Author Archive

exploiting the exploited.

Posted: January 23, 2019 at 8:11 pm

One of the biggest battles i have engaged in over the years is protecting our animals from at least the most overt forms of exploitation. These guys have been exploited by humanity up the yinyang.
lets be clear… all animals that have anything to do with human beings are exploited. we exploit them for food, for profit, for companionship, for therapy and assistance, for entertainment, for teaching opportunities, for feel good warm and fuzzies. we exploit them to stoke our ego’s, to engage in control, for power, for righteousness*(the proverbial hero vs the asshole.) we want to be the best animal whisperers, the most fantastic furry guru’s, with a click and a pocketful of treats, a jar of coconut oil, and a fridge full of raw food we are animal cure-all’s. when we use them or their stories to further our own personal or professional or social or rescue related ends…we are using them. lets call a spade a spade.
we need to acknowledge that we all do this in one way or another.
omg, the weight of even our rescue expectations in animal relationships is crushing.\
thank god they don’t know they are being exploited..they are really nice and trusting in that way.

and i guess they in turn exploit us too…they sure suck half my dinner and most of my bed out of me just with a yearning look in their eyes. they have the staff and volunteers jumping backwards and forwards to meet their physical and emotional needs in every possible way.

but here is the thing..shyla in her most manipulative posturing pose to get something she wants out of me…is doing it solely because she thinks she needs something from me.
what i try to protect her from is not from humans using her to fulfill some deep seeded maternal nuturing need (me) or to fulfill some even deeper seeded do-gooding or social justice need (also me,) my job is to protect her from anyone trying to use her or her story to personally impress somebody.

i live with these guys. they are not pure magical lights. they are as messed up, as tattered, as selfish and self serving as we are in mankind. the difference being..they are vulnerable, they are victims, they have absolutely no personal power unless we in our almighty-ness decide to give it to them.
now what IS magical about animals (and very small children) is what they help us to feel.
that gentle warm rush of softness that enters thru our eyes and slides into our spirits.
no one else may at that moment see it, or feel it and they don’t need to for us to still feel that gift.

in order to stop exploiting animals to simply benefit how other people see us…we need to understand this. animals exist for their very own purpose. just like i exist for my own purpose.
we may travel along together, for awhile. but their purpose is not to improve my purpose and i can’t possibly improve their purpose which i think may be to bring such a warm and gentle surge of softness into my spirit.
but their real purpose is to be themselves..and the real purpose for me is to be a better person myself.

building bridges

Posted: January 17, 2019 at 6:34 pm

i think sometimes i drive the staff crazy.
last year the staff set up my room for me..it was nice but i said keats didn’t want his bed on the far side he wanted it next to me. finally they moved it for him but i said he wanted one bigger. they made it bigger.
keats had a bad night while i was gone, everyone thought he had a bladder infection…i said he was missing me. we took a urine spec to the vet, it was all clear, keats is settled at night again. i am home and at night i check in with him periodically in case he needs anything.
shyla apparently doesn’t eat when i am gone, she has to be handfed in order to eat.she eats fine when i am here but when i am not she feels more anxious.
on the weekends mo tells me, my dogs sometimes won’t hang out at the barn if i am on site. they are more interested in where i am and what i am doing.
today i was watching brooklyn, even tho she wasn’t scratching, i knew she was itchy. when i mentioned it to renee she took brooklyn right away and gave her a bath. brook is more settled and content tonight.

i think someone might think that i think the animals actually talk to me.

they do and they don’t but i am not crazy.
the relationships i have with the house or mp building animals are vastly different. it is the house animals that i have the strongest and deepest connection with, i live with them.

here is the thing…
i have been doing rescue for almost 20 years. its not an 8 hour day where i put in my time and then go home.
i live with them, i sleep with them, i eat with them. i talk with them, i touch them, i interact with them continually as part of their family.
there have been thousands of them over the years and not one or two or four at a time…there are 50 living in my house at any one time. i made my house a shelter but i also made it their home. and i became the one constant, never changing family in their time of stress and need.
i became their anchor in the storm.
and they became the links in the chain that binds me.
a chain without an anchor is subject to the waves of time and an anchor heeds the chain for purpose.
i went to disney, the happiest place on earth and i missed them and they missed me.

the connection i have to the animals here was forged thru deep caring but also from deep ponderings…i watch them all of the time. i have watched them all for 20 years. and somehow i started hearing them..not in words..maybe from vast experience, or from unconsciously reading subtle body language or maybe it is something more magical then even disney could conceive.
whatever it is..i hear them.
and my hearing them makes them feel safe.
and they hear me.
sometimes i think they hear me better than people even hear me.

i have said all along that the animals are a bridge.
i have just realized that i too am a bridge.
or maybe together we are a two way bridge.

i think we all have the ability to be bridges…connecting to each other.
but we have to want to connect, to understand the other or we are just a loose plank floating alone out to sea.

heads up to weekend warriors..

