Foo (Aka Mr. Foo Fighter) ~ Adopted!


Foo is an 8 month old Border Collie mix (we think border collie chihuahua as he is currently less than 20 lbs). Life hasn’t been easy for little Foo. He has scabs from being eaten up by bugs and currently has a cough (he is being treated for both right now).


Foo is scared. He wants to cuddle, wants to be your good boy, but is still learning it is okay to want all that, and that humans are nice and understanding. He is currently receiving lots of love, positive interactions, and some work on self-esteem. We expect to see him blossom quickly.

Check out his Photos on Facebook!

If you are interested in adopting Foo please read Our Adoption Process for the next steps.


“Tell me I am a good boy?”

12/24/15 Update: Oh goodness, Mr. Foo can’t catch a break….  Not only was he diagnosed Heartworm positive, but now he has some upper respiratory “fun” going on too. The good news is he is in the right place. We have fought off  both before and will do it again.  Foo will be on hold until we clear up the respiratory situation and as to the Heartworm, Foo will begin treatment shortly. Here are some articles we recommend if you aren’t familiar with Heartworm:

Adopting a Heartworm Positive Dog and What you Didn’t Know
Treating Your Heartworm Positive Dog
A Diary: Fighting Heartworm Disease, the Treatments, the Options


1/10/16 Update: Foo was adopted by TDL’s very own Michelle Kamber today! Congrats on your awesome new home, Foo!!!

Celeste ~ Adopted!

What a good girl!

What a good girl!

Meet Celeste! She’s a 3-4 year old 30 lb Spaniel/BC mix. She’s very sweet and a little bit shy. She would also do best in a home without other dogs as they make her nervous.
A big thanks to Jeff Bennett and to Jeanette and Lee Dixon for transporting Celeste to us.



If you’d like to be considered for this lovely girl, please go here to learn more about our adoption process.

Check out her Photos on Facebook!
Celeste is in Deltona, FL.

More information coming soon!



10/108/15 Update: Celeste was adopted by the McCrays of Jacksonville! Go Celeste!


Olive ~ Adopted!

11995719_10206717584713676_1779978772_nOlive is a 1 year old Border Collie who comes to us from a shelter in the Florida Keys. The shelter reached out to us knowing that a smart, energetic young girl like Olive would need a certain type of home and they felt we might be the ones to help her out. We said yes!

11997390_10206718745182687_805688598_n9/9/15 Update: Olive, now Allie was no sooner here than gone. She found her home with Julia and her fiance from Naples, FL.

9/10/15 Update: Olive’s Mommy writes: “Good morning unnamedGisele, We made it thru the first night. Olive (we have named her Allie ) is doing amazing!!! I took her to the vet yesterday to have her looked at and pick up her heart worm meds,  etc. I now have her registered in Naples, chip has been scanned!! Allie is a keeper!!!  Thank you again!!!!” 



Tasha ~ Adopted!

11825138_10153388710704792_3428027144085042086_nTasha just came in on transport! She is a knock-out. Absolutely georgous, intellegent girl.

From Gisele: “Tasha is the type of dog that would save her family in a fire! She is nurturing and lovey…she flips your hand with her nose to be petted. Calm, but still has play joy. She’s friendly, and tends to gravitate to little dogs…thinking they are her pups. It’s time for her to be the baby for a while!”

Tasha is between 2-4 years old, and sadly, her life hasn’t been a picnic up until this point. The folks who owned her kept her tied up outside, and used her for breeding. Because of this neglect, Tasha is heartworm positive. Thankfully, through the generosity of our amazing supporters, we’re able to have her treated. Her worst days are behind her, because she’s a TDL dog now! ♥

If you would like to be considered for this lovely lady, please go here to learn all about our adoption process.

Check out her photos on Facebook!
Although we don’t use a traditional adoption application, we would like you to answer a few questions so that we can get to know you better.

Tasha is located in Deltona, FL.

If you love her, but can’t adopt, please consider being a virtual foster!



8/13/15 Update: Tasha was adopted by Wendy, Johnny, and their little girl today! She will be living the good life in Land O’ Lakes, FL. We’re so thrilled for this amazing dog and her new family.




Luna Belle ~ Adopted!


Shelter Photo


Luna Belle is about 6 years old and is an Aussie mix out of Alabama. She joined TDL in April but has been recovering with TDL Volunteer Rachel until she was ready for adoption.

Luna comes to us from a hoarding situation. She lived with many other animals, was underweight, and had lost fur due to a flea allergy. Luckily with a little TLC her fur is back and she has put on a few pounds. She was also heartworm positive but has already undergone treatment and from here she has a few antibiotics and her regular preventatives (no other special measures). She will continue to test light positive for heartworm for a while longer, but that should fade soon.


Luna practicing her “sit!” at her Petco classes


Luna is an awesome girl. She is house broken, crate trained, good on a leash, very polite (no jumping up from this girl) and is not an “over-barker”. She may give a woof if she sees something very strange but the average things of life (cars, mailman etc) don’t really phase her. She has 2 more classes at Petco and then she will get her first obedience certificate (Yey Luna!!!).



Luna when she first arrived at TDL (she looks so much better now)

Luna would do best as an only dog, not because she has any issue with other dogs, but because she came from a home where she had to share her life with lots of other dogs and she would really like to retire and be someone’s best girl. She would be a great first-dog for someone new to dog ownership or maybe an older family because she is generally calm, quiet and easy (just add water and stir) but really she could be great in any home.  She is not really the kind of dog who wants to go to the dog park but would love to be someone’s walking buddy (again, good on a leash!).

Luna isn’t clingy. She is happy to be with you, but if you need to run some errands she isn’t one to freak out about it. This sweet girl seems to understand that you’ll be back and is content to wait until you come back for her. She just seems to understand, and waits for you to come home and pat her on the head.

 5/17/15 Update: We are so proud of Luna! Yesterday she graduated from her obedience classes! Here she is in her mortarboard, standing proud. We couldn’t be more pleased!

11117457_10205806743303210_1945696383_n[1] 11289602_10205806743143206_829687219_n[1]








 5/30/15 Update! Luna was adopted by Zach and Julie of Orlando today! They already seem to have hit it off and we are so happy for them. Congratulations to all!




More updates to come! In the meantime check out her photos on Facebook.








I'm a very good boy!

I’m a very good boy!

Beautiful boy, about 2-3 years of age, rescued by a good Samaritan.  He is  heartworm positive, and has been receiving treatment for several weeks now.  He is good with cats, polite with other dogs, and has wonderful manners!  He is being fostered in the Deland, Florida area, and would love to have a family of his own!

Sawyer is my name!

Sawyer is my name!

You can see more of his photos on Facebook.

Please Visit Our Adoption Process if you’d like to meet this hug-able boy!

Update:  This is one time you really should look at this boy’s entire photo album on Facebook, and marvel at the before and after photos of him.  What an amazing transformation, all because of one 20 year-old girl who drove from Volusia County Florida to Jones County Georgia to rescue one dog!

Valerie Faldo adopts Sawyer!

Valerie Faldo adopts Sawyer!


Valerie Faldo, and her  fiancé Ben Vogel, adopted Sawyer yesterday, and his new name is Wilson!  Wilson will enjoy the good life, in a gorgeous home with plenty of kids to play with!

"Step on it Mom and don't look back!"

“Step on it Mom and don’t look back!”

So far, he’s adjusting very well and I hear there is a bromance brewing between Wilson and the family cat!  See Wilson’s photo album  on Facebook.


Leo and his new family, Bruce, Nina and their son!

Leo and his new family, Bruce, Nina and their son!

Leo was adopted by Bruce, Nina and their handsome son, from Winter Springs.  The Bromance started immediately!  Can’t wait for updates!

History:  This wonderful boy is now living with my pack and my kids! He is not 5-6 years of age… he has too much puppy joy and his teeth are gorgeous! I estimate he’s about 2. He has mild separation anxiety, has been crate-trained, and not thunder phobic. He is great with my little 4 pound Rosie, and has no prey drive. He is incredibly friendly and loving, and adores my daughter, Sarah. Leo is a wonderful family dog!

right off transport, Leonardo made friends quickly!

right off transport, Leonardo made friends quickly!

This stunning young boy arrived yesterday, and he is amazing. Affectionate and loving.  Estimated to be about six years old, he’s going to make an awesome family dog!  He is at the vet, and going to be examined, and start his heartworm treatment early this week!  We want to thank Jeanette and Lee for dropping everything and transporting them to us yesterday.  Jeanette kept saying, “I can’t believe he was a stray, he’s such a good boy.”    Who wouldn’t want a fully trained dog?

You can see more photos of him on Facebook.


A special thank you to those who donated toward his medical care.


Attention TDL Peeps. We have said YES to this dog, without asking in advance for your commitment to help us with his veterinary care needs. This gorgeous dog is HW+, due to no fault of his own, but because his people failed to keep him protected. There is no reason why a highly adoptable dog like this one, should be put down because of his previous owner’s negligence. He passed the temperament test with flying colors… so I say to you… Let’s Do This! If you’d like to donate toward his medical care, please visit

Shelter Photo

Shelter Photo

Dear Rescue:

This is a 6+ year old male Sheltie (Apollo) in the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, a high-kill animal control shelter in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This beautiful boy recently tested positive for heartworms, which is usually a very immediate death sentence for Metro dogs.

This gorgeous boy is a volunteer FAVORITE, due, of course, to his captivating beauty and perfect temperament. He has a sociable, energetic personality and plays wonderfully with other dogs and children. His SAFER assessment indicates that he’d make a wonderful pet for adults, families with children, and seniors; we have no doubt that he could be adopted out very quickly. He came to the shelter as a stray on 6/19/14, he will be euthanized quickly based on his HW status if rescue cannot be arranged. I am attaching pictures, his cage card, and his behavioral assessment for your consideration. ~ Thank you

William Wallace ~ Adopted

William "Loyal" Wallace!

William “Loyal” Wallace!

We apologize for the lack of photos of this gorgeous boy, but it’s been raining and getting the dogs to cooperate with the camera has not been easy!  William is absolutely stunning.  He is estimated to be three to five years old.  This Aussie is fully trained.  He was someone’s little man at one point, he is very focused on his human.  He hangs out with other dogs, but does not initiate play.  He’s all about his people!  He really reminds me of Jaffe.  If you’ve ever met Jaffe, you’ll notice that he never takes his eyes of his human, Gary Jones.  Jaffe gives the word obedient a new meaning!

