Your my Buddy...

There is a commercial that is playing now that struck me from the first time I saw it.  As most would assume, I love dog commercials and actually watch them but my “most” favorites are the ones of Golden Retrievers that star in Subaru Commercials.  Elaine and I will stop everything we’re doing and watch them if they come on, even over and over and nearly belly rolling each time.

This past week, I along with hundreds of people received a notice “the Border Collie community to rally around a girl. She was adopted to a home in Harahan, Louisiana which obviously did not take care of her and has been returned to the shelter.  All Border Collie Rescue is looking for a permanent foster for this 14 year old, owner surrendered girl (named Girly) in Louisiana so I'm hoping one of you may know someone who is a soft touch for seniors. At most, it would be a couple of years but probably substantially less. (And yes, I'm thinking very evil thoughts about someone who owner surrenders an old girl like this).  Her chances of adoption in or out of a rescue are probably nil - the oldest ones we've adopted out have been no older than 12. She is very sweet. Get with me if you have any questions. Thanks.” from the shelter.

14 year old Girly at the shelter

Without even talking to Elaine about it, I sent off a request that we would take her.  NO… I don’t need another dog, I have plenty, and yes… she is old but needs a home.  But there was that tug at my heart and something needed to be done for this 14 year old Border Collie.  The Facebook page was ablaze with chatter.  Most people would just “like” but several request for more information was asked and some people offered help, even people I know.

The next day, Shirley Thompson the Adoption Coordinator in Louisiana wrote me,
“Thank you so very much for offering to take Girly.  We are placing her in a permanent home in Louisiana and are very sure she will have a wonderful life with her new family.”  

This is wonderful news and I am so glad for Girly (now Josey).  It seems her life, short as it may be will be with people who love her and want her until she lays her head down to sleep and crosses that bridge.  But know that many people stepped up to do the right thing for Girley who was 14 years old, dirty, scared and matted, who was turned over to a shelter which probably meant her death.   We don’t know why she was relinquished, it doesn’t matter but what does matter, she is home and safe in loving arms. 

I have seen this commercial before, but this day when I watched it, it meant so much more to me and reminded me of what the dogs expect of us…

“You're my buddy, my pal, my friend
It will be that way until the end
And wherever you go, I want you to know
You're my buddy, my pal, my friend”

Video of   "Your my Buddy"...  it says so much... and a 14 - 3/4 year old dog going through his bucket list... worth every 60 second of the video... something to learn here...

14 years young Josey (Girly) getting ready to go to her new home
We all will need a place to call home but mostly when that time comes. “It’s not just the miles in life, it’s what "you" make of them” and truer words were never spoken…  We all need help at times and especially when we get old, but hopefully someone will help, just like the shelter in Louisiana did with Girly and her new family.  Thanks to everyone involved who loved “Girly” when no one else did… 

"Girly in the twilight of your life, rest well and know that you are a Lady and even though you days are mostly behind you, your future is very bright"...  We all need a "buddy" until the very end...Ken...

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Note, my favorite Golden Retriever commercials 

My New Room...

This past Friday night came with cold weather.  I had a bonfire earlier in the day because it just seemed fitting because of the crisp air and falling leaves.  It was supposed to get near freezing and it’s almost a welcome event.  We’ve had a multitude of different types of weather this year from 20 inches of rain in six weeks during the spring to very dry weather for the remainder of the fall but freezing weather was now upon us.

Leaves changing this Friday...
The dogs had a very good day this Friday, playing and running and even getting in the lakes but running was the event of the afternoon which always makes for a quiet night, which is good.  We’ve had guest for the weekend and their two dogs are related to our dogs and it was a homecoming of sorts which is always nice to see “family”. 

The usual routine for us is to bring our dogs inside during “TV” time and at bedtime separate them up for sleep.   They like to sleep anywhere but prefer to be in bed with us.    As Elaine and I were settling down for the night, our usual space was occupied by our weekend guest which meant some of our dogs were going to stay in the kennel.  It’s such an indignity for them because of the accommodations and they suffer so much.   It has controlled heat, padded beds, their own individual rooms, background music and even a nightlight, poor dogs…

When we had our very first dogs, one would sleep in the house and one would protect the covered porch in the summer but in the winter, we would kennel them up because it seemed like the right thing to do.  Their shed, was drafty with a straw floor, a heat light for warmth and it was a palace to them but we know, dogs belonged outside… or do they?  Times changed, hearts changed and we built a new 14 run kennel with “out” runs, a gas furnace, ceiling and ventilation fans, padded beds, soothing music and a night light… times did changed but Dutchess wanted the food channel too.

