Baby Bella ~ Adopted

Many years ago, Megan fostered Nat King Cole and Brenda Lee for us.  Two gorgeous dogs that we rescued from Craig’s List (I think).  It was Christmas time, hence their names!

Bordeaux and Nanette’s Adoption Day!

They were adopted by Robert and Vicki Guth, and renamed Bourdeaux and Nanette!  For many years, they sent me updates that made us feel warm inside!  Even though the pair loved to dig up Vicki’s landscape, they were adored!

Sweet Nanette ~ RIP

Sweet Nanette ~ RIP

It was just a few months ago that Robert notified me about Nanette’s passing.  Several times, Robert expressed an interest in adopting several of our dogs, but in my heart, I knew it wasn’t a match.

Once again, God plays a huge role in our efforts to rescue.  I know He does, because even though we are a very talented and dedicated group, there are some things that are just simply not in our power!

little punkin' Bella

little punkin’ Bella

Just a few weeks ago, Becky Harshman emailed us a photo of pups that needed to be rescued.  That’s when I saw her… this tiny but healthy female baby that looked exactly like Nanette.

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home!

Robert and I exchanged a few emails, and the next day he was in his car driving from Tennessee to Alabama to personally pick up his new pup!  They have named her Bella.  Our latest update from Robert is that Bella has learned to retrieve her own leash from the basket when it’s time for a walk!  Hilarious!

Welcome Bella!  You have big paws to fill!

Our 2014 Rainbow Bridge

Journey, Gone but Not Forgotten

Journey, Gone but Not Forgotten

Every year, at the beginning of October, we remember Goldie Hawn, and all of the dogs that we have lost since we started our rescue efforts.  I’m sure you will agree that once you experience the struggle and heartbreak associated with losing a dog, whether young or old, can you appreciate the moments that we celebrate when a dog pulls through, like Bart and Claire Bear.

Since October of 2013, we have said goodbye to:

darla,  willow (oreo),  yogi,  journey,  bonnie blue,  laddie,  big george,  spock (bailey),

crystal (zoe),   jaffe,  colby (khan)


The Rainbow Bridge – Not an Angel

The young pup and the older dog lay on shaded sweet grass watching the reunions. Sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes a whole family would approach the Rainbow Bridge, be greeted by their loving pets and cross the bridge together.

The young pup playfully nipped at the older one. “Look! Something wonderful is happening!”

The older dog stood up and barked, “Quickly. Get over to the path.”

“But that’s not my owner,” whined the pup, but he did as he was told.

Thousands of pets surged forward as a figure in white walked on the path toward the bridge. As the glowing figure passed each animal, that animal bowed its head in love and respect. The figure finally approached the bridge, and was met by a menagerie of joyous animals. Together, they all walked over the bridge and disappeared.

The young pup was still in awe. “Was that an angel?” he whispered.

“No, son,” the older dog replied. “That was more than an angel. That was a rescuer.”


Rescuer’s Bridge

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before.

But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn’t long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.

He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again.

As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren’t playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn’t understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for awhile to explain it to him.

“You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge.”

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, “So what will happen now?” As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person, and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.

“Watch, and see,” said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed her towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

“What happened?”

“That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of her work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn’t place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge.”

“I think I like rescuers”, said the first animal.

“So does GOD”, was the reply.


DSC_2913Anna is one of 4 Aussie pups we rescued from Chilton County, Alabama.  They were flown in thanks to volunteer Pilot Jim Matthews. Anna has something wrong with her hind leg, she is being x-rayed today. In the meantime, we are asking for donations toward her medical care. If you can donate, and virtually foster her, please visit our Virtual Foster page.

You can see more photos of her on Facebook.

09/29/14 Update:  Little Anna will not be available for adoption.  For those of you who have donated toward her medical care, I have sent you a personal email offering to refund your donation.  Anna is not operable.  Our Vet believes she was once hit by a car, and her pelvic bone is crushed.  While her leg was also broken, that’s the least of our Vet’s concerns. Bone fragments are seen throughout her organs, and preventing her from thriving.  I am so sorry to be the bearer of this heartbreaking news.  I will be spending the afternoon with her.

The Vet does not think she can make it through the surgery, and doesn’t believe that even a specialist can save her. We think she was hit by a car. Accidents happen. Anna is a spunky little puppy, and she is full of herself! She steals bones from her siblings, and won’t share! Watching her in this video, I can’t believe she is playing with a crushed pelvis. Dogs are truly amazing creatures.

Anna, the Aussie PuppyWe make decisions about our dogs as if they are our own dogs, and Anna is no exception. Even if she were to survive the surgery, her quality of life would be incredibly low.  So why is she playing in the video?  We believe that the injury happened when she was so young, she has been used to living with this pain.

I would like to thank my son Ryan, and his friend Nikki for taking the time the visit the puppies with me yesterday.  They had a blast, and they loved the cuddles and kisses.

Anna will never be forgotten, and it’s our job to find wonderful and loving homes for her siblings. They will have a full and happy life while Anna plays with our other dogs that are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. Run along Anna, the pain is gone, be free, and spread your wings!

Captain Jack Sparrow, the Sheltie Boy~Adopted.