"I'm a beautiful boy, and I don't belong here at all!"

“I’m a beautiful boy, and I don’t belong here at all!”

William is a quiet and polite Aussie, very calm, and only wants to please his master!  Just add water and stir!

You can view all of his photos on Facebook.

William and Ray with Newman Deltona

William and Ray with Newman Deltona

Because William was never heartworm tested, we transported him from Ocala to me in Deltona yesterday.  I took him straight to the vet.  The news was not good.  He is positive.  While I’m not afraid of heartworm or the treatment, I still sat in the waiting room and cried.  Why?  Because I had to call his future Mom, Rosie and give her the bad news.  William was examined by Dr. Kim and will be examined by Dr. Oliver today and we will create a treatment plan for him.

I just visited with William after  his groom, he looks awesome.  After intense grooming, we found multiple bite barks over his body, his legs, inside of his thighs, the back of his head and back.  For some reason, William was viciously attacked by another dog(s).  If only dogs could talk.

I'm Going Home!  ~ William Wallace

I’m Going Home! ~ William Wallace

07/09/14 Update:  William was adopted Tuesday, by Rosie.  Updates coming soon!

Claire Bear~Rescued Australian Shepherd was Shot At, Heartworm Positive and Facing Death

Rescued Aussie Female Shot at,

Heartworm Positive and Very Sick

Today is November 1, 2013, and I write this story about our efforts to help save Claire Bear.  We have rescued very sick dogs – hundreds of them.  Claire’s medical condition was not alarming to us, it was quite typical of a dog found in the woods and shot at by a man.  The man continued to shoot at her, trying to get her off of his property, and eventually, he caught her and took her to animal control.  He blatantly admitted to shooting her, yet he wasn’t charged?  Is this part of Alabama not part of the United States?

What makes her case unusual is that she continued to get worse, and nothing we did helped her.  I can  honestly tell you that saving a parvo puppy is easier than trying to save Claire.  I can also tell you that many times, I thought I was going to have to put her down – why?  Because I watched her suffer, I saw her failing to thrive, I saw that her will to live was faint.  Claire’s condition changes on a dime.  At 9 a.m. she’s great, at 11:30 she’s suffering, at 3:00 p.m. she’s worse, and at 6:30 p.m. she’s lively.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people the past few weeks, in an attempt to get answers.  One person said her dog was allergic to carrots, Anita said her dog is allergic to green beans.  After talking with Andi Brown, she said all commercially made dog foods are harmful.  Deb Redmond explained the abundance of hormones and antibiotics given to animals, like chickens, end up in our dog’s gut – go organic!  Why are dogs developing allergies at such a rapid rate?  Is it really an allergy?

Rescuing Claire Bear, the sweetest Australian Shepherd

Claire Bear

Claire Bear

08/27/13:  This little red Aussie girl came to the shelter apparently sprayed with a BB gun.  Not Nice!  Transported from Andalusia, Alabama and fostered by Laura Burke, we notice hair loss, dry skin, and an odor.  None of this is unusual.

Laura wrote this morning:  “just fyi and she has all these little scars on her back and head that I thought were from ticks, not so, paperwork says she was shot with bb gun.  She is so sweet, After her bath and we remove of all those ticks she let me brush her out never bared her teeth or growled!

Claire is doing great with her foster family, and doing great with her dog pack!

We will be sharing new photos of Claire shortly on Facebook.

Joshua gives Claire a hug!

Joshua gives Claire a hug!

Thank you so much for sponsoring her!

09/01/13 Update:  I just posted new photos of Claire on Facebook.  She is quite amazing.  She is more sure of herself, and has more confidence than Katy Perry, probably why Katy follows her around.



Claire is not crazy hyper like most young Aussies are.  She will make an awesome family dog!  She is a bit reserved for now, because she’s new here with me, but I will share more details about her personality in the next few days.



Rescued Aussie is Heartworm Positive and Has Low Heart Rate

09/09/13 Update:  The Vet is a little worried about Claire.  She presents a skin condition, but she also has a low heart rate.  She has had all of her shots, and she is light heartworm positive.  He does not want her spayed at this time.  Claire will go to a long-term foster so she can get healthier for the next month, and she will be re-examined by our Vet.  Hopefully, rest and good food will get her back on her feet.  She will start her doxy/prednisone regiment and start her heartworm treatment immediately.

The heartworms is a non-issue for me.  I know that in less than six months, she will test negative.  What worries me is that the Doctor also wants extensive bloodwork done for Claire to be sure there isn’t any other underlying issues.  Her gums are pale, and she is estimated to be 2-4 years of age.  This test is very expensive.  If you can afford to donate a small amount to our Veterinary Care Fund for Claire’s expenses, we truly appreciate it.  As always, I will report back with an update as soon as possible.

This is such a shame, for Claire is just a really lovely dog.  She is friendly with everyone, is great with other dogs… Katy Perry is Claire’s shadow.  Claire is fully crate-trained and very quiet, she’s no trouble whatsoever.  I hope they don’t find anything else wrong with her.  It’s just not fair.

Sarah loves Claire... and the feeling is mutual!

Sarah loves Claire… and the feeling is mutual!

09/10/13 Update:  Yesterday I got carried away with the news of Claire’s poor health.  But when I really thought about it last night, I realized how lucky Claire really is.  Another few weeks at the shelter might have made her condition worsen. My intentions were to rescue Katy Perry.  It wasn’t until Christian Ball shared Claire’s photo with me, that I asked if Claire could be transported as a hitchhiker with Katy.  At the last minute, we weren’t sure if there was room for Claire.  I’m so glad she made it down to us.

After chatting with Laura, she estimated that she pulled about 20 ticks off of Claire, and that might explain her condition.

Miss Miami and Frances both had serious complications due to ticks, Miss Miami almost didn’t make it.

Rescued Aussie with Hair loss Troubles Rescuers who are Hoping For the Best

In short, Claire has three issues.  She is light heartworm positive.  She has a skin condition, inflammation and hair loss.  She has pale gums and a low heart rate.  All of these things, lucky for her, are all treated with the same medications.  She will also receive iron supplements.  Good food, medication and rest… and she’ll be all better soon.

Claire and Michelle

Claire and Michelle

Claire has been transported to Michelle to be fostered.  She is having a blast there!

I can’t thank you enough for your donation toward her medical care.


10/02/13:  For the past month, Claire has been fostered by Michelle, and she’s having a blast.  Her hair has grown back, and she looks awesome!  Tomorrow is the big day.  Claire is transported back to me to see the Doctor again.  After her spay, she will be available for adoption!  Woo Hoo!

Note:  At the time that we wrote this, we had no idea that the prednisone and doxy was masking Claire’s symptoms, and her improved health was not real.

Rescued Aussie Begins Significant Diet Changes

10/04/13:  Claire Bear had a tour of the New Newman Veterinary Center in Deltona this morning.  They open their new office  in November.  It is stunning and three times the size of their existing office.  But, Claire can not be spayed yet.  Overnight Claire developed an ear infection.  The Doctor wants her on Clavamox and Benadryl for two weeks, and we will take care of her then.  So in the meantime, we are enjoying fostering her, she is so easy!  She is great with cats, kids, other dogs, she is quiet, friendly and loving.  I have started feeding Claire an allergy-free Rabbit dog food.  Since I have to give her pills, and I can’t use hot dogs or cheese, we purchased Duck and Pea Pill Pockets.  At first she loved them, but now she refuses.  She hides her head and runs away when she sees them.

Australian Shepherd has Recurring Infections Puzzling Rescuers

Claire and Serena10/09/13:  Clair Bear, the babysitter, has recurring infections. First it’s here, then it’s there… now it’s her ears. When she’s on antibiotics it goes away. When she’s finished with her meds, it comes back. I need to have bloodwork done and test for allergies. She must be allergic to something common, like Chicken! We are on a crusade for donations. We now have Claire on Cephalexin.  Claire Bear is an awesome dog, everyone adores her.  We’ve change her dog food to an grain-free Newman & Dutch formula.  Since I don’t know what’s wrong with her, I’m afraid to do what I always do… home  made chicken stew!  I’m adding enzymes and coconut oil to her food.

Claire Bear Today


10/14/13:   She had a royal spa treatment at Newman Veterinary Center, a medicated bath and conditioner!  Her hair is growing back nicely, and her ears have cleared up.  She’ll see the Doctor next week for her spay, and she’ll be ready for her new home.  As I mentioned before, Claire is the kind of dog you could put in a room full of kittens, rabbits, and maybe even squirrels.  She wouldn’t hurt a thing!  She is quiet, easy, and trained.  She gets along with all dogs, even puppies!  Just add water and stir!

Veterinarian Agrees to Spay Rescued Australian Shepherd

Resting, but something is wrong.10/26/13 Update:  Clair was spayed today.  Her condition is good, her heart rate normal, and the swelling is gone.  When I arrived to pick her up from her surgery, I learned that the results from her allergy tests were in.Claire Bear is allergic to just about everything.  The only grass she can tolerate is Rye.  However, she is also allergic to beef, pork, chicken, lamb, duck, buffalo, and her results hit the roof when tested with olives.  The goal is for her to eat foods that were under the magic number of 150.  Salmon and fish tested at 156.  What she can eat is eggs, rice, wheat and corn!  I’m shaking my head in disbelief!  Claire Bear is on a special Hills prescription diet Z/D.  I’ve stopped giving her the coconut oil, afraid it’s giving her a reaction, and I’ve stopped the enzymes because it contains beef flavoring.  I am going to make her fish, eggs, and rice.

10/29/13 Update:  We are making Claire home made fish stew!  She likes it a lot!  We are watching her closely, but her progress is slow.  One day she seems to be getting better, and one day she seems to be worse. We estimate she is an $800 dog so far, but she’s worth every penny!  If you can afford to help Claire Bear, please send a donation.  I don’t think she’s out of the woods yet, and I’m very scared that something is terribly wrong, something we just haven’t figured out yet.  We’ve done two different types of blood tests, medications galore – she’s not getting better.

