Archive for the ‘Rescue Stories’ Category

A few days ago I lost a very good friend. He was a tall, dark and handsome fellow. He had a tendency to be shy but he was always sweet. He walked with a limp like an old time pimp, but he was never mean to anyone. People gravitated towards him because he had such a welcoming presence.

His name was Feten and he was a horse.

He wasn’t just any horse though, he let me pretend that I was the horse whisperer. In fact, it became somewhat of a nickname for me on Sunday mornings at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary where he lived and I volunteered. (Volunteered being past tense due to vehicle issues.) I’ve always been incredibly fond of horses since I was very young but never did I have a relationship with one like that of Feten. Really, I think he just humored me but that’s okay.

I’ll never forget my first serious conversation with Feten, yes I said conversation. It was morning grain time for all the horses and while all you had to do to get everyone else out of the pasture to come and eat, was yell “Come and eat!” However, Feten just stood there watching the rest of the herd run for the goods. When he didn’t attempt to come I walked out to meet him part way. He just stared at me. I told him, “Come on, it’s time for breakfast!” He just stared. I was at a loss, how did one convince a horse to come eat? I crossed my arms, “I feel stupid whistling at you because you’re not a dog.” He continued staring. If he didn’t get there soon, there wouldn’t be any grain left for him. In a last ditch effort, I patted my thighs and said, “Come on buddy.” He strolled right up to me and then walked the entire way with his head over my right shoulder, keeping pace the whole time. He had no halter or lead rope on, but he just kept walking right next to me until he saw that glorious bucket of goodies. This is forever ingrained into my memory it meant so much to me. Why, I could probably never describe. This is but one story in our two years of friendship.

My heart hangs heavy with his loss but also rejoices in his life. He had such a beautiful soul. He frequently encouraged me to scratch his belly for him. He was an ex-race horse that was injured and then surrendered to the sanctuary where he spent the remainder of his life, naked, free, loved, and catered to daily. I know how much love and attention he received, not just from myself of course but from other volunteers and the owners of the farm as well. He would never again be tossed aside because he couldn’t bring in the money. He knew only love and understanding for all the rest of his days, and I am thankful that he shared his love and life with me.

Feten, the handsome fellow that he was.

Feten, the handsome fellow that he was.

Please take the time to volunteer or donate money and goods to sanctuaries. I know that Feten would greatly appreciate people giving a second chance to someone like himself.

Sashafarm.org

Febuary 17, 2009; a day that would forever be known in infamy in my life. The day we brought home a small ball of fur with bald eyes, whom was promptly named Ozzy.

We were living in a rather spacious two bedroom apartment in Grand Blanc which just so happened to allow dogs. After a couple of months of begging, my boyfriend (now fiance) Rob and our roommate Jared finally caved and agreed to getting a puppy. A long time fan of rescuing, this was my first time adopting a shelter dog. (Previously in my 22 years of life the family dogs had been two German Shepherd Dogs and a Cocker Spaniel.) The excitement was almost uncontainable. I raced home from work, picked up the boys and headed to Flint. The shelter closed at 4:00 pm, we had no time to waste!

We waltzed into the Genessee County Animal Control with some time to spare and headed to the dogs. For whatever reason (maybe simply a “duh” moment or perhaps fate) we entered the door marked “Wednesday” thinking that that was the only aisle of dogs we could adopt from since it was Wednesday.

There was a wide range of adult dogs, including a beagle who was so happy to see us that he peed, but we had all agreed on a puppy. There were about three litters of puppies that barely had their motor skills, and two ten week old puppies who looked similar but were in seperate cages. I put a hand on each cage. The puppy on the left just looked at me, while the puppy on the right edged closer and then licked my fingers. He was black with fuzzy ears, a dipstick tail and bald eyes. His ID tag read “Lab/Chow Mix”. Rob thought he would probably get too big, but I KINDLY pointed out that there was no weight limit at the apartment complex. “Let’s at least get him out, play with him and see how it goes.”

I set him down in the play room, walked to the other end, and sat cross legged on the floor. I just wanted to see what he would do. Was he more interested in the room? Or me? He sniffed the ground for about three seconds, then he bounded full speed, paws windmilling, jumped into my lap and covered my face in kisses. Rob’s eyes got big and he said “That’s it. He’s ours.”

We ran up front and filled out all the paperwork. They let us give him a bath there and then we headed home. It took almost all of our income tax money to get him to proper health. He had mange which developed into a secondary skin infection, roundworms, and was malnourished and dehydrated. Not to mention getting all his shots up to date and getting him neutered. Fortunately it has been worth every single penny. He has been the best dog that I have ever owned. I took him everywhere with me until about a year ago when he tore not one but both CCLs (Cranial cruciate ligament in a dog, anterior cruciate ligament in a human). Two major surgeries and months of bed rest later, he is just now behaving like himself again. He has been a trooper through it all, barely even a whine after either surgery. But what else would one expect from a tough little rockstar?

 

(Ozzy’s first picture! You can see the mange around his eyes.)

(My baby boy all grown up and looking beautiful!)

 

For the month of May we were able to save $23.76 in change to donate to an animal rescue. The rescue that will be receiving the donation this month is Almost Home Animal Rescue League in West Bloomfield, MI. They are a great no-kill rescue that help a lot of animals every year. Some of you may remember the story we posted about Whiskey Joe, the basset hound that had been beat so badly he lost an eye. We are happy to report that Almost Home found him a loving forever home!

This is their website for anyone interested:

http://www.almosthomeanimals.org/index.htm

 

“One day I hope to walk into an animal shelter and all I will see are a few animals there, waiting for their owners to arrive because they were licensed and properly tagged.One day when I see a pregnant dog or cat I won’t cry, feel sad or be frightened. One day I hope there will be no use for organizations like mine.” -Gail Montgomery, co-founder of Almost Home.

My very first cat Sushi was hit by a car at my bus stop. A rather traumatizing experience for a kindnergartner. My dad ended up letting me get a new kitty. We went to a sidewalk adoption event. Being so young, I really didn’t know anything about rescue. The only thing I cared about was that I got to get a kitten!

After looking at all the animals (and begging for a Doberman Pincher named Duke) I finally decided on a little tortieshell kitten. While my dad filled out the necessary paperwork, I guarded that cage. Every time some curious soul came to look at her, I proudly exclaimed “That’s MYYYYYY kitty!” I was scared that someone would take her before she was officially mine.

Her name was Nicole, which we shortened to Nikki. My friends called her Ghost Cat because for 3 years they didn’t believe she existed, she hid whenever strangers came over. We had her for 17 glorious years before we had to put her to sleep due to illness. I may not remember the details of adopting her because I was so young, but because of her I always remember why adopting a shelter animal can be such a magical experience.

 

(Sorry this picture is so small. Saved it from Facebook. The tortie is Nikki and the gray/white cat is Zelda. This is the only picture of them ever getting along haha.)