Saturday, September 13, 2014

Unsung Heroes of Rescue

Unsung Heroes
In the rescue world, there are more heroes than most people know about.   Of course, there are also those who everyone does know about.   They do a good job of marketing their efforts.   However, at German Shepherd Rescue of OC, we have one group in particular who I consider heroes and the backbone of this rescue.  
Today, it is going to be 100 degrees outside.   Most people will stay inside where it is cool.   But as you pour yourself a second cup of coffee, there is a group of 20-25 people who are getting ready to make a drive over to a kennel to pick up a dog.   This is not just any dog.   It is a dog that someone else threw away.   It is a dog who would not get any attention if it wasn't for this person.  This dog wouldn't get to go on a car ride today.  She wouldn't get brushed and loved.   She wouldn't get to be out of her kennel for 5-6 hours today stretching her legs, making friends and HOPEFULLY, HOPEFULLY finding her home.    That is what this group is doing today.   Giving these dogs hope.  Giving them a chance.   You can bet that they fall in love every Saturday.   And you can bet their hearts break a little every Saturday, too.  
You see, after standing in the heat all day, dousing the dogs with love and ice water...they have to take the babies back to the kennel and drop them off.    It is not easy.   Truth is, it rips your heart out.   But these heroes do it every weekend.   They give up every Saturday to do the work that no one talks about in rescue.  They load the dogs into their own cars, surely getting hair and who knows what else all over their cars.  They buy treats.   They open their hearts for this day, for this dog.    It isn't glamorous like pulling a dog from a shelter and whisking them off to safety.   It isn't placing a dog in a home and taking the Happy Ending pics as the dog rides off into the sunset.  
This is the heart hard work.   This is hero work.  


Thursday, February 6, 2014

German Shepherd Rescue OC

I nominate German Shepherd Rescue Orange County as an Outstanding Organization.  GSROC rescues approximately 400 dogs in need every year and find them good homes.  Our orphans come from all manner of situations and backgrounds.  We've saved dogs from certain death on freeways.  We've rescued strays wandering the streets and dogs in abuse/neglect situations.  We save the majority of our dogs, however, from the shelters in Southern California where many are only hours or minutes away from euthanasia.  Each of our dogs would have a story to tell, if only they could.  

Quite a few of our dogs face additional obstacles once they’re safely in our care.  Many have health issues.  GSROC provides them with the medical care they need.  This is often very expensive, but despite the great cost of fixing broken bones, saving the lives of puppies with parvovirus, treating mange, or any other malady, GSROC does whatever is necessary to restore them to health and never gives up on anyone.

Some of the dogs that come to us have endured emotional trauma.  When they come aboard our lifeboat, they are sometimes shy, frightened, or exhibit other signs of emotional abuse or neglect.  We work with them one-on-on to show them that they are safe and people care about them.  Many of them receive training to build their self confidence and make them more adoptable. 

The dedicated volunteers of our organization work tirelessly on behalf of our orphans. We drive to far flung locations to bring them to safety. We have at least one adoption event every weekend, and often there are more.  Our fundraising is ceaseless and inventive.  Under the leadership of our indefatigable director, we perform our many and varied duties with a single aim:  to help the dogs we love and are passionate about helping. 

Please see below a photo of Cassandra, one of our many homeless but hopeful dogs at an event held at our local Crevier MINI dealership.  Second:  GSROC is well represented at the annual Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade every year.  Third:  Cash finds his perfect match and is now living "happily ever after."


Do you have an animal rescue volunteer and/or organization you would like to nominate? Complete details at Fenced In by Love 2014 – Dog Rescue Organization and Volunteer Of The Year – Great rewards for all participants and for the winning nominations in various categories    






Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What is a dog worth?

I was just talking to a friend of mine who pulled a dog from the shelter on the dogs last day.   Her intention was to get her a bath, get her shots, love her up and find her a home.   We have all done this with a dog in a shelter.  We do it with the high hopes that the dog is healthy and friendly and will find a home quick.   However, this is not always the case.  

Today, the dog that my friend pulled from the shelter all of a sudden had a seizure.   She is at the vet now with an estimated bill of 1900.00.   Of course, she said yes... save this girl.   Of course.   She will hopefully bring home a healthier dog in a few days, take care of her during her rehab, fall in love with her and then find her a home.   I imagine this will all happen a lot quicker than the credit card bill will be paid off.    I also know she will probably rescue another dog in need before that credit card bill is paid off.   I wonder what she will pass on in her own life to pay that hospital bill for a dog she barely knows.   A vacation?   A hairdo?   A new car?  

