Lucky #17

Most of you probably know by now, but Roxy has been adopted!! I couldn’t be happier with the family she’s gone too! I’ve received a few updates from them, and everyone is in love with each other. Roxy bonded to them instantly (just like a Black Mouth Cur, adoring her humans), and her people are smitten with the pup that she is! Another life saved, my friends!

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Oscar & Lucy had about a week or so to relax and remember what life is like in a 2-dog household.

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But as usual, it wasn’t long before a puppy was at risk and the rescue was being asked to help. So, meet lucky #17, Mia!

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We saved her and her sister, Ellie, from the Chipley shelter. They arrived on Saturday, and then I took Ellie to her foster Sunday morning. Mia is a precious pup, with lots of fattening up to do! She is VERY sweet and just loves to be held! She adores the dogs..although neither of them are exactly smitten with her quite yet. They aren’t exactly sure what to do with her puppy energy! Oscar is much more tolerant of her than Lucy, but I know they’ll all be great friends in just a few days!

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Mia is adoptable through Last Hope Rescue. She will be up to date on vaccines prior to adoption, and spayed if she is old enough…but hopefully she is adopted by then! She will be a GREAT family companion!!

Stop by Tails of a Foster Mom to watch her grow, and follow her foster-to-adoption story!

Have a great week, friends!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Flowers & Bugs, Oh My.

Poor Tulip has some health issues going on! It all happened in the last 24 hours, although I’m sure it’s been going on inside of her, for much longer.

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Basically she was having some bowel issues, that I won’t bother going into detail about, which I noticed yesterday. A vet appointment was made for this morning, for her to get checked out.

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When I went to pick her up, I found out what was going on with her. Poor girl has ear mites, hook worms, and a yeast infection. She was given meds for all of it, including one to help her tummy troubles. The vet also noticed a small mass near her front left elbow, which is believed to be a BB pellet. Yup, another hunting dog, dumped in the woods, starved and shot at. There are just no words.

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Tooley already seems to feel better after one dose of the meds, and her playful personality has never wavered!

If you would like to donate towards Tooley’s care, or if you’d like to add her to your family, please email us at LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com!

Goodnight friends!

Xoxo

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Help.

I volunteered at the shelter today. They are at full capacity, and the stray hold area is full too. This is not good news for the pups, especially ones that have been there for a long time, or have any sort of issue. I do not envy the person that has to make that decision, that’s for sure.

If you know anyone that is even possibly considering getting a new furry friend, please advocate for the shelter. There are really great dogs there, and surprisingly only a few are pitties (who are also great!). Here are some of the loves I met today!

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Comment below if you have any questions about the beautiful pups you see here!

Check out the rest of the available dogs on the shelter’s website: https://www.talgov.com/animals/OnlineKennel.aspx

Be the Bridge.

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This gorgeous little brindle babe is Stella, and she is my 13th foster! I have had dogs that I thought would be adopted within days, but I had them for months. And dogs who I thought I’d have forever, but they’ve come and gone to perfectly wonderful homes. Throughout these fosters, I have been asked these questions over and over…”how can you say goodbye?” and “don’t you want to adopt him?”

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So I thought I would try to explain why I foster, how I can handle having multiple dogs at once, and why I can say goodbye without shedding a tear (ok, I’ve shed tears only twice…I’ll let you guess who those were over!).

-I treat each and every dog as an individual. Just because the dog is young, old, dog-friendly, kid-friendly, it doesn’t mean that he/she is not freaked the F out! I always have my dogs put up (Oscar in his crate, Lucy gated in the kitchen), and I let the foster dog come in to explore. I know my dogs very well, and that allows me to introduce them to the foster dog at the right time, to keep everyone happy. I love seeing the new dog become comfortable with my perma-dogs. Sometimes it takes just a couple of hours, sometimes it takes days. It doesn’t always mean that an instant friendship is formed, like Oscar and Apollo had. But there is an understanding between everyone. My dogs seem to know that this is a new dog, a dog who needs space, and lots of love. The new dog seems to understand that Oscar and Lucy are to be respected, and looked up to.