Captain Jack Sparrow, the Sheltie

Captain Jack Sparrow, the Sheltie

Captain Jack came to us from Miami-Dade thanks to Patty Duenas who pulled him and transporter Jennifer that drove him to his foster. He was picked up as a stray and was described as very, very scared in the shelter environment.

This little Sheltie boy was in serious trouble, and we didn’t even know it.

Patty Wrote: He has a few staples on his neck that need to be removed in a week. He had a cut on his neck. Vet said that the “dreads” he had were pulling his skin apart. They weighed a lot. This dog broke my heart. I bathed him on Wednesday. He is so sad. He was not doing well in shelter environment. Can’t wait to see him flourish in a living home.

I’ve never heard of a dog needing grooming so much that it literally split his skin… that’s gross.  Michelle Kamber in Boynton Beach is fostering this little boy, and  he immediately was invited to play with her dog, Trixie!  While he was terrified at the shelter, he’s playing in foster care!

Happy Boy on Transport!

Happy Boy on Transport!

While we see the Sheltie in him, his ears and nose has us a bit confused.  He doesn’t have short little legs, so your guess is as good as mine! Jack is 25 pounds and while the shelter thought he was  5, we disagree and feel like he is  more likely about 3 years old.

9/14/14 Update: Michelle writes: “As soon as he got to our home, his tail started wagging and hasn’t stopped much since. I was prepared to spend a few days helping him get over is fright but that wasn’t necessary.   He was happy to explore the yard and loved meeting our dog. He seems to like other dogs a lot and has been following our pup Trixie around like a shadow. He’s met the cats too but couldn’t care less about them.

Captain Jack is not overly clingy to the humans but will come around for affection every so often and then is happy to go play with the dog. He’s more likely to follow another dog around the house than the human. He has a very sweet personality and has been perfectly behaved so far. He’s potty trained, gentle, quiet, playful with other dogs and loves to have his ears scratched. Jack is not too sure about toys, it’s like he’s never seen them before. We are working on getting him to realize the fun of all the toys in the basket. My baby nephew came over yesterday and he was perfect with him as well.

Captain Jack Sparrow

He is a fan of the couch!

9/28/14 Update: Michelle writes: “We’ve had Captain Jack for a little over two weeks now and boy has he come out of his shell!  He’s one of the most loving, sweet and easy dogs I’ve fostered.  He got his staples out from his neck boo-boo last week and was a star at the vet’s office.  Everyone fell in love with the good nature and cuteness of our Captain.
He has become super affectionate.  He loves to be pet and scratched all over and will melt his body into your legs for more.  Captain Jack is great with dogs, cats, and people of all ages.  He also gets very excited about car rides and when the leash comes out.

We will get more updates soon, but in the meantime, you can visit his photo album on Facebook.

Captain Jack is going home!

Captain Jack is going home!

Update:   Captain Jack was adopted by Rick of Fort Myers.  He’s making himself at home and creating a relationship with Rick’s cats!  Can’t wait for updates!  You can see more adoption photos on his facebook album.





4/7/16 Update: It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of Jack’s passing. 3 weeks ago he was diagnosed with a heart issue which ultimately became too much. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family as they grieve his loss.




the tiny girl

the tiny girl

You may have seen us last week begging for donations to rescue three collie pups from Athens, Alabama.  The shelter described them as a bag of bones, and even wondered if they would make it.

a bag of bones

a bag of bones

After a few failed transport attempts, they arrived thanks to hard working volunteers!  They are incredibly scared and wouldn’t eat for a few days, but they are eating now.  They are emaciated and they are coughing, so they won’t be ready for adoption… well, until they’re ready!  But we sure can follow their progress!

Darla is the smallest of the group, and very shy.  We will be posting more photos on Facebook shortly, but here is their original shelter photo.

Shelter Photo

Shelter Photo

It is with deep sadness I share that Darla passed away in her sleep. While she was starting to eat, it wasn’t enough. Failure to thrive, they call it. We call it hearbreak.


Zoom Zoom Oreo, over the bridge you'll find new toys and new friends to play with.

Zoom Zoom Oreo, over the bridge you’ll find new toys and new friends to play with.

05/08/14:  It is with deep sorrow that I share that Willow (Oreo) passed away yesterday. Judy wrote:

Hi Giselle.

We wanted to let you know that Oreo had a diaphragmatic hernia that we didn’t even know existed until today. When I came home at lunch she was very lethargic and in pain. I took her to the vet and they ultimately told me to take her to a board certified surgeon in Tampa. When the surgeon was able to stabilize her enough to operate they found all of her organs stuck in her chest cavity and they were dead. There was nothing they could do to save her. We are all very sad.

I’ve shed many tears since I received the bad news yesterday. The Harris family are so loving and kind, knowing that they are suffering this loss is painful for everyone. We all loved little Willow, she was so precious. Words can’t describe the shock of losing such a young dog.

Ozzie and Willow

History:  Never in my life has it been so hard to name a dog!  Never in my life have I seen an identical twin to my Ozzie!  What shall we call her?  Willow, Moo, Ozzietta, Cupcake, Snowcone, you name it, we thought it.  This precious little thing, weighing in at a whopping 14 pounds is about 5-6 months of age.  She came from Lake City, in the same fashion that Bart did, she was left in the night dropbox.  Ugh!  Holli Miller called me and told me I was going to want this pup, and I panicked. I have no funding.  I told Holli I couldn’t make any promises, and Holli shrugged.

