Saturday, 1 March 2008

Cold Wet Nose - Warm heart?

Have you got an amazing story to tell? I'm always stunned by the little gems of stories people store away within them that they've never considered sharing. Every photoshoot seems to unearth something either heart-warming or remarkable. I often speculate that if you just put any random group of dog owners in a room for half an hour you'd be bound to hear several exclusives that otherwise would never get aired.
They say there's no such thing as good news, but I do usually find there's a very good percentage of happy ending - but of late the opposite seems to have been true.
In the last week several people have confided in me stories of such magnitude that to be honest I've had trouble sleeping. It's easy to just look at the surface and think everything is okay for those about you, but for a percentage life will have taken a ghastly and totally unjust turn and most people will be totally oblivious to their pain.
But I guess, just as bad things can happen to good people, the converse must be true and somewhere someone is enjoying spectacular good luck. I just don't seem to hear about those stories at the moment!
Inca was a Rottie who ended up in rescue. As this is a very familiar story of late, her prospects looked bleak. I'd had a hand in finding her the very, very best home imaginable with some great people. She seemed the luckiest Rottie in the world - so many others were left waiting for a good home. Then, very quickly, she was diagnosed with serious HD and needed a very big op. Her superb new owners didn't even flinch at the vet bill - even though they were uninsured, they already loved her unconditionally and would do anything for her without question.
But there were serious complications and she contracted MRSA. Months and months of very intensive treatment at enormous cost followed with her life hanging by a thread - but against the odds she pulled through and she started to enjoy her lovely life at last. We all enjoyed the happy ending and her busy owners even took Inca to Discover Dogs to support the excellent work of the Bella Moss MRSA foundation.
Then yesterday I heard she'd been killed in a road accident. Her owners who fought so hard to save her are understandably totally devastated at this sudden and unexpected loss.
By chance I'd already heard several other heartbreaking stories in the past week that left me questioning how some people find the strength to get up every morning.
Can we please hear of someone experiencing good fortune soon? For example can poor old Dumbo get the home he deserves? Can one of you write a comment in this blog that gives us a glimmer that somewhere else on the planet something incredibly uplifting is happening that can put the earth back on its axis and make us all feel like we can actually make a difference?
As part of the Cold Wet Nose Show we'll be giving a series of awards to people and dogs that do make the world seem a much more 'human' place.
Now would be a very good time to tell me your happy stories! But even if you have a sad story to share, don't hold back. I'd hate to think people might stop confiding when they are down - we do feel totally honoured to be included in all the lows as well as the highs. Some of our readers have been with us every step of the way for the past 18 years and whether you're one of the old school or the newbies, I like to think at Dogs Today we're at least one part of the planet that wants to listen and help whenever possible. I know I've been very grateful of the same support when my life has had its ups and downs!


Gina said...

Video Story of a rescue

Beverley Cuddy said...

Hi Gina
Lovely video, I'm going to bed cheered up!
Well worth a look - well done!

Chapstaff said...

Beverley, I'll tell you about my dog. It's a happy story.

We rescued Cleo, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier from Wood Green Animal Shelter when she was 1 year old. She was about to be put to sleep as she was "vicious" with other dogs.
Her previous owners had loved her, but had to hand her in when she, as an older pup started fighting with her mother.

To cut a very long story short, we agreed to take Cleo unseen, & never regretted it.

We soon found her aggression was due to fear & took steps to help her over this.

We had 15 brilliant years with her & she came everywhere with my hubs & me that she could; every holiday; every outing.She was a very happy girl.

She kept very good health, & as she got older we had 6 monthly "senior health checks" to monitor how she was doing & to catch any problems early.
She developed liver problems, but with a healthy diet kept well for a few more years.

At the age of 16 years she slowed down a lot & eventually "told" us she had had enough. She had been amazingly healthy up until then.

Last July we called out our vet to put Cleo to sleep at home, but she passed away very peacefully snuggled up in my arms before the vet arrived.