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Chelsea became a different dog around Oscar and Lucy!

-Having a young child around the house is another great reason to foster. If you are anything like me, you have looked for community volunteer opportunities for kids, and found pretty much nothing. My kiddo is 7, and the age for volunteering is usually much older. Fostering is a great way to teach Jayden about giving back, and helping those less fortunate. He learns what it takes to care for a pet, and that we have to be committed to them, no matter what issue they may have. Now when he sees a stray dog or cat, he immediately wants to rescue it. He is frequently heard saying things like “Why don’t people keep their cats inside where it’s warm?” and “Don’t people know that dogs can get hit by a car if they aren’t looked after?” He also loves to visit the shelter to give the homeless animals some attention. It truly warms my heart that he is this compassionate and kind!

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-Fostering is also a great learning experience for me. I have always had dogs, my whole life. But there was so much I never knew! The most interesting things I’ve learned are behavior related. How to introduce dogs correctly, how to read dogs, what can be stressful for even the most confident laid back dog. I’ve learned about health issues, and how to listen to what a dog is so clearly telling me. I’ve also learned some great lessons from these dogs. Things like the past is just that, the past. Get over it and move on. Don’t hold grudges. Love the ones you’re with. All of those things that make dogs so amazing, us humans could learn so much from them!

-Now for the part that makes it hard to say goodbye, yet it’s exactly why I can. The bond that forms between me and the dog. I love seeing the foster dog relax and open up. I love when they look to me for answers. When the people came to meet Toby for example, we were all sitting in my living room, talking. He kept walking over to me, standing in front of me, as if to ask me if I was sure it was safe. It made me feel so good that this dog, who had been uprooted from the only home he knew, was now trusting in me to keep him safe. When I drop a dog off at an adoption event, and I return to pick him/her up, they wiggle and smile with happiness. No matter what their past has held, they realize that I am a “good guy.” Depending on the strength of this bond, it can be really hard to say goodbye. But I go into the “relationship” knowing that there is an end in sight. I know from day one that there will be a break up. I know that I am just their bridge, helping them go from their past to their future. The fact that I can say goodbye doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. It means that I love them enough to give them up. Plus, I am not equipped to have more than the two dogs that I have. I don’t have the space, the money, or the time, to have more than two permanent dogs. My household is on a very strict routine, and my dogs fit perfectly into it. There’s no telling what a third perma-dog would do to that routine!  

-Speaking of my dogs, fostering is great for them! I have had foster dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. I’ve had a handful of puppies, young adults, as well as full grown adult male dogs, like Hambone & Petey. My dogs have had to learn to adjust their energy, and the way they play, depending on what the foster dog needed from them.  Oscar is my go to guy for first introductions. He is a total love bug, and he’s all about play! Lucy is confident, and a social butterfly. She is high energy though, so sometimes she has to be introduced slowly, as to not scare the new foster. Bringing foster dogs in also strengthens my bond with my dogs. Because there is a never ending stream of random dogs coming through my door, I make sure that both Lucy and Oscar get special alone time with me. I also make sure that they get individual time with the foster dog, as well as time together. I love how much their bond has grown since Oscar’s arrival. Now every single night, they can be found cuddling next to each other, snoring away. They play perfectly together, and understand when the other needs space.

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-Finally, the thing that makes it all worth it, are the adopters! They (usually) are wonderful. As the foster parent, you get to be a part of the process. You do meet and greets, sometimes several of them. And the most important thing I think all foster parents should know, is that it is ok to say no. Sometimes the dog is just not the right fit for the particular family. Sometimes the adopters are not fit to have any dog! But you love this dog, and you know and understand this dog, and therefore you get to be a part of their forever story. I truly love when I leave a meet and greet thinking “Those are good people.” I always try to keep my distance after an adoption, to allow the new family to bond and move on with life, but I cherish those that welcome me to stay in touch! Sometimes the adopters refer to me as the first mom, or foster mom, or the other mom (I’ve been called all three), and it really means something special to me. It makes me feel like they realize that I truly loved the dog that is now theirs.

