Noelle has passed away (by Erin)

Posted: July 20, 2019 at 5:26 pm

I’m very sorry to report that Noelle passed away today. She was a trooper, battling through both cancer and kidney disease for a couple of years now. Man, she was a great cat. A petite powerhouse, bursting with personality. We will miss her đŸ’”

Sometimes they struggle.

Posted: July 17, 2019 at 8:17 pm

When 14 yr old Buddy lost his home, he was upset. He didn’t blame his family, they were caught between a rock and a hard place. He blamed us and he was mad! In the first couple of weeks of Buddy coming to SAINTS we could have used many adjectives to describe him…vicious, nasty, violent, dangerous, mean. He was for sure very angry, and punishing his captors I am sure was somewhat satisfying.
But the reality was that Buddy wasn’t vicious, nasty, or mean…ok maybe he was violent and dangerous but from his point of view he thought he had good reason.

I have dealt with many angry cats and the one thing I learned is they all seek validation. They want me to know they are angry and why they are angry and they want me to understand their righteous rage.
And I do..they just had their world turned upside down and were kicked in the proverbial guts. They are hurt and suffering, immeasurably. It breaks my cat loving heart.
My formula for helping them get thru it is patience and kindness and acknowledging their pain.

Years ago I read somewhere that true compassion was the ability to suffer with someone who was suffering without letting the sharing of suffering break you.
That’s not always easy but it is critical because how can you help someone else if you collapse in a puddle of pain?
It is a fine line that allows you to feel the suffering of others without getting lost in the suffering pool.

So Buddy and I have an tenuous pact..I accept he is upset, I acknowledge not only his pain but his anger and fear as well. I am careful in my interactions with him..being accessible and present without invading his safe space. In return for this Buddy is beginning to trust me…I can safely clean his cage, I can use one of my fingers to stroke his head and when he does decide to come near me, I can stroke him down his back.
Buddy is still struggling, he is cautious and nervous and I must respect that and not push myself beyond his comfort zone. I must wait until each encounter to see how much or how little he wants to interact. Buddy is out of his cage now and will come when I call him, and I can pet him hello. However, he is still in pain… his eyes are still cautious, his body is still nervous and tense. He is still struggling in his suffering but a little less so…he is willing to give me a cautious chance.

Eventually he will trust fully again, eventually he will let his full guard down. But until then I watch and I listen to his silent struggle as he tries to make sense of this new world.
Love you Buddy, no rush, whenever you are ready we are here for you.

Wishes 4 Whiskers Animal Card Sponsorships

Posted: July 13, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Every year we make sure the SAINTS residents presence is felt at our fundraiser. Every year we have succeeded in having every animal receive $25 sponsorship. This means each animal sponsored is at the event in spirit through a creative sponsorship card.

This is a great way for those SAINTS fans we live far away or can’t make the event to contribute to Wishes 4 Whiskers.

Most of our readers are familiar with the process. Click on this link and write your FIRST and LAST NAME next to the animal you would like to sponsor

There are 2 Ways to Pay

1. Click on this link Just below the purchasing a ticket box there is a place to enter a donation.(This is our preferred payment option)

2. Mail a check to SAINTS. 33860 Dlugosh Ave. Mission, BC V2V 6B2. Please mark your check with W4W sponsorship on it.

Please email if you have any questions. If you have problems accessing the spreadsheet please post your sponsored animal in the comment section and I will fill out the form for you.

I don’t stay put.

Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Taylor is a handful, she is perky and bright and thinks life is a great adventure.
(now don’t anyone get too excited, she is not up for adoption yet, we still have to get her spayed.)

But back to this little handful who will not stay put!

Taylor can squeeze thru a closed gate, she can jump over an xpen and lift a closed dog door with her nose. She hops like a high speed bunny where ever she goes.
She likes playing “catch me if you can” with my 100 pound puppy and loves to leap in the air to grab said puppy by the neck.
Taylor will cower on the ground, crawl to you on her belly if she thinks you are mad at her, or want to do something with her (like put on a collar) or are thinking of putting her somewhere.
I don’t actually think she has ever been mistreated, I think she just learned that looking pathetic gets her off the hook. She is so pathetically adorable that it really does work!

