View Full Version : Life after rescue

12-17-2009, 02:57 PM
Those of you that know me knew Otis, my little messed up rescued boy that graced my life for over a year. I knew before we saved Otis from certain death that he would never be adoptable but that didn't matter because I simply could not turn my back on him. If I was home, you could find Otis in the crook of my left arm and if he wasn't there, all you had to do was follow the sounds of his mournful cry. The sobbing act worked like a charm and mom would always run to scoop him up in her arms. We lost Otis this year and after several months a piece of my heart is still missing and my left arm still aches to hold my little guy.

I fall in love with every rescue that walks through our door but Otis was surely special and he touched my life in a way that no other has....except for our dear sweet Mabel, a cushdog, who died almost a year ago from a tragic accident.

Today I learned that a friend of mine, Julie, lost a beloved furbaby (Shorty) whose story was much like my Otis'. Julie runs the Pepper Foundation, a small dog rescue, and you'll rarely, if ever, see her rescue a healthy dog as she dedicates her life to seniors and special needs dogs. She is part of our network and we love her very much.

There is life after rescue for these aging and weary little guys and being rescued by Julie has got to be like experiencing a bit of heaven on earth before going to the bridge. I'm not sure if you all know how many of us are actually involved in rescue at some level but to name a few, Leslie (Squirt's mom), Louise (Munchie's mom), Marianne (Pebbles forever mom), John (Roxie's dad) and Heidi (the Bichon gang's mom). If I've missed anybody, please let me know. I'd love to hear about your experience in rescue and that includes adopting a rescue.

For those of you that would like to here Shorty's story as told by my friend Julie, I've posted it below. Now I'm going to go light a candle for Shorty and my three foster babies that went to the bridge this year.

Dear friends,

It has taken me a few days to write this because I havent been able to stop sobbing, but I wanted to because Shorty was so special! He was literally the great love of my life! Towards the end of 2006 I got an email about a little neglected doggie that was about to be killed at the North Central Animal Shelter. of course I networked like mad but no one wanted him. His pic was so pathetic. I ran to the shelter to rescue him cause he was about to be killed. When i got there they brought out this sick looking corgi mx, emaciated 14 pounds, with no fur on his whole back and tail, sores all over him, and scabs all over his body. It was just awful. He had an upper respiratory infection so we had to board him for 10 days because I had other fragile elderly dogs at the time.

My plan was to rehabilitate him and find him a loving forever home. I was only going to foster him for a little while. I took him home that first night after boarding and put him in my kitchen. He moaned and cried and was vomiting. Omg, I thought he was dying! I set him up with a cozy bed, food, water and some toys and lied down on the floor with him for a good while til he settled in. I closed the door, the light, and got everyone settled in and went to sleep. About an hour later I heard loud barking coming from the kitchen and when I opened the door, he was standing up, barking his head off and wagging his tail furiously! Basically he said " ok, I'm feeling much better now, and I'd like to come out and be part of the pack" That was a magical moment in time.

And so it goes......the beginning of a long love affair with Shorty Benorti! as i sometimes called him. He loved all the nicknames i gave him....Shorto Benorto was one of them....: ) I would make up little songs with his name in it, he loved it and would get so excited!

Soon after I rescued him he got very very ill. some of you may remember how sick he was. He ended up in the ER, and turns out he needed his gall bladder removed. The doctors told me that Shorty had very little chance of survival and the surgery was extremely expensive. Shorty wagged his tail the whole time and his eyes were telling me " I will make it". I knew in my heart that his will to live was so strong that I had to give him a chance. I opted for surgery, maxed out all my credit cards and went on a fundraising campaign to save his life. I knew I had to do this.....because there was a light coming from his eyes, a spark that was undeniable...he wanted to live!!

Yep, this 13-14 yr old wonder boy pulled through and got to come home and spend the next three years being happy, giving love, getting love, being a part of something he had never known before. He gained 9 pounds and his hair grew back. He turned into a great beauty and the most loving little soul I've ever known! He did have many health issues and he did end up in the hospital quite a few times over three years, but each time he would bounce right back and say " well, ready to go again" "when do we eat"

Shorty was a little mischief maker too.....He loved to eat paper and sometimes I would come home and find important documents eaten! Je would sit there as if to say, "yum, that was delicious, now whats for dessert?" I could never ever get mad at him. He was so comical and lovely. He went everywhere with me, to all my singing gigs, to all our events at Kulaks Woodshed. One night we were doing a fundraiser for The Pepper Foundation, and had the bucket filled with the money that people donated on the bed where Shorty was. I screamed and said " omg Shorty is eating the money" we ran over there and sure enough Shorty had actually eaten some of the money! Lol like I said he loved paper! :)

Over the past year Shortys kidneys grew worse and his arthritis was becoming much worse. It was evident that he was slowing down. I knew that the worst day of my life would be the day that I had to let Shorty go. I knew he would never do this on his own and that one day I would have to make that decision for him. He would have stayed wagging his tail forever even though he could no longer walk at all and was practically paralyzed. During around the time of Thanksgiving I thought I would have to let him go, but I took him to my moms, with his doggy bed thinking this was going to be it. hmmmm, not. he actually got up every 5 minutes to make his way into the kitchen for turkey! my mom kept screaming " Julie , get Shorty out of the kitchen"..... he had a wonderful time that night. But over the next three weeks he went downhill quickly and could no longer walk, was in great pain, suffered nerve damage to his legs, (although he never let me know) and his kidneys were shuttting down. He was stoic through the whole thing. But Sat Morning I woke up to Shorty crying, and he was peeing and pooping all over himself. His spirit was still strong and beautiful but it was clear that he was suffering and was trapped in a body that could no longer work! I loved him so much that I simply had to set my boy free!!!!!!!!!

Shorty wherever you are, you are free and whole again, romping in the grass with all your brothers and sisters that have passed, somewhere wonderful over the Rainbow Bridge! My life has been absolutely enriched by you and the love you gave unconditionally, but my heart aches and I will never be the same again without you! I love and miss you so!

A HUGE thank you to all of you who loved and supported Shorty over the past three years. You are angels who made it possible for Shorty to live! I am gratetful to all of you! For those of you that got to actually meet Shorty, you were lucky enough to be graced by his gentle soul! and for those of you that didnt I know these words cant even beging to touch upon his grace and beauty! As time moves on I will pick myself up and rescue another neglected soul in Shortys name!

R.I.P. sweet Shorty! you have changed my life for the good and taught me love, patience and made me laugh for hours on end! You are one of a kind my friend!

Love forever , your mom! and all your brothers and sisters here on Earth!


12-17-2009, 03:11 PM
Shame on me for forgetting to list some very special members who banded together to rescue a subsidize the medical care for a very special Australian Cattle Dog named Lucy. Carol G (McGill & Winnie's Mom), Natalie (k9diabetes - Chris' mom), Sue (Zoe's mom), Rick (Lucy's foster dad).

12-17-2009, 04:42 PM

I admire all of you who have been and are still taking in rescue dogs. It is so good to know that there are so many of you with such kind, loving hearts to care for these babies.