I checked my email, and there it was… a donation from Laurie Baker.  Laurie previously adopted Courage, now Bo.  She is an attorney for Baker & Paul in Bradenton.

I called Holli, thrilled that I could, without hesitation, say yes!  A transport was arranged immediately.  I posted a transport request on Facebook, and received an email from Huck & Judy Harris who offered to transport this wee little pup.  Huck & Judy adopted Ginger Snap last December.  I was thrilled.

Huck & Willow – Love at first Sight!

When little Willow got out of their car and walked up my drive way, I couldn’t believe how small she was.  I don’t know why, but I thought the photos made her look much bigger.

We sat on the front porch, it was very clear that Huck was smitten with the pup.  When the Harris’ told me they wanted to adopt her, I didn’t think they were serious.  We agreed that she would be examined by my vet, get all of her shots, de-worming, spay and micro-chip, and they would sleep on their decision.

The day after I brought Willow home from the vet, I contacted the Harris’.  They want Willow, and that’s that!

Willow will be picked up this Saturday, and go to her forever home, where she will be very well cared for.  Oh, and by the way, when I told Huck that I found Willow on top of my stove, and I have no idea how she got up there… a future in agility came to mind!

You can see more photos of Willow on Facebook.

Can’t wait for updates!


Yogi Bear – Rainbow Bridge

Stacey and I say our final goodbye

Stacey and I say our final goodbye

04/02/14 Update:  We lost Yogi this morning at 10:37 am.  I will provide details shortly.  He will be greatly missed.  I would like to thank Sarah White for pulling him for us, and Brittney Myers for fostering him.

04/01/14:  It is with great concern that I share Yogi’s current medical condition. All bloodwork and fecal testing was negative. His increased thirst and weight loss is our main concern. Dr. Oliver opted for an x-ray, and the x-ray revealed a large mass on his spleen.

It doesn’t take a degree to see that Yogi is declining, and that cancer is probably the reason. I will be meeting with the staff at Newman today, and again tomorrow to discuss our options with Yogi. While we weigh all of the options, know that his comfort and quality of life comes first.

Yogi BearI am thankful that Yogi was never adopted while in foster care with us. I would hate to put a family through this.

While at first, we thought his condition was due to allergies, and the change in diet and allergy medications did help, but they only helped ease the symptoms, not the root cause of his problems. I can only assume that Yogi has had this cancer for quite a while. If only dogs could talk.

Not High Maintenance!

Not High Maintenance!

02/14/14 Update:  Woo Hoo!  Yogi’s hair is growing back.  That means we did it right!  I don’t think it was allergies so much as it was poor care, lack of  nutrition and a lowered immune system after being on his own for so long.  Yogi is not a hyper dog, he is very much a couch potato.  He is also not “in your face” and needy.  When you want affection, he is happy to comply, but he is not what we call a velcro dog either.  Yogi has the perfect temperament, happy to be near you, and comply with your desires!

02/07/14 Update:  Clearly, what Claire Bear taught us helped Yogi immediately.  A combination of medications and his new food has cleared up his skin issues, and he’s ready for his forever home.  Yogi will be a loyal and noble companion… you can see it in his eyes, that he is starving for a true friend.

01/27/14 Update:  Yogi is responding well to treatment.  He will be ready for foster care any day now, and will be ready for adoption!

Yesterday, I asked Sarah White-Buxbaum to visit Halifax Humane Society, located at Daytona Beach for us.  There, she met Intake Manager, Michael Dombrowski and introduced The Dog Liberator as a potential rescue partner.  Mr. Dombrowski is a very proactive coordinator, is determined to increase the number of dogs saved, and decrease its euthanasia rate.

It was quite an experience for Sarah, with permission, she took many photographs, walked through the facility, and talked about a future relationship between Halifax and The Dog Liberator.  But the real purpose of her visit was to meet and evaluate one dog – his name was Dylan.

you're picking Me?

you’re picking Me?

Sarah shares her experience with us in detail below, but first I want to introduce you this gorgeous boy who we have renamed Yogi Bear!

Deciding if we were going to pull this dog was not easy.  Judging from his shelter photo, it seemed like a no-brainer, he looks like a TDL dog, but looking closely we saw massive hair loss.  The shelter was kind enough to send us more photos, and we saw even more hair loss and severe redness.  Immediately we thought about Claire Bear.  But fixing his problems is a no-brainer to us!

BoBo, one ear up, one ear down!

BoBo, one ear up, one ear down!

Once he arrived, I got a closer look at him, and realized he might not be a border collie, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Then, it dawned on me… it’s BoBo, and he’s a collie/border collie.

You can see more photos of Yogi on Facebook.

Do I think it’s going to be hard to fix Yogi?  No!  I already bought him the right shampoo (he’s getting a bath today) and delivered Natural Balance Vegan food to our vet so he can start eating the right food right away.  Yogi will benefit from our experience with Claire Bear!