Dutchess dreaming of food...
Friday night was kennel night for most of the dogs because of the lack of room but they would be fine and everyone would sleep better.  As I went to the back door, putting on my shoes for the walk to the kennel I noticed something…

Friday night, there were humans in the bed too...
As I was walking them for their last walk before sleep and when we approached the kennel to go in, they turned toward the back door of the “human” kennel and it was the sad eyes from them that changed my mind.  Up on the porch I went and everyone went inside to our/their bed and climbed to their spot.  It’s hard to keep them out when they look at you and knowing what they want, just to be with us.  As we settled in for slumber, it just was a little crowded…   “Rest well" I said as I gathered my pillow and blanket and went to a cozy kennel for the night to watch the food channel…  Ken

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8:00 PM

I have pondered this letter many times but never thought of how to do it.  It will be very profound and most people can’t imagine the implications of being in my shoes, including me at times…  As I have experienced this often, it’s hard to put into words and one of those situations you must see and experience for yourself to get into the right frame of mind, and even then it will be exhausting to read and hard for me to write… There is only one way to inscribe it, and that is as it actually materializes most every night…

Note:  As I sit in my recliner at 8 pm to "relax" and watch TV, this is the customary one sided conservation every night in the family room before the witching hour…

My Turn?

8 PM

“Jump up, come on…UP, UP”
“Dutchess, stop going in circles, lay down, you’re killing me”
“Abby stop growling, she beat you up to my lap, now lay down”
“Meggie, lay on the other end of the couch”
“Meggie, quit holding your paw up in the air”
“Meggie, quit staring at me, lay down”
“Annie, there isn’t enough room for you up here”
“Abby, what are you looking at, Dutchess beat you”
“Abby, there isn’t enough room for you too”
“Abby, get off your back, Dahlia, get you nose out of there, Abby, she was just checking you, no harm and quit growling”

8:30 PM

“Dutchess, get up, move I’m getting something”
“Dutchess, you’re not getting any, it’s for adults, not dogs”
“Look, this is not a treat for you, it’s a necessity for me, just to take the edge off”
“Molly… good girl, but there is no room, maybe later”
“Shepp, get off the remote control, you’re changing the TV”
“Please everyone, just sit down and relax”
“Dahlia I can’t see the TV if you’re in my lap”

9:00 PM

“Phew…Who did that, don’t look at me… I didn’t do it”
“Someone needs to go to the bathroom?”
“Everyone out”
“Dahlia, quit barking at the cat”
“Holy Mother of God… why does this have to be so difficult”
“Everyone in… slow down, it’s not a race”
“I need another drink”
“Where am I going to sit?”
“Abby get up,”
“Dutchess “this” is for adults, not dogs”

9:30 PM

“Gabby lay still, don’t roll over on your back”
“Clancy get you nose out of there”
“Clancy, don’t lick yourself, there is nothing down there”
“Abby, we’re not playing ball, lay down”
“Annie quit pestering Molly, Molly quit growling”
“Thank God for the rewind function on the TV”

10:00 PM Snack Time

“Everyone will get a bite”
“Dutchess it’s not your turn”
“Dahlia get your feet off the Coffee table”
“Dutchess, get back”
“Molly, you can have a bite”
(Repeated 4 times)

10:30 PM

“Get up everyone, I need something”
“Need more whiskey”
“You all did this to me”
“Abby quit growling, no one is going to get me”
“Abby, Thank you for the sugar and saving me”
“I don’t even know what I watched”
“Please be still”
“Dutchess do you think I need another drink?”
“Dutchess stop, I should have never asked the question”
“Shepp quit barking”
“Come on Molly, up”

