Author Archive


Posted: September 10, 2018 at 7:09 pm

new dog in..her name is brooklyn and she is a mess….bad skin, bad eyes and bad ears…really bad is what i see tonight. renee got her a vet appointment for tomorrow thank goodness and one of the staff thankfully have already given her a good bath. i am going to give her some meds tonight to decrease her itching so she can have a decent sleep and tomorrow, we will hopefully have a good treatment plan.

one of our newest fosters, who no one except me has met yet was just diagnosed with mouth cancer. hintza is a lovely, cheerful, energetic 8 yr old white shepherd with a wonderfully funny personality. we are going to investigate a little further to see if there are any possible treatment options for him. this is quite a stressful time for his foster family because they adore this goofy boy.

lynn took lenny to abbotsford for her physio appointment today…she said lenny did really well. she sure is tired tonight tho, passed out and snoring..she is such a cute little girl!

i keep thinking the front door is open! our volunteer wonder guys installed a new front door (the old one was rusting and had sharp metal edges just waiting to amputate some poor dogs toes!) this door has a big window in it. the entrance way is so bright now, i keep thinking the door is open when it is not. thank you guys! LOVE the new door!!!

one of our barn volunteers has sadly moved away. and we are really going to miss him. rick was a super nice guy and as a parting gift to the saints animals he left a donation and 3 super duper great wheelbarrows that everyone is going to LOVE! thank you rick and we will miss you! hope you come back for a visit soon!

huge thx to ali for organizing a volunteer potluck this past weekend…it was truly enjoyed by all (esp. mad max and diesel!)

so glad the rain is back!!

i think that is all of the recent news.

the winds of change!

Posted: September 8, 2018 at 8:29 pm

i have been trying to wrap my head around no longer “owning” saints. it is a bit of an adjustment and don’t get me wrong..i truly believe it is a good AND the right thing.
however…for me personally, it is the end of an era. i grew up and was christened in the down and dirty age of rescue..the age where “real” rescuers gave up almost everything…friends, family, privacy, comfort, financial security, sometimes even basic necessities, like running water or electricity…and some times, eventually……even their sanity. deprivation was their badge of courage, rescue was NOT for weenies!
i never made it all the way to that kind of “real” i wasn’t giving up EVERYTHING! i watched those guys really suffer some days and said to myself… “no freaking way am i living without a flush toilet, a hot water bath or a working washer and dryer!” and i kept my helped keep me somewhat sane plus i needed to work to pay the mortgage (and i actually love my job.) i also managed to mostly keep my family intact and my kids and grandkids all still like me! i gave up a lot tho..but not like the old timers… the animals got 99% of saints and i got 1% of a home…which included..half a ( half eaten) bed and a 5×6 foot bathroom (which everyone uses) but with a bathtub and a washer and dryer, (if i can slip in my stuff between saints loads of wash.) was enough and way more than my past mentors.

but up stuff and space wasn’t really that hard. the lack of privacy wasn’t exactly easy but whatever, i got used to it over time.
giving up self respect..that was a hard one at times, i mean sometimes swallowing my pride and just accepting that folks would define me whatever way they felt they had to. it was like being stuck in limbo in the court of perpetual judgements and opinions of you.
because here is the thing…once you become the figurehead of a fairly successful rescue, once your name is irrevocably linked..all kinds of interesting things happen.
depending on perceptions and experiences…sometimes you are a saint, sometimes you are an ass, sometimes you are on someone’s pedestal until they kick it out from under you. sometimes you are the kindest of all compassionate souls but to someone else you are a raging haglike toad. unfortunately you do sometimes over hear conversations, and sometimes someone whispers not so nice shit in your ear. sometimes you hear of people making fun of you, or telling anyone who will listen that you really do have angel wings underneath your flannel shirt and halos woven into your hair.
the bottom line is you are burdened with all kinds of labels and judgements..good, bad, friendly, not friendly, some downright ridiculous and some outright ugly and all of it from a far larger than most people’s average world. many of these definitions of you floating out there are impossible to live up to and some just plain fucking hurt.

this is something i do share in common with the old time rescuers…they had to carry this kind of shit too.

but here is the thing…rescue no longer has to be like this. it no longer has to be all or nothing, an individual’s heart, mind, future and soul no longer has to be handed over in order to save animals….the future holds a more balanced way now as caring for animals becomes more socially acceptable than it used to.
people can actually get paid in a real job now… in shelter care and animal welfare. animal welfare and shelter volunteers can spread their wings and get so much more involved and hands on in so many different ways and still balance it with their other home and work lives. no one HAS to be St Francis or the horrid troll under the bridge, no one has to be the crazy cat woman anymore..folks can just be normal people working together to do an important job.

it is a totally different future coming our way and it feels a little alien to me…(yes..a tiny bit of that rescue rebel in me is a wee bit sad…it has been an interesting kick ass/ass kicked adventure.)
but the practical, common sense part of me, after almost 20 yrs of this shit, says…its about time and thank freaking god! it is now ok to be normal in rescue.