At GSROC we have always taken in dogs that we know are sick or injured.  We know they will cost us more money than we could ever recoup on adoption fees.   We also take in dogs that we think are healthy, and like my friend today, they end up costing us thousands of dollars.   We just had a litter of 8 pups found out in the desert come into the rescue.   Puppies are expensive anyway because there are two sets of shots and of course, getting them altered... but these puppies were sick.   5 of them ended up in the ER with a staggering bill of almost 6000.00.  

Sometimes when I tell someone what our adoption fee is, I see them grimace for a second.   I know that they don't know how much our vet bills are.   I know they don't know how much money we actually spend on these dogs.   They don't know that we have garage sales and bake sales constantly to try to pay our bills.   They don't know that to get a dog at the Orange County Animal Shelter is over 200.00 now.   

I do know that within 24 hours of having their new dog in their home, they know it is the best money they ever spent.  And believe me... you are getting a bargain.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Save a senior and change your heart forever.

Poppy, our sweet senior looking for a home

So I have this old guy here at my house as a forever foster, and he has a lot of issues.   He is completely deaf.  I mean...I can actually come up within an inch of him with the vacuum and he doesn't even turn around.  Completely deaf.   His vision is pretty bad.   He walks into corners and you have to wave his food dish around in big circles so he sees it and knows dinner is ready.   His nose works well, so he knows when you are making breakfast or dinner...he just needs help knowing that it is ready;  then he wags his bald little tail and gets on over to his meal. 

He also is very stiff, and my daughter calls him "Robot" because of the way he moves.   When I offered to foster him, we took him in to get his teeth cleaned. They were pretty bad.   He had 15 teeth removed.  Wow.  That is a lot.   You would think he would have trouble eating... but he doesn't.   He is such a little trooper.  I love this guy.  I really do.  

There is something so special about rescuing an old dog.   He is so sweet.  It feels like he knows I will be here with him when he needs me the most.   We have a special bond.  With everything we have going on around here, this little man seems to be so grateful, and is so attentive to me.  He can't hear me, but he watches my every move.     He and I don't have a history.   I don't have memories of him as a healthy dog that I can giggle over with him.   I don't know what his favorite treat is, or where he loved to be rubbed before the aches settled in.   But I spoil him.  I cook for him.   I give him his meds.  

But I wonder who he misses...

I think for me right now, this is such a parallel that it is having an impact on my heart.   I have a kitty that I rescued when she was about 7 months old.   That was 19 years ago, so she is old and at the end.   My husband has been around for 15 years, so my kitty is the veteran here.   As kitties age, they get thin. She is so thin now.   She is on medications.   She is on fluids.  She is always hungry.   She misses the catbox.  She screams for who knows what.   And still... she is my baby.   I know her.  I know where she loves to be rubbed.  I know what her favorite treats are.  I remember how silly she was when she was healthy and I still see it in her... deep in there.   I know her as a healthy cat. Now, her body is failing and she is an old lady... but I remember her silly little face standing over me at 3am... wanting to play.  I hold her now and I giggle and whisper our shared memories to her.   I know this girl, and she will be comforted by me, by us-her and I... until the end. 

My sweet little old man foster... I don't know that he gets the same comfort from me as my kitty does.   I know he is comforted by me and I know he loves me.  His sweet little tail wags when  I come in the room. I know his little body aches and I am learning where he likes to be touched.  I have learned what foods he especially likes.  I am here until the end with him...but I wonder who he dreams of when he goes to sleep.   Who is it that knows him and who shares his memories?   He is in my heart and I will be here until the end with him... but who is in his heart?  

I wish he had someone holding him who could whisper special memories to him.  

I don't understand how someone dumps an old dog.   It is like dumping a sick child, or an old parent. I wish everyone would return the favor with these amazing animals and hold them near and dear through the last amazing years of their lives.  

I wish they could all have loving memories whispered in their ears until the very end.  

This they deserve. 

Rescuing an old dog will truly change your heart.  It is one of the purest forms of love you will ever experience.   I highly recommend it.   The heartbreak...totally worth it. 

The pictures you see on this blog are of Poppy. She is our old gal.  She is safe in our care, but she needs a forever foster or home.  She is living in a kennel right now.  She deserves to be cherished and have a warm bed.   Maybe you can be the one Poppy dreams of.