Posted: January 11, 2019 at 7:28 pm

i am out of town this weekend (going to disneyland with jenn and family.) Andrea and renee have my number in case of emergency. mario and collin will be joining the kitchen crew again this weekend because we are all away. have a great weekend..give lots of tender loving care to our crippled crew and to all of you…A VERY HUGE THANK YOU!!!

A+ for effort!

Posted: January 5, 2019 at 6:01 pm

Oscar came to SAINTS several years ago. He originally came from a good home, had been there loved and cared for since a small puppy. But at 4 months of age, Oscar was already biting, and not in play.
His original name was Oliver and by the time he was 4 years old, he was literally a menace. With a new baby on the way, the family surrendered him to a trainer in the hopes that his issues could be worked out and a suitable home found.
After a couple of months, the trainer deemed Oliver non rehabbable..I believe her actual words were..’he’s crazy.”

And so Oliver was kicked out of Alberta and shipped to BC to become our newest broken saint. I am going to be honest, none of us liked him, he was a total vicious jerk. Luckily he was little which meant altho he might continually puncture, he wasn’t likely to kill any of us.
The first 2 priorities were A) to keep us and Oliver safe and B) to find some way to love this biting little monster.

I changed his name to Oscar the Grouch and it worked, it made him more endearing. As much as he is a total pain in the butt…all of us totally adore him (albeit from a safe distance.)

Several years later, Oscar still does not like to be touched and he will turn into a raging demon if anyone lays any hands on him to provide any kind of care. This means we heavily sedate him at home several times a year to transport him into the vets for full knocked out sedation for grooming, exams, ear and eye cleaning. We ordered special kevlar (bullet proof) gloves for when we absolutely do have to handle him and he still bites thru them!
Now Oscar is perfectly happy (as long as no one is goofing around with him.) He hangs out with the MP dogs, goes for walks and runs in the fields and occasionally still manages to attacks someones feet but we all wear thick shoes in his vicinity. We feel badly having to sedate him several times during the year tho but he has to have at least some basic physical care.

So today the saints staff and volunteers found a safe way to clean up Oscars eye boogers. They popped him in the shower, sprayed his face down and were able to rub around his eyes in an attempt to clean them. I am not sure exactly how effective it was, but Oscar wasn’t upset and no one was bleeding. KUDOS to everyone involved for thinking outside the box in providing our biggest little grouch some much needed care!

radioactive mama

Posted: December 7, 2018 at 10:04 pm

i have had a couple of medical scans in the past 2 weeks. they gave me a card to carry in case i ended up going thru an airport security because apparently each isotope injection made me temporarily radioactive and would set off the alarms.
who knew?

interestingly enough..maybe boomer??

he has been really weird around me lately. refusing to come up on the bed, and when i really fuss and keep calling him, over and over, he finally complies and crawls up but keeps a couple of feet distance. he literally cringes if i reach out to touch him. it hurts my feelings!

now you have to understand, boomer is very sensitive and because of this i am always, always, always gentle and kind with him. i never get mad at him nor treat him roughly or disrespectfully. he gets the softest kindness parts of me. boomer usually loves me. every night for years and years, he is up on the bed and cuddled up close, always touching me.
maybe this is a long stretch of my imagination but he seems to be some kind of furry geiger counter..could he really be picking up the radioactivity?
i don’t know but nothing else has changed between us so i can’t think of anything else. some dogs can sense/smell all kinds of things…drugs, bed bugs, up coming seizures, hidden cancers..why not radioactivity??
i hope that is all it is, that i smell funny..i hope he hasn’t suddenly decided not to like me!

i had the last scan yesterday..the card says i will be radioactive for another 4 days.
another 4 days of boomer avoiding his radioactive mama.
that really sucks, i miss my furry bed buddy…

hmm..i wonder if while i am sleeping i glow in the dark?
that might be cool.

hugs to lynne…

Posted: December 5, 2018 at 6:15 pm

she lost her sweet cassie last night.

cassie came to us about 3 or 4 yrs ago, we were called about a frightened dog running loose in a very rural and isolated area. it took about 3 weeks for a homeowner to entice her into her yard and close the gate and confine her safely. by the time we arrived, while she was still highly stressed and frightened, we were able to scoop her up into the van.
i remember glancing back at her and thinking, how did this poor old girl end up alone way up there?

the mystery was soon solved. she had a tattoo. cassie was 14 yrs old and we were able to trace her owners. i called them that night and was told her name and age and that the family was moving to australia the next day. i was told the dad brought cassie out from richmond and placed her on a rural farm in mission and apparently she didn’t like it so she ran away.
i didn’t really buy the story and had my own thoughts on how she ended up there..but then i tend to be cynical on the best of days. in any case i suggested that an elderly city dog might be happier with us than living outside on a farm so the owners agreed that we could keep her.

the good news was that cassie was safe and now a saint and it did not take long for lynne to once again fall in love. and for the last few years cassie has lived in a home that cared very deeply for her. she has been able to call her own shots (cassie was pretty darn stubborn so she actually won her way A LOT!) she has been treasured and greatly loved.
cassie passed peacefully away at the ripe old age of almost 18 yrs old with lynne’s arms around her.

