll never bring another one home, it’s not fair to the cat or to us.

Initially she wouldn’t have anything to do with my husband and shied away from all men.  Jim kept dog treats in his pocket and gained her trust as she gained weight.  The vet had a conniption fit and I had to play “bad guy” and get her weight back down to 50 pounds.  She is devoted to my husband now and he has taken over the afternoon walking detail.  I get the early morning walk, about 3 miles every day unless it’s raining.

We didn’t know she had been abused at the time Jon adopted her, but her behavior told her story. She watched him stacking firewood in his back yard one day and immediately ran for cover.  She behaved the same way when she watched me sweeping the patio.  After very gently and cautiously sweeping around her she gradually conquered that fear and I could bump her with the broom now and she wouldn’t flinch.  She still runs away when the fly swatter appears, though. She’s OK with firewood now too, and loves it when my husband builds a fire in our outside fire pit and sits out with her on balmy evenings.

We have kind of put together a vague picture of her abusive previous owner.  We think she had a family with kids because she has always adored kids.  She adores my daughter-in-law and is drawn to women immediately.  This is the first time I’ve ever had a pet that really showed a dependence and devotion to me. She took a long time to warm up to my brother, and he smokes.  She’s immediately defensive around men wearing baseball caps and carrying any kind of a tool. We think her abuser probably wore a cap and smoked.  One day my husband surprised her by walking around the back of the house while wearing a dark cap and she really barked aggressively, hackles fully raised.  Boy, was she ever embarrassed when she discovered it was only “dad!”

I was curious to know her mix, and was happy to hear about CanineHeritage.com. They sent me a DNA collection kit, I swabbed the inside of her cheek and a month later we found out that her predominant bloodline is Golden Retriever with the secondary one being Border Collie.  Well, this discovery explained why she was shredding Jon’s belongings.  She wasn’t getting enough exercise being cooped up in the house all day long.  Border Collies are an energetic breed and need a job!

She’s incredibly smart and tracks me down if my husband tells her to “go find Mom!” We swear she understands everything we tell her. She is very much a “people” dog and has to be with us constantly. If she has any fault, it would be that she has separation anxiety and we couldn’t possibly put her in a kennel or leave her with anyone for fear that she’d get out and go hunting for us.  One day while on a walk she got involved in following a scent, most likely a rabbit.  My neighbor continued along to her house and I turned the corner for mine. My friend told me that the instant River looked up and realized I wasn’t within sight she got a panicked expression on her face and came tearing back around the corner to our house.  She was running at top speed as if being chased by a bear.  I had been waiting for her at the gate & had to laughingly greet her with a lot of caresses.  What a baby she is!

She adores our second home in the mountain community of Big Bear Valley, and has a full pack of mountain friends – canine and human. Her favorite thing in the world is to run with her buddy Panda (my neighbor’s dog, also a rescue) off leash while we hike in the woods.  She’s unbelievably fast in pursuing rabbits, squirrels, & chasing coyotes out of the yard.

My Claremont neighbors cannot believe how good she is. She dutifully dozes on the driveway while I wash my car or weed the front yard.  She’s terrific with the grandkids and never snarls or nips.  She is my constant companion and has totally spoiled me for any other dogs, I’m afraid. The Golden Retriever in her makes her very sociable with other dogs and she has quite a large group of canine and human friends in our Claremont neighborhood also.  Linda, the letter carrier, adores her. One day while she was switching trays of mail at the rear of her truck, River jumped into the front of the truck, ready to help her deliver the rest of her mail. Linda broke up in laughter.

Remember I mentioned my husband is a “cat” person?  River has some surprisingly feline tendencies. She washes her face by licking her paw, just like a cat.  She is just as affectionate as a cat, a real cuddler.  She likes to sit on the back of the sofa gazing out the window at the front sidewalk, just like a cat.  The first time I walked into the room and saw her perched up there, tail hanging down, intent on a passerby I burst out laughing.  She weighs 52 pounds and it’s hilarious!

