Anyone who knows anything about dog rescue organizations knows there is a network of very generous and dedicated people behind the scenes who open up their hearts and homes to dogs that otherwise would have no place to go. You could almost call it an underground railroad for rescued dogs. While these loveable bundles of fur await their forever homes, they get to spend time with a family in a home enjoying some well-deserved love and attention, rather than in a cold, lifeless kennel… or worse yet, a gas chamber. Everyone who fosters deserves an award for the work they do! But we are honoring one foster each month for going above-and-beyond the call of duty.
January’s award goes to Christine Hammond, otherwise known as The Dog Whisperer. Christine is the trainer and behavior specialist at Camp Bow Wow in Bellingham, Mass.
When Elizabeth Zaccarro, Big Fluffy Dog Rescue’s (BFDR) president, sent a group email asking people to talk about why they voted for Christine, the overwhelming response was, “TRACER!” When BFDR took in Tracer, he was a terror of a little corgi. He bounced around from foster home to foster home and was so aggressive that he just couldn’t get along with the cats and other dogs living with the families that tried to help him. So Tracer ended up living in a boarding kennel for five-months where his bad behavior only worsened. Tracer waited in that kennel for his knight in shining armor… someone who could help transform him. He found that someone in 24-year-old Christine Hammond of Providence, R.I.
Pictured with Buddy, who was adopted on Sunday!
Christine took tracer on a trial basis at first, but quickly decided she could take him on as a full-fledged foster dog and their journey began. After one week in Christine’s home, she says Tracer was wonderful with one of her dogs. After two weeks, he was totally adjusted to both of Christine’s dogs. And Christine says that after three weeks, she didn’t have to worry about him at all anymore. Christine literally saved Tracer’s life. Her hard work and patience paid off when Tracer was adopted by his new family. The little corgi that some feared might be unadoptable had finally found his forever home thanks to Christine Hammond!
But Christine isn’t stopping with Tracer. While she already has fostered six BFDR dogs since last October, this professional dog trainer has agreed to take on more complicated cases like Tracer in the future. She says, “I enjoy every moment I have with the dogs. Dogs are kind of my calling … Each one of them made our lives better.” She also decided to offer free telephone and email consultations for current BFDR fosters, as well as discounted training after her experience with Tracer. And if you are one of the lucky people who shares your life with a BFDR dog permanently, Christine will offer you a discounted rate for telephone consultations and a discounted spot in her basic obedience class.
After all of this, Christine still says she hasn’t done as much as she’d like to and was surprised to win the Foster of the Month award. “I was really flattered… I feel very humble. At first I was speechless and I still don’t really know exactly what to say because I don’t feel like I’ve really done anything spectacular… and I feel I can offer more.”
Christine says BFDR fans should try fostering a dog at least once. She says fostering isn’t always easy, but it’s the best shot the rescued dogs have at a good life. “It’s a wonderful experience. It’s great to be able to remember each dog and the people that you sent them home with… it does wonders for you emotionally, as long as you can handle the disconnect at the end. I enjoy providing a home for these dogs.”
Wine Label Contest Voting is OPEN! The contest will run through 1/16/13 at 11:59 EST. The top TWO Chipins ($ amount) by this date will win and get their picture on every bottle of a single variety of Big Fluffy Dog Wine and you can choose your variety! You can vote with as little as $1 and the link for the ChipIn is UNDER the picture.
The wine will be available for purchase starting in February.
Vote for Major: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-major
Vote for Pringles: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-pringles
Vote for The Perkins Family: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-perkins-family
Vote for The Blackburn Family: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-blackburn-family
Vote for Daisy Mae: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-daisy-mae
Vote for Jack: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-jack
Just for fun, this is Coco the hamster. Currently NOT in rescue with Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. This little guy got his cast for a broken leg courtesy of our friend and favorite vet Dr. Herd at Animal House Vet Clinic in Nashville. Awesome work Dr. Herd. Bring your tiny pen to sign his cast.
Kendrick is a happily-ever-after in the making, and who doesn’t need some good news on Christmas?
