I promised to keep people updated on the progress of "Jed," the cute little hound featured at the top right hand side of this blog. She was my first attempt at a long-distance rescue of an animal in a kill shelter. To be precise, she was in the deep South in a location where there is very little money to care for the animals, prison labor is used and people never take pets out--only dump them in. The conditions are poor and gas is still used for euthanizing animals. Volunteers from Middle Mutts work tirelessly to take as many of them out as they can save, delivering them up the East Coast as far as Long Island to private rescues and adopters.
In Jed's case, she was going directly to an approved adopter I'll just call Mary although that's not her real name. Here's a little of what happened that day.
"Transport arrived on time - broke our hearts to see all the dogs stacked up in cages. Couldn't look too long or we'd have come home with more than one. Jed - now renamed Sophie - came to us somewhat tentatively, but she was okay right from the start. Got her home and let her off the leash in the yard, and minute by minute, she became more comfortable until she was positively jumping and leaping and running joyfully.
She follows us around, has found her own spots in the yard (and on the sofa in the kitchen) and no one would ever suspect that she only arrived yesterday. So far, she's been sweet and affectionate and very laid back.
That's the good news."
It wasn't all sunshine and roses, though. :)
"The bad news is that our dog refused to look at her. She tries to play with him and he turns away. He is royally pissed. We're hoping that he comes around.
She's had a few accidents in the house but we expected that. She's drinking different water and eating different food. Our dogs eat strictly organic dog food - canned and dried - and treats, except for Milk Bones which our old guy is very partial to - so we're thinking it's not what she's used to. Plus there was the stress of being crated, shipped from Friday through Saturday morning and not knowing where she was going or what was going to happen to her.
The other bad news is that she got out of the yard yesterday afternoon - slunk under one of the gates and was standing in the driveway when I came home from an errand. We figured out how she got out and my husband immediately nailed railing across the bottom of all the gates.
Then this morning, I caught her trying to CLIMB THE FENCE!!!!
We have post and rail with wire fencing on the outside, but apparently we're going to have to put the railing on the inside as well. Which should keep her until she finds another way out."
Uh...oh, yeah...I forgot to tell Mary that hounds can climb. Honest. I just forgot. I'm so used to mine trying to go up trees after birds that I'm starting to think it's normal. But I know this lady and she will persevere regardless.
Anyway, the hound that was almost killed in a gas chamber is instead sleeping on a couch in a nicely air conditioned kitchen, eating organic food and having play dates. Whoo-eee!
The story of my own rescue dog, Dancer, is contained in a little ebook novella you'll see right up there under the picture of Jed-now-Sophie. It's called Dancer Dog. You can click on the picture of the pit bull and the ballerina to go to Amazon if you'd like to purchase my book for $2.50. All royalties will be donated to Middle Mutts.
I will have some more rescue stories in the future, probably not as detailed as this. This story was literally one for the books. It came right down to the wire with having Mary step up at the last moment, emergencies with the transport, and miracles being wrought by overworked volunteers at Middle Mutts who do this every single week. Oh, Heaven help me. 'Cause you know someday I'll probably write a book about all this... Another one. :)