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Visiting with Lola in her forever home

 

Well my friends, I hope that at least one of you will be inspired by something I’ve written. Even if you can’t permanently foster, many rescues and shelters need temporary fosters. People who can only commit to having a pet for a few days at a time. If you can’t foster at all, go visit a shelter on your next day off. When you see a stray animal, stop and see if you can help reunite him/her with an owner. Share my blog (#shamelessplug)! There is always something you can do. Always.

Jan2014 026Good night guys!

xoxo

Rescuing is a Tricky Business

I have learned a LOT over the last year and a half, since becoming a volunteer with Last Hope Rescue. I have written a post before about what you should know about a rescue and how it runs, based on my own personal experiences. You can check that out here, if you missed it.  I think it is important to share knowledge…maybe I will help someone understand an important part of rescue, and inspire them to become more involved. Maybe someone will share their experiences, and I will learn something, too!

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Since taking on my first foster, I have had my first (and last) foster failure; checked, and approved or declined many adoption applications; done lots of meets & greets, and finalized a handful of adoptions. I have also become a board member, which means I get to be a part of helping making decisions for the rescue, what dogs we pull, the money that we spend, etc. Don’t get me wrong…this doesn’t mean that I am special, that I know everything, or anything like that. I am only explaining how I have come to learn the things I’ve learned about rescue. And now, I thought I would share some of that with you. 

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First and most importantly, do not EVER list your dog on Craigslist for free. Always request a rehoming fee, even if it is $25. Evil people looking for bait dogs, research dogs, and just dogs to harm in general, troll Craigslist looking for free pets. It does NOT matter the breed, the age, or the size. Many times, these people will send a female, sometimes even with children, to pose as a family looking for the pet. Please know, there are bad people out there, and they will take your dog and harm it. This is not always the case…but why risk it? Instead, reach out to local rescues and humane societies. If you have no luck that way, turn your dog into the shelter. At least then they will have a chance of getting adopted. And if the worst happens, at least the pet is put to sleep instead of abused, neglected, and murdered. Seriously, if you can’t keep your dog for whatever reason, the least you could do is help make sure he/she is placed in a safe, happy home. If you still insist on listing your dog on Craigslist, then charge a rehome fee, check a vet reference, and do a home visit. Usually if the person is looking for a pet for malicious reasons, they won’t go through those three steps.

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Another thing to remember is that most rescues are run by volunteers. Volunteers who work full time jobs, and have families of their own. Many rescues are based out of foster homes, which means there is no facility. Keep this in mind when you are sending emails, posting on their Facebook page, and calling their personal cell phone numbers, looking for a dog, asking for assistance, etc. Unfortunately our society has become accustomed to instant gratification. So many times, we get people who contact us multiple times before we can even reply once. Sometimes we even get attitude from people, accusing us of taking too long to get back to them. It is our policy that we will get back to you within 48-72 hours. We do our best to follow this policy, and we understand your urgency. But every now and then, it is a holiday and we are trying to enjoy time with our family. Or we are inundated with inquiries because we’ve just brought in a highly adoptable pup. Or we are doing something for our “real jobs” (meaning the ones that pay the bills). Please remember, patience is a virtue.

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One of the biggest things I have learned, is that there is a method to the rescue madness. We get so so so many emails and phone calls from people, asking us to help their dog. Whether it’s a volunteer that’s fallen in love, a Good Samaritan who saved a dog, a shelter that’s making a final plea, or a member of the community wanting to rehome their pet…there is only so much we can do, and it really sucks to tell people that we can’t help. We will courtesy post a dog, if it meets our requirements (up to date on vaccines & fixed), so that we can at least help get the dog exposure, and assist with the adoption screening process. As far as the dogs that the rescue does pull, there are many factors that go into this. First and foremost, we pull dogs according to the available foster homes. Puppies are easy to pull because they are generally always dog friendly. The majority of our fosters all have dogs, so this is a must. Sometimes shelters are able to get their dogs sponsored. This is a great benefit to a rescue, because it means a portion of the pup’s vetting is taken care of. Also, if the rescue has some long timers that aren’t going anywhere and don’t get any inquiries, this greatly affects the dogs that are brought in. There has to be funds coming in, and adoption fees are a small portion of those funds. The longer a dog is in the rescue, the more expensive they are. Remember, we take care of vetting, monthly flea and heartworm preventative, food, sometimes boarding, and anything else that comes up. So, sometimes the rescue has to assess if the dog is considered urgent as well as highly adoptable, and healthy. These are just SOME of the factors that go into how a rescue decides which dogs to save. There is a fine balance that has to be found, and maintained, for a rescue to be successful. It is important as volunteers, vendors, supporters, and adopters to remember this. There IS a method to our madness, even if you don’t understand it all the time.