Rescued Australian Shepherd’s Condition Worsens

Claire Bear Needs Care Bears

very lethargic

10/30/13:  Claire Bear lost a chance to be adopted last Saturday, probably because of my honesty about her condition.  While the adopter was perfect for her, they were afraid of the potential financial commitment.  I can’t say I blame them.  I am relieved that she wasn’t adopted, because she’s not out of the woods yet.

Last night I had just taken dinner out of the oven when I noticed Claire began to swell again. Her ears were swollen and I saw a rash over her eyes. She seemed hot, so I checked her incision. What I noticed was severe swelling of her belly. I grabbed my keys and told the kids I was going to the vet. My daughter, Sarah, threw on a pair of shoes and went with me.

Claire has been very lethargic. It started before her spay, but after her spay, she has barely left the couch. We have had to coax her off to go outside. She relieves herself and gets back on the couch. We also have to coax her to eat. Every time we present her with food, she buries her head in the couch. After enticing her with one bite after another, she eventually eats and she eats well.

When I arrived at the vet, it took the vet tech about 10 minutes to be able to put the thermometer inside of her, she was swollen all over. He confirmed that she did NOT have a temperature, and I was relieved. However, when he rolled her over to look at her swollen belly, he noticed she was engorged – she is producing milk. How can that be if she was spayed?

Then things started to make sense. It’s hormones. Could her condition been primarily due to a hormone imbalance? Another vet tech arrived to visit Claire, and I asked her, if it’s hormones, what do we do? “You’ve already done it, you’ve spayed her. That’s what we do. The hormones will balance themselves now.”

Hang in there Claire Bear

I found myself fighting the tears twice while I was there, and with all of the sick dogs I have rescued, I rarely ever cry. Even when the Doctor entered the room, I broke down again. The last time I cried in front of a doctor was when Maggie May passed away.

Watching Claire on the examination table, I noticed her falling asleep, she couldn’t even keep her eyes open.  She is back on Clavamox, Amitriptyline for allergies, and Novox for inflammation.

Talking on the front porch with my friend Jamie last night, I asked the question if someone has eaten nothing but junk food all of their life, and all of a sudden they are fed a healthy diet, could that cause them to get sick? His answer was yes. I remembered watching an episode on House where a homeless man became very ill after eating hospital food. The opposite is true as well meaning if you eat well, and then decide to eat junk food for a week, you will also feel sick.

While watching tv before bedtime, Claire Bear sat in my lap, and I loved on her. I went to bed confused and scared. When I woke up this morning, I remembered crying in my sleep. I opened my bedroom door walked to the porch to the let the dogs out, and Claire jumped off the couch and joined the back! I woke up my daughter screaming, “Sarah, Claire is up, she’s walking around!”

Claire went outside and relieved herself. She followed the pack back in and greeted me. It’s really the first time she has walked around on her own without being coaxed. One pill has made a difference.

ClaireI share Claire’s story with trusted friends several times a day. We have quite a team here at The Dog Liberator, and we are all brainstorming. We discuss topics like diet, allergies, hormones, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and the endocrine system. I know we’re just throwing things up in the air and seeing if it sticks, but what I’m learning along the way is remarkable.

While I’m relieved seeing Claire being more active, I know that Claire can change on a dime. We want to thank those of you who have donated toward our Veterinary Care Fund to help Claire. Please donate.

I just spoke with former adopter and veterinarian Deb Redmond.  Deb adopted Saint from us years ago.  Deb gave me a lot of encouragement, and helped me understand what Claire is going through.  She is having an inflammatory response to everything we do.  Probiotics and feeding her one thing for several days should  help.  What helped me the most is when she explained that no matter what I feed Claire, she’s going to react to it.  Go organic!  Deb had a similar problem with one of her dogs, and she did recover, 100%!  Claire has reacted to everything I feed her.  We are only feeding her eggs now.  Only one ingredient.

All Foods are literally Hurting Claire Bear



10/31/13 AM: I evaluate Claire almost every hour. It appears that every evening, before I go to bed, she is at her worse. Yet every morning, she appears to be better. Could it be because she has fasted over night, and food is actually making her sick. Every night I panic, and question what else can I do. Every morning, I’m encouraged with her appearance and energy level.  Trying hard to share everything that I observe about Claire, I noticed that during certain times of the day she smells really really bad.  She always has a musty smell, but could it be that after she eats, the odor gets worse?  I can walk into a room and tell you if Claire is in it because of the odor.  But what does this have to do with her condition?  I remember when I brought Claire in for her spay, a Vet Tech mentioned, “she smells yeasty”.

It’s a typical afternoon, and I pick my children up from school, they hop in the car and their first questions is… how’s Claire?  I don’t sugar coat things – I can’t, my kids are very dog savvy.  I tell them that Claire is not good.  Her condition is much worse now.  Yet, when we opened the front door, she was sitting there waiting for us, and greeted us with a happy wiggle.

Not only that, but she has made a miraculous change – she wants to eat now! It’s been over a week since she’s wanted to eat.  She did not bury her head in the couch, instead she followed me around in the kitchen with her nose in the air waiting for her bowl!

We believe we have properly diagnosed her and we are changing everything about her medications and her plan of care. I just know we’re on the right track. Please continue to pray for Claire Bear, but I think we finally got this one! Special thanks to Anita Barber for being spot on!

It doesn’t matter what I feed her.  She is going to react until we fix her gut.  I am blending everything so it’ll be easier for her to digest.  I started the Enzymes again, along with the Probiotics, I am adding coconut oil, and vitamin c.  I have stopped all medications.   Every time we gave her antibiotics she got better, but when we stopped them, she took a nose dive and her condition got incredibly worse than before.    I’m hoping that it won’t be long before I can make her chicken stew.

You see Claire doesn’t have allergies.  She tested positive to everything because her system was inflamed. Inflamed because she has no immune system, nothing in her gut to digest food.  Her body sees food as an enemy that it must get rid of.  It all makes sense now.  She has been telling me all along, every time she hid her face in the couch not wanting to eat, she was telling me, “food hurts”.  It started way back when I bought the duck and pea pill pockets – at first she loved them, but then she refused them – because “food hurts”.  I think we got this!

11/1/13 Update:  I read this tonight, and wonder if we “got this”  Claire had a reaction today, I know that she is going to, I know that this is going to take time.  There is no easy fix and this is going to take months.  I’ve seen improvements, her will to live, her activity level, and her appetite.  I’m on the phone constantly with our team, and we are adjusting our course of action based on  her responses.  Sometimes I think “we got this”, and sometimes I get so frustrated and disappointed in myself.

Here’s what’s important, I’m not giving up – and neither is Claire.   We appreciate the comments, the emails, the brainstorming that many of you are doing.  That tells us you are engaged, and that you care.  I read and respond to all of them.  Please continue to cheer, “Go Claire Bear!”

11/4/13 her hair is growing back

11/4/13 her hair is growing back

11/2/13 Update:  Claire has decided not to eat eggs anymore!  She sure has a way of telling me NO!  She’s tolerating chicken well, but for the next few days we’re going to offer only vitamin rich broth to let her gut heal.  She is expelling yeast and toxins from her body, and instead of asking her to digest food, we’re going to give her a break and resume in a few days.    Every change we make is based on Claire’s reaction.  She is the great communicator.  Late tonight, Sarah took her for a long walk, and she did have a bounce in her step!

11/4/13 Update:  I’ve found that every three days, Claire refuses to eat what she has tolerated perfectly.  First it was Fish, then Eggs, now Chicken.  I’m ready for whatever changes she wants me to make!  She is not a picky eater, she just knows what hurts her and what doesn’t.  I believe that after being on one ingredient for three days, her body reacts to it.  She has itchy spells, but for the most part, she’s not scratching herself constantly like she was.  She has moments of swelling, but it goes away quickly on its own along with red blotches.  She appears to have more energy, but there are times when I approach her with a bowl of food, she hides her face in the couch.  Ironically, three hours later, she is up and anxious to be fed.  I continue to give her probiotics and enzymes, along with Vitamin C and cod liver oil.

We watch her like a hawk.  We celebrate every good moment, and we get depressed when she takes a step backward.  If I look at her progress daily, I’m not pleased.  If I look at the entire week, I am hopeful.  Her hair is growing back, she does whimper from time to time.  If only dogs could talk.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

My kids are calling me Gomer, as in Gomer Pyle.   This time, I was prepared.  It’s still 11/4/13, but I was ready this morning.  Claire has turned her nose up to the chicken stew.  Remember, it’s not that she’s a picky eater, she’s not.  She just knows what hurts and what doesn’t.  And after 2 or 3 days of eating the same food, she develops a reaction.  So, I had a hamburger patty ready – defrosted and cooked.  When I presented it to her, she devoured it… remember that the chicken stew as right next to the hamburger patty.  I feel like a short-order cook!  Beef…  it’s what’s for dinner!  I’m making her beef stew as I write this.  I figure that she’s said “yes” to beef, a round steak cooked until tender will be on the menu for a few days!

While I am personally caring for Claire Bear, I can’t foster other dogs.  Which means we don’t have any adoption fees coming in, not only that, but Claire has depleted our Veterinary Care Fund.  That means we need your help, we need donations to keep our doors open.  We have great fosters that are standing ready to rescue new dogs, but we need to the funds to have them vetted.  Whatever you can do to help, thank you!

bath time

bath time

11/05/13 Update:  Claire Bear had a much needed bath last night.  It seems that dogs must be bathed regularly with a medicated shampoo, and a baking soda rinse in order to remove the yeast from their skin at least twice a week until their problems are resolved internally.  Claire was a trooper, and she feel so much better.  It did reduce the itching quite a bit.  She ate her beef stew last night with pleasure!  She seems to have more energy and this is consistent not just spurts of energy.  So while her progress is slow, it is progress.  Funny, yesterday morning her hair around her eyes was coming back, but after her bath, I noticed increased hair loss again.

Although the jury is not out yet, I think it’s time we share what we’re doing for Claire besides baths, Vitamin C and diet.