This is Kendrick before:
This is Kendrick today:
Kendrick came out of a horrific hoarding case in Appalachian Kentucky and he still has a way to go, but he is nearly there. He has a spring in his step and he loves his foster family. He is ready for a forever home, but he needs one that will be patient with him and help him feel safe and sound. He will never be a life of the party dog, but he will be a loyal and wonderful pet. A special shout out is due to his amazing foster family and especially his Mom, Karen Disney. Karen quietly paid for his eye surgeries without even letting on. We are grateful for her and happy that Kendrick has had such an awesome home. Karen, you rock! Anyone interested in adopting this boy can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
William came to us on Saturday, December 15. He wandered up to a trailer in very rural Tennessee. He was emaciated, bleeding and as you can see, a complete wreck. The homeowner called a bunny rescue who called us (*thanks Laurie). We took him in immediately. William weighs 40 pounds and at 8 months old, should weigh 20-30 pounds more, but his growth has been stunted by malnutrition. William needs a foster and sponsors for his care as he is what we call a project dog. This dog is currently in Nashville and he needs a foster home to help him get healthy. He is very friendly and even in this condition wants to give you kisses. If you can foster William, please email email@example.com. If you would like to help sponsor his care, you can donate here: http://bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php. William says Merry Christmas and peace out.
All Tracer wants for Christmas is a home. Tracer is a 15 month old corgi collie mix who came to us this past summer. Tracer has had an incredibly long odyssey. He was abandoned by his first rescue who could not handle him. Initially, he was so freaked out that he could not tolerate any dogs as he felt he was under attack as the result of what initially happened to him in his first home before rescue ever entered the picture. And so he languished in boarding for many months as no one had a dog-free home. A wonderful dog trainer took him on and with a little work, he was happily playing with her dogs. Tracer is a very happy dog who just needs a home. He is great with all other people and he can be good with other dogs, although he will never be OK with cats. He is a mid-sized low-rider bundle of puppy happiness who wants to give kisses. If you can give this dog a forever home, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. He deserves his own home and we very much hope he will be home for the holidays.
This is Amadeus. At one year old, he is a beautiful, sweet and frankly dorky boy. He loves cats, other dogs and he likes to tip his food bowl sideways so he can eat off the floor. He is a wonderful dog. Who could possibly want to hurt him? Good question (and in a less than holiday spirit we would like to introduce them to the business end of a baseball bat), but someone shot this poor boy in the shoulder with a rifle some time ago and his shoulder is shattered. The orthopedic surgeons said it cannot be fixed. This coming Wednesday before Christmas, Amadeus is going to become a tripod dog. Not much of a gift, but we want him to be pain free and he is suffering at the moment. If you would like to sponsor this first day of Christmas Dog, you can donate here: http://bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php. Thank you as always and Amadeus says Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and peace on Earth to men AND dogs.
To vote for the dog in the picture simply click on the Chip In above the picture! Voting is open until Christmas (12/25/12).
If you have any questions, or I forgot you please email Jillian@bigfluffydogs.com. This is the first time we’re doing this
Vote for Louie!
Note: Louie’s old chipin was broken, $52 will be added to his total amount shown here
Vote for the Williams Family!
Vote for Lucy!
Vote for Falcor!
Vote for Simon!
Vote for Bodie!
Vote for Katniss!
Vote for the Janssen Family!
Vote for Jasper!
Vote for Ollie!
Vote for Demon Claus…yes, that is name I was given
Vote for Daisy Jane!
Vote for Max!
Vote for Paxton!
Vote for Samson!
Vote for Raka!
Vote for Keco!
Vote for Palin
Vote for Grace!
Vote for Ozzy!
Vote for Duncan and Fatboy!
Vote for Sunny
We must warn you!
The puppies pictured below can cause signs of cuteness overload illness. Here are some of the signs: You might gasp, you might scream, you will most certainly say “Aaaawwww…”. Your heart might even melt with this much fluffy goodness.
Meet our newest baby Big Fluffies. These 6 sisters are five weeks old and are Great Pyrenees/Border Collie mixes and these little ladies need names.
If you want to be part of the fun, make a 5$ donation to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue.