Written by Sarah White-Buxbaum:

01/23/14:  On the heels of our post, Casting the First Stone, I am excited to write about my shelter visit today! Today I ventured to Halifax Humane Society after receiving information about a border collie in the shelter. Upon arrival the staff pointed me in the correct direction to meet the Intake Manager/Foster & Transfer Coordinator, Michael. I must say I was impressed with how he worked and the changes he has made. He expressed a desire to work with rescues to save and transfer 1,000 dogs this year. It is exciting to hear the passion he has for helping dogs find their second chance and we are excited to continue working with Halifax Humane Society in the future.

After a brief chat I met Dylan (who we are calling Yogi Bear) and I admit, at first, I wasn’t impressed. He stood, gave a little woof from his kennel, and that was about it. We took him out to the play area which was complete with agility items. At first Yogi stood and soaked in the sun, sniffed around, and observed the world around him. After a few moments I called him his name and he trotted right over. After a scratch and a pet I saw him transform into a new dog.

"This is the way out"

“This is the way out”

Gone was the quiet and aloof dog from the run, now he had transformed into inquisitive, attentive, talker. We tried playing with a few toys (a ball, a stick, and a disk) which he watched me throw but he wasn’t too interested, he had other plans! He showed me how he could sit, and then showed me the gate “Let’s go! Let’s bust out of here!” I played dumb and he led me to the gate, put his nose through, pawed it, and sat down. I picked up the leash and he gave a happy woof!

"If you won't open the gate, I will"

“If you won’t open the gate, I will”

I was able to see him interact with two of the other shelter dogs, one who was a little pushy/dominate and one who was more mild/friendly; he did well with both!

When it was time for paperwork we had to put him back in the kennel for a few minutes. As I loaded him in I promised him, “Don’t worry buddy, you’ll be out in a few minutes!” He looked at me as if to say “well, okay… if you promise” and then slowly trudged in.  As soon as the paperwork was done the staff brought him back out.

The moment he saw me again, his ears went up and he pranced over. I asked him if he wanted to come with me and he proceeded to have a full conversation with me, sat by the door, then nuzzled my hand and quietly woofed again, “Let’s go!” The shelter staff in the lobby celebrated his second chance and wished us well.

As we walked across the parking lot one of the staff asked “Hey are you busting him out?” I stated that I was and he gave a joyous “Yeah!” Yogi Bear couldn’t be happier as he stood by the bumper, prancing in place, waiting for me to hurry up and open the car! He loaded up with no trouble, settled right in, and traveled like a champ. He also walked fairly well on the leash.

Yogi Bear is currently receiving treatment for a skin condition which has left him with a few spots of thinning fur but he hasn’t let that phase him and hopes you won’t let it phase you either. We will continue to update you about Yogi Bear as we learn more.  ~ Sarah

Journey – rest in peace

You will never be forgotten

You will never be forgotten

We are very sad that Journey passed away after fighting pneumonia for over a week. It happened suddenly.

Pneumonia is a horrible condition that is sometimes very hard to treat, especially in puppies, and especially when a pup is emaciated. Almost five years ago, I lost a collie pup to Pneumonia, her name was Goldie Hawn. I am constantly reminded of Goldie, because her mother is Lady Di, my collie.

Unfortunately, we lost this little pup named Journey, last week, even though she appeared to be recovering nicely. Our Veterinary Care Fund is very low at this time. If you can afford to donate, we appreciate your generosity. Please join us by celebrating the short life of our pup, Journey. While we know we can’t save them all, but we can love them all.

Thank you Laura and your family for giving Journey a chance, holding her in your arms, keeping her warm, and showing her love.

You can see me many wonderful photos of her playing, very happy, and very much loved on Facebook.

Pneumonia Puppy

Pneumonia Puppy

We are rescuing a baby puppy from Lake City, who has pneumonia and is vomiting.  The shelter is very concerned about her level of care.  Thank goodness, Laura Burk has agreed to foster her, and is making her chicken stew!  We will update you shortly.  In the meantime, I believe a change in her meds might be in order.  Your thoughts and prayers for her speedy recovery are appreciated.  If you can donate toward her veterinary care, we certainly appreciate your help!

Laura said yes, maybe because this little girl looks just like her pork chop!

Bonnie Blue Heeler~RIP

 06/02/14 Update:  I wanted to let you know that Kiwi (Bonnie Blue) passed away yesterday. She had a heart attack caused by the mitral valve dysplasia. She was out playing and did not suffer. She was only 14 months old but since I adopted her in December she had a wonderful life on the beach and the best medical care in north Florida. The medication allowed her a better quality of life but unfortunately there is no cure for her condition in dogs. She was a very special pup with more personality than I have ever seen in a dog. Heaven gained another angel yesterday. ~ Mia

Bonnie has a new family!

Bonnie has a new family!

This little girl was said to be a sheltie/acd mix, but I can’t find the sheltie anywhere… can you? She is only 7 months old, and smart as a whip! She has gone through several training classes, and can do just about everything but make coffee. She is great with middle school-aged kids (toddlers tend to make her nervous) and loves to play with other dogs. She has great energy, weighs a whopping 16 pounds, and would make an awesome agility dog! She is up-to-date on shots, spayed, and ready to move in – just say the word! She is located in the Central Florida area.  You can see more photos of Bonnie Blue on Facebook.