Rescue buys Hocus Pocus Desperate to Save Rescued Dog

11/06/13 Update:  I’m not at all happy with Claire’s progress.  There is a huge amount of hair loss, and the itching is out of control.   The products that I purchased from Nzymes may seem like they are helping, but who is to know if it’s the change in diet that is helping.    With the products came a set of instructions that included a host of diet changes and bathing instructions.  Are the products a bunch of hocus pocus?  They have many success stories in their website, but I’m not convinced that the success was because pet owners stopped giving their animals store-bought pet food.

20131106_074954The homeopathic remedy sent by Deb Redmond states that the dog could get worse before it gets better.  This may be the case, so I’m trying not to panic.  I can’t thank her enough for rushing to help us.

Everyone knows you should not change your dog’s diet drastically.  But with Clarie Bear, I have no choice.  When she buries her head in the couch, and refuses to eat, I react because I listen to her.

Last night, I was frustrated.  I felt like nothing I have done has helped Claire.  Yes, she does have more stamina, and she is no longer lethargic but going to the store, cooking, cleaning… it takes me longer to prepare Claire’s meals than my family’s.  I wondered if I would take Claire back to the vet for more bloodwork.  As fast as the thought popped into my head, it popped right out!  Then, I thought of buying one type of dog food and stinking with it, again, commercial store-bought dog food is not the answer.  Just then, my phone rang… it was Terry Lee Gonzalez.  She contacted me several weeks ago wanting to help.  She recommended Lugol’s iodine, which I did purchase.  She received our newsletter yesterday, and read the updates on Claire Bear.  Desperately wanting to help us, she offered a host of suggestions.

So, here’s what I’m looking at today!

but my favorite regarding anti-flammatory is the Benefits of Turmeric!

20131106_075047So while Terry is keeping me busy, this is a good thing.  When I lose hope, when I feel desperate and defeated, I go insane.  Ironically, two blocks away from home is an Spanish-style grocery store.  I visit the store from time to time to when I need something in a jiffy, and every time I walk by the meat counter, I see some crazy things… things like chicken feet, goats meat, and yes, Tripe!  When Terry first mentioned Tripe, I giggled and thought she was toying with me, sending me on a wild goose chase… but no, that’s a Snipe not a Tripe!  Needless to say, this morning after I dropped my kids off at school, I went to that very bizarre grocery store, and walked out with almost everything I need.   What does this mean?  We’re going raw.

I’m not crazy, I’m desperate!  Know that with every change I take, I consult with several close TDL-ers.  We brainstorm, discuss, debate and vote!  Late last night I received a nod to proceed.   For the love of Pete, it can’t get any worse!

Every time I share with Michelle what Claire is eating, she really gets grossed out!  After doing this for over four years, I don’t think anything can gross me out!  As a side note, my dogs love having Claire here.  Because whatever she doesn’t eat, they get!  I have to wrap up  now, because I just found a meat store in DeLand that sells chicken feet!

I want to thank all of you who have written to us with words of encouragement, and those of you who have donated to our Veterinary Care Fund.  Just when I feel hopeless, someone says something, writes something, or donates which gives me a boost of encouragement!  Thank you!

Tripe Does Not Help Sick Dog

Afternoon Update:  I hope you had a chuckle at my expense… Snipe Tripe!  I did buy the wrong product.  Tripe that’s been cleaned and bleached is useless, but the dogs liked it.  I drove to DeLand to buy chicken feet.  I felt like an idiot asking for chicken feet, but before I left, the butcher told me that one of his customers comes in all the time for them… “She boils them and drinks the broth”, he explained.  Really?

Leaving the butcher, I was upset that I didn’t have aloe leaves or Turmeric.  I took the long way home and stopped into a Bravo Supermarket.  Then, I remembered how many times, and for how many years Maria DeRosa shops there to make her dog food.  My Bad!  They had everything I needed.

Evening:  Claire had a ginormous dinner!  She loved the broth, but now we have a new symptom.  There is gunk in her eyes. I offered her two small pieces of Goat, and both times one hour later she had gunk in her eyes… no more goat!   I did give her the Turmeric without a problem.

I’m trying to be patient, but I’m not a patient person by  nature.  I fear that we have not found anything to help her, and we may be too late.

 11/07/13 Update:  I posted a request for Aloe plants on Facebook, and Lyndsay Younk replied.  She lives near me, and offered to give us several large aloe plants from her garden.  Yesterday, I drove to her home, and met with her.  After we pulled a few plants she told me that “Camay” aka Meredith says hi!  My jaw dropped and my eyes popped out of my head.  Then, I remembered.  Lyndsay’s parents own Meredith.  “You helped our family out with our dog, giving you aloe for Claire Bear is the least we can do.”  It was cool!

Claire is back on benadryl for itching, and anti-flammatory medication.  She has had several major flair ups recently.  She had another medicated bath yesterday, and although her coat overall looks good, she has huge areas of hair loss around her face and her ears.  She goes on walks every day, and I don’t mean slow walks!  Last night I spotted her running home with my son Ryan – she loved it.   I’m really scrambling to do something to see significant progress.  

Later, one of my dearest friends surprised me with a visit to give Claire another bath.  She had one on Monday and having another tonight (Thursday).  After her bath on Monday, I expected that musty smell to go away, but it didn’t.  Before I went to bed Monday night, Claire still had that yeasty odor, and again Tuesday morning.  The bath is not to remove the odor, but to remove the yeast from her skin so she doesn’t lick it.

While Claire was getting her bath, some of Sarah’s friends came over, and we had a lot of company over for dinner!  I had a few steaks and some chicken breast, and I threw them all on the grill.  After everyone ate, instead of throwing all of the bones away, I threw them in the crock pot along with chicken feet, one piece of beef kidney, egg shells, celery and green beans.  All of these ingredients, along with a splash of apple cider vinegar would simmer over night.

For dinner, Claire had Tuesday’s broth, made of chicken feet, with a small amount of canned jack mackerel.  She ate it nicely, however, later that evening, she swelled up again.  UGH!

11/08/13:  Still adding turmeric to her food, aloe, vitamin c, probiotics and enzymes, Claire had the broth that I made last night.  I strained everything out, and she loved it.   I’m receiving a lot of emails from people who want to offer some advice or assistance, it’s quite remarkable.  One of those emails came from Beth who adopted Flipper from TDL two years ago.

I spoke with Beth, about Venison – something I can’t get my hands on, but she offered to deliver some to my door for Claire.  She also shared with me her experience with her dog many years ago.  She said her dog also had the three day response to food, and I freaked.  She described her dog’s symptoms and they were identical to Claire’s.  Unlike what I’ve been told by everyone in the veterinary community, her dog was on benadryl and prednisone daily her entire life.  They were small dosages, but still, the medications were part of the dog’s daily routine, and the dog lived to be 11 years old.  So maybe, just maybe, Claire will have to be on some sort of allergy and anti-flammatory medications for the rest of her life.  What was mind blowing was that Beth’s dog, also an Aussie, many years ago was disagnosed with autoimmune.

Rescued Aussie has Leaky Gut Syndrome

Dog Suffers to Build up of  Yeast

So which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Is the Leaky Gut Syndrome a symptom of autoimmune?

Coming home this afternoon from picking up my children from school, Sarah White was waiting for me at my house!  She had gone on an errand for Claire, to pick up Green Tripe from Orlando that was donated to us.  Even though it was frozen and in a plastic bag, it smelled disgusting.  I left one sleeve out to defrost and wondered if I could even open the bag to put it in a bowl without getting sick.  Anything for Claire!

What a Difference a Day Makes

I opened my front door, and Claire was waiting for us, bouncing all over the place,  jumping up and saying hi, and giving us the Aussie Wiggle Butt!  I couldn’t believe it.  She ran around the house, and pranced all over the place, and…. she barked!

When I went to the back door to let out the pack, she pushed my dogs away, and wanted to be the first one out.  As I opened the door, she bolted… she ran around the yard with energy I have never seen before.  It was amazing.  Later she had a good poop which shocked me as she has had runny poop for the past few days.

I have no doubt… it’s the broth.  She is getting everything she needs without having to eat.  Her gut does not have to digest, it just has to absorb, and all of the nutrients in the broth… well, I’m thrilled.

Much to my surprise, as I was feeding my dogs Claire was jumping up, sniffing the air and wanted FOOD.  I wasn’t prepared.  All I had was broth.  I had three choices, dry kibble, canned rabbit, raw food, or a can of Andi Brown’s turkey stew.  I opted for Andi’s stew!  Andi donated several cans to TDL and I have been  hoarding it and only  using it when an unsuspecting pup arrives with Parvo until I can make my own.  It’s kind of “in case of emergency – break glass”.  I broke the glass.  Claire didn’t have an allergic response to the stew, but we all know that it takes three days for Claire to respond.  So I’m safe!

I spoke with Carol, Mic’s adopter for hours last night about Claire, and all of a sudden, I realized that something was missing.  I realized that you can’t see the forest through the trees.  Claire doesn’t smell anymore.  Add her sudden burst of energy and joy, with the fact that the odor is gone… and what do we have?  Are we on the edge of success here?

11/09/13:  I woke up early and made coffee this morning, and I didn’t enjoy my five minutes of private coffee time.  Claire again greeted me with joy, and I looked at the tripe that was thawed.  UGH!  Let’s get this over with.  I put on rubber gloves and opened the package out front, plopped it into four bowls and brought the bowls to the back and gave each dog their own bowl of green disgusting Tripe in their crates.  They woofed it.  I removed the gloves, washed my  hands and went back to the front porch to finish my coffee.  Five minutes later, I lost my coffee!

A few hours later, my son Ryan, woke up and his first words were “Claire was playing with me last night!”  I asked him for details, and he said Claire was playing ball with him.  Seriously?

It’s 10:00 am, and Beth is driving on I-4 on her way to my house with venison goodies.

Can we all take a moment to stop and appreciate how many people are trying to do whatever they can to help Claire Bear?  Isn’t this absolutely amazing and mind-blowing?  Several people have blurted that Claire would probably be dead by now without us.  I don’t know if I agree with that, but I do believe she would’ve been put down.  Even I wondered several times if that would eventually be my only option.  No one wants to see a precious dog like Claire suffer.

Is  it safe to say we are winning the battle against Yeast?  I’m not ready for a victory dance yet, but I am allowing myself to lighten up a bit and relax.

