Author Archive

minnie is finally out of surgery…

Posted: April 25, 2018 at 9:15 pm

we will have to wait and see if the hip stays in place. she should be able to come home on friday.

tiny zander looks pudgy tonight and he is waddling but he is happy.

minnie and thieves

Posted: April 25, 2018 at 7:26 pm

minnie is still in surgery..she has been in since just before 3pm…it is not going well. the vet has a couple of options left. will let you know as soon as i hear.

in the mean time to keep me distracted while waiting for news……patches decided to toss my pizza off the counter while i was on the phone to minnie’s surgeon. it landed in tiny zanders vicinity…he really loves saints because we have flying pizzas. when i found him..he was standing in the middle of the pizza going to town chowing down….min pin heaven.

i got back what i could, put it in a zip lock bag in the fridge and the dogs can have it for treats tomorrow.

thank you patches for wrecking my dinner. tiny zander says thank you too and he is not being sarcastic.

updates

Posted: April 25, 2018 at 8:21 am

yesterday i took flynn out to animal control so they could meet him and decide what is the best way to move forward with him. they felt he should stay there so they could fully assess him and work on plans for dealing with his issues..ie food guarding, shyness, housetraining..that are barriers to his adoption. flynn has always been their dog and saints was only fostering him for them. if flynn doesn’t do well, he will be turned over to saints and he will come back to us. all of us decided he needed the best chance and had his best interests in mind while formulating this plan…he is young, training and behavior modification are not our forte while they have the expertise to help him move past his issues if he is able.

still it made me sad to leave him behind..it is not something we normally do. once a saint, always a saint..but flynn wasn’t a saint..yet. and because i love him… i truly hope he won’t need to become one too.

however sometimes little sad clouds have silver linings. i came home with 2 little sad souls who do meet our mandate and now are real saints.

tiny zander came in to animal control more than 2 months ago as a stray but no one wanted to claim or adopt him. this little old, half blind min pin is utterly adorable. how he was not snatched up for adoption blows my mind. now we have tiny zander and giant zander sharing the same special name!
little chip also came home with me…he looks to be an elderly malti or terri-poo. totally sweet, suffers from separation anxiety with a mouthful of rotten teeth. he is about 14 yrs old and was also an unclaimed stray.
they have both moved into the kitchen and have settled in well. they are perfectly wrecked little saints that we will love and care for really well!

flynn..we haven’t abandoned you..we will be here if you need. and in the meantime welcome to saints tiny zander and chip, glad we were able to offer you a safe place.

our beloved minnie is having her first hip replacement surgery today…we are thinking of you sweetheart and hope you are not too afraid.

the gift

Posted: April 23, 2018 at 6:43 pm

more than a dozen years ago, squirt came thru our doors. he came from a shelter, terrified and traumatized. he was about 4 years and and was thought to be a survivor of a puppy mill. we may never know his real back story but we know his story here. for the first few months squirt lived in the small back bedroom, hiding in his open door crate. he eventually started venturing out further and further away from the crate but always ran back in if he was unsure or afraid. squirt now lives in the kitchen which is the busiest room in the house. he still goes into hiding when people he doesn’t know well come in but with the rest of us he feels safe and secure. he never was adoptable, none of us would have rocked his fragile world again, he was home with us, forever.

a few years ago, little buddy came in. his owner was really sick and she could no longer provide him with the care he needed. little buddy had terrible skin, he had been living in a cone for 2 years to stop him from ripping himself apart. his owner had originally called me to ask if i thought he should be put down, he was suffering more than she could bear. in the end he came to saints and we worked hard to get control of his skin. we finally got there and sent buddy out into foster care but his skin issues returned. keeping him under control was not only expensive, requiring several different and changing medications and medicated baths, it was also labor intensive. buddy needed to come back to saints where we are able to provide that kind of care. a few months ago little buddy developed bladder cancer. he is now palliative.

both buddy and squirt are now very elderly. neither one has much time left. i am not sure they will even see another summer. but they not only have us, they have each other. these two little ancient dogs are best friends. they sleep together all thru the night and for many hours during the day. every day they start looking more and more like each other and we now have to take a second look to see who is who.
in the very late twilight of 2 elderly and frail dogs, they have what many of us one day hope for..comfort, care, family, and friendship surrounding us when our final night falls.

there are days when we get so busy that i almost forget why we are here. then i look at buddy and squirt sleeping curled up together in peace. i think of all the things that they needed for so many years that they were able to find here.

i am so very grateful that these two little elderly dogs found saints. we are blessed by their love and trust. when their final day arrives, they will depart from much loved lives.
they have been a great gift to all of us and we have been a great gift to them as well. a shared gift is the best gift of all.

right from wrong..