rest in peace cassie, you were a very good and lovely dog.

saints news

Posted: November 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

new admits…

charley is a 5 yr old doodle with some anxiety and hyperactivity issues. he belonged to one of my cooworkers and his anxious rambuctiousness was just too much for the family to deal with. charley is a very sweet, gentle and loving dog whose one goal in life is to be velcroed to his forever best friend forever more!

maui is a 15 yr old senior cat whose owner went in to hospital and is unable to return home. she is a lovely little cat hoping to find a quiet and loving home to retire in.

updates…

little mikey the house bunny has moved over to the shop. he is unable to join the other rabbits until his neuter in a couple of months but in the meantime is enjoying being free range in the new and as of yet unoccupied FeLv cat area.

mystic has had all of her sutures out, both masses were benign which is really great news!
gracie’s pathology came back..it was an aggressive malignant cancer but the vets achieved clear margins during her surgery so we hope she will remain cancer free.
little’s xray showed 3 large lung abcesses so she is on high powered injectable antibiotics for the next few weeks in hopes we can help her clear these.
mocha is getting her sutures out as we speak. she has moved over to the office in the mp building to give her more space and to open up the entranceway for charley so he is in close contact with me.

dixie colicked the night of our xmas party, we called the vet and i stayed home to monitor her, she has recovered well.
keats is having mobility issues again..hoping it is just the change in weather but we are watching him closely.
whiskers has been having a few challenges in her new home..she is not likely the resident elderly cat. her family is working hard on this so fingers crossed whiskers gets over herself!

owen and lenore lost their beautiful emma a few days ago, they are heartbroken. emma was a very great dog and so very lucky to be able to finish her life so cherished and loved. huge thx to lenore and owen for making her last part of her life exactly how she had dreamed.

growing old is not for the weak.

Posted: November 18, 2018 at 8:31 pm

I can’t imagine being old, sick and alone..without a family, without a home.
I can’t imagine crossing the path of an old, sick and homeless cat and not doing everything to help him that we possible can.

SAINTS welcomes Stanley, old, homeless and sick..but he is no longer alone. He has a family, an entire village to care for him now.
old, sick and homeless did not mean he was worthless..all it meant was that he needed some help.
Stanley survived as a stray, old and alone out on the streets, that took strength.
He can rest now, he is safe.

saturday afternoon happenings.

Posted: November 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm


it has taken me almost a full year to partially rehab shyla….with great time and effort we have finally conquered popcorn.
vinny and rocket helped me with this.


shyla used to very cautiously remove the offered single piece of popcorn gently from my fingers by the edge of her very front teeth. it was like she thought it might sting her or something..then she would drop it on the floor and walk away in disgust. she eventually got tired of rocket or vinny rushing in to gobble what she thought was beneath her. to prevent this she started taking the offending popcorn as delicately as she could and then burying it in a blanket but her roomies still found it which pissed her right off. just because she didn’t want to eat it didn’t mean she wanted them to eat it so we entered a stage of popcorn stale mate.
so for awhile i had to put popcorn rehab on hold because i really didn’t want rocket or vinny to be injured.
but today i decided to try once again and lo and behold shyla got it.
first i hand shyla one single piece which she cautiously takes and very slowly eats. then i give rocket his half a dozen pieces and vinny his full handful and viola..they all finish at the very same time, ready for the next go around…safely.
apparently rehab is a bit of a process that needs time and patience and sometimes a few months of a break.
but now hurray! i can eat popcorn again!!

(and brooklyn didn’t get any popcorn because she slept thru the whole darn rehabbing thing!)

saints warmly welcomes three old and broken newbies…

molly2 is an utterly sweet 14 yr old poodle who lost her home due to incontinence issues.

mcgruff is an elderly pug with health issues who was picked up as stray and never reclaimed..he is ridiculously fun!

and tyler is a super affectionate 17 yr old one eyed, really messed up cat whose owner went into facility care.

all three of them are lovely and we are in love with them all and i doubt any of them are in need of prolonged popcorn rehab.

i am so sad to report that little bear has passed away

Posted: November 2, 2018 at 4:32 pm

he started cluster seizuring early this morning and was rushed to the vets, sadly he was unable to recover.

little bear was an odd little elderly dog, he lived in his own world. he wasn’t a fan of other animals or of people either.

little bear hated to be held or restrained in any way. whenever he absolutely had to go to the vets for anything, he was sedated as soon as he arrived there.

and yet there were times that you would see that he was happy…he would roll around on his bed, he really was very attached to his bed. very occasionally if you sat with him, he would suddenly climb up on your lap. and….. he really did enjoy a gentle butt scratch.

but little bear marched to his own drummer, he was clear with what he was comfortable with and with what caused him stress and we adjusted his world to suit him the way that he liked it best.

he may have been an odd little dog who was difficult to connect with, but he was our little odd dog and we all deeply loved and will miss him.