In space where you can fill in the company, write down the puppy name and number. A five dollar donation allows you to submit ONE name for ONE puppy. If you make a $20 donation, you can submit names for all six of them. On Sunday evening we will have a random drawing of submitted names and let you all know the winners. If you are having trouble submitting all 6 names on the company line, you can email Jessica@bigfluffydogs.com once your donation is made.
Proceeds from this contest will go toward the puppies vet care.
If you have questions on the contest, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com
His charm is so infectious the CDC has an entire department dedicated to containing it.
When he walks the city streets, panhandlers give him money.
When it rains, it’s because the heavens weep when he is sad.
Mirrors shatter when he looks in their direction to spare the innocent.
Camera lenses crack when he appears, because he is…. THE LEAST PHOTOGENIC DOG IN THE WORLD.
Margot came to us earlier this year as one of four siblings who had been badly neglected when her owner died. She was a sweet, white woolly mammoth who was unsure of wooden floors and occasionally wondered if the other dogs were out to get her. Several of us had our hands on this girl and with each placement, she got better and in the end, she had acclimated to life with people and she was a very, very good girl.
Margot went to a foster to adopt home this week with people who loved her. We all expected a happy ending. Those of us that saw her on arrival rejoiced that she had finally found her forever home. It was not to be. Margot slipped her family in an unforeseeable escape and was hit by a car this afternoon. Her spinal cord was severed in the impact and there was nothing we could do to save her. Margot left this world with her people by her side. They are devastated as are we.
I am routinely reminded that life is unfair and it is a particularly bitter pill to swallow that Margot got only the briefest glimpse of her forever home before she left us. I suppose I should be happy she had at least that, but I confess I am not. Margot endured sheer deprivation before she came to us and it is unforgivable that she or any animal for that matter should ever suffer as she did. I want the world to know that Margot mattered and that her life was worth something. There are literally tens of thousands of Margots out there and they all deserve to be loved and valued. If you would like to honor Margot, then step up and do something. Notice when a dog is sitting chained to a tree without food or shelter and do something about it. Don’t just call – raise hell until you get some help. Volunteer at a shelter and note that the dogs there are on death row staring at you with haunted eyes. Donate to a rescue to help them get dogs to safety and put an end to their anonymous suffering. Lobby for mandatory spay and neuter laws to put an end to the ceaseless misery of unwanted dogs who just want a chance and yet they die alone. Just do something. It matters in the end to the dog you help. It surely mattered to Margot, as she mattered to me.
Sleep well, Margot. You were loved and you have earned your peace.
Life in New England is looking like it’s going to suck this coming week as the result of Hurricane Sandy meeting a strong cold front somewhere on the Jersey Shore and points north. I know you all are thinking you just did this with Hurricane Irene last year, but you all got caught flat-footed with the power outages that followed and the flooding. This is a short list of things you need to remember to have on hand before the storm:
1. Cash. In small bills. Credit and debit cards do not work without power. No one will be that impressed with your Black American Express card when you can’t use it and in natural disasters, $1000 bills are unhelpful.
2. Have a hard-sided carrier for your animals. It will help protect against flying debris in a disaster. Airline carriers also sort of float.
3. Food. Pets need food too. Think about what you might need to get by for one week. Then buy it. If you feed raw, buy kibble. Rancid meat is not OK.
4. Drugs. If your dog is terrified of storms, realizing that in the middle of the storm is unhelpful. Plan ahead and call your vet for anti-anxiety meds. This also applies to prescriptions your dog may need. Make sure you have one week’s worth of medications on hand. Your vet will have his or her own problems during the storm and your problems will be uninteresting to them at that time.
5. Pee pads/newspapers. During the height of the storm, you and Rover are not going to want to go out. Many well-trained dogs will suffer rather than go inside, but be prepared. Cat litter needs to be stocked up on for the cats.
6. Light sources that are not fire. Get a good lantern that is not fed by a flame. You are asking for it if you do. People forget that the world runs on electricity. Until they don’t have it. Stock up on batteries for that light source.
7. Water. Fill sinks, tubs and buckets with water. If the power goes out, you won’t have clean water and you may also need it to flush toilets. Gallons of water are always good so the dogs have water to drink too.
8. Ice. Jack your freezer as high as it will go and stuff it full of ice. Later, when your power goes out, you’ll be glad.