Posted: April 21, 2018 at 1:59 pm

this is not just a human thing..animals are conflicted about it occasionally too.
take sam…today her stomach convinced her that wrong is ok as long as no one sees you.

i slipped past her to use the bathroom..apparently i did not quite latch the hallway gate properly.
as i came out of the bathroom..i heard a cat food bowl skid across the room and suddenly a large black shape zipped past me in less than a blink of an eye and made it safely back into the kitchen.

sam looked at me expectantly..did i see her or was she fast enough to get away with it? she peered at my face looking for clues. was she busted or had she escaped being caught doing something that she thought she was not supposed to be doing?
i just laughed..labs and their belly’s cannot be denied. and yet it was funny that somehow she knew she wasn’t supposed to be back there scarfing down the cat food. i never told her she couldn’t do it but i guess that constantly closed gate was her first clue.

everyone says dogs don’t feel guilt..that they look like they do because they read our body language which tells them they are in trouble. well i don’t agree…squirt breaks into the cat room frequently to steal food…and sam did it today. i truly don’t care…dogs are supposed to be opportunists. if the opportunity presents, of course they are going to do it! i just think it is funny because she thought she had done something wrong when in fact all she did was be a typical lab.

she has settled in here well. she is having a blast bombing around the barn with the other dogs. BUT…she has a lab clock in her head. as soon as she thought it must be lunch time, she was at the gate barking to come back! once lunch was done, she was eager to get back to the others, running around the barn yards.

we are all in love with this very sweet and funny “foodie” dog.

updates and morning ponderings.

Posted: April 20, 2018 at 7:56 am

tang had his dental….sadly he lost all of his teeth. but the good news is..he is recovering really well!
nadia had her spay surgery…because she is so very, very shy…it was a tough day for her but it is over now.
sam and flynn had their vet checks…both did very well. sam will soon be available for adoption thru saints and flynn after some temperament checks will be ready thru chilliwack animal control.
noodle had her neurologist appointment..sadly there is little to be done to improve her mobility, she will remain parapalegic. i must say tho, she handles it well!
new cat charley is still hiding in his cubby hole but is starting to come out for petting once in awhile.
the rabbit vaccines are here in BC..just waiting for delivery to our vets.
chewy is feeling better with the metacam injections so that is good news.
we are 6 weeks away from our annual open house so we need to get moving on our yearly sprucing the place up.

lots has been going on this week!

yet this is the simple part of rescue…animals have a need and our job is to meet that need.
i have been working on a power point presentation for an animal welfare conference in the fall. and it is reminding me about all of the invisible things that really aren’t invisible because it is a part of what everyone looking in or outside of saints actually sees.

i am talking about ethics, a moral compass, courage to follow that moral compass, transparency and respect.
respect is a funny thing because it sometimes collides with our interior conflicts in saying or doing difficult things.
and that is where both courage and transparency enters the rescue ring.
we can’t just sweep the hard stuff under the carpet. we can’t just pretend that the uncomfortable parts of rescue don’t really exist. we can’t run away from our responsibilities.
we live in a world that is not all rose petals and cupcakes and we need the actual will to step into the darker corners, holding our candles high to bring in the light.