I spoke with Deb Remond this morning, and one of the things we talked about is dogs eating the same food every single day… is that our goal?  Deb doesn’t believe that dogs should eat the same food everyday, just like humans shouldn’t either.  Dogs in the wild eat what they can kill, and if they don’t have a successful kill – they fast.  Claire had to fast.  Every time I gave her food, her body rejected it.  By giving her only the broth, her body got super mega nutrients without having to eat.

I have everything at my disposal right now.  Bath #2 of chicken feet is in the fridge, and batch #3 is in the crock pot.  Now, it’s time to document everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.  From now on, I will not be throwing those bones away into the garbage can.  Cooked or raw, I’ll freeze them and when I have enough, I’ll boil them and add them to my dogs’ food.

Now, it is totally against the rules to allow any dog on my bed… but I just heard a giggle.  My daughter Sarah has my ipad, and she’s on my bed watching funny videos… when I peaked around the corner, Claire Bear is on my bed as well…  because Claire simply doesn’t stink anymore.

I remember when I was 19 and on my own, I tried to make chicken soup.  I bought some gorgeous chicken breast, and vegetables… added some spices, and it was gross!  I asked my Mom why it didn’t have any flavor.  She explained that it not only didn’t have flavor, it didn’t have any nutrients – any vitamins.  “You can’t make soup with the bones!”  She was right.  Without the bones, you just made boiled meat, and that’s gross!

Everything that I have learned by helping Claire will help many dogs in the future.  I do believe it should be standard protocol that anyone giving any creature antibiotics, probiotics should be given at the same time.  I believe if your dog is sick, you should start cooking some bones!  I believe that Turmeric is important for  humans and their pets.  So is Vitamin C.

So… where’s your crock pot?

Infections Continue to Plague Rescued Aussie

11/10/13 Update:  Just went I thought we were on the right path, I gave Claire her broth, yesterday and she reacted.  I noticed gunk in her eyes again, but it wasn’t because of the goat.  Now what?  Is this the three day mark where she’s now reacting to the broth?  It would make sense.  Throughout the yesterday she continued to scratch herself, I gave her the Benadryl and it  did not give her any relief.  A few hours later I gave her the anti-flammatory – again no response.  Beth brought Claire a benadryl spray – I used it on her ears, under her neck and on her feet.  Claire hated it, however, she jumped up on the couch and watched tv with me last night, and never scratched.  She had a good night’s sleep.

This morning however, we started all over again with out of control scratching.  I gave her the broth, sprayed her itchy spots again, and gave her the benadryl – nothing.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but I have caved.  Her bald spots are ginormous, she is miserable.  She scratches herself and creates inflammation.  Except for the fact that she has more energy, her allergic response to life is worse.  I’ve managed to increase her overall health through diet and remedies, but I have been unsuccessful at treating her allergies – I gave her a prednisone.

The Claire Bear circle of caregivers (people that I talk to on a daily basis about Claire) have agreed that the worse thing we can do is put her back on antibiotics.  We have agreed that if we have to “break glass in case of emergency) we would put her back on prednisone to increase her quality of life.  The scratching is increasing stress, and everyone knows when a patient has problems with their digestive system, their immune system, any system… you want to reduce stress.

I really wanted a major breakthrough, but I don’t have one.  When I cut the pill in half, I felt defeated and useless but this isn’t about me, it’s about Claire.  Clearly I’ve gone through the ends of the earth for this precious little girl, chicken feet and tripe – YUCK!  Cutting a pill in half and hiding it in cheese seems too easy, but a Mom’s gotta do what a Mom’s gotta do.

Everywhere I look on the web for autoimmune or lupus in dogs I’m sent to a website selling me something.  Yesterday, I did receive a shipment of MSM, and I’m going to start using it.   I don’t expect anything to magically cure Claire like I had hoped.  This is going to be a very long road, like many of Claire’s supporters have warned me, but in the meantime, I pray that I have given her some relief.  She simply can’t continue to live this way.  I will continue to give her the smallest amount of prednisone – just enough to give her relief.  I’m hoping it can be an every other day regiment, I have to give her just enough to take the edge off, and make her comfortable.

11/12/13 Update: The combination of Prednisone and Benadryl is keeping Claire somewhat comfortable. She is looking much better. She has had venison, and loves it, but she had a 30 minute long scratching fest immediately after eating it. Same with turkey, I’m not sure where we’re going but I’m thinking tofu!

Rescued Aussie Dog is put on Vegan Dog Food

11/13/13 Update:  Two weeks ago while searching for dog foods, I found a vegetarian dog food.  I thought that I might try that, but didn’t want to rush to make yet another change.  I pursued every protein without any good results.  Since I don’t want to buy processed dog food, I made the vegetarian dinner myself.  Tofu!

Claire had no reaction to her tofu diet last night, which consisted of lentils, tofu and cottage cheese.  I did put a bit of her meat broth in it for flavor.  I saw her doing a tiny bit of chewing on her feet after she ate.   She did NOT have a scratch fest.

This morning I gave her chick peas and tofu – no cottage cheese, no broth – just two ingredients along with her probiotics, enzymes and MSM.  She gobbled it up with glee, and no scratching…  She has NOT had any bendaryl today, she has NOT had a prednisone today.  It’s only 9:30 am.

I wonder what the next two days will bring.  While I have spent a fortune on trying different proteins, they all created a reaction.  Tofu is so affordable, can it be this simple?

Since this was an experiment, I gave her the lentils and chick peas out of can.  Today, I’m cooking lentils from scratch and adding celery, garlic and carrots.  Might as well give her the most nutrition I can.

Lentil soup - it's what's for dinner!

Lentil soup – it’s what’s for dinner!

It’s 3:45 PM:  I’ve been waiting all day to hear Claire scratching.  Nothing.  No Prednisone, No Bendaryl.  I did make the home made lentil soup.  She was dancing around me while I was getting her bowl ready.  She inhaled it, and still no scratching.  Her energy level is through the roof, and no signs of regression this time.

One potato, 4 carrots, a handful of celery (with the leaves) one garlic clove, MSM, powdered kelp, probiotics, enzymes, one cod liver oil, and cottage cheese.

Because of Claire, I’ve added several new categories to the blog, like leaky gut syndrome and raw diet.  Now I’m adding yet a new category, “Vegan”.  Hundreds of dogs come through our rescue and we don’t create a new category for them!  Claire is one special little girl!  Last week, I sat on the front porch and broke down in tears.  Everyone keeps telling me she’ll get better, and at our reunion which is only weeks ago, she’ll be running with the pack-not a thing wrong with her.  I didn’t think it could happen but now, I’m wondering.

If she keeps this up by Friday, I really think I will have my happy dance and a very loud Woo Hoo!  I will get her some calcium supplements and doggie vitamins and our work will be done here.  I have a lot to share about this journey, but I don’t want to jinx it!

6:30 PM:  I just caught Claire chewing, just a tiny chew, but no scratching yet.  My neighbor, Franz, came over, and thought she was a different dog… she barked at him… a very loud and deep bark-we’ve never heard her bark.  Then she proceeded to kick Ozzie’s butt in a 30 minute dog play, which ended with her trying to hump him.  This is NOT my Claire!  Not my Claire that was dying on my couch last week!    Mom always said, be careful what you wish for!  I believe this burst is simply two days on prednisone!

Claire Bear!

Claire Bear!

11/19/13 Update:  Claire is still doing well on the veggie diet.  She is off the prednisone again.  I give her antihistamine only when necessary.  I introduced Cottage Cheese again, and saw no reaction, however the next day, I gave her yogurt, and she did react.  Tomorrow, I’m going to go back to the cottage cheese to decide if it’s any dairy or just the yogurt.  Once I determine the dairy issue, I will slowly introduce chicken stock to her diet.  Our goal is to de-sensitize her to chicken.

I  have to say, cooking chick peas is not easy.  I’ve burned two batches, not paying attention and having to add water as they cook!  Lentils are much easier!  She absolutely gobbles up Tofu.  She still has plenty of energy, and her hair is slowly growing back.  I’ll update more this weekend!

11/22/13 Update:  It was around noon on Wednesday the 20th, I kept asking myself why Claire was scratching herself a bit more lately.  I also noticed some hair loss.  I was getting everything ready for our big transport to meet Jeff Bennett at the Orlando Executive Airport when I heard a familiar sound, the sound of plastic, a thumping sound.  I walked out onto the porch and there was Claire up on her hind tippy toes stretched out with her head buried in the kibble bin.  “CLAIRE!” I shouted.  She pulled her head out of the bin and stared at me.  For a moment, we communicated, and I swear she said, “I haven’t had kibble in months, I’ve stuck to my diet, I’ve been a good girl, but now I want the equivalent of the greasiest hamburger money can buy… and I’m having some kibble!”

Needless to say, I freaked out!  Removed the bin, and got her a giant package of Tofu, she gobbled it.  When I returned home later, she was scratching a bit, and she did scratch herself a bit the next morning, but you know what?  It wasn’t that bad!  What she had eaten was regular Purina Dog Chow, which probably contains very little meat protein, and probably is high in corn, and she is not allergic to corn.

I expected her to have a full-blown allergic episode with swelling, scratching, massive  hair loss and lethargy.  It didn’t happen!  It was extremely mild, and medication was not needed.  That’s a huge step for Claire Bear!

Who taught her how to get  into the bin?  Ozzie!

11/23/13 Update:  Claire has been scratching herself a lot.  It started yesterday.  Granted, she did eat dog food on the 20th, but that should be out of her system.  Benadryl isn’t  helping.  I don’t believe she has gotten into any people food or dog food so I just don’t understand.  I pray she is not developing an allergy to the tofu, but she tested negative against soybean in her allergy test.  Could it be environmental?  Maybe, there’s a lot of things in bloom right now, but there is a cold front on the way, maybe it’ll help.

I did run into and meet for the first time, Mr. Wayne yesterday while waiting to meet Milhouse.  Mr. Wayne is the owner of Newman Veterinary Centers, and we brainstormed about Claire Bear.  I’m just not sure what I’m going to do if she doesn’t get back to her healthy self soon.  Once again, she proves that her condition is always two steps forward, and three steps back.

11/24/13 Update:  Claire Bear had a good night.  I know this because she slept with me.  This morning she had her lentils and veggies along with a raw egg and cottage cheese.  She scratched herself immediately, however after about 30 minutes the 1/2 pill of prednisone stopped it. The Eggs and Cottage Cheese are going to be a no-go for Claire Bear.