9. A full tank of gas in the car. Pumps won’t work without electricity. You may want to abandon ship post storm and it will suck if you can’t because you don’t have enough gas to get far enough inland to where power actually is on.
10. Charge your phone in advance and keep it off. You won’t be charging it without power. Ditto the Kindle if you plan to read in the dark.
11. Clean clothes. Do your laundry now. Make sure you have lots of blankets and if you have a fireplace, wood to burn since it’s going to be chilly after the storm. Dogs are only so helpful in keeping you warm.
12. Slip leads for your pets. Collars with leashes may not be enough to keep your pet safe if it’s truly freaked out and a slip lead will help keep a petrified pet safer by preventing them from breaking collars, etc.
These are the basic. Now some other things to remember to do:
1. Make sure your pets have collars and ID with tags that have your name and number on them. Pets lost in natural disasters are hard to reunite without them.
2. Keep copies of your pets’ records in a big ziploc bag. Kennels won’t take your animals in without records. Keep current photos of your pets in the bag with the records in case you lose your pet. You will be glad you have them.
3. Find out IN ADVANCE if the shelter you have chosen in the event of evacuation will take pets. In New York, the shelters last year in Irene were only taking “legal pets” that were registered. This makes me cringe. Make sure you have a contingency plan for your contingency plan.
Finally, in the name of all that is good and decent, if you are at risk of storm surge or flooding, have an evacuation plan and tell people where you will be going. Listen to the authorities. If they tell you to leave, get the hell out with pets in tow. Do NOT wait to see if it gets bad. If it does, you are way too late.
This ASPCA link has additional things to do.
Be careful and stay safe everyone.
Maggie came to us early this summer as a rescue from a broken home. She was not well-cared for and arrived nearly bald with a severe skin infection and absolutely miserable from scratching. Months of care later, she was a happy and well-loved dog, although health issues continued to plague her. Thursday evening, Maggie was found under her foster Mom’s dining table unable to walk and suffering from a seizure. Her foster sister Violet was anxiously keeping watch over her. She was rushed to a hospital where they attempted to save her. However, Maggie suffered another catastrophic seizure yesterday morning and lapsed into a coma. Last night, she continued to decline and she never regained consciousness. The decision was made to let her go as the prognosis was grim.
Maggie was only with us for five months of her six years of life. Those five months were filled with treats, petting and love and she was treated during that time as a part of a family which is all any dog wants. Maggie was a sweet and gentle soul whose passing will be mourned by those who knew and loved her. We thank Keri her foster Mom for providing such a wonderful home and Anna as well who had her for some time before she came to New England. The two of you made her time with us wonderful and she knew she was loved.
We’ll see you on the other side, Maggie.
Petunia the Great Pyrenees is looking for a special foster or forever home.
Petunia came to BFDR in rough shape after spending her entire life in a kennel. She is a sweet and wonderful girl, who is a taking a little while to acclimate to life in a home. She will take a little while to warm up in the house and will bark if she is nervous.
Petunia needs a person who can be patient while she settles in. She needs someone who is both confident and kind. Petunia has fabulous manners, loves children, gets along great with dogs, and is fine with cats. She has a great time at the dog park, and enjoys going for walks. Petunia is now searching for that special family who will teach her that she is now safe.
Petunia is a sweet and gentle soul who is very much worth, any effort you have to put in. If you think you might be the special person she has been waiting for, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com today.
This is Landon.
Landon is a 6 month old Great Pyrenees puppy. All was well with him save for a case of demodectic mange which he has kicked until he started limping. Trips to the vet and then the orthopedic vet followed. It was finally determined that Landon’s limp was nothing to worry about. Fortunately (or depending on how you look at it, unfortunately), all those orthopedic visits and x-rays revealed a hidden case of OCD (osteochondrosis dissecans not obsessive compulsive disorder) in both shoulders which we never would have known about but for the extensive x-rays taken of all his joints. Although this is causing him no problems now, it will and it must be repaired as a puppy or he will suffer as an adult. This means two surgeries several weeks apart to repair his shoulders one at a time. Each shoulder will cost $1200 which is a deal (trust us on this – this is an expensive surgery and the ortho guy is being merciful).