fear is a normal human emotion…i am afraid of lot’s of things..like people not liking me, thinking i am a hag, of people laughing at me behind my back because they think i am too far outside the box when i really believe in something i say.
but i have learned over the years the thing that feels far worse than being afraid…is feeling false. i still sometimes practice avoidence, esp. if i am feeling unsure. but eventually the unsureness evolves into finding the right..and once that happens, i’m stuck. once you know right..you do right, there is no other choice because wrong will haunt you forever.
so i won’t adopt animals out into wrong homes simply because politically or personally it is easiest. i will pull animals out of foster homes if it is in the animals best interests. i don’t see these decisions as a negative judgement against the people involved..almost always the people themselves are great but they just happen to be the wrong home for that particular dog. sometimes we have to euthanize a dangerous animal and no one wants us to do that. but sometimes we simply have to. the decision is a hard one but if we truly believe it is necessary, we don’t hide it or conveniently forget to mention what happened to that poor animal. if their lives truly have value, then their deaths must be mourned. we can accept that not everyone will agree or understand. the kind or unkind ripples in that pond of controversy are just part of the job.
and none of it certainly is something i look forward to doing…it is really uncomfortable, full of second guessing and self doubt. but i walk into uncomfortable situations knowing there will be consequences..hurt feelings, disagreement, negative judgements, and sometimes anger at me as the target.
whatever. rescue is not easy. rescue is full of many, many responsibilities..we don’t get to pick and choose only the feel good…sometimes we have to accept the feeling shitty too.

the struggle is sifting thru all the layers and finding the truth. once that is found..it becomes simple too..we do what we have to do because we work in the flawed real world not in an imaginary perfect world…one where rainbows and butterflies are more important than truth.

i could have had a perfect life…

Posted: April 17, 2018 at 6:30 pm

i have a good paying job that i really like.i could have had a pretty home in town with a nice car and taken vacations to mexico or Taiwan. i love art and music and theatre and it was all there for the asking, but i chose other things instead.

and i was thinking about saints. a couple of months ago we were all looking around and asking where are all the dogs? our numbers were that low! this week we are all freaking out because we are so full. but it’s better now…mario and collin went home. stella and molly were moved into the tv room. flynn was moved into the entranceway so we don’t have to pick up all the food. and of course moving zander into his own little space in the computer room made him happy and decreased the chaos in the kitchen. at night i leave his gate open so he can come lay out with me if he wants, which he usually does.
so it is once again settling comfortably around here again.

and i was thinking how on most days…i love this place. some days drive me nutz..but especially in the late afternoons and evenings…i really like it here.
and i realized..most of the animals do too. i think they sometimes get tired of the chaotic daytimes when all the cleaning, laundry, feeding happens. but at night they relax into the peace and quiet of their home..just like me.

so i was thinking about how much better for them to have a real home tho. maybe one that doesn’t zoom from zero to 100 in a few hours.
but then i thought..how come for the most part they are happy here?
they don’t get puffed and perfumed at the grooming parlour every six weeks…maybe every 6 months if they are lucky.
they don’t have a beautiful home with tons and tons of palace like space.
they don’t get gourmet meals or grand walks out on forest trails.
they don’t have their very own person that they don’t have to share 120 ways.
so why are they happy?

and i realized..none of us need the perfect life. we don’t need unlimited income, or non stop entertainment…vacations are to get away from the grind of real life..but what if real life is really not all that grinding..what if for the most part..it is ok?
i don’t need or particularly want pedicures and they are happy not being pouffed and just rolling around in the hay.

maybe what we have here together, is absolutely just enough. we have a roof over our heads, we have warm and comfy beds. there is always something decent around here to eat as long we aren’t too picky so we never go hungry. we all get pain meds when our aging bodies are creaking and groaning. we have fields, and a pond and a barn.
and we are loved..by each other and by all the others who come here and care about us as well.

maybe i could have had the perfect life…maybe our much loved guys here could have a perfect life too.
but in the meantime…we’re cool.

updates

Posted: April 12, 2018 at 8:08 am

so much news…
new dog in..molly is a 9 yr old chi whose owner is very ill. one of our vet clinics contacted us about her.
new cat in…charley…a senior who became homeless thru no fault of his own. his original owner died and he was left to fend for himself.
kyah has injured her other knee so she is on resting lock down again.
maurice lost most of his teeth due to stomatitis but he is recovering well.
noodle is being transitioned out of her holding pen.
remus returned to his foster home on a trial, we think he is fully recovered from his spinal incident.
CAC is beginning the process of placing flynn up for adoption…we are just fostering him.
sam is settling in well but man that kitchen area is full!
chewy is doing better since his metacam injection, the barn staff are watching him,.

janette got the upper field seeded after doug finished harrowing so now we wait for it to grow. great thx to you both!

actually all of our areas are full again….no more room at the inn for awhile.
sadly erin had 10 new requests for dog admissions this week…we had to say no to everyone.

national jersey day today in honor of the lost members of the broncos..our staff are participating.

we are ramping up our bunny isolation precautions…one of the lower mainland public shelters was infected with the RHD rabbit virus and ended up losing all 69 of their bunnies…so very, very, sad for them. we will do everything we possibly can to protect our rabbits. still waiting on the vaccine..hopefully it will be here soon.

i think that is it for recent news.

aura passed away today.