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As someone that volunteers in the local shelter, and follows pages of surrounding shelters, I fall in love with dogs on a regular basis. It doesn’t take much for me to fall in love. Big ears, a goofy looking block head, sweet soulful “save me” eyes, or a gray haired senior muzzle. I have networked for many, many dogs, but I have only ever asked Last Hope to save two dogs. Two dogs whom I was willing to foster, and was committed to until they found their forever families, no matter what. Those pups were Lola and Apollo. Oddly enough, those two dogs are the only two that I would have considered adopting (aside from Oscar, who I was already adopting before he stepped foot in my house). I wonder if the reason I loved them so much was because I felt completely responsible for their lives. I absolutely love and adore ALL of my foster dogs, but Lola and Apollo were extra special to me. This is to say, that even us rescue folks fall in love, and want to help every dog in need. It hurts our hearts to know that a dog will be put down because we couldn’t help. But we just can’t help every one of them. So, we will keep trying, keep rescuing, and keep asking for support. Hopefully we will continue to save dogs, and bring happiness into people’s lives through our adoptables, for a very long time…

All of the dogs in this post are adoptable through Last Hope Rescue. They are all special and unique in their own way, but the one thing they have in common with each other…they are dreaming of finally being in a forever home, as part of a family. Please contact us at LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com, or comment below, if you would like to meet any of these wonderful pups!

How to Catch a Stray

Recently I had to have a stray dog turned in to the shelter. It was a few weeks ago, when Tallahassee had a cold front come through. It was around 9pm, and I heard whining at my door. I went outside, to find a chow chow running down my driveway. I’ve seen this pup several times before, so I knew either he obviously gets out loose all the time; or he’s a stray dog with no home; maybe he’s lost, but if so, he’s been lost for a long time because he randomly roams my neighborhood on a semi-regular basis. He has never come to my door though, and I’ve never seen anyone looking for him. Any time I have ever tried to get him to come to me, he runs the opposite direction, and usually I don’t see him again for a few weeks. This time though, he kept coming back to my door about every 30 mins, and loudly whining. I am sure, even with that thick chow coat, he had to be cold! I tried to coax him to me multiple times, but he wouldn’t get anywhere close to me. So, it was late, I turned off the lights, and went to bed.

The next morning I went to let my dogs out, and they all dashed to one side of the yard, and I caught a glimpse of the chow. Apparently he spent the night on the side of my house, in the bushes. I was so sad for him! He had to have been freezing! I had to get the kid to school, so I decided I’d do something about him when I got home. In the meantime, I put out a bowl of food for him by my front door (which he didn’t touch). As I was on the way home, I saw him cross a very busy street, right in the middle of morning traffic…and he was oblivious to the cars around him. So I called my friend (the president of Last Hope Rescue), and asked her what to do. I explained that just calling animal control was probably not going to help because I doubted they’d be able to catch him, but I also didn’t want to just leave him, and risk him being hit by a car. So, she suggested keeping my dogs inside, opening my side gate that leads to my backyard, and mixing up a bowl of smelly, yummy food that he can’t resist. Then I could trap him in my yard, and that way animal control could definitely get him. I did that, as well as called animal control. They came right out, saw him, but weren’t able to get him, just as I suspected.

