I came across this wall poster on yet another Rescue site on Facebook yesterday and there’s a lot of truth in it. Since looking for another dog to go with Annie (a Romanian Rescue) after Joe’s death I have spent weeks spiraling around a head-spinning array of sites for fosters required, adoption required, rescue this, rescue that… It’s mind-blowing to say the least.
Now, I had to make a decision. As someone said recently “Taking in one dog won’t change the world, but it will change THE DOG’S world”. So, I couldn’t go about trying to change the world per se, but I most definitely could change the world for one dog. I trawled quite a few sites, both UK and abroad – Spain, Cyprus, Romania, Spain again, Romania, UK, Romania…. One site stuck out – for me. A lady who was a teacher by day and a carer for over 100 dogs by night/spare time had her story. It was no worse than some others I’d read, but when I read that she’d just taken in 18 pups barely 8 weeks old, that would have been put to sleep, I felt the tug.
We all get it at some point in life. Not always about animals. Sometimes it’s children or elderly or disable people, or gardens, or buildings, or old cars … something somewhere hits a note in the heart that sings just slightly louder than the melee of other notes and there’s the tug. Some call it passion, some a calling, but whatever name you choose it’s that defining moment that leads you in a different direction from the one you intended. That’s also the point we can choose to ignore what we know and carry on our merry way, a pang of guilt or doubt or a 2nd thought soon wiped away by life itself and it’s forever busy goings on.
Sometimes we don’t ignore it, we’re tugged closer, pulled into the outstretched arms of the melody that begins to rise from that one different note. We look, we search, we ask, we read – each time knowing that the more we know the more we’ll be dragged deeper into the song.
When I saw the pups, barely old enough to be away from their mum, I wanted to help. After all, what animal/dog lover can turn their head from a babe in need, especially those of one of the species of animal that truly does just bond with man on a whole different level? Practically, I couldn’t do a huge amount, I couldn’t house them all, pay a fortune for care or drive over and rescue the lot, but tiny stones dropped in a pond make a foundation on which someone can stand one day. I sponsored and offered to foster one (Maiya) , and said I’d adopt another (Tess) to have as a playmate for my Annie as was the original reason I was looking.
Maiya from a public shelter was to be put to sleep if nowhere could be found for her and 17 other pups
Tess when she was first rescued from a Gypsy cellar with her siblings who were all kept in the damp and the dark.
It didn’t seem much but the money I paid for both to be transported to the UK, plus the sponsorship money, paid for food for them and a lot more besides. All of the medical costs for vaccines etc was included in the adoption pack for Tess and I could have avoided costs for Maiya (fosterers don’t pay these the charity does) but that note in my heart twanged regularly and I didn’t mind paying a bit extra.
All but 2 of those pups are now in safe, happy homes across Europe as fostered or adoptee pets. The success of this drive is testament not only to those who’s heart played a specific note that they could not ignore but also to the woman who took them in, loved them and made them ready to leave, whilst still caring for another 100+ dogs, working as a teacher in a school and being a wife and a human being to boot.
Why didn’t I ignore it all when there are thousands of dogs in UK rescues? Simple answer is: – the UK rescue centers have many volunteers not just 3, they have a lot of ‘press’ and reasonable funding, some even from the government, and the dogs here are safe already. Many people adopting a pet will go to RSPCA or the like, or even a local place: that’s the first place they’ll look. We did the same with Joe and Annie. The issue with Romania is longstanding and is now becoming known but has been overlooked to the point of utter meltdown for dogs. The UK is well known as a country of dog lovers, there’s plenty of love to go around.
In Romania dog lovers are rarer as most people see these animals as vermin and starve them, hurt them beyond what we could imagine and then leave them to die. At the very least the country is so over-run the population is exploding ridiculously. A massive neuter drive is also happening but it can’t keep up. Years ago dogs were loved in the country but social and economical happenings changed people’s lives and attitudes and dogs went feral.
I can’t save them all but so far I’ve saved 3…and that is reason enough for me.
My story is for the one that struck that note then struck the chord, the chord became a song I could not ignore – I still sponsor with the few pounds spare and Barclay and Sophie are among the many that need to be taken out of that dog hating trap called Romania – but for the animal lovers of this world that’s a whole other story.
If you as a reader have an interest (and if you don’t you won’t have got this far) then take a look at the links for Barclay and Sophie and go from there – Maybe your song will begin too.
It’s 19th June 2014. Joe died 6 months ago on 23rd December 2013.