Taylor LOVES to cuddle, she is The. Best. Cuddler. in town. She loves to be carried, she loves to be held. She frankly loves everything and anything that makes her a super star.
Which is why she never stays put.
The grass is greener on the other side of the gate.
There are more fun loving people behind the doggy door.
Her favorite giant puppy playmate is on the other side of the xpen.

Taylor sees, Taylor wants, Taylor gets what she wants.

There are no barriers too great for her to surmount.
There are no hurdles that can’t be run under.
Obstacles are simply challenges to be overcome.
Taylor’s motto in life is “girls just want to have fun!”

This is a little and funny and determined diva dog who will not stay where you put her!!
and all of us love her to bits!!

Primrose passed away today

Posted: July 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm

She was found a few months ago disoriented and circling around over and over in someone’s front yard. Animal Control took her in to see the vet and tried their best with her but she remained highly stressed in her kennel. Prim was sent to us and none of us were sure if SAINTS could help her connect with the world around her. We tried many different things..medications to reduce pain and anxiety, enrichment therapy, giving her a stable and predictable environment where she could feel safe. We tried pushing her limits by going for walks or with time to wander at will in the yard, nothing really worked for her.
We did find she paced less and was more relaxed in the laundry area but that wasn’t ideal. She never reached the point where she wanted to be touched or to interact on a personal level with anyone here.

We knew she suffered from liver disease but she did put on weight and her coat became soft and shiny. But she absolutely would not make eye contact with any human or animal, she would not engage in any kind of relationship with any of us over these past few months.

Was she in the deep unreachable regions of K9 cognitive dysfunction? Were her liver enzymes too high and affecting her brain? Did she have a brain tumor? Or had she spent her entire life walking in a circle upon a chain? Was that all she knew so that even once the chain was gone, the chain still enslaved her brain?

We don’t know. We knew she was very old, we knew she walked in circles, we knew she preferred pasta to any kind of dog food, we knew she did not like to be touched, that she needed to keep aimlessly moving until she was ready to lay down for very long and relaxing naps. But we did not know who Prim was inside herself except she was old, weary, and all alone in her heart.
There was no real reason to help her pass today, she was not in physical distress. We weren’t even sure she was emotionally stressed because even tho she continually circled, she seemed peaceful and calm.

But Prim had no joy in her life, not one moment in the day where her spirit sparked up with light. We don’t know if she was horribly abused, horribly neglected or horribly ignored. We don’t know if her brain wasn’t functioning and she was just existing moment to moment, endlessly circling thru time.
Today we set her free, our hope for Prim had been sinking and it was time to admit defeat.

I don’t know if Prim knew we loved her, but all of us did love her and we truly hope she is now resting in peace.

Emotional Distress

Posted: July 11, 2019 at 6:53 am

One of the biggest challenges to Skye finding a home was his chronic and irredeemable cribbing (this is besides his older age and significant arthritis issues.)
Cribbing is a really destructive and unhealthy habit of horses grabbing onto any wood surface, chomping down hard and ripping the wood off with their teeth. It wrecks fences, gates, and wooden barn stalls, it is also really bad for their gut and their teeth.
Horses crib for various reasons including pain, boredom and anxiety. It is a coping mechanism for horses in some kind of emotional or physical distress.
Skye was in pain when he arrived, he was also an emotional mess.
Dealing with his pain issues was easy, it was a matter of giving him appropriate pain meds.
And in the end eradicating his emotional distress was easy too…Skye needed access to friends.
He doesn’t really care if it is horses or donkeys, he just doesn’t like to be alone.

In meeting this emotional need for him, we noticed a marked decrease in his cribbing. Now that he is in the barn at night with the other horses or free with them out in the field, he has pretty much completely stopped cribbing. Except when Rudy died. When the truck arrived to pick up Rudy’s body, Skye went straight to a fence and started cribbing. He was distressed at Rudy’s passing and went back to his old stress deducing strategy. It lasted for a few hours and once he settled himself out again he was done with the cribbing.

It is important to me to speak to the issues of horses cribbing. There are anti-cribbing collars available and muzzles for horses, we can put metal bars on the windows and metal strips on the tops of fences and gates to protect the sills and wood from ongoing damage…but none of that actually solves the problem. Something is causing the horse physical or emotional pain. Maybe it is boredom, grief or loneliness, maybe it is anxiety and feeling unsafe, maybe it is ulcer or arthritic pain. Emotional pain is as distressful as physical pain..sometimes it is even more.