To be able to afford this, we are starting the “A Pound of Flesh for Landon” fund. You too can give a pound of flesh to save a puppy. Landon weighs 55 pounds. His surgery is $1200. Dividing the cost of surgery by his weight gives you the price per pound. This means we need 55 donors to donate $22 each to fix this puppy for part 1 of the process. Basically, when all is said and done, Landon will have cost rescue about $50 a pound once we get the second shoulder done. He says he is worth it
If you would like to donate $22 to buy a pound of Landon, you can do so here: http://bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php. Just remember that if donating by credit card, put the word “Landon” in the line for company name, or if by paypal, leave us a message to seller that says “Landon”.
Landon thanks you and will keep you updated with a nifty chart showing how much of his flesh has been paid for.
Many people wonder how dogs make it to New England or from New England to other places. Transport is the answer. We use a commercially-licensed, USDA-licensed transport company to transport our dogs around. Here’s how it works.
1. The dog arrives from a shelter into a foster home. We vet the dog, we work with the dog, we take pictures of the dog and then we decide where it is going to go, either local or to parts far away. If the dog is going somewhere else, we make a reservation and we take the dog to the vet yet again for another check up and a health certificate to travel. Transport is paid and we very rarely do volunteer transports. Every dog on transport is already spayed and neutered, must have all of its shots and must be certified healthy to travel by a veterinarian. If a dog arrives and is not healthy to travel, the transporters will not allow the dog to travel.
2. Fridays are transport days. The dogs all meet in one place to get on the transport to go north.
The day of transport is generally madness on the Southern end of things. Each dog has to have a packet. The packet contains all the dog’s vet records, tags, information, and other things like Advantage Multi and collars. It takes a very long time to get 20 packets put together. Eli, pictured above, generally gets the dogs in the van to transport as it is very hard on a work day to get volunteers to be able to meet at 2 p.m. His day starts around 7 a.m. and goes until it is all done. Erin can be counted on to bring a couple of dogs, and other volunteers like Kelly, Ginger and Tom are frequent visitors.
We may send as many as 20 dogs to various places every week, so it is a complicated schedule. Dogs have to have records completed, vet appointments and grooming appointments made, and things get checked and double-checked. Did Lucy have a microchip done? Does Mason need a canine influenza booster? All these things have to be checked for every single dog. The spreadsheets that track who is going where and what is left to be done are mind-boggling. Plans have to be made to pick up dogs from fosters who work and we have a lot of help from people and some awesome kennels (Thank you Dogtopia and Robin’s Nest) who help us stash dogs in one place for transport. Traffic and weather are always a complication and we have to pay attention to weather events 1000 miles away. Who remembers the October blizzard last year? We certainly do.
The actual drop-off is a well-orchestrated dash. Other rescues are arriving with their dogs and everyone is busy loading dogs, walking dogs, giving dogs potty breaks, water for dogs, petting dogs and carrying dogs and trying not to forget toys, packets and last-minute instructions. All the while trying not to cry. We have had these dogs, cared for them and loved them and now they are leaving us to go to new homes in far-off places.
The actual transport is a converted thoroughbred horse trailer that is heated and cooled, clean and safe with appropriately-sized crates for all the dogs. Each dog gets watered immediately, and they are checked constantly on the road. Dogs get walked at various points along the route which is why a 1000 mile drive takes 22 hours. Each dog’s packet is marked with the crate number to prevent confusion later.
By Saturday morning, the first dogs are dropped off and volunteers and on some occasions, adopters, are there to see the dogs come off the transport truck. All of us on the Southern end live for the smiles on the other end. It makes what we do worth all the trouble. And you can trust us, it is trouble. Nothing worthwhile in life ever came without some headache attached to it. By Saturday evening, everyone is home. What the New England folks do is just as much work and involves finding foster homes, ensuring someone is there to meet every dog, and handling the inevitable travel disasters that occur.
All told, every week, to move just twenty dogs from one place to another requires the combined labor of 20 people and 200 hours. That’s a lot of love and labor from a lot of volunteers, all for dogs who need a home.
Fergie is VERY lonely. She has been in boarding all summer waiting for someone to foster or adopt her.