Joe was a 6 year old beautiful boy taken from us after only 10 months by a cruel twist .. an accident .. lack of information .. so I started a mini campaign. And I’ve just read about another poor soul, a friend of a friend, having to wait to see if his dog will survive a stick injury. Heartbreaking.
Ok so writing about it channelled my grief but the whole thing goes beyond that.
What was to be thought a rare freaky accident turned out to be all too familiar to vets and families worldwide. What was thought to be a personal kick in the nuts turns out to be a case of ignorance is most definitely not bliss.
I received hundreds of comments on my first post after Joe died. I received hundreds of facebook and twitter comments too. The current WP views are at over 139000 which is great, and yet not enough. Dogs are still being treated for nasty stick injuries, vets see a few each month. I can’t preach and stay stop it, but I can let anyone and everyone who cares know what a potential danger stick throwing is: better than being totally ingnorate of the risks.
What happened to Joe, and happens to dogs all over the world at a frighteningly all to often occasion was borne of ignorance, stupidity, even years of “that’s what we do with dogs”. We simply never thought about the consequences it could bring.
Historically, when man decided to have dogs as pets and not merely working companions (not all that long ago in the UK) chasing a stick was a favourite game. We’ve all seen the old adverts in faded yellows and reds with a boy, stick in hand and his faithful dog pantng happily as he waits for the ‘toy’ to be thrown. Why should we think it’s dangerous? We see things like celebs on the One Show with their dog, happily throwing it a stick, or in videos…. Dogs and stick throwing seems synonimous
These are but a few stories of reasons why we should try and change this……………..
http://www.croftreferrals.co.uk/news read Flick’s story
The list goes on.
Please think twice before you throw a stick for your dog to chase.
Anyone who has read my posts – and 133000 plus have read my post about Joe’s death – will know I love animals, including dogs. I’m not about to bore anyone with the why’s and wherefore’s as if you are reading this, chances are you love, or at the very least, have a respect and liking for dogs.
What I am about to do is ask you to follow the link. It’s not spoof, spam, viral etc. It’s simply a song, put together a while ago with the aim of raising funds and awareness for rescuers or our four legged, waggy tailed friends and companions. It’s still important, they still need support….
K-9 Angels have come to my attention in recent months, mainly through adopting Joe’s ‘stepsister’ Annie from Romania. I can hear some of you thinking “Romania isn’t the only place in the world with stray dogs.”, and I agree. If I could save the world, the animals of world would be a place to start. We can’t save every last one – but we can support those who try to do their bit in their corner.
Listen to the song, watch the dogs, have a cry if you wish – and you then have the choice to share it, turn it off and sigh but move on, or even buy the track and donate if the moment takes you. No one will think any worse of you or better of you whichever choice you make. All I’d say is whatever choice you make, please say a personal thank you to those who are putting it out there to help those innocent animals our fellow humans are choosing to abuse and ignore – or worse.
Today is Saturday. The day of the week is actually rather irrelevant, but just a statement of fact at this moment in time.
Saturday is usually a mixture of day off, rest, play, a bit of housework and so on for me. Nothing too strenuous. I work 4 days in an office, 2 days online at home, look after house, husband, teen, 2 cats and 1 dog, so I give myself an “easy day” each week as a way to prevent complete and utter meltdown.
This particular day the plan was – sleep in a little; breakfast; walk Annie; coffee; work on a project on the pc; vac the house, coffee… well you get the idea. Busy but not strenuous.
Annie, my little treasure, my angel, my furry baby… had other ideas. Now don’t get me wrong, she didn’t do it on purpose. She was just being – well – A Dog.
to explain some of the problem, Annie is a rescue dog. We had two, but sadly lost Joe to an awful accident in December (please feel free to read my post about that-Don’t let another good dog die needlessly). Since losing Joe, Scaredy-pup Annie, who was just about gaining confidence went right back to square one. She’s from Romania, found in a rubbish heap as a puppy, kenneled with several more strays for what must have been an eternity for a puppy. A few months in Romanianan kennels and she was shipped to England, into kennels. February 2013 when it was estimated she was about 1 year old, we picked her. Fluffy, frightened and foreign. Reaction to uncertainty – she wee’d. She always does.
Now, that all seemed a little boring I’m sure, but the reason I put it down was that this issue was the start of upturning my planned ‘easy day’.
This is how my easy day actually went – thanks to the scaredy pup Annie.