Bonnie Blue

Bonnie Blue

I was Just a Kid

Waiting in the lobby, Lady Di makes herself at home

Waiting in the lobby, Lady Di makes herself at home

Yesterday was an amazing day.  I went to the Orlando Executive Airport to pick up two Alabama dogs, Amelia and Bennett’s Boots.  I was also asked to be interviewed for a documentary Tales In Flight.

Bennett's Boots

Bennett’s Boots

When I heard there was going to be a film crew, I immediately panicked, and asked my friend Irma to drive me there.  I was too embarrassed to let anyone see my van, which is rusted out and has missing parts!  Okay, so maybe my hideous van was a great excuse to bring a friend with me to keep my calm!  It worked!  Sarah White-Buxbaum also joined us, and what a blessing!

Once on the tarmac I was very comfortable-not nervous one bit.  Before the operation began, I re-introduced Jeff to my Lady Di.  Lady Di was the first dog Jeff ever flew to us, back in September of 2009.  He remembered her, and I’d like to believe she remembered him.

"I remember you!"

“I remember you!”

The number of dogs and puppies that poured out of Jeff Bennett’s plane was unbelievable.  As I watched rescuers receive dozens of puppies, I didn’t envy them.  Nor was I ashamed that only two dogs on this flight were TDL.  I’ve accepted the fact that our rescue is about quality not quantity.  If we want our dogs in foster homes, we refuse to board them, and we don’t have an actual shelter, our numbers will always remain small.

When Shaggy’s crate was carried out of Jeff’s plane, he was scared.  He turned and hid his head into the crate, and we gave him time to come out on his own.  Eventually, he did, and hid his face under my arm!  Shaggy was Jeff’s 2,000th save, and I informed Jeff that his new name would be Bennett’s Boots.



It took a while before Amelia was uncovered.  Jeff lifted her out of the crate, soaked in urine, and handed her to me laughing.  Poor thing was terrified.  We got the dogs into Irma’s car, left the tarmac and gave them some time to walk around and find their legs!  Then it was interview time.  I met with Director, Michael Samstag and Producer Josh Gildrie and they explained what was going to happen.

one more goodbye

one more goodbye

But before the interview started, Jeff said one more goodbye to Lady Di!

I thought that I would sit down with other TDLers, and an interviewer – but that’s not what happened.  Instead, I sat in a chair and  had a camera film me so close I had hoped that the lens  had a wrinkle filter.  I was completely alone, no one to my left, no one to my right, only a camera straight ahead, and my interviewer was not going to share the screen with me. UGH!

With Lady Di by my side, I tried to relax, but half-way through the interview, she fell asleep at my feet.  I realized as I was answering questions, that I’m a writer, and it’s very difficult for me to answer questions, and express my opinions verbally.  I was nervous and tense just like most of the dogs we rescue!

I hadn’t felt this way since I entered into my 3rd grade classroom, the new kid, in the middle of a school year.  I opened the door, felt dozens of little eyes staring at me, petrified I wanted to be invisible.

The interviewThe interview took place in the airport’s lobby, where electronic sliding glass doors continued to open and close as people went about their business.  I would answer a question, and the doors would shwoosh, and producer Josh Gildrie would ask me to say it again!  Many times, I forgot the question, or had no idea what I had just said!  I could never answer a question the same way twice!  This was not easy for me!

When the question was asked, why did I start to rescue, and where did my love for dogs come from, instead of answering by telling the story of my Reckless, I went off on a bunny trail to when I was about eight years-old – my first dog, Nelson.  Before I knew it, I was sharing stories about my life as a child, and how we moved often, and how many animals I had to leave behind.  I talked about the sadness coming home to an empty house.  I was asked about Lady Di, and because Nelson was also a collie, I explained when she was brought to me, it brought back so many childhood memories of my Nelson, and without warning, I was flooded with memories, and I began to tear up during the interview.  Trying very hard to be professional, and push my emotions aside, I knew I had stumbled onto something that I was not prepared to fully address.

Since Lady Di was fast asleep, and starting to snore, at the request of director, Michael Samstag, we woke Bennett’s Boots up, and brought him on the set.  I scooted over and gave the chair one tap… I didn’t have to ask him twice… and he was in my lap for the rest of the interview.  Having a dog to hold and rub on made me relax and not feel so self-conscious.

All in all, I think I fumbled through most of my interview.

When I returned home, there was a lot of work to be done.  All of my dogs had to be cared for, Claire Bear needed her Tofu and Lentils, and my new dogs needed to be introduced to their new temporary  home.  Too tired to cook for my own family, and too exhausted to go out to eat, we got pizza!

My Nelson

My Nelson

I called Sarah White later that evening, and was able to share and process my unexpected melt down.

While I have mentioned Nelson in passing to friends, I never truly shared his story with anyone.  I actually named one of our rescued collies, Nelson, two years ago, but I still never really shared his story in detail.  Maybe it was too painful for me to share?

One of the first dogs I remember as a child was a purebred Collie named Lord Nelson of Baltimore III.  I don’t know where my Mom bought him from, but we got him as a puppy.  He was the most gorgeous puppy I had ever seen.  It didn’t take long before he was HUGE!  He was kind, gentle, noble, loving and easy to train.  He was my brother’s dog, however, once my brother left our nest to go into the Air Force, I made him my dog!  I remember laying on the floor and kissing his long nose and hearing his tail thump!  He loved the snow and he loved to run!