Fergie is a 2 year old Great Pyrenees/ Brittany Spaniel mix. She is a little plump at 60 lbs, and would love a family who would take her on walks and hikes to regain her girlish figure. Fergie is a sweet girl who loves to lean on you while you pet her. She is wonderful with children and dogs. She ended up in boarding for the crime of kitty chasing, so a home with no cats is a must. The staff that takes care of her call her “The princess” and thinks Fergie would love a home with a little girl to love her.
Fergie is ready to experience all a New England Autumn has to offer with you. She wants to see the foliage, and snuggle on cool nights. Please BFDR fans, lets get Fergie into a home of her own and out of the Lonely Hearts Club.
If you can foster or adopt Fergie, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com
How come no one wants Noah and Moses??
For the life of us, we are baffled as to why we can’t find Noah and Moses a foster or forever home.
They are great with kids, good on a leash, house trained, have excellent house manners, love to ride in the car, medium energy, sweet, affectionate, and overall just totally awesome boys. They mastiff/lab mixes who are 4 years old and will be amazing in just about any home. (Just one with no kitties)
If we don’t find them somewhere to go by Tuesday, they will have to go to boarding and we do not want to do that.
As a bonus: we had a volunteer donate food, leashes, collars, and bedding for these boys, so the adopter or foster won’t have to cover any of these costs.
New England folks: Please contact Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com if you can help. Let’s not allow Noah and Moses to be the next members of the Lonely Hearts Club.
It is a dark day for us at Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. Hercules is one of three puppies we rescued six weeks ago from a farm in Alabama. One of his brothers died shortly after we got them from a horrific case of pneumonia. Hercules and his brother Apollo were hospitalized for a week and Hercules has been in and out of the hospital for several weeks since then. While Apollo appears to be recovering, Hercules continued to decline and wasted away in front of our eyes. Despite giving this puppy every thing we could and a vet who did every thing and then some, Hercules lost his battle this afternoon. We thank Dr. Herd for her efforts and Ginger for caring for him over the last several weeks. There are no words for the loss of one this young and especially after so much effort for him and by him. This puppy tried his hardest to get well and just could not. It is particularly bitter that this puppy’s life would have been entirely different if his original owners had bothered to provide basic care for him. And so it is that rescue is left to pick up the messes left by the thoughtless people who fail to care for their own creations. So much needless suffering reflected back at us from the deep, solemn eyes of a bewildered puppy hooked up to machines to try to save him. We’ll see you on the other side, Hercules. God speed.
We promise each and every dog that comes to rescue that we will find them a family to love them. Some lucky dogs find their home immediately, but there are others who sadly don’t even have a foster home. With no one willing to foster, the only alternative is boarding. We have some very special dogs in boarding who are wasting away here in New England.
Many of these dogs are there because they need to be the only dog in the home. We don’t think this makes them any less lovable, or deserving of a family. These lonely hearts need your help.
Lilah Kate is a lovely 2 year old Lab/Great Pyrenees mix. She is sweet, loving, and has wonderful house manners. Since she can be picky about her canine companions we think she would be happiest as an only dog. Poor Lilah Kate has been in boarding now for 6 weeks!! Six weeks of loneliness, and we think that is enough. Lilah Kate NEEDS someone to get her out of there. This is a spectacular dog for an adult home who wants a dog to snuggle with them and go for walks and adventures.
If you can foster or adopt Lilah Kate, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com. Lilah Kate is waiting!!
Melisande is a 4 year old Great Pyrenees mix who came into rescue several months ago with her sisters. Melisande sadly escaped her foster people before the Fourth of July and we had diligently worked to capture her as she was very frightened and lost in a rural area. We saw her over the many weeks and food and water were left out for her. Today we were finally rewarded for our diligence when she was caught in a live trap. We were extremely relieved to see her.
Melisande has lost twenty pounds during her odyssey and she has a limp that was not there before. We took her to the vet to have her checked out and were shocked to learn she is now riddled with bullet fragments all over her body. Someone shot this sweet dog and more than once. We are checking her elbow thoroughly for fragments as she seems to be limping the most at that joint. We are obviously horrified and this week is going to be a very, very expensive one as we have two orthopedic surgeries scheduled as it is. We are fundraising for her initial care which we expect will run around $600. If you would like to donate to her care, you can do so here: http://bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php. If you use a credit card, be sure to put the word ‘Melisande’ in the company name line and if you use paypal, leave us a message with her name in the message to sender box so we can thank you all properly.