Posted: April 10, 2018 at 6:33 pm

she came in with really bad teeth and kidneys that were already starting to fail. we were hesitant to attempt the dental but in the end to help her feel the best she was able, we decided to go ahead. aura had many months with us, she was happy living in the medical room and was well loved by her very own staff. maybe it would have been better to pass away in a home she had lived and been loved in for all of her entire life. but that didn’t happen for aura, she came to us old, sick and homeless near the end of her life, we did the the best that we could to help her enjoy the final months of her life.
i think aura was grateful for the care and kindness she found here. rest in peace lovely girl, you will be greatly missed.

and that reminds me…

Posted: April 8, 2018 at 8:26 pm

new dog in…sam is a 15 yr old lab whose family were moving to a place that had a 20 pound size limit for pets…sam is much bigger than that!
she is a very sweet dog who is not sure what just happened to her predictable world..she does not recognise this new reality she finds herself in.
However, she is lab enough to share my dinner without any hesitation, one must keep up one’s strength when the going gets tough. hopefully she will settle in here soon and feel at home with her new slightly weird family. welcome sam..we promise to love you.

maurice goes in tomorrow for his dental…he too will have a pretty tough day. but he should feel much better sooner than later..that’s the game plan anyway.

chewy chewbacca has a sore leg today..if it is not better by tomorrow, we will have the vets out to check him out.

we are expecting our imported rabbit vaccines within the next couple of weeks. getting the rabbits vaccinated will reduce a lot of the stress around here.

stella has been getting stressed recently and i have to say that it is our fault. she is anxious under the best of circumstances and we are not paying attention to her escalating stress signals. so i am putting my thinking cap on how to decrease her stress which revolves around people invading her space. since she is in the entranceway space invasions are hard to eradicate.

and this leads me to my thought for today…

as a rule..humans suck at listening to what animals have to say. and the reason for this is…9 times out of 10 we decide what animals are saying. we write the script, we direct the play..we barge thru their voices doing what we think they ought to like doing, which is pretty much whatever we the human feels like doing whenever the mood strikes us.
it is that whole damn fairy tale thinking that humans so love. we write the scripts for them so we feel good about ourselves.

let me give you an example…
lets take an old dog who has lived here for the past 2 years. he is well settled here, this place is familiar, the other animals and people are familiar and he is content. and in the past 2 years no one was interested in fostering or adopting him until his death became imminent. when we discover he is very near to the end..just a couple of days or a week left, the offers come in…offering him a “real” home with someone to love him for the last few days. wow..that sounds so great..finally he will have a real home to end his life in. it brings all of those wonderful warm and fuzzy human feelings literally oozing out our skin. we can awww ourselves to sleep knowing we gave him the very best of everything in his last week.

really? we don’t consider that moving someone who is dying to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar sights, sounds, scents, routines, people might make an old dying dog feel even more vulnerable? we don’t consider that he has relationships, that he feels loved, that he is with those he has already learned to trust?

maybe at some point in life..i would really love to go to paris and stay in a 5 star grand hotel…but in the last 3 days of my life? would anyone? probably not…the time for fairy tale grand hotel dreaming has long gone away.i would want to be near my family, comfortable in my own slightly beat up home..able to say goodbye to those i loved from a place where i really knew i was loved.

respecting an animal is not using them to fill ourselves up. when we committed to their care, we promised that we would meet their needs not our own. and that means actually listening to them when they are speaking to us. animals are not silent..they do have a voice and their voices are strong…they may not have human mouths and vocal cords to form actual words but they do know how to communicate with us if we were willing to hear.

i challenge everyone who truly respects and values animals to toss out the fairy tales…kick to the curb the warm and fuzzies…open our eyes and listen to what they have to say without our own voices drowning them out. animals live in silence because they can’t shout loud enough to be heard on our human centered stage.
i have to say that their willingness to forgive us, their patience in dealing with our self imposed deafness..it truly is miraculous in so many ways.

and that old dying dog was just a made up example…hopefully no dogs are dying here in the next many, many days!