Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dog Rescue--Purebred Dog People CAN Help

Come on, admit it--dog people can be a tad snobby, as we think our dogs are the BEST, period. And purebred dogs are very special dogs but I have to confess to you that at our house, Kate the Standard Poodle is no longer the queen. She was just fine with having Suzie Q. Bean, an elderly Dachshund rescued from a shelter last year, come in and take over. I honestly think that Kate thinks it is a bit humorous when the little weenie dog runs over to get the first treat, or tries to take over watchdog duties when someone knocks on the door.

For many years, we only owned two kinds of dogs - Poodles in the house, and Siberian Husky show dogs who had their own quarters involving indoor/outdoor runs and a big fenced yard. After recently losing our oldest Poodle, the numbers of purebred dogs in our home has decreased.  But we are not lacking in dogs!  "Ewok" the Siberian shares her quarters with an Aussie, two mixed breeds and a recently adopted Beagle, all shelter dogs except the Aussie. All incredibly, unbelievably special dogs. Khaki, the lovely Collie/Hound mix in this photo, is an incredibly loving dog who was literally rescued at the last second by a volunteer for the Franklin County Humane Society several years ago.
("Khaki, photo owned by Melanie Schlaginhaufen, may not be reprinted without permission)

Khaki was a "group effort". She was surrendered by her owner to a rural shelter one hot July day. Just like the other dogs this man surrendered, Khaki was skin and bones, so emaciated no one even noticed that she was pregnant. A Humane Society volunteer happened to be volunteering at the county shelter that afternoon and noticed that Khaki was in labor. She asked the shelter director and permission was granted to take Khaki and her puppies to a local veterinarian, and a donor was secured to cover medical expenses.

The next morning, the vet's office called the Humane Society volunteer and told her the puppies were fading, as the mother dog was stressed and not attending to them. Jenny Richardson, the Humane Society volunteer, called me and asked if I knew anyone experienced in bottle feeding. She had a donor willing to pay for veterinary care and Jenny desperately wanted these puppies to make it. Long story short, I rushed to the vet's office and found three very cold little puppies in a concrete run along with their mother. I just could not leave the mother dog behind, so I took her as well. Once we got them safely home, I called a breeder friend (thank you Kassi) and she came over and helped me get the mother dog to accept the puppies. One was much smaller and weak, but we had to try to save him. Kassi spent hours with me, Khaki and her puppies that evening. Kassi's wonderful veterinarian (thank you Dr. Henry) talked with us on his cell phone as we tried our best, but sadly,we did lose the tiny one. By midnight though, the other two were happily nursing.

Khaki and her  little ones were very good eaters, and within weeks Khaki made the transition from a bag of bones to a lovely girl  Children of friends and neighbors came by to help socialize the puppies. When they were old enough, the Humane Society posted photos on Petfinder, and we quickly had many good inquiries. Both pups were adopted to very good homes. Khaki was also posted but we never had a single inquiry, and before long, she was such a part of our family that we could not give her up anyway. She was spayed and became a valued member of the Schlaginhaufen family.

But, guess what?  You do not have to adopt a rescued dog in order to save a life!  In your own city, there are numerous Khakis waiting....hoping that someone will come for them before it is too late. And for most dogs surrendered to shelters, today is too late. The other emaciated dogs that came in with Khaki were put down that same evening before animal control left the shelter. Deemed "not adoptable" because of their lack of weight.  Khaki was not ill, she was just hungry. Even while nursing puppies, she ate extremely well and each day we could see her gaining more and more weight. It hurts my heart to think that the other dogs who came in with her were probably just the same...thin and hungry, due to an owner's neglect, possibly even an owner who simply could no longer afford to care for them.

I know times are hard, dollars are tight for many of us right now. But please consider giving just a little each month, of your time or dollars.Every $5 adds up!  Help save dogs that are not, in our society, valued as they should be....they are not treated the same as a Poodle would be. I know, I have been involved in Poodle rescue and we often had waiting lists of people who wished to adopt a Standard Poodle. Ethical  Poodle breeders often also have a waiting list for puppies, so they can pick and choose the very best homes for them. I love my Kate and every Poodle who has ever "owned me". But Khaki is no less special, and no less loved.

There is a beautiful soul within Khaki....she loves life, and I cannot imagine the thought that her life could have so easily been snuffed off simply because she was thin and hungry. Thank you Jenny, Inglath and Kassi....for saving this diamond, who was little more than a tiny piece of coal when she came to your attention. Thank you Franklin County Humane Society.  We dearly love Khaki.  I considered posting a prettier photo of her, but in this one Miss Khaki is doing what she loves to do.... gathering toys and whatever she can find in the yard, then just laying down and enjoying the grass and the sunshine. Thanks to people who cared, every day Khaki can do what she does the best....simply enjoy life.

She is grateful, and so are we.

by guest blogger, Melanie Schlaginhaufen

1 comment:

  1. Melanie, she is just a beautiful girl. Her story is all too common, and when you see what beautiful beings these dogs are and the light they bring to our lives, it is unbearable to think of Rick for loving and caring for her!