How I Got Started In Dog Rescue
Casey Anne, My First Rescue Furkid, But Certainly Not My Last!
Those huge sad brown eyes looking at me from the passenger seat, wondering what in the world was happening to her...that was the moment when I bonded with this desperate little dog who would totally change my life. It was about half an hour's drive to my home from the city pound where I had been assigned to pick her up on that hot, dusty Nebraska afternoon in July 2001. I stroked her head and talked gently to her all the way home. She relaxed almost instantly, enjoying the cool air conditioning and seeming to know that her life had just gotten brighter. She was going bye-bye!
The Rest Of Casey's Story!
Although I'd owned dogs my whole life, I had never rescued a dog! I'd just signed up as a foster volunteer with a local dog rescue group and Casey Anne (I thought the name fit her!) was my first assignment. Cleanliness and getting pest-free seemed to be the most important concern, since Casey had been housed in an outdoor kennel. She was covered with too many ticks to count, and she stood patiently for hours while I removed all of them, gave her a flea treatment, bathed her and gave her a decent Schnauzer haircut. Both of us were completely wiped out by the time I finished with her! She ate a good dinner and then slept like a stone for the entire night.
Casey Anne didn't seem to understand what toys were. The first day she picked up that stuffed duck, I had tears in my eyes! I was so proud of her. She fell in love with a little green bear too, and those two toys were her constant companions.
My own three furkids at the time - Sheina, Sparky and Scrappy Jack - didn't really know what to think of Casey, but they accepted the old girl as part of their family. The four of them would spend hours happily sniffing flowers and reading all the Pee-Mail in the yard.
Casey was fearless! She was about eight years old when she came in to my rescue, and she gradually lost almost all of her eyesight. That never stopped her - she just charged on! What a brave girl she was. She even made it through a surgery to remove a tumor, paid for by wonderful volunteers. One tough girl.
Casey Anne, sadly, was never adopted. People who are willing to adopt a senior rescue dog are very rare! But she always had a home with me.
After enjoying five wonderful years with us, Casey went to Rainbow Bridge and was sadly missed.
Casey Anne's Green Bear
My Favorite Dog Clippers - I Promise You'll Love Them!
These are light, cordless, and most importantly quiet! Dogs hate noisy clippers. So do I, for that matter! When you are grooming several Schnauzers a month you need something you can rely on, that won't wear out your hands, and most important of all... that work! These are the most reliable clippers I have ever owned and the only ones I'll ever buy. You can spend more, but you won't get more.
Casey's Effect On Me Was Life-Changing!
When I rescued Casey, I owned three Miniature Schnauzers and I could not believe anyone could ever put a Schnauzer in rescue! Such wonderful dogs, how could that happen?
After digging around and doing some research, I learned that there were (and still are) many Miniature and other Schnauzers in need of rescue at any given time. As a result, I started my own rescue, Sheila's Schnauzies. I let some local vet clinics and the local shelter know what I was doing, and before long the calls came in.... and never stopped.
The story of my experiences as a rescuer is told in my article, "What It's Like To Be A Dog Rescuer." If you're interested in doing breed rescue, I'd recommend reading that.
Or, you can check Petfinder.com, search for the kind of dog you're interested in rescuing, and then note the contact info for the rescues sponsoring the dogs. Then you can contact them to volunteer! Rescues always need your help, whether it's fostering dogs, grooming dogs, or financial help. You can make a difference in a dog's life!
Here's a picture of Lily Rose, a sweet little 14-week old puppy who was abandoned at the vet's by her owner. Wonderful volunteers stepped forward and covered Lily's medical bills to save her life, then eventually adopted her. Lily Rose went to Rainbow Bridge in 2014 after developing cancer. She had an amazing life with her adoptive owners.
In my opinion, rescue dogs are the most grateful dogs there are. They just... know.
Don't Hold Back... Tell Us How You Feel!
Have You Ever Rescued A Dog?
What A Rescued Dog Needs....
- Love. Talk softly and gently to your new rescue dog. Let him know things are going to be ok.
- Security. Give your rescued dog a safe place to be that he can call his own. An x-pen is wonderful
- a roomy kennel
- or a corner in a quiet room.
- Comfort. Provide your rescue kid with soft blankets or a comfy doggie bed.
- Cleanliness. A quiet gentle bath with relaxing music playing will be good for you and your furkid! (I recommend WEN for cleaning your dog)
- Food. Try to feed the same food they've been eating if you know what it is... if not
- go with a simple real chicken based food
- the least likely to upset a nervous tummy.
If you make blankets of any kind - crochet, knit, quilt, whatever - consider making some up to comfort the animals residing at your local animal shelter. Many of them live in outdoor kennels and could really use the respite from a hard concrete floor.
If you don't make blankets, how about donating some old ones?
Casey's At Rainbow Bridge... - Here Is Her Memorial
I miss this beloved girl to this day, and always will. I hope to see her again someday.