 Vet Recommends Hydrogenalized Dog Food for Sick Australian Shepherd

Natural Balance Vegan

Natural Balance Vegan

12/5/13 Update:  I brought Claire Bear back to the vet on the 27th, and we started her on Temaril P, a mild steroid/allergy  medication.  She responded well to it, but did react like she was on Droids!  The Vet wants us to give her (again) a hydrogenalized dog food that costs about $4/pound.  The cost of a 17 pound bag is over $60 and Clarie loves to eat.  The cost of this food is impossible for anyone to afford.

This is week two, so her Temaril P dosage has been cut in half, she is still doing well with mild itching, still has hair loss and some inflammation.  So she is no worse, but is not getting better.

Last night I tried to find Tofu yesterday – didn’t.  Went into Petsupermarket and found  Natural BalanceVegan dog food.  Bought it!  Claire is always hungry, following us around for a snack, so last night I gave her about 3 cups of this new dry food, she loved it.  She did not scratch once.  We all know that Claire responds well to any new food for the first two days.  But over night her hair is growing back around her eyes.  No Temaril P today.  After she has this food today, and again tomorrow… we may have the answer.  

Since any other medical route is experimental, and will require surgery – I’m praying, and I’m begging you to join me in praying that a simple bag of food helps.

I have shared with everyone how wonderful your words of encouragement have been these past few months.  Many of you have said to me with assurance that Claire would go to the reunion this Saturday, and she would be all better – not to worry.   Even thought I appreciated the thought, I didn’t think it was possible.  It was a goal I knew I couldn’t achieve.

I have decided that Claire Bear is going to our Annual Reunion!  Maybe, just maybe I’ll have something to brag about!  GO CLAIRE BEAR!

Claire at our 2013 Reunion

Claire at our 2013 Reunion

12/09/13 Update:  Claire did go to our Fourth Annual Reunion last Saturday, and she had a blast.  She greeted everyone, and enjoyed the attention she received!  She is still on the Temaril P and doing very well!

12/22/13 Update:  We drove Claire to Kissimmee yesterday where she met Carol and her dog Mic who was adopted several months ago.  They were very curious and respectful to each other – time will tell!  Mic hasn’t really learned how to play with other dogs, he is a bit fearful, but if anyone can teach him to relax, it’s Claire!  Carol has always wanted to adopt Claire, as a matter of fact, when she came to meet Mic she really wanted Claire instead, but Claire was very sick and had not yet been diagnosed.  Since then, Carol and I have talked over the phone about Claire’s medical condition sometimes daily.  We will provide regular updates.

Sarah has a hard time saying goodbye

Sarah has a hard time saying goodbye

I want to thank everyone who helped us with Claire Bear, she is definitely a $1,000 dog.  Many times I wondered if she would survive, several times I thought she had given up.  Taking care of Claire was very hard on my family – not knowing if she would make it – not knowing if we could help her in time.  Due to sheer frustration, I cried myself to sleep several times.  We really miss her, she became part of our pack (she favored Ozzie).  But it’s not goodbye, it’s I’ll see you again Claire Bear!  She will always be a big part of our lives, and I’m sure her struggles touched your heart as well.  Thank you so much.

12/30/13 Update:  It is official, Claire Bear has won Mic over and they are living very happily together!

Claire Bear Visits Us and Meets our New Rescued pup!

Claire Bear Visits Us and Meets our New Rescued pup!

01/07/14 Update:  Carol had a trip scheduled many months ago, and our agreement was if she adopted Claire, I would babysit… Gladly!  We had a blast!  Friends and neighbors came over and asked…. “IS THAT CLAIRE BEAR?”  In total disbelief, yes… it’s Claire Bear!  Woo Hoo!


Rescued Australian Shepherd Completely Recovers Because of Vegan Dog Food

Claire Bear visited me in January and met Rosie!

Claire Bear visited me in January and met Rosie!

09/01/14 Update:  One year ago, we rescued Claire Bear.  She was adopted December 2013 by Carol.  I receive regular updates from Carol, and Claire Bear is still doing great.  She is not on ANY medication whatsoever.  She and Mic are still on the Natural Balance Vegan, but they do get people treats now and then.  This is important – for Claire Bear to sneak in a piece of chicken or turkey, or maybe a bite of egg, so her body can get used to proteins again.  Will be she ever be on dog food?  Maybe, not.  But she is a very happy,  healthy, talking, wiggle butt Aussie today.

Why did Our Rescue through So Much to Rescue One Dog?

One person asked me why I was wasting my time and money trying to save her.  The answer is, when a rescue makes a commitment to rescue a dog, they have to keep that commitment.  Here we had a beautiful Aussie, good with kids, seniors, men or women, good with dogs, cats,very smart, housebroken… the perfect dog.  As long as we had the support from our followers, Why Not?

What is the first thing I noticed in this recent photo?  HAIR!

What is the first thing I noticed in this recent photo? HAIR!

Many times, while fostering Claire Bear, I felt like a total failure, but I couldn’t give up… because I knew there wre many Claire Bears out there.  If I could help her, I would  help many.

So what is the bottom line with Claire, what have we learned?

Claire came to us with a problem.  She was born with it.  If she could’ve continued to eat “off the land” or out of garbage cans, maybe her symptoms would’ve never flared up.

When we found out she was heartworm positive, we did what we always do, administer doxy prednisone.  She did well, but it was fake.  Her health was drug induced.  When she was weaned off the prednisone and the Doxy was gone, her condition worsened, and her symptoms bloomed.  WHAM!  It was awful.

Even though everyone told me to give a new food at least 30-60 days to see if it works, I couldn’t do it.  When I saw her suffer I had to change things immediately.  Every three days her body would reject a new protein.  Everything I was doing was in vain.  All of the potions and additives, and diet changes did nothing but show me I was on the wrong track.

When nothing worked, not tripe, not chicken feet, not enzymes, not anything… I started having nightmares, and all of those old episodes of House started playing in my sleep.  That’s where the Leaky Gut Syndrome started… thank you Dr. House reruns!

Did Claire Bear have Leaky Gut Syndrome – yes!

Did I listen to too many people?  Yes and no.

Does she have Lupus?  I’m not a vet, and she is doing well – no, she is doing awesome, so I’m just not sure.  I can tell you that if she experienced a huge diet change filled with animal protein, she might find herself back where she started.

What did Claire Bear teach me?  Never Quit, and Mommy always knows best!

Today, many of our “allergy” dogs are on Vegan dog food.  I have recommended it to many adopters who have tried everything.  Why not?  Will your vet recommended Vegan dog food?  No!  Does my Vet think I’m insane?  Absolutely!  Could any vet diagnose Claire Bear?  I doubt it.  Not your average vet anyway, and not without you documenting everything – and even then, they would ask you to give new dog food a chance.

I know what I saw, and Claire Bear was running out of time.

Do I think dogs should be Vegan?  Heck no!  But I do not believe in allergy testing (waste of time and money) and if your dog has an allergy, and you suspect it’s in the food, why not rule out all animal proteins all together?  Once your dog stables out, re-introduce animal proteins, one at a time.  Then, you’ll know!

The Boss

06/10/13 Update:  Poor Boss, he finally found the perfect home, and we have learned that his owner is very ill, in and out of the hospital, and has no time for boss.  Boss has separation anxiety, and he misses his people.  If I could describe Boss’ perfect home, it would be with someone who would let him load up and go to work with everyday.  He really needs the company of his human.  He should be heartworm negative within the next three months.

05/10/13 Foster Update:  Boss was tested at the vet and is now light heartworm positive!  In just a few months, he will test negative.  Boss still shows signs of separation anxiety.  He would be best in a home where he can go to work with his owner.  He loves to load up, and be with you all of the time.  Boss is a great dog whose loyalty is unsurpassed. 04/01/13  Foster Update:  Boss is doing well with his heartworm treatment, and should test negative in less than six months.  He also has learned to enjoy playing with other dogs, even male dogs.  He really has turned out to be quite a companion.

The Boss

Boss is just over a year old, Catahoula/Boxer. He is a true gentleman, kind hearted and aims to please. Boss enjoys the company of calm children and has excellent potential to become a Working Therapy dog (Canine Good Citizen) or he would be happy as a companion animal for an older couple or elderly person, he loves nothing more than a good rub down and a quiet night watching TV and cuddling with his person.  Boss has an active puppy side but he also knows how to sit down and enjoy a quiet night J Boss would love to have a fenced yard that he can run and play in. (preferably 6’, as I do believe he may be part spring J)  Boss is continuing his work on crate training, and is doing well.  Boss would love someone who is home most of the time.  Boss has began treatment for heartworms, and is doing well, this doesn’t slow him down in the least.  If you think Boss could be the new member of your family, he is being fostered in Davenport, FL. You can see all of his photos on Facebook.

Need Interceptor?


Herding Dogs Need to Use Interceptor

Shep’s Mom (now Alfie) Johanna found it and purchased it here!  Same great stuff for the herding breed dogs that can’t take Heartgard.

Toxic Drug Reactions in Collies


For the latest publication, visit for up-to-date findings.

To purchase Interceptor outside of the U.S., click on this link! 

Drug Reactions in Collies
Some dog breeds are more sensitive to certain drugs than other breeds. Collies and related breeds, for instance, can have adverse reactions to drugs such as ivermectin and loperamide (Imodium). At Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine you can get your dog tested for drug sensitivity and keep up with the latest research.

Drug sensitivities result from a mutation in the multi-drug resistance gene (MDR1). This gene encodes a protein, P-glycoprotein that is responsible for pumping many drugs and other toxins out of the brain. Dogs with the mutant gene cannot pump some drugs out of the brain as a normal dog would, which may result in abnormal neurologic signs. The result may be an illness requiring an extended hospital stay – or even death.


Affected Breeds

Approximately three of every four Collies in the United States have the mutant MDR1 gene. The frequency is about the same in France and Australia, so it is likely that most Collies worldwide have the mutation. The MDR1 mutation has also been found in Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties). Australian Shepherds, Old English Sheepdogs, English Shepherds, German Shepherds, Long-haired Whippets, Silken Windhounds, and a variety of mixed breed dogs.