I think this is a happy story. Who could ask for more?

I feel very privileged to have had such a lovely dog as Cleo for all those years & had no qualms about getting another Stafford, Tala - now 8 months old, full of mischief as a puppy should be.

Penkitty said...

Here's a story that hangs in the balance. I recently rescued a GSD from a Pound in North Wales, he was an unclaimed stray and in a put to sleep situation. I presently live in Cornwall and have never seen this dog other than in photo's but I was asked if I could help and I had to do what I could. I have managed to get funding to keep him (Jamie) in safe kennels until mid March after that I don't know. So the race is on to find this lovely dog a forever home.
Jamie is fit and well the vet thinks he is around 7 years old, he's good with other dogs, cats and chickens.
Let's hope this one can have a happy ending.

Beverley Cuddy said...

Lovely story about Cleo! It's wonderful to look back on a life so enhanced by being rescued.

And Penkitty...
Can you please get in touch with your email details (my email is I've emailed a really kind person from a GSD rescue site to ask for their help and I've just realised I don't know how to contact you!

Mina said...

I don't know if this counts as uplifting, but I rescued Fred (you met him on a photo shoot) as a failed foster dog. He was left alone all day long by a couple – one wanted him, the other didn't really, and obviously a young dog left alone all day will 'misbehave' – I've seen the evidence on how chewed his original bed is. He was severely emotionally abused for quite some time by one half of the couple, and probably some physical abuse was doled out too. The couple saw a behaviourist for Fred, but it eventually came to the brink of divorce and the mother of one of the couple took Fred away. She couldn't cope with him either, because of what he'd endured, and the behaviourist rescued him, and brought him to me as a foster. He had to be crated to make him settle down, otherwise he'd fall asleep sitting or standing up. He bounced around, running on adrenalin for months – at least 12 families/couples came to see him and said 'lovely dog, but no thanks' - then a home was found for him, so good news! Six weeks later he was back because they couldn't cope with his behaviour – strangely he was somewhat calmer for me, but still bouncing off the walls. On walks he'd jump up at everyone, including toddlers, and if another dog walked past, I'd lose him.

I took him to training classes to try to make him more 'adoptable' and ended up walking out of more than once class in tears or temper, occasionally leaving him with the instructor so we could both calm down. He had to be muzzled, because he lunged at every dog that went past, screamed and cried and savagely bit me when another dog was running or doing agility near him and he couldn't join in, so we muzzled him. Even when he became more socialised, I still had to carry the muzzle for the days he couldn't contain himself and bit me in frustration or excitement. Eventually I adopted him after he'd had no interest for another few months – plus the training work had forged a bond between us that I couldn't bear to see broken. Nearly six months to the day that he started training, he was promoted into an advanced obedience class by winning their bi-annual 'progress tests' for his level and he has continued to progress in the six months since then – he came 7th this time around, but we found out just after the test that he's got a bad leg, so I feel he was robbed of a chance to shine. He moved from sleeping (when he finally learnt to rest) in the dining room, to the living room, the far end of the sofa, next to my leg, then just after I'd had him for a year he made the huge step of climbing onto my lap. Where he's been ever since.

He never needs muzzling now, he's a happy, socialised little dog, never knocks toddlers over any more, he loves to work, is amazingly well behaved and trained considering his problems and although he's on 'house arrest' at the moment due to his sore leg he's still learning new things to keep his mind active. He's won two dozen rosettes for everything from 'Best Rescue' through 'Best Crossbreed' to 'Best in Novelty Show' has his bronze Kennel Club Good Citizen award, and in November he visited Discover Dogs in the semi-final of Scrufts. This year we're hoping for more good things in obedience work. He's started working trials as well, and we hope for agility, although that does still hype him up too much, and I don't want him going back to biting, so we're working on calm behaviour just watching before we venture back in the ring again.

He still jumps up at visitors to the house, which is something we are still working on, but for a dog nobody wanted, he's turned into a fantastically hard working, bright, entertaining and loving dog.