Posted: September 6, 2018 at 7:38 pm

we lost lucy this week to liver disease. we struggled with making the decision but the bottom line was she wasnt getting better with the IV’s and meds. the next step was a feeding tube but lucy was pretty difficult to provide hands on care for..fight, flight or freeze…lucy was a fighter…. all teeth and claws..her most probable eventual end was not going to be peaceful or pretty. it sucked, she was a lovely little cat as long as no one was pissing her off.

noni had her leg xray today…she has been lame again for the past week or so. luckily there was no sign of osteomylitis. it looks like fairly significant arthritis in her front elbow. hopefully we can maintain her comfortably on a good med regime.

oreo has gone off to the home of his dreams. mad max has come back to the kitchen and is behaving himself fairly well. i think erin is planning on moving diesel into bears old is brighter and more central so he should feel less isolated plus it is more easily climate controlled but the move will probably piss him off initially anyway. oh yeye…a ticked off diesel is never fun, hopefully he gets over it quickly.

minnie had her reassessment regarding her new hip dislocating for the third time in the past couple of weeks..they will have tio back in and see if it can be readjusted..her surgery is next week.
this accident prone dog and her mounting vet bills may well be the death of me! she is well on her way to surpassing both bratwurst and miley in terms of financial liability. but good lord..she is such a sweet, sweet dog.

holding the heart of saints

Posted: August 30, 2018 at 8:45 pm

a little bit of a tough day for me today..part of me sad, part of me glad…honestly, this life can so easily conflict you!

today i signed the final papers turning the ownership of the saints property over to saints. it is no longer my is saints property.
and by that i reality, while the society holds title, it is in guardianship for the animals which we serve.

the sadness comes from watching your dream grow bigger and eventually past you. it comes from a place of personal loss..i love this place, i have invested heart and soul here, i have taken a lot of truly impractical and somewhat insane risks to have this place for the animals…and i am really proud of how far it has come.

but i am happy too…saints and our animals own their own home. they are no longer dependent on my ability to pay the mortgage, on my health or even my life, to be able to continuing living here. saints has invested a lot of time and money in building this place, in making this an appropriate home for all of our various animals. it is time for ownership to shift.

and..maybe i am a bit nervous too…while i did not often play the “this is my property” was kind of a handy card to have!

lynne made me laugh today when she asked..”so does this mean we don’t have to listen to you anymore?”…haha.. you wish!

anyway at this point nothing really changes..i am here and doing my job. eventually once saints can afford to pay for overnight staff i will move out to the cottage but that is a ways away yet.
and yes folks still do need to listen to me until the day comes when someone equally bossy takes my place!

but what i really want to say is…

Congratulations have come a long way and your future is looking great!!

WE are the village now, we all here are now equally holding the heart of SAINTS.

i am so far behind on everything…

Posted: August 25, 2018 at 11:35 pm

we have lost both cuddles and arnold this week and sweet little chickie last week.

chickie wasn’t doing well, erin took her into the vets and it was discovered she was full of cancer.

cuddles passed away in his sleep a few days ago. it was a bit of a shock because he had been doing pretty well. but i am glad he went peacefully in his sleep, in the home that he chose..and… it feels like the ending of his life that he also chose.

today we lost arnold. when i was out in the barnyard i noticed he did not look very well, his breathing was laboured, his feathers were dirty, his beak was pale. thankfully Dr Loff squeezed him in and our sweet old goose’s air sacs were filled with fluid, he was in congestive heart failure. he passed away peacefully and was not afraid.

several new admits this past week….
mad max is an old spikey tiny pom with a ton of attitude and very little hair!
oreo is a sweet, sweet spaniel who has already found his forever home. he will be leaving in early sept.
tootsie is an adorable elderly chin/pap cross. she is a sweet, sweet little dog who needs a major dental.
mocha came in blind and anxious with a grossly bulging eye and some mammary tumors. she had surgery a couple of days ago to remove the eye and tumors.
2 new tiny elderly rabbits came in, both needed surgery to remove suspect masses plus they needed neutering too. the clinic named them Snape and Dumbledor
we took in a new 8 yr old white german shepherd named Hintza, he is already in foster care. he is being investigated for a facial mass and has his surgery this week.

