I want them all. I'd hoard the shit out of every horse, pony, donkey, dog, cat in need... if I didn't have a 'realistic' husband. Such a buzzkill.
However, by many standards, we already have our fair share.
Every current animal child of mine is a 'rescue' of some sort. At least a hand-me-down variety if not an outright cruelty case.
It's become a part of my life and something I am completely passionate about.
The line up:
Suki, my elderly and ill Bengal cat, was my first baby. I was obsessed with Bengals and called a breeder in Philly while we lived there and asked if she had any rejects she planned to dump. She sure did, a 3 year old female who refused to mate. Sounded like a feisty gal I'd appreciate. Sort of a rescue as I don't know what her fate would have been otherwise. She's still my baby despite her current health state. Here she is on one of our nightly walks around the farm.
On the kitty note: there are my three amigas in the barn: Basil, Gypsy, and Zeva. Basil and Gypsy were the remaining sisters from a feral litter "free" on Facebook and Zeva was dropped off and abandoned at the home of my friend's mother. They are the friendliest cats I know, loving little girls, and serious hunters. Not a mouse, bat, rat, mole, snake, bunny :(, or grasshopper that gets into the barn unscathed.
After Suki came Morgan, our Doberman. He was NOT a rescue, he came from what I now know to be a "backyard breeder." One who apparently didn't genetically test her dogs causing us complete and utter heartbreak when Morgan suddenly died at the age of 4 from Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Though I'd give nearly anything to have our sweet boy back again, I would never buy any animal from a breeder ever again.
Sweet Brie. My princess couch potato from Alabama. I adore this girl with all my heart. She is the epitome of resilience and proof of the power of love. Her first year I likely can't/don't want to imagine. The first pictures I saw of Brie were disturbing, cowered in a shelter, hairless and scabbed, swollen paws, bloody snout. A heart wrenching sight. Dropped at a high-kill Alabama shelter.
I knew she was mine. She was the first dog I saw that elicited a gut reaction, a feeling I can't explain, just that she was meant for me.
Brie now <3 The sweetest, calmest, most perfect dog ever.
I had the same feeling with my horse India, a retired thoroughbred racehorse, formerly known by the Jockey Club as SaraBay. I saw a picture of her and just knew. She's not been the easiest horse. She's smart, questioning, and accident prone! Granted, she's young but Indie has taught me so much about patience, living in the present, striving for calmness and to be a better person. Also, my nursing skills have come in quite handy with her frequent mishaps.
Aspen, my sweet old mare, came from the slaughter pen by way of my good friend. Destined for death. I don't know her past, I would guess at least some good and probably plenty of bad. She's an easy one, loves attention, and appreciates everything. She's now a healthy mid-twenties puppy dog.
Most recently, The Doug. Our 3.5 legged little man dog. What a character!! Here he is watching Shark Week!
Morgan died in March 2017 and the minute we came home from the vet I couldn't stand the silence. As the days went on, I could not stand watching Brie sniff the back of my car every day knowing that was the last place she saw me put her big brother.
By April I was on the search for a life to save to heal all of our hearts.
I saw Dugger (formerly known as Danny Boy) on the website of a rescue we've previously fostered for, Rescue Dogs Rock NYC. A little red nose southern gentleman from Georgia, the video showed him bouncing around at a vet's office after a squeaky ball and his little face and pricked ears gripped my heart strings completely. I didn't know much about his leg issues before I was hooked.
Doug was either abused or hit by a car. Either way his left front leg was severely fractured and left without any type of treatment before he was dropped off at a high-kill shelter. The rescue saw the state he was in and took him in and arranged for surgery in NYC by an orthopedic veterinary specialist. Unfortunately, his leg had been left to heal too long on its own by the time he was rescued, so despite surgery, physical therapy, water therapy, and laser treatments, his little deformed leg remains what it is.
He couldn't care less and uses it as a kickstand.
So, as if our plate isn't quite full enough...
Yep, it happened.
I fell for another one.
Brie's condition was bad and I've seen some truly horrific cases but this boy is close to the worst of all I've seen.
This little boy was found on the side of a dirt road in very south Texas, almost to the Mexico border, nearly dead. He was lifeless in a garbage bag, emaciated, covered in gashes and wounds, hairless, scabbed, completely unable to stand, and shot with buckshot. He had managed to poke a hole in the bag for his nose to reach fresh air. His paws appeared to have never touched anything other than a cold metal cage that was too small for his body as his back had a sway suggestive of confinement. He was wearing a tattered collar, clearly owned by someone at some point.
He's estimated to be about 6-8 months old. It's difficult to imagine a person who could do this to a poor, innocent puppy, though I'd certainly love to meet this evil sub-human and practice an eye-for-an-eye.
Named Claudio, he was rushed to an emergency vet and placed on IV fluids and several medications as well as blood transfusions just to stabilize him. When he became medically stable and strong enough to stand and eat on his own they moved him to a sweet and loving foster in San Antonio. His foster mom has more than started his journey back to health and happiness. The photo below is from the start of September, he was found as above in July.
A big, goofy boy, believed to be a Black Mouth Cur mix. Basically a working ranch/farm dog from the south. Perfect.
Can you believe that's the same dog?! He's still very thin, he's easily exhausted, and his skin and fur still have a long way to go but what a magical transformation already!
He is still in Texas but we're anxiously awaiting his arrival. My friend told me Doug needed a playmate (Brie can only take so much!) and I decided to heed her advice, so here he comes!
We're also taking name suggestions!