The only way to know if an individual dog has the mutant MDR1 gene is to have the dog tested. As more dogs are tested, more breeds will probably be added to the list of affected breeds.


Problem Drugs

Many different drugs and drug classes have been reported to cause problems in Collies and other herding breed dogs that carry the MDR1 mutation. We and other researchers have documented the toxicity that occurs with several of these drugs.

Drugs that have been documented to cause problems in dogs with the MDR1 mutation include:

  • Acepromazine (tranquilizer and pre-anesthetic agent). In dogs with the MDR1 mutation, acepromazine tends to cause more profound and prolonged sedation. We recommend reducing the dose by 25% in dogs heterozygous for the MDR1 mutation (mutant/normal) and by 30-50% in dogs homozygous for the MDR1 mutation (mutant/mutant).
  • Butorphanol (analgesic and pre-anesthetic agent). Similar to acepromazine, butorphanol tends to cause more profound and prolonged sedation in dogs with the MDR1 mutation.We recommend reducing the dose by 25% in dogs heterozygous for the MDR1 mutation (mutant/normal) and by 30-50% in dogs homozygous for the MDR1 mutation (mutant/mutant).
  • Erythromycin. Erythromycin may cause neurological signs in dogs with the MDR1 mutation.  A mutant/mutant collie exhibited signs of neurological toxicity after receiving erythromycin.  After withdrawal of the drug, the dogs neurological signs resolved.  There were no other potential causes of neurological toxicity identified in the dog.
  • Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent). While the dose of ivermectin used to prevent heartworm infection is SAFE in dogs with the mutation (6 micrograms per kilogram), higher doses, such as those used for treating mange (300-600 micrograms per kilogram) will cause neurological toxicity in dogs that are homozygous for the MDR1 mutation (mutant/mutant) and can cause toxicity in dogs that are heterozygous for the mutation (mutant/normal).
  • Loperamide (ImodiumTM; antidiarrheal agent). At doses used to treat diarrhea, this drug will cause neurological toxicity in dogs with the MDR1 mutation. This drug should be avoided in all dogs with the MDR1 mutation.
  • Selamectin, milbemycin, and moxidectin (antaparasitic agents). Similar to ivermectin, these drugs are safe in dogs with the mutation if used for heartworm prevention at the manufacturer’s recommended dose.  Higher doses (generally 10-20 times higher than the heartworm prevention dose) have been documented to cause neurological toxicity in dogs with the MDR1 mutation.
  • Vincristine, Vinblastine, Doxorubicin (chemotherapy agents). Based on some published and ongoing research, it appears that dogs with the MDR1 mutation are more sensitive to these drugs with regard to their likelihood of having an adverse drug reaction.  Bone marrow suppression (decreased blood cell counts, particulary neutrophils) and GI toxicity (anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea) are more likely to occur at normal doses in dogs with the MDR1 mutation.  To reduce the likelihood of severe toxicity in these dogs (mutant/normal or mutant/mutant), we recommend reducing the dose by 25-30% and carefully monitoring these patients.

Drugs that are known to be pumped out of the brain by the protein that the MDR1 gene is responsible for producing but appear to be safely tolerated by dogs with the MDR1 mutation:

  • Cyclosporin (immunosuppressive agent). While we know that cyclosporin is pumped by P-glycoprotein (the protein encoded by the MDR1 gene), we have not documented any increased sensitivity to this drug in dogs with the MDR1 mutation compared to “normal” dogs.  Therefore, we do not recommend altering the dose of cyclosporin for dogs with the MDR1 mutation, but we do recommend therapeutic drug monitoring.
  • Digoxin (cardiac drug).  While we know that digoxin is pumped by P-glycoprotein (the protein encoded by the MDR1 gene), we have not documented any increased sensitivity to this drug in dogs with the MDR1 mutation compared to “normal” dogs. Therefore, we do not recommend altering the dose of digoxin for dogs with the MDR1 mutation, but do recommend therapeutic drug monitoring.
  • Doxycycline (antibacterial drug).  While we know that doxycycline is pumped by P-glycoprotein (the protein encoded by the MDR1 gene), we have not documented any increased sensitivity to this drug in dogs with the MDR1 mutation compared to “normal” dogs. Therefore, we do not recommend altering the dose of doxycycline for dogs with the MDR1 mutation.

Drugs that may be pumped out by the protein that the MDR1 is responsible for producing, but appear to be safely tolerated by dogs with the MDR1 mutation:

  • Morphine, buprenorphine, fentanyl (opioid analgesics or pain medications). We suspect that these drugs are pumped by P-glycoprotein (the protein encoded by the MDR1 gene) in dogs because they have been reported to be pumped by P-glycoprotein in people, but we are not aware of any reports of toxicity caused by these drugs in dogs with the MDR1 mutation. We do not have specific dose recommendations for these drugs for dogs with the MDR1 mutation.

The following drugs have been reported to be pumped by P-glycoprotein (the protein encoded by the MDR1) in humans, but there is currently no data stating whether they are or are not pumped by canine P-glycoprotein. Therefore we suggest using caution when administering these drugs to dogs with the MDR1 mutation.

  • Domperidone
  • Etoposide
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Ondansetron
  • Paclitaxel
  • Rifampicin

Click here to view the latest findings on drug-interactions in Collies.

Get Your Dog Tested!

Instructions for Pet Owners

The testing process is simple and no special training is required to collect the sample, which is obtained by brushing cells from the inside of the cheek.  You will receive brushes and sample collection instructions in the Test Kit.

Order a Test Kit online.    Do NOT send money when you order the test kit. You will be asked to include payment when you return the sample to our lab.

In the Test Kit you will receive sampling brushes, instructions for collecting a cheek swab DNA sample.



Reprinted with Permission of the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology
Laboratory at Washington State University


Where’s the ball?

A Message from Reenie:

“Howdy folks. I know I don’t make much noise, and I’m not a needy girl, but enough is enough. I’ve been in rescue for several months now, and I’ve been a really good girl. The people who have fostered me have taught me so much, but I think it’s time I move on. The holidays are just days away, and I kind of feel left behind. I don’t want to raise a ruckus but what does it take for a girl to be noticed? I may not have long silky hair, or blue eyes, but I am gorgeous in my own way. I don’t know anything about Black Dog Syndrome, but I hear people talking about it. Anyway, thanks for listening, and please, if you can help me find a home for the holidays, I’ll be much obliged. ~Reenie

When she looks you in the eye, it feels like she’s looking deep into your soul.  She has an incredible presence that just can’t be captured in pictures or videos. 

Reenie would be happiest in a home with a fenced in yard where she can run and chase toys.   She needs regular exercise and room to run, but she also needs a human companion to play with her (tennis balls are her favorite) and provide minimal supervision during outside time.

She’ll also make a great jogging partner.   Reenie would love to be adopted by a family with other dogs, cats, or kids.  She has lived with other dogs, cats, and an infant.  When play time is over, she can usually be found lying quietly at someone’s feet, rolling over now and then for a tummy rub.

Visions of sugarplums dancing….

Reenie handles new situations and people with ease, is crate/potty trained, and knows basic commands (sit, stay, down), and she appears to be quite a quick study.  She would be a great pet for someone who is looking for an active companion that’s already house and crate trained.  Her photo album can be viewed on Facebook.

Reenie is about 2 years of age, she is heartworm negative now!

12/14/12 Foster Update:

Hi Gisele –

I wanted to give you an update on Reenie and get you a couple new photos.  Looking through her vet records today, I realized she is very close to reaching one year in foster care.  What an awful milestone to reach.  I feel like I’ve failed her.  We’ve tried everything we can think of to promote her; our friends and neighbors have tried to help too.  Because she’s fine with kids, dogs, and cats, housetrained, etc, I was sure she’d be adopted if she could just meet a few new people.  Everyone who meets her loves her – vet techs, neighbors, friends, the trainer, the pet sitter.  I know she doesn’t look a lot like a Border Collie at first glance, but I can see it in the way she moves.  She’s so graceful, and ridiculously smart.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll get a real home for Christmas where she gets the love and attention she deserves.  ~Nicole

Reenie at the Dog Park, Playing Nice!

Reenie Practicing Leash Walking!

Please note that Reenie is quite skillful at climbing fences!  A yard with a wooden privacy fence would be a plus for this smart cookie!  If you are interested in meeting her, please email and share such information as:

where you live,

your household composition,

your yard/fence/exercise plan,

pets you have and/or had,

your normal work schedule,

how much time the dog will be alone,

what you are looking for in a dog,

do you have a pool

what contingency plans do you have in place should you no longer be able to care for your dog,

if you rent, do you have landlord approval,

and are you prepared to bring your new dog home if you are approved during your meet?

have you or anyone in your family ever been bitten or traumatized by a dog in the past?

also, provide us with your phone number, home address, including county and zip code

and then we’ll go from there! The more you share the better!

Serena (Reenie) Ready for her new home!





You know the expression, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you?” It’s not true! Every day I post dog food recalls so that you can be aware of the dangerous lurking in your dog’s food bowl!

Soon, I’m also going to tell you where the money goes. Here is a video about Shenandoah, a little border collie we rescued in 2011. She was heartworm positive, adopted, used the alternative method of treatment, and is negative today.

Ever wondered why I take the heartworm positive dogs? It’s not like I seek them out! I know that many shelters have a standard rule; do not adopt out heartworm positive dogs. They must go to a rescue, or they are put down. Even if the shelter has dozens of empty crates available, even if the dog is young, even if the dog is a purebred, even if the dog has an awesome temperament, heartworm positive dogs are doomed.

If you research all of my heartworm positive dogs, you’ll see that many of them were rescued by me because I knew they had no way out. There was no chance in hell they would be allowed to live because of a simple and easy-to-cure heartworm.

Shenandoah is one of those dogs.

Click here to see Shenandoah’s Original Post

Huckleberry Revisited

I get a lot of email from our followers asking for updates on our dogs. Since Huckleberry’s story was so closely followed and adored, we have decided to write his entire story and publish it!  We have interviewed people, added their comments, gone back through old emails and text messages, and interviewed Huckleberry’s new family to create a complete story from beginning to present.  It’s very impressive!

We waited until after our reunion to publish Huck’s story, and it was worth it!