other updates
we have decided that minnie our sweet unlucky rotti is a total lemon…she had the first of 2 hip replacements a couple of months ago, then she perforated her small intestine as a side effect from one of her meds and needed emergency surgery, her survival was touch and go but she made it! and then this week she decided to leap out of the car before anyone could stop her and dislocated her new hip. all i can say is thank god she is in foster care with jane and mark because she is back to strict cage rest just like she was after her hip surgery and she just about drove me insane with guilt so i am glad that jane and mark can bear the brunt of her very sad face while they confine her so she can re-heal!

fraidy cat moved over to the medical room and is doing better there, it is less busy and less stressful.
charley moved up into the suite with chris for now, the cats in the house were picking on him and he needed a break from them.
samsam has been caged for the past couple of weeks due to a lingering infection which due to his sketchiness was hard to treat. we have finally been able to get some antibiotics into him and he is starting to look much better again.
jamie took ewok home as a foster.
bailey has gone into foster with janette’s family.
and i think shelagh is considering taking home flora and that would be great!

ok..i think we are caught up on all of the happenings..i hope i did not forget anybody!

growing up.

Posted: August 18, 2018 at 7:59 am

the one thing i have learned in rescue is to be at least somewhat flexible..on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the death of zander and one being some human being annoying me..i can suck up the one gladly.
you know what?
that’s not quite right…it is not that i have learned to be flexible…
i have learned not to be selfish.

there is a “fuck you” attitude in rescue..a “how dare you?”
step on my toes, question my abilities, act like you know better…all guaranteed to raise the hackles and that stubborn, uncooperative streak and possibly retaliation from every rescuer.

i call it blind lightening…aiming for a singular figure but starting a grass fire that gets out of control.

for years i could do what i wanted, whenever i wanted without interference. and lets face it..i was good at it..saints grew and was respected, the animals were well looked after and more than a dozen years later, we are still going strong.
but now as we move into the future and saints needs to become independent of me…i have to start letting go…and i have to start letting others lead and pave our future road.

there are some things i don’t like..there are changes to how i want to do things which make things more complicated..dare i say..more annoying? policy and procedures???(i like shit really simple!)

but what am i going to do..have a fit? pout? take my ball and go home? wrestle back full and uncontested control?
cut my nose off despite my face..(this nose and face is actually the animal’s saints face and they kind of need it whole.)

absolutely not. i am a grown up and i have a plan and a purpose to achieve…a stable and sustainable home for FUTURE senior and special animals in need.
i guess i am more flexible than i used to be..but mostly i am less selfish.
i will do whatever it takes to keep these vulnerable, often forgotten animals safe, i will continue to give them the best of me AND encourage others to do the same.
i will work as a cooperative team member who in dealing with others can give and take, win and lose and still give it my all.
and even if i can’t have my own way all the time now…i am grown up enough now to accept…there are many different ways to climb a mountain as long as everyone continues to look up.

on the really crappy rescue days…especially on days of multiple losses….

Posted: August 14, 2018 at 8:31 pm

i think about stuff.

today i was thinking about when Mah arrived, pregnant with her udder bag dragging upon the floor. I remember Arnie sleeping up in the suite, ready to be the midwife when her babes were born.
I remember the midnight call to the vet to come help with a difficult birth and Michelle running across the street to join us and help. And Arnie was just like a proud papa, feeding those three little babes, laying with them in the straw and coming up with their very sweet names. He still celebrates their birthday every year. All of us fell in love with this little sheep family, they were special to us all. The loss of Bo is like losing part of our family, he took his first breaths and steps here, he was a SAINTS child.

and then i was thinking about taco…at Boundary Bay, struggling to make some kind of progress day after day. There was something so magical about him..he sprinkled loving dust in every heart that he met. Margie and the folks at New Westminster Animal Shelter fell under his spell. Margie and a co worker went over to Langley to visit him in hospital last week. They are so very sad that he has passed away. The staff and volunteers at SAINTS loved him well, the staff at Eagle Hill Animal Hospital fell in love with this little mite too. And for the past couple of weeks, sick as he was..Taco managed to wrap all the staff and vets at Boundary Bay around his little toes too.
I went over to see Taco tonight, it was time for me to decide…I held him in my arms, with his nose tucked under my arm and i tried to decide what was right. Once the decision was made, the staff came in, the vets and techs to say good bye. They told me they took turns carrying him around, that last night he slept in the lap of one of the vets while she worked on the computer. They told me they brought him special things in their lunches to entice him to eat and ran over to the grocery store to buy him baby food and chicken and they told me how much they loved him.
We all loved him.
So when it came time to help him to pass, I asked if any wanted to be with him. And they did…as he passed away while they held him, i heard one of the techs whisper “we love you taco, you had a home here with us.”