I wonder how much more distress it causes them to wear the collar or muzzle, to put metal everywhere to prevent them from engaging in this coping mechanism? It makes me sad. A horse stands before us and tells us he is unhappy and our solution is to stick some kind of uncomfortable and unnatural apparatus on his face or neck to manage the symptom but not address the problem.
There are many in the horse world who may disagree with me, and i will admit I could be totally wrong. But Skye was suffering physically and emotionally, we allievated his most pressing problems and he cribs no longer.

Our much loved Rudy passed gently from this life today.

Posted: July 6, 2019 at 3:23 pm

The staff, volunteers, our vet and even today’s large double tour groups all in one way or another paid homage to the end of life for this wonderful old horse.
The other farm animals were aware of what was happening and Dixie, Raven, Skye and Emily were all upset at his passing. His human friends stood by his side and whispered their love to him in their goodbyes.
He was surrounded by loving care…he was surrounded by many different loving spirits in many shapes and sizes, some with 2 legs, others with four but all of them there for him at the end

when an animal passes from here, it is not just the humans who grieve, many of the other animals also mourn.

We are a family, we celebrate together and we share the sadness of loss too.

Rudy was a great horse, he was kind, he was gentle, he was beautiful too. And he had a bit of a sense of humor.

the vision of him in my head that I will forever carry is Rudy ready and waiting to go back into the barn for supper. Standing by the gate was never quite enough to get real and FULL attention so to ensure that he really got his important point across..that it was dinner time NOW…..Rudy would put both of his feet on the bottom rung of the gate, then he would move them both up another rung and there he would stand, tall and dignified impossible to miss or ignore.

Rudy, you were truly an awesome and one of a kind horse!

fly free sweet boy.

The Almighty Dollar.

Posted: July 4, 2019 at 10:54 pm

Do you know what I hate about rescue?
I just don’t think that the almighty dollar should be any kind of consideration when helping helpless sick animals..or people for that matter.
And do you know what truly bugs me about money?
Its not real…it is just flimsy paper with numbers and pictures that we made up to be something important.
But it is all make believe, we built our entire world, enslaved almost every living life in the search of monopoly money.
Do you know what is really real?
People, Animals, wild and domestic, Insects, ButterFlies, Birds, Fish, Turtles and Bees, Trees, Plants, The layers of earth beneath our feet, the oceans, the rivers, the lakes…the earth upon which we live and breathe.

I hate worrying about paying the bills. I hate the endless juggling each month to balance the books. I hate animals being held hostage for how much money they are worth and conversely losing their lives once they are deemed cost ineffective and virtually worthless.
Some smart person said that money is the root of all evil…I think I agree.

But here is the reality of this world and rescue…it constantly costs money.
So there we are forced into the role of perpetual beggers….asking for handouts over and over and over again just so we can pay the bills for our rescued animal friends.
People say we are saints or angels because we care for our animals so well. They applaud us because we treat our animals with great care and even greater respect.
And do you know why we do it? Because it is right. There is so much wrong with this sometimes dark dreary world…being kind, responsible and respectful to senior and special needs homeless animals, brings in a little more light.
We really care about them, we really try to do the best that we can and we do this because somehow or another, we actually can.

But we are not heroes for what we give to these incredible beings, of course we should be caring for them..this should be completely normal, we used them to get whatever it was that we wanted so of course we should pay them back with kind and responsible care. But we are heroes in one regard… because day after day, year after year, decade after decade we do what we hate more than anything in the world…we perpetually search for that flimsy paper with pictures and numbers that honestly is not even real…just so we can pay the bills which in this utterly weird and twisted world, are frankly somedays heart stopping real.

( i like this photo of what’s really real much better!)

Floating Hope

Posted: July 2, 2019 at 8:28 pm

Part of what we do here is learning to keep hope optimistically floating while still looking at what might be reality straight in the eye.
Rudy is not well. He is 33 and a half years old, that’s pretty old for a horse. He lost one of his eyes last year but recovered from the surgery well. And he has been dealing with a melanoma and arthritis for many years now but has been able to keep happily trucking on.