His book is now available to purchase on Lulu, and will be submitted to all of the major online book stores, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.  shortly! If you remember, Huckleberry was adopted right before the holidays, and I think it’s fitting that his story is available one year later!

Congratulations to everyone who took part in his very special and dramatic rescue!

Click here to read Huckleberry’s original story


I'm Your Huckleberry!

I’m Your Huckleberry!

Gentle Jerry~Adopted

Gentle Jerry

Jerry is a gorgeous 2 year old Australian Cattle Dog rescued from death from Miami Dade Animal Services. He is an outstanding pup, with so much love to give. He loves being with his human and furry companions. He is great with people, kids and dogs. He is potty trained, crate trained and wonderful on the leash. He is eager to learn and eager to please. Jerry picks up on training extremely fast (something Cattle Dogs are known for). he would make a great addition to any family especially a family with children. He would make a great companion or service dog because he brings so much joy to those who meet him. He is an all around perfect dog that is grateful to have been saved. If interested in adopting Jerry, please email

You can see more photos of Jerry in his photo album on Facebook.

Free Kisses!

If you are interested in meeting her, please email
and share such information as:

where you live,

your household composition,

your yard/fence/exercise plan,

pets you have and/or had,


Do you have a pool

what contingency plans do you have in place should you no longer be able to care for your dog,

Gorgeous Boy!

if you rent, do you have landlord approval,

and are you prepared to bring your new dog home if you are approved during your meet?

have you or anyone in your family ever been bitten or traumatized by a dog in the past?

also, provide us with your phone number, home address, including county and zip code

and then we’ll go from there! The more you share the better!



Covered in sores, he holds no grudges

Rawhide has a long story, and I’ll try to be brief.  A neighbor of Vicki Truelove asked for help in re-homing a dog that had been abandoned by another neighbor.  The couple had lost their home, and didn’t know what to do for their dog, Hunter.  After a period of time, Vicki’s neighbors took Hunter in, and took care of him.  These good Samaritans had no intention of keeping Hunter.  Vicki sent me Hunters photos, and I was drawn to him… I don’t know why.  We arranged transport, and thanks to some awesome volunteers, including Josh Bergesen, he’s here.

While on transport, Vicki sang to herself, “rolling rolling rolling, keep them doggies rolling…  Rawhide!”  She does this as a way to keep herself awake, and entertained!  Rawhide!”  It was hilarious, so I decided to name him Rawhide!

At first glance I noticed a lot of sores on his head, especially behind his ears and throat.  Then I noticed a deep scar across the top of his head.  As if he had been tied… I’m not sure.  His matting is severe, indicating he has been left outside for a long period of time.  When you see a dog that you know has been left outdoors for some time, you immediately think of heartworm disease.  I brought him to the vet immediately, and he tested positive.  What a blow.  But that’s not all.  The vet identified a heart arrhythmia.  They suggested an ECG, which I approved.  We can not say if his heart arrhythmia is genetic or a result of the heartworm, but common sense dictates it’s a reaction to the heartworms.  Once he is clear, this abnormality should fix itself.  Dr. Oliver is confident that he will recover, and  completed his neuter surgery.  We immediately started his heartworm treatment.

After watching him play with the pups for several days, it dawned on me that he’s not protecting the puppies… he thinks he is a puppy!  He picks up the toys, and plays the “chase me game” and enjoys every second of being a puppy again.  It’s quite amazing.

Rawhide is a phenomenal dog.  He is gentle, kind, patient and loyal.  He will be coming home with me today, where he’ll be back with his litter of rescue puppies, the Toyota pups, and he’ll settle in and rest a while.  Whoever adopts him will be a very lucky person.  I believe he could easily pass Canine Good Citizenship training… he’s that good!

His photo album can be viewed on Facebook.


Rawhide, Now Jake, with his new family!

Rawhide, renamed Jake (I love that name) has been adopted by Angela Saez and her family!  He also got to adopt his own Toyota puppy, Corolla!

Little Grace~Adopted

Little Grace with Groomer Serena Drake of Val-u-Vet

Little Grace is being fostered in Deltona by Gisele. She is very quiet and well-behaved. She got the full treatment at Val-u-Vet, including grooming by Serena Drake! She did test positive for heartworm, but that doesn’t scare us one bit! She’s a very healthy girl, and we’re starting her heartworm treatment (slow kill) right away. Grace appears to love kids, and she is great with other dogs.

Foster Update:  Grace follows me around, yet she does not have separation anxiety at all.  She is full crate trained.  She would make an awesome dog for an older person, but would also be perfect as an apartment dog.  More importantly, she would adore going to work with her person every day.  She loads up in the car, is a great traveler and would probably enjoy sitting under someone’s desk all day long.  But don’t let her calmness fool you!  When she is outdoors, she loves to run and bark with joy.  She says good morning to the squirrels and birds, and is all Border Collie!

Grace possesses one skill that I have never seen before.  She hunts moles (at least I think that’s what she’s doing).  She combs through the yard with her head down, and listens for underground creatures.  When she finds one, she barks and bounces.  It’s hilarious.  She then uses her nose and proudly shares her findings… but she does not dig.  If you love to garden, Grace might be the perfect helper!

When I recognized what she was doing, I was immediately sad for Little Grace, for is this skill could’ve been recognized at an early age, Grace would have made an awesome detection dog.  She could have been trained as a bug dog, a bomb detection dog, a drug detection dog… you name it.  She is a VERY smart little girl! If you are interested in meeting Little Grace, please email

Everything a good dog should be!

New photos of Grace on her Facebook Photo album.

Little Grace’s Virtual Foster is Nicole Cook, who donated toward her vetting expenses.  Thank you Nicole!

History:  Eight year old purebred Border Collie. *GRACE* DOB: 8-30-04 (8yrs old) ~ ABCA Reg. #257758 ~ Female ~ Black/White Rough Coat.

10/15/12:  Instead of making families, little Grace now has her own family! A Mom, a Dad, and two little kids to call her own!  Little Grace was adopted by the Martin family, who recently lost their senior Border Collie female.  John explained he has been stalking TDL since last April.  When he saw that little Grace was 8 years old and heartworm positive, he figured she didn’t stand much of a chance at being adopted.  I’m thrilled, aren’t you?

John left for a moment to discuss Grace with his wife over the phone, and when he returned, I noticed as he walked up my sidewalk, Little Grace was wagging her tail, and doing the wiggle of joy!  Yeah, she was ready!

Little Grace with John & John!


She has a family to call her own!






Treating Your Heartworm Positive Dog

Over the past three years, we have documented all of our heartworm positive dogs, 35 total:

  • 23 of these dogs were treated using an Alternative Method which consists of Heartgard, Doxycyline and Prednisone.
  • 10 of these dogs were treated using Immiticide (arsenic based).
  • 2 of these cases have not yet been updated.








Of the 10 dogs treated with Immiticide,  one died from complications.  All 9 of the other dogs are heartworm negative today, and are not experiencing any complications.





Here are the results of the 23 dogs that used the Alternative Method:

  • 2 are unconfirmed
  • 5 are still being treated.  Some of these dogs are new to our rescue, and have just recently started their treatment, for example, Little Grace.
  • 16 have been re-tested and are confirmed heartworm negative.  Most received negative results within 8-12 months.



While we can not advice which treatment method to use.  We do however, provide you with all of the options available to you, and it is up to your Veterinarian to make the ultimate decision.  This decision is primarily based on the age of your dog, its saturation level and overall health.

Some collie breeds do have allergic reactions to ivermectin, the main ingredient in heartgard.  It is recommended that collies use an alternative form of heartworm prevention that does not contain ivermectin.  Three of our dogs had an allergic reaction to heargard:

Note:  What we have learned is dogs that are just at the 50 pound weight limit, and were given a 50-100 pound heartgard suffered a reaction.

All of our Heartworm Positive Dogs

Heartworm Treatment Options Artciles


Clyde just chillaxin'!

Clyde is a precious jack russel mix pup. He and Bonnie are litter mates. Everyone wanted Bonnie to rescue, but all wanted to leave Clyde behind to die. The herding rescues didn’t want a dog that wasn’t a herd dog. The bottom line is that Bonnie and Clyde were litter mates, they had the same mom, we really have no idea what she was. Clyde is smaller than Bonnie and so thin that his ribs and hip bones were showing. It’s obvious that he was the runt of the litter and pushed away from the food by others. This high kill shelter in Georgia was overflowing this week, 75 dogs came in on one day. They normally euthanize twice a week, but this week they had to add a third day as they had no room for the dogs coming in. Some dogs who were owner surrendered were taken to the back and euthanized immediately.

The volunteers were texting me saying that Bonnie had rescue but not Clyde, that he would die. I am a believer in taking the whole litter, not picking certain ones and then leaving others to the fate of the heartstick, how cruel. I believe that the pups know, they know when dogs are dying and they know when it is their littermate.

Freedom is Fun!

Amy and Maria worked tirelessly to get as many dogs out with short notice as they could. They told the other rescues that they wanted them to take both. But due to financial concerns could not. Grab’em I said. So Bonnie AND CLYDE were put into Amy’s car. He is so sweet and scared. It’s as if he knew he almost died, that he wasn’t wanted. He was used to it, he wasn’t allowed to eat much either, dropped off at the shelter unwanted and because of that would be the first to die on the cold concrete floor by a lethal stick to his heart. Not today Clyde! YOu are wanted, you are loved! You will eat and play! Clyde rode in my car quietly and thankfully, made no mistakes and joyfully bounded into the fosters yard! Clyde is very athletic! He can jump! He would make a great flyball candidate! He is more active than his sister Bonnie and loves to play. He ate his dinner fast and with pure gratefulness.



No he is not a border collie, but jack russells are great on farms, great family dogs, and great in sports. Clyde would love a family where he was loved and cherished… he doesn’t know what that is.. for more info on adopting Clyde contact Feb. 24 foster update: Clyde is doing great in foster.

He is crate trained and has made no mistakes in the house. He is very playful and learning a lot from the fosters border collie Chloe. She even lets him sleep on her bed and lays next to him. He can jump like a pro but only if he wants to be with you. Clyde has learned the fosters routine and sleeps through the night.

Clyde has been adopted by Jack!

Taking a break from reading his dads new movie script!




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