And this is what I am thinking tonight..the people who work or volunteer in rescues, in shelters, in animal controls, in vet clinics, in specialty hospitals…these are special people with special hearts. They love the ones the rest of the world forgot.

Rest in Peace Bo and Taco, never doubt that in this life, you were both completely loved and you will be so greatly missed.

Lost and Found

Posted: August 13, 2018 at 8:02 pm

Back in January of this year I wrote about some emaciated pigs we helped herd off of Lougheed Hwy that were taken in by Animal Control as strays and how we struggled wanting to help the malnutritioned mom and her 8 or 9 babies but just did not have the room for them all. They were sent to a farm auction house to await their 96 hour stray holding period for the owners to reclaim. The 96 hours past and no one claimed them so we arranged to save one and have mom transferred to SAINTS. I named her Amelia Dearheart after Amelia Earhart which proved to be a terrible choice because the night before our transport went to pick her up..they all disappeared, apparently stolen from the auction house in the dark hours of the night. So our Amelia disappeared like the other flying Amelia and despite the efforts of Animal Control, the RCMP and the SPCA, she and her babes were never found. Everyone was just sick over their loss.
Fast forward to August…
Recently the SPCA raided a farm who has a long history of neglected animals this time including a malnutritioned mom pig and 10 new piglets. Photos were exchanged and low and behold, mom was Amelia…bred again, still underweight and hungry but safe within their care. Amelia is easily recognizable because of her markings and incredibly stunning hazel eyes.
Soooo…9 months after being found and lost, she has been found again.
The staff at the SPCA had named her Hazel (because of her lovely eyes) and she is coming home to SAINTS. We think we will keep her name as Hazel…naming her after a disappearing adventurer was a really bad idea in the first place!
Hazel comes home on Wednesday! We are so very thankful to all involved in her rescue and for helping her finally make it to her forever home with us!

Yogi Bear passed away today.(by erin)

Posted: August 2, 2018 at 11:00 pm

Bear came to SAINTS back in May 2017. He was a SPCA cruelty seizure due to medical neglect. He had hypothyroidism and diabetes and had already lost most of his eyesight. Bear was aggressive towards cats, dogs and most people. But, if you were lucky enough to be in his select group of friends, Bear was incredibly loving and affectionate. When he started growing his first tumor months ago, we knew it was cancer. This sweet and snuggly dog just could not catch a break. His many problems began to wear him down and we planned the very best ending we could have. Today he died surrounded by some of his very best friends. We adored him. We doted on him. We loved him dearly. And today we set him free. Thank you Coastal Rivers Pet Hospital for your exceptional care of our boy.

day one post zander

Posted: August 2, 2018 at 7:08 am

omg this room is empty..when you guys see it, it will break your heart.
zander was here and now he is not and that fucking sucks. but it is what it is and it is what we do…we love them and then we miss them and we learn to adjust to heartbreaking empty spaces and rooms.

so in the spirit of saints..which is move on, there is work to do and more animals need us…

saints welcomes…

mad max…an adorably cute and funny looking old pom…who is sometimes a bit of a jerk. he was not making friends at AC where he was in attack mode but he is doing sort of ok here.

ewok…(why are so many fuzzy little dogs named ewok?)…whatever. unlike mad max..ewok is sweet and gentle. he has dry eye, he is 18 yrs old and he has a bum leg. you have to wonder how this dog became an unclaimed stray>

and finally… the saddest, most pathetic, heart breaking dog i have ever seen came into our care on tuesday evening. she has been bathed, shaved given a good couple of transformational make overs and she feels so much better!
saints welcomes lenny, a currently bald but should be fuzzy little thing. she is paraplegic and a very sweet and gentle girl.

and i think eventually we will be turning zanders empty area into a paraplegic area… hopefully for both ben and lenny to safely hang out.
but not quite yet.

also please send positive thoughts for taco…he has been in and out of the vetsm for several days with acute pancreatitis. he goes in in the mornings for IV tx and comes home at night. he feels utterly crappy, poor, poor, sweet little boy.