Last weekend Rudy suddenly went down unexpectedly, he was out flat and we thought he might never get up. He did get up a couple of times but then went right back down again, it didn’t look like a colic so we had no idea what was going on. We called out the vets on an emergency visit and discovered that Rudy was bleeding internally. We think he may have a tumor that is intermittently bleeding out. But there is also a slim possibility that Rudy is having a GI bleed from his arthritis meds. We did some blood work that has confirmed that he has been bleeding unbeknownst to us for a while. We started him on antibiotics and ulcer meds and are holding his arthritis meds to see how he does.

Rudy hasn’t gone back down again so that is good, and he is no longer passing blood clots in his stool. His appetite really hasn’t picked up much, through out the day he is only eating a few handfuls of food.
He doesn’t seem to be suffering or in any kind of distress, he is a little slower than usual but still is interested in going out to the pasture and hanging out with his friends.
Thursday the vets will come back to repeat his blood work and see if his blood cells are improving. Until then we wait and watch for any signs or clues on how Rudy is feeling.

We don’t know if this is a life ending event with cancer hiding inside, or if this is just a bump in his road with a treatable bleeding ulcer.
We hope on friday when the blood results come back that the vets tell us he is on the mend. But we know that this may not be what they tell us, they may say that Rudy’s life is coming to an end.
We truly hope that hope floats knowing that it might also be about to sink.
But whatever happens later this week, one thing we know for sure, we will stand beside him for as long as he needs.
Love you sweet boy.

The First Saint

Posted: June 28, 2019 at 8:31 am

There are so many stories here, past and present and many more to come in the future. But one story changed the world for a thousand animals and that was the story of Wee Hopeful Bug.
I can’t even share an actual photo of her with you, my computer has crashed so many times and so many absolutely precious photos have been lost so you will have to use your imaginations to see the true face of this sweet tiny cat who meant so much.

Many years ago a litter of kittens were rescued, unfortunately the babes came down with distemper. Only two survived, Hope and Romeo but they did not escape unscathed. Both were afflicted with chronic and severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Every possible avenue of treatment was explored and tried but the kittens remained incontinent and leaked feces all over the place. The original rescuer was unable to manage this and so she turned them over to another rescue which at that time, i happened to run. When they arrived they were both about half grown, romeo who was less affected was of normal size but Hope whose bowels were totally destroyed was the size of a 2 month old and hence the name change to Wee Hopeful Bug. In the end this rescue also could not manage them, one day the volunteers said to me that the disgusting mess these two made was not fair to the volunteers or the other cats. They were right of course but once Hopey and Romeo had been “saved” as tiny babies, what was to be done with them now? No one was going to want them, no one was willing to take them on so what were we supposed to do?

You really can’t go knocking off half grown survivors who were happy, affectionate, playful and interactive just because they made a terrible mess so I bit the bullet and took them home. And yes they were terribly difficult to live with but they were cheerful and happy and I fell in love but…. my family did not and who could blame them?
I watched them mature, Romeo became a regular sized cat, Hopey grew very little. At full growth she was the size of a three month old kitten which made me love and want to protect her even more. I watched her chase leaves across the patio, and twist ties across the kitchen floor. She tolerated me bathing and combing feces several times a day from her sparse and unhealthy coat. I would wrap her butt end in towels so she could cuddle up on my chest…I loved that little broken cat with a fierce mothering passion.

Eventually I moved on from that rescue for various reasons, but I was cognizant of the fact that Wee Hopeful Bug and Romeo had No place in this world where they could really belong. They did not fit into a family home, they did not fit into a rescue or a shelter. Were they destined to be unwelcome and unwanted where ever they went in this world?

And so SAINTS was born to give a home to a tiny little cat who constantly leaked liquid stool out her bum. SAINTS was the home she belonged to, SAINTS was the home that she always deserved, a home that no one could ever say was not 100% hers.

Wee Hopeful Bug died within a couple of years after SAINTS birth. She died in her sleep, I never saw it coming, I never had a chance to say good bye or give her that last final kiss. She is the only SAINTS animal buried here, underneath an ancient tree in the bottom field. She is and always will be the spirit of SAINTS that moves us and guides us. She was a gift to me and to all of the animals who have come here since.
This is the only picture I have left of her, a painting I commissioned after she passed away.
here you can see Wee Hopeful Bug, the very first Saint.
She was tiny.
She was mighty…
and she changed the world for 1000 broken animals and made it a better place.