Melisande also needs a foster home desperately. She gets along well with others but she is a serious flight risk, meaning that she will have to be carefully leashed at all times or kept within the confines of a secure fence. She is currently in Nashville but can travel this weekend if the vet gives the OK. If you can foster this girl please email email@example.com. Thanks as always from the big fluffies of the world.
For our fans who have asked how our young three-legged wonder is doing, here is his report from his foster Mom Sheila, who is by the way, totally awesome. A huge thank you Sheila from all 20,000 of us!
August 8-12th, 2012
I met my foster mom and dad today. One of the first things foster mom told me was “It’s better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.” She said some of her friends had come up with that. And she called me a tripawd. I liked the way that sounded!
I’m Lionel from Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. They saved my life and took care of me for a few weeks. I came to stay with my foster family on Wednesday, August 8th after having amputation surgery on August 7th. My left leg & hip were shattered when I was hit by a car and my rescue group and vet decided it would be in my best interest to spare me possible repeated surgeries attempting to repair the hip by amputating the leg. Amputation is a major surgery, but I feel so much better now— the pain of a shattered hip is gone, and I’m able to balance better with the leg out of my way. Dogs don’t worry about 4 or 3 legs like humans do. We’re just happy to be alive and loved.
My foster mom was so happy when I arrived bright-eyed, alert and very mobile for 24 hours post-surgery. I have no problem with the 3 steps off of her porch, but I do not like the hardwood floors inside. They are scary. But I figured it out—I can jump from rug to rug to avoid the slick floor. A friend of my foster mom’s who has a tripawd has said that her pyr eventually learned how to safely navigate slick surfaces. Until that happens area rugs or pet-specific gripper socks can be used to prevent falls and further injuries.
My foster family is cool. They treat me just like a dog. They do not pity me, nor do they allow anyone else to. They understand that yes, a bad thing happened to me, but I will be just fine. They are being careful that I do not fall or over do it, but the only “babying” that is going on is me getting petted all the time!
It’s important that my forever family be confident in my ability to live life as a “normal” dog.
I spent the first day and evening quietly in my crate, which I enjoy, or resting on the living room rug. I kept my walks to just the front yard for potty breaks, which were normal. I did whine just a little off and on, but I settled down quickly each time. Foster mom said it was important to take it easy, rest and she made sure I had my medicine when I needed it. I slept through the night like I usually do. The first night was so much fun—foster dad “camped” in the living room with me. He & foster mom did not want me to be alone. That was fun! He still sleeps with me in the living room just in case I need him at night.
Foster mom says I’m being a very good boy. I love my crate and after we go for walkies, I always lie down to rest in my crate. I’m housebroken, too.
I am on 100mg of Tramadol every 8 hours for pain for the next 7 days. Foster mom keeps the dosage very consistent, but I do not appear to be in any pain and the whining from the first day has stopped. Foster mom has not seen any signs of phantom pain or symptoms.
Foster mom & dad are feeding me well. She says I should gain about 10 pounds and gain some muscle. I am eating 2 cups of Purina One Salmon Kibble twice a day and she is giving me 1 can of tuna fish with my kibble for breakfast. She is concerned that the Tramadol is affecting my appetite. She is also starting me on 1500mg of glucosamine and 1000mg of salmon oil every night at dinner. It’s to help my joints, especially now that they have a bigger job to do. The salmon oil is for my skin and coat. It will help my incision heal quicker and all the Omega 3/6 are so good for me.
I do seem to have a possible grass or seasonal allergy. While on walks I love to sniff the grass maybe too much and I begin to reverse sneeze, sneeze and shake my head. Benadryl may be enough to manage the allergy, but foster mom wants to start slowly so we don’t impact the pain medication. Once I’m off of it I can take a larger dose.