So, a couple of hours went by, and then all of a sudden, a big ol red fluffy pup was on my back deck, sniffing out the delicious bowl of scrambled eggs-chicken Parmesan-dog food concoction that I’d made up! I ran around to close the gate behind him, and called animal control to tell them I had him. Surprisingly, he didn’t eat any of the food. He just went and laid down in my yard! I went out to move the food closer to him, and to give him a bowl of water. He just laid there, not moving. Then I was concerned that he was hurt; or deaf; or blind. None of these ended up being the case though. He eventually ate the entire bowl of food. I also ended up getting close to him, and he let me give him scratches. He definitely was dirty, and had some matted fur, tons of ticks on him, and had no collar on. So whoever did own him, obviously wasn’t caring for him very well…meaning, I no longer felt so guilty about possibly turning in someone’s pet to the shelter!

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Animal Control came and picked him up, and he was taken to the shelter. He had a 7 day hold…but due to the holidays, he actually got a few extra days due to the shelter being closed. We (Last Hope Rescue) put our name on him, just so that we could keep tabs on him. Finally it came time for him to be assessed and checked out by the shelter vet…and by some miracle, other than some parasites, he was healthy! Heartworm negative, not fixed (shocker), no aggression noted. This was great news! He was officially moved out to the adoption floor. And, this was just in time for me to go visit him during my volunteer shift! On the Saturday after Christmas, I spent some time with the chow chow, now named Red. He was complete perfection on the leash, and happy to be out walking! He even wagged his fluffy tail at me! While I was there, two people asked to check him out for possible adoptions…I knew this was a good sign. My shift ended, and I said goodbye to Red.

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Since then, guess what?!? He’s been adopted!! Red went to his forever home on NYE!! I have had a lot of guilt about this situation. I obviously considered the pros & cons of turning him in to the shelter. I wondered if he really was someone’s family pet, someone who is missing him and sad over their loss. BUT…then I think about the condition he was in. The freezing cold weather, when he was left outside to fend for himself. He wasn’t micro-chipped, and had no collar. No flyers were ever put up. The shelter never received a call about him. Of course, having the rescue connections to fall back on was a huge relief, but still. The last thing I would ever want to do is take a pet away from a loving, caring family.  On the other hand, at least I knew he was in a safe place, getting food twice a day, with a warm cozy blanket to sleep on. I knew he was getting attention from the shelter staff and volunteers. So if the worst happened, and he ended up being put to sleep because of being aggressive, or sickly, or the shelter is too full, at least it would be in a humane, pain free way…right? It’s easier to say that now that he’s happily in a forever home, and that I did have the rescue to fall back on if all else failed, but still, I think I did the right thing…I think! 😉

Anyway, I met some other really great pups during that shift at the shelter, so I thought I’d share them too, since as of now, they are all still currently in need of homes! Please take a moment to share a homeless dog. Networking saves lives, and you just might end up being a part of their journey to happy ever after!

                     Penny

Penny is an adult, (looks to be a) pure bred boxer. She is sweet, and knows some basic obedience commands. She is good with people, and in true boxer fashion, would be a great family companion!
Penny is an adult, (looks to be a) pure bred boxer. She is sweet, and knows some basic obedience commands. She is good with people, and in true boxer fashion, would be a great family companion!

 

                     Duncan

This beautiful boy is Duncan. He is a big boy, sweet, and well mannered. He knows "sit" & "heel" and probably much more! He has gorgeous golden brown eyes, and I am sure he would make a great family companion!
This beautiful boy is Duncan. He is a big boy, sweet, and well mannered. He knows “sit” & “heel” and probably much more! He has gorgeous golden brown eyes, and I am sure he would make a great family companion!

                Angel

Angel's pictures just don't show her true beauty. She is smart, and sweet. Loves people, and is happy to go anywhere you want to take her!
Angel’s pictures just don’t show her true beauty. She is smart, and sweet. Loves people, and is happy to go anywhere you want to take her!

      Karen

Karen is a sweet boxer mix. She walks well on a leash, and she whines to get your attention. She just wants to be loved and cuddled!
Karen is a sweet boxer mix. She walks well on a leash, and she whines to get your attention. She just wants to be loved and cuddled!