Interestingly, River has the same digestive issues as Rover in your book.  Our vet told us it is common for dogs to have an allergy to beef, so we have her on Canidae Senior blend, avoid beef, and I try to get my husband to refrain from feeding her table scraps.  River is the Queen of “puppy eyes,” however, and it’s a constant battle to keep her weight down.  I have her on daily probiotics, Cosamine DS, salmon oil & kelp for her arthritis.  I’m pretty sure she was hit by a car because she’s been plagued with a shoulder injury that acts up from time to time even from the first year we had her.

We’ve had her since October of 2005 and I now see a lot of white in her face.  We have no idea of her true age since she was full grown when she was adopted.  I will be devastated when she goes to doggie heaven.

I’m a Christian woman of strong faith, and I had just “put down” my last elkhound (severe arthritis) & was totally devastated when River came into our lives.  I really didn’t want to go through having to part with another dog, but I couldn’t let Jon take her back to the shelter, either.

As it worked out, the Lord had His hand in River’s transfer to our house.

I got her in October and my Mother had a stroke the following January.  Mother was 81 & had been very active her whole life, even mowing her own lawn & putting in her own massive garden up to the end.  As it turned out, she also had pancreatic cancer at the time but we didn’t find out until the hospital ran blood work after her stroke.

She passed away 3 months later.  River was my constant companion all through the days I commuted back and forth from my mother’s house to my own and helped me heal while I made the necessary repairs and maintained my mother’s property.  It took me 10 months to ready her house for the next family, and one day when I was having a particularly “down” period, I turned to see what she was doing.  She had found a grasshopper in the lawn and was tossing it up in the air, chasing & pouncing next to it just like a 52-pound cat.  I burst out laughing and said, “thank you, Lord.  I needed that!”

She’s a constant delight.

 *****

Melinda Creech, a reader and animal rescue person, emailed me her cat rescue story and I’m delighted to share it with you. And I don’t think, Melinda, that we can love animals too much.

 Here’s Hercules and Callie’s story…

I have been in the rescue business for all my life. I have always had too many cats. In the month of December this year, our 12 year old dog died, he was picked up by my husband when he was just a baby. I am mostly a cat lover, but animals are very special to me. I have never understood how people can turn their backs on animals who ask for nothing from us except love. This past summer I almost ran over a kitten in the middle of the road, who had set down to die. I flagged coal trucks out of the way, and brought him home. He is named Hercules! He had been on that road for two days, so I gave him a strong name! We call him Hercky for short! He thinks he is king of the house. Callie my alley cat was brought home to us by my son. She is queen of the house. I read your book and it was so different how they got their dog then how mine came into our life. But I know that we shall always, here, love animals too much.

 

*****

This story comes from Cassidy Sinclair who is an avid reader and loves dogs!  Cassie is a wonderful girl and I’m proud to call her my granddaughter.

 Here’s Rambo’s story…

Well, I just finished Love To The Rescue, and I have a story. One day, Mom and Dad were looking for another dog because we kids couldn’t stop fighting over who gets who at bedtime. (Note from Grandma – three grandkids, only two dogs.) So the search was on as Mom and Dad couldn’t stand our arguing a minute more.

A week later, they came home from work and out jumped a very RAMbunctious ball of fluff. Well, for me, it was love at first sight! We spent the rest of the night trying to name our new addition, and we settled on Rambo.

Rambo Rambo came from one of the humane centers in Red Deer. His previous owner neglected him and his brother and one day they ended up in the pound. The previous owner was only allowed one of dogs back and he chose Rambo’s brother. So we ended up with an adorable Cocker Spaniel who now spends his day running around eating anything given to him, especially carrots and apples, snoring his little heart out, swimming, and curling up beside you for the best cuddles.

In 29 days our beloved Rambo will be 3 years old (enclosed is his picture).

 

*****

Watch for more stories about rescued pets!


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