8am:woken by husband offering large coffee. Sat in bed and sipped said coffee. Husband left for work. I played games on my phone, read emails and snuggled into my warm sheets, looking out at a sunny, but cold, English winter day.
9am : wash, dress, waddle downstairs for another cup of coffee and breakfast. Teen yapping in my ear about some inane teen talk. Let Annie into the garden; feed cats.
10am : let Annie in from garden, fat cat hisses at Annie, Annie bounces to play, mud all over the rug- we’ve had a very wet winter and the garden is getting quite boggy. I sigh, I’ll let it dry and vacuum it later.
10.15am : get Annie’s walking harness. Call Annie, teen stands by door still yapping. Annie so excited she wees. I sigh. Annie thinks she’s done wrong (she has but I try not to get angry – she can’t help it.). In response to that she wees as she walks back to her bed. She wee’s in her bed. I start mopping floor.
10.30am : we try again. This time I take harness to Annie, lay it in front of her. She knows it. She loves to walk and on a good day she will sit, raise paw to put one leg in the loop and so on. Today she’s nervous. Who knows why. Perhaps she’s heard some banging outside. Banging makes her nervous. Annie sniffs the harness to me cooing “wanna go walk?”. Tail wags, and dog wees.
10.45am : we’re out. A car goes by, Annie looks wide eyed at it. It’s going to be one of those days.
We walk through the woods, Annie has her fluffy white tail high, bouncing in the leaves, through the trees, over the fallen trunks, nose in this and that. Back on the lead we walk the path to the field. We meet a large growly dog and Annie hides behind me and wees. I walk her away, fully aware that I don’t need to stress her any more than she already is. We meet a black waggy dog. This is better. Nose to nose with waggy tails she greets him and vise versa. We reach the field.
Annie runs, bounces, hops, skips, jumps…………and rolls. “Oh Annie” escapes my lips once again. But this time she just doesn’t care. Every last bit of nasty, foul smelling, disgusting thing she could find on that field she rolled in. My shoulders slump. She’s loving it.
11.45am: I head home with one rank dog trotting happily by my side.
Now, what should have been a nice walk and a steady afternoon has now turned into a nice walk for Annie, an unwanted bath for Annie, an unwanted soaking for me, 2 carpets vacuumed, 2 carpets washed, and wet dog smell throughout the house.
I love Annie to bits and I know she’s a dog with issues. She’ll get over them, we love her too much to allow it to rule her forever… but why does she have to wee and roll in poo on my easy day I’m now off to have a genuine, exhausted, meltdown.
This page is set up as a memorial and as a legacy for Joe- Boy, a lovely collie dog rescued by us and loved by us until a freak accident took him away. We intend to stop as many people as we can, and as many dogs as we can, from suffereing as we have.
Joe LOVED sticks! Joe would dance in front of one he had rooted out from somewhere. His eyes were bright, his paws would pad the floor and he couldn’t wait to chase the wood. Mostly I’d kick it along the floor but at times people would throw it and he’d gleefully chase, find and return until he could barely breathe, he’d ran around so much. Then home for a long sleep.
From the first day we met him at FAITH Animal Rescue, in Norfolk, he chased sticks. We walked along a country lane to see if we ‘liked’ him. He didn’t care – where’s the stick? He won our hearts and we found a stick, threw it and won his.
Joe was already around 6 years old, a beautiful face with pale brown eyes and an adorable grin. He’d obviously been used to sticks. Perhaps a million times he’d chased after an innocent looking peice of wood.
22nd of December 2013 that changed!
Joe was out with his adopted sister Annie and a family member. The stick was thrown, once, twice, twenty times…. then disaster fell like a sword, cutting short the fun, and very soon his life.
Joe caught the stick as it fell, it went down his throat, ripped his windpipe….Joe collapsed. He managed to get up and the family member got him home.
A trip to the vets, 3 times in 36 hours, £700 later we were still unable to save him. It was too much, the pain too bad. He lost his strength, lost his will and one and a half days after he caught his last ever stick, he left us.
Now, if EVERYONE who can to post this line on their timeline on social media or via blogs does so, whether you have dogs or not, you will HELP me, in Joe’s name to save another dog, and another family from going through the pain.
Use a proper toy with your dog and keep your best friend with you for longer… and please don’t think “It’ll never happen….” it does…., it has …… but we can stop it from happening again. PLEASE pass this message across the world. I’ve had almost 500 shares on FAITH Animal Rescue facebook page alone – that’s potentially 500 dogs and families saved from the agony or this situation. Every share of the message may prevent just one more…………………….t