11 PM

“News is on, everyone quiet”
“Meggie, quit looking at me”
“Someone needs to go out”
“No it wasn’t me, I know dog phew”
“Dahlia, quit barking at the woods”
“Slow down, it’s not a race to get out the door”
“DAHLIA, quit waking up the neighborhood”
“Let’s go inside”
“Molly, Shepp, Dahlia, Annie, Gabby go upstairs, find Momma”
“Just a little more TV”
“Abby, Dutchess, Clancy, Meggie find your spot”
“Abby, where am I going to sit”

1:39 AM

“Slurp Slurp Slurp”
“I know, I’m getting up, I was just resting my eyes”
“Abby, Dutchess, Clancy, Meggie get in bed, up…up”
“Where am I going to sleep?”
“Thank you for moving”
“Abby, thank you for protecting me tonight, please don’t lick my nose off, why is the pillow wet”
“Note to self, need more Whiskey”

5:49 AM

Abby, thank you for washing my face, please don’t lick my nose off”
“I can’t breathe, everyone’s on top of me”
“Who did that, no it wasn’t me… I don’t think”
“Just another day”

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A Letter...

People send and tag me in many articles on social medias that deal with dogs and dog issues.  I do enjoy reading them and at times they tug at my heart, as this one particular letter did from Rainbow Bridge… It came via the United States Priority Services to a rescue worker who had stayed with the dog until the end…

A letter from Sampson in part...
Dear Mom:

I arrived safe and sound. I am sorry it has taken me so long to let you know. Things are so much different here and time passes quickly.

I wanted to let you know how wonderful things are. You should see me! I am healthy and strong and guess what Mom... I can SEE. Butterflies, flowers and trees. I run now and play a lot with the other dogs and sometimes I just sit and look up at the stars

I want to say thank you Mom. It is because of you I felt love for the first time ever in my life. You took me in and gave me the best medical care but even more than that, you showed me what compassion was and patience.

I miss you Mom. I remember all those long nights you stayed up with me because I didn't feel so well. I remember how you poured your strength into me. I remember how you gave all of your heart to me and if love could have healed my broken body, I surely would have been the most healthy dog on the planet. I remember your tears Mom, how much each one that fell cost you. I'm sorry for those.

I am not sending you this to make you cry Mom. I just wanted you to know how much it meant to me to be part of your family. I must confess that I never understood why everyone said SampsonStrong! We both know that all my strength came from you. Your love gave the will and strength to fight. Thank you for that. Together we raised so much awareness. I know many dogs have been saved because of your tireless efforts

I am watching over all the rescues that have arrived, just as you did. We want you to know that when you are feeling down,  when you feel like the world is giving you more than you can handle, when life seems cruel and unfair and you don’t know if you have the strength to continue this journey... think of all of us. It is at those times that we all gather around you and pour into you our new-found strength and all of the love that you gave us we give back to you 10 fold.

Oh and Mom... we contacted a friend of the rescue. We wanted to give you this sweatshirt to keep you warm this winter and to remind you to keep your chin up and believe in yourself. If you hadn't made room for one more... what would have happened to us? Always remember that. 

We are always with you. Just as you gave us a piece of your heart, we each gave you a piece of ours so that you will remain RescueStrong!

Love you forever,

PS: Please let our rescue family know that we are well and how grateful we are to have had their love and support.

The person who received this letter worked and stayed with Sampson, who was in the "worst of worst" shape when he came into the shelter until he crossed the bridge , but she gave him a lifetime of love in just the short time he was with her and she loved him very much.  I can’t speak for all but I do know that you always think and wonder about a dogs that you “saved” and worked with.   Many others have helped so much more than me but the number seems to be growing and every little bit of help is grateful.  I can name and remember every dog we have worked with and even look at their photos at times, seeing them run and play like they never have before.  Sometimes we never have the answers or the “why” things happen so badly, but it never breaks our spirit, just strengthens it.  

The bad part about helping, you get so attached to them and then one day...the're gone to their new home, usually never to be seen again but you hope they are warm, save and loved but you always wonder.  It's about helping, nothing more... but it's doesn't take away the fact that you miss them and want to hold them one more time... To all the rescue workers that have fostered a dog because they believed in the greater good even when the world was going to hell, thank you... If you are the recipient of one of dogs that was a rescue, give "our" dog a hug because we do remember...  
Thank you...  Ken

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