I remembered that warm feeling coming home from school to my Nelson.  I didn’t have many friends, moving around a lot prevents lasting relationships!  I only had one brother who was eight years older than me, and big brothers really don’t “play” with little brat sisters!  My parents worked and were always busy, but none of that mattered, I had my dog.  I guess my relationship with Nelson is very much like my daughter Sarah’s relationship with her China.  It’s tight!

I don’t know why I was surprised when my parents announced that we were moving again, this time back to Florida.  I never dreamed that Nelson wasn’t coming with us, but he wasn’t.  It wasn’t until just a few days before we were leaving that my Mom told me Nelson was going to Canada to live with my cousin, Victor.  But that wasn’t true.  Victor couldn’t have a dog, so Nelson was going to live with Victor’s Grandfather.  I didn’t know these people, but I was assured that Nelson would be loved and well cared for, and he was.

Despite my parents’ assurance, I protested but it had no effect.  I sat in the back seat with my arms crossed, pouting, crying, leaving my home, and knowing I would never see my dog again.

Just a few short years later, we got the news that Nelson had died of cancer, he was only five years-old.  I remember feeling angry that I couldn’t be there with him when he died.  I wondered if he knew that I didn’t want him to leave me.  I wondered if he knew how many nights I cried for him.  If he was in heaven now, surely he knew how I felt.

But how could I be with him when he died?  I was in Florida, Nelson was in Canada, and I was just a kid.  I must have been around 13 years old when I realized that I had never been given the pleasure or the honor to have a pet until it died of old age.  All of my animals were either left behind, or given away.  I tried not to grieve over the loss of Nelson, after all, he wasn’t my dog anymore.  But something happened yesterday, during that interview, and I cried.

Maybe this experience makes me a better person with regard to feeling empathy for owners who have to surrender their dogs to us.  Maybe because I have felt their anguish, their pain, I do not judge them, instead I assure them that their dog will have a good life, as was the case with Mic.  When Carol came to adopt Mic, I called Mic’s former owner, and gave him the good news.

I was just a kid

I was just a kid

Maybe Nelson is really the reason why I love dogs, and why I love to rescue.  Maybe after all of these years I’ve been working to right the wrongs.

This morning, I used a step-ladder to get into my closet, and I climbed up to where I keep very old photo albums.  I found it.  The album dates back to 1970, and it only contained a few of his photos.

I have finally given myself permission to grieve over his loss today.  Yes, life goes on, but I always missed him.  He wasn’t given up by me, yet I had to surrender him.  I protested, I begged, I pleaded, I got angry, but there was nothing I could do, because I was just a kid.


See all of the photos taken during this transport on Facebook.





Today is Laddie’s birthday.  He is six years old.  We don’t know where he came from originally, he was owner-surrendered to us on Sunday.  He weighs approximately 65 pounds, and Brittney will fill us in on the details.  He was shaved down, and several ticks were found on him.  He is very much a velcro dog, and is fully trained.  He loves go to for car rides, and is pretty much a coach potato!  You can see more photos of him on Facebook.

Laddie is Adopted!

Laddie is Adopted!

Not shocked at all to find out that Brittney and her family had a family meet, and have decided to keep Laddie.  Foster Failures are expected in rescue, and who could resist a fully trained Collie?  Not me!

Laddie joins Brittney’s Mystery and is now part of the TDL Pack!

Laddie, RIPIt is with deep sadness that I share with you, Laddie’s passing this morning. Brittney Myers shared that he died in his sleep. Laddie was an owner-surrender, and after Brittney decided to keep him she learned that he had a state three heart murmur. Laddie died knowing the love of family, children and being part of a pack that loved him. RIP Laddie, you may be gone but you will never be forgotten.

Big George-RIP

Big George

Big George

George is a purebred, papered Border Collie. He was adopted by a local rescue (un-neutered) last year, but his owners have serious allergies, and regretfully have to give him up.

George is good with cats, but he is obsessed with water! He bolts when he hears the shower running, and will jump in the tub with you, if you’re not careful.

George is not only a blue-eyed Border Collie, but one of his eyes are brown and blue (marble eye). He is unbelievably handsome, well-manner, and fully trained.

George has been well cared for, and has many more years of loving to give. I have so many photos of George, and I can’t post them all here, so please see his photo album on Facebook to see him in action!


George is a very typical Border Collie who has OCD when it comes to controlling moving objects, this includes people. George will not hesitate to grab an article of your clothing and pull you, or place his mouth around your shoe to control your movement. He is also extremely intelligent, my daughter calls him Mega Mind! The combination of a strong drive to herd, and a high intelligence can be a disaster if not properly managed.

Obviously, George never got the memo that clearly states Humans are Not Sheep!

Paul Pipitone, animal trainer and behaviorist, evaluated George today. George is fully trained on a dime to come, sit, stay, and drop. However, he did display some nervousness when other dogs ran, and when people walk by him. This behavior is not consistent, however, which makes me even more confused.

At our annual reunion, many people, including Cyndy Doty and Cynthia Harper witnessed George being calm as people walked by to pet him, and other dogs shared his baby pool.