I went to work with my foster dad on my second day post surgery. It gives my foster brothers time to spend with foster mom. I was able to maintain my balance in the back of the Envoy with ease—it’s a lot like surfing! And I can jump into my foster dad’s truck easily. On my second day I was able to walk around a small block and then later that evening I walked/jogged about ¼ mile with foster dad. I have great balance and mobility for a recent tripawd. My gait is very natural and strong, even when running.
I enjoy several short walks daily. I’m up to about ¾ of a mile daily (5 days post surgery)! I do have a little bit of a pull on walks. I walk on both sides of the leash holder. Foster mom is starting to work with me teaching me to walk on the left side & not pull (although I think she is secretly pleased that I am that strong!). With a proper exercise plan and core strengthening with balance ball work, I will have no trouble with endurance.
I am very quiet. So far no barking, but I am a pyr so that behavior may present itself once I feel better. I have seen my 2 foster cats through the baby gate and they seem cool – 1 is even a tripawd like me! Foster mom says that I can meet them this week, but I have to wear my leash. I’m going to go for a walk with my foster brother, Zeus, too. He seems nice and friendly. Foster mom says I have to wear my leash then, too.
Foster mom knows that I may decide that I don’t like cats and other dogs, but she wants me to try to be friendly. She says friends can be fun. I may decide that I want to live in a “one dog” family, but I can learn to be polite when I see other dogs in public.
I’m learning what a clicker is. I get hot dogs if I do what foster mom asks me to do. She says she insists that my forever family continue positive reinforcement training. I agree. I listen very well and I understand well, too. If someone was mean or forceful, I would not like that much and I would be afraid. I’m smart and eager to please!
I love attention! I do not mind strangers and children meeting me and petting me. I do prefer to be petted instead of not when people are with me. I do not exhibit the famous “paw pat” of most pyrs, but I will nudge your hand or arm, at times quiet determinedly, for attention! Don’t tell anyone, but I also enjoy a good ear rub!
I have a short coat without the thick undercoat that pyrs are famous for, but I do shed just as much as my furrier friends. A furminator and sturdy vacuum will be required for my forever home! I had a lot of fleas at some point (foster mom put Frontline on me Thursday) because foster mom says I have flea dirt on me. She is doing her best to brush it all off. Since I can’t have a bath until my incision heals completely. I even got furminated yesterday—that felt good!
My incision is healing right on schedule too and once my fur grows back I’ll be even more handsome!
I think I would do best in a home with older children who can handle my size and understand what being a tripawd pet means. I am happy lounging while you watch TV, but with proper training I could enjoy hikes and maybe even runs. I am a sweet boy with lots of love to give.
I should have no problems navigating life as a tripawd. Since I am a pyr mix and pyrs bark, I would not like an apartment. I will also need a securely fenced yard. I will love my forever family with all my heart. I will protect them, snuggle with them and play with them, well, forever. I can’t wait to meet them!
For more information on tripawd health, nutrition and gear visit the awesome site Tripawds.com.
Woofs & Licks!
The City of Savannah in Tennessee has a nice animal control facility. The people that work and volunteer there try very hard to help the dogs that come into their doors. Their facility has lots of room and can hold dogs while they work to find rescues or adoptive homes for the dogs. This is a very good thing and reflects well on the city.
We were recently contacted by a shelter volunteer who was very concerned about some recent policy changes being made by the City Manager, Garry Welch. Mr. Welch has apparently decided that even if the shelter has room to hold the dogs, the dogs will be euthanized after the required hold time because he doesn’t want to pay for the labor costs to keep the kennel clean!
Mr. Welch, we appreciate the budget issues you face and trust us, we get it. However, killing dogs is not particularly politically palatable and we would suggest you rethink what you are demanding. If your labor costs are high, consider doing what other counties are doing and use trustee labor from your jail. Killing dogs you have room to hold is not an acceptable course of action because you want to cut costs. Look elsewhere, or answer to your constituents and the world at large.
We would suggest that those reading this contact Mr. Welch, and politely suggest that he reconsider this policy. It's a black mark of shame that dogs will die because he does not want to pay for labor to keep the kennels clean. Be respectful and polite please, but let him know this is not OK.
Mr. Welch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Garry Welch, City Manager
City of Savannah
140 Main Street
Savannah, TN 38372
Phone: (731) 925-3300
Fax: (731) 925-5016