After evaluating George, Paul believes that George has never had a leader, therefore, when a situation arises that makes him uncomfortable, he takes charge. Paul also believes that George needs routine, and needs to know what the rules, boundaries and limitations are in his environment.

I thought to myself, what George needs is a place where he can get some rehab, but then I realized, no amount of rehab will be enough if George does not find the right home. What’s the right home? A home where his owners are true pack leaders, and are determined to correct and reward. Clearly, a dog as smart as George the Mega Mind will learn quickly. But who would take on the responsibility to adopt a ten year old dog that needs such correction?

After Paul left, I apologized over the phone to Kerri Brooks, who was interested in George. I explained that I didn’t feel that George was the right dog for her. After going into detail about George’s meeting with Paul, Kerri quickly informed me of her years experience at raising Huskies, and assured me that she and her husband were up to the task.

So for now, until I can arrange a meeting with the Brooks, Paul Pipitone and Big George, the Mega Mind Border Collie, I cross my fingers, and think that Kerri Brooks is my hero!

George reminds me of another very famous Border Collie, named Wrigley, and maybe this is the type of job that George really needs. He needs his body and his brain to be exercised, and to prevent boredom. Meet Wrigley!

Enamoured, that’s the word. I am enamoured by George’s focus and intelligence, he is the poster child of Border Collies, and he WAS adopted today by Kerri Brooks amd her husband. It was very beautiful to see him obey every command, and go up to them as if to say, “are you my human?” At the end of the adoption, he looked at me as if to say, “I’m their Huckleberry!” I’ll miss you big boy, here’s your big chance, to finally be with the right people. Can’t wait for updates!


10/22/13 Update: Hi Gisele,

I’m so sad to tell you George passed away this year. He had spondalosis beyond his 13th vertebra and severe arthritis is his hips. He had no synovial fluid in his joints. We were taking him to the vet 3 times a week to get Adequin shots to try and replenish the fluid but the shots didn’t end up helping. The poor boy couldn’t walk, he would scoot across the floor and he would fall down when he went to the bathroom (we had to hold him up). We had to finally put him to sleep, as he was maxed out on pain killers, and still in pain. He was such a trooper though.

I’m really sorry I didn’t email you sooner about this. Every time I thought about it, I would put it off because I just didn’t want to think about losing him. In fact, I’m crying as I write this. He was the best dog we’ve ever had. He really turned out to be such a sweetheart and obedient dog. He loved our cats and was fascinated by them. He would follow me around everywhere. He truly became my best friend. I think we both taught each other so much.

I knew that when we adopted a 10 1/2 yr old dog we wouldn’t have him as long as we would a younger one, and I feel blessed for the time we had with him, even though it was short. We miss him so much, but I’m glad we were able to give him a wonderful life for his last few years.

I also want to thank you for rescuing Georgie and giving us the opportunity to adopt him. What you do is amazing – keep up the great work – Kerri 🙂

Mr. Spock… Fascinating – RIP

Gregg contacted me yesterday, and gave me the news, Bailey passed away suddenly. He apparently ripped his spleen, but the complications were originally due to cancer on his pancreas. This is a real blow to the Carlson family, they recently lost their other TDL dog, Iris. Our prayers are with them, and Bailey will always be remembered.

History:  Spock was transported to us by Michael McGrath, a Pilots N Paws pilot, who after weather would not allow him to fly Spock, he literally fostered Spock over night at his home, and drove him for us! Serena had the privilege of meeting Mike after several hours of being on the road!

We want to thank Mr. McGrath for his dedication and efforts to help this young boy, known as Bailey, and now renamed Spock.
Spock is approximately 2 years old. He is fully vetted and neutered. I’m waiting to receive details regarding his history, which is still a mystery. Regardless, today is a new day, and today he starts his new life here with us, and has nothing but hopeful and positive days ahead of him to look forward to.

I did not name him Spock because he has large pointed ears, I named him Spock because even though he does not show emotion, it’s obvious that he processes every sight and sound around him. Nothing escapes Spock. Right now he is spending every second absorbing his surroundings and determining if we are “good people”.

I can’t help but be reminded of our Flash Gordon every time I look at Spock.

Because Spock is not an excited playful dog (instead he is cautious and reserved) I will give him plenty of time before I introduce him to the pack.

Spock will find his grove in due time, and he will show me what brings him joy. Until then, we’re going to give him his space, and allow him to relax and put behind him the trauma of being at the pound, and allow him the time that he needs to forget his past, and move on.

Update: Mr. Spock is adjusting quickly and showing a lot of affection. I do not believe he was ever abused in anyway, I believe he was unsure of all of the changes that were taking place, and needed time to feel safe in his new surroundings. He is very cautious but wants to please and be loved.

Update 12/3/09: Mr. Spock was surrendered by his owner, after his owner became very ill and hospitalized. He came to us at the request of his rescuers. His moments spent at the pound, surely affected him, however, we believe that Spock has never experienced a well-balanced life, in short, never experienced other dogs, and travel in general.

Mr. Spock spent his first few days at The Dog Liberator’s Border Collie Boot Camp just getting used to his surroundings and the founder of the rescue, but now it’s time for him to be properly socialized.

Paul Pipitone helps The Dog Liberator by introducing Spock to different experiences. Much to their surprise, Spock responds well, as he learns to play and trust unknown humans.

Spock is very intelligent, fully vetted, and neutered. He is housebroken, very calm, quiet, and would make a great companion to anyone who is looking for a trained Border Collie.

Update 12/10/09: Spock (Bailey) was adopted today by the Carlson family who drove from Cape Coral to meet their forever dog! Looking forward to receiving updates and photos!

Update 12/20/09: Spock, whose real name is Bailey, is enjoying being the puppy he never was. We do believe he experienced some sort of abuse, through simple training errors that left him afraid and confused. Now, he is learning to play with balls, frisbees, brooms, plastic bags, and stuffed animals – which is exactly what he needs.

Crystal – Zoe, RIP

ZoeHi Gisele,

It’s with a heavy heart that I write to tell you that our beautiful Zoe died of pancreatic and liver cancer today. You have rescued so many dogs that I don’t expect you to remember me or my daughter when we drove down from Amelia Island, Fl. and fell in love with a beautiful border collie with crystal blue eyes, 3 years ago. In fact, that was name you had given her, Crystal.

ZoeWe have a small bed and breakfast with guest arriving from all over the country and world. She brought joy to everyone that met her. She was always friendly and welcoming to all who came to our home. Her blue eyes would sparkle and ears perk up whenever you mentioned, car, walk, squirrels, shoes, leash, keys, or someone approaching the door.

Here are just a few of the many comments made by our visiting guests:

Everything was PERFECT & Deborah & Bobby are great. Oh, Zoe (their dog) is really a sweetheart too!  THANKS Deborah & Bobby — I really enjoyed staying with you! 🙂 Cheers…   Brian Atlanta, GA

Zoe, is a sweet dog! Perfect stop for Florida beach-hopping!
Mary Sue, Charleston, South Carolina, United States

Their doggie is really sweet too!
Lindsey, Roanoke, Virginia

ZoeThey treated us more like old friends than strangers and their dog Zoe is wonderful.
Rogert, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

The dog is sweet, never even barked at me. I had a great time, would definitely stay again.
Jo L, London, UK

A sweet and mellow dog, Zoe, greeted us.
St Augustine, Florida, United States

ZoeTheir dog Zoe was the best behaved indoor dog we’d ever seen – no bother at all (and we don’t even like indoor pets.)
Kurt and Edina, Columbia, South Carolina, United States

We had a wonderful time with Deborah + Bobby, their family and of course Zoe, their funny, squirrel addicted dog. Raphael, Zurich, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland

Zoe is just the sweetest thing.
Karen, Heiloo, Noord-Holland, The Netherland

ZoeWe will miss her so much. I’ve been crying all day so it’s been very hard to write this letter, but I thank you, Gisele, for giving us the opportunity to love and be loved by a wonderful sweetheart, our little girl, Zoe. We will not forget her….

My immediate answer to Deb was, “My dear, I never forget my dogs.  I forget people.  I remember sweet crystal. ”  I asked her to call me.

I spoke with Deborah this morning, she held the tears back and she explained to me what happened, and how sudden it was.  What a great loss for all of us, but looking at Zoe’s photos, and realizing where she came from versus where she left, she sure lived a great life, didn’t she?  She will never be forgotten.

After reviewing photos of Zoe, I realized that she was to Deb and her family, my Reckless, so I did this video:

And I wrote: On the way home tonight, I witnessed a gorgeous sunset, yet it wasn’t long ago that its beauty didn’t phase me… it was when my dog died. While I was only Crystal’s (Zoe’s) foster, I know too well the pain her owners feel today.

I remember not wanting to come home to an empty house. I remember waking up in tears every morning. For being without my dog was too much for my heart to bare. It wasn’t until I dedicated my life to rescue dogs that I put those emotions behind me, until now.

Seeing Zoe’s photographs brought all of my emotions back, they brought me back to February 9, 2009 when I lost my best friend. I did this video in honor of Zoe because I believe that her owners feel today, the same way I felt then. How do we move on? We don’t.

But we can open up our hearts, and help another animal find joy and love, and allow that animal to give us the same. We deserve it, and we can help our “heart dog’s” memory live on with every new dog we accept in our hearts.

I have to date rescued over 700 dogs, and every one of them have touched my heart. It pains me to see their owners say goodbye. But like Sarah White said today, if you don’t cry, you don’t feel.

We miss you Zoe, and you will never be forgotten.

Ironically, our Bailey Boy died today as well. Rescue is not all about puppy breath, kisses and tails wagging. Zoe, you were the Caroll’s family heart dog. And not many get that title!
2010 History: Crystal (aka daisy) is a papered, pure-bred blue-eyed Border Collie.

You won’t be surprised to know that she is extremely intelligent and has tremendous focus. What might surprise you, however, is that she is not a high-drive dog. Rather than looking for a job to do, she is looking for a person to love. She is what we like to refer to as a “velcro dog” ~ her favorite place to be is next to her family.

Crystal was adopted, and I can’t wait for updates!

You know, you just don’t find a lot of Border Collies like this. I mean, we love BCs, but the reason they end up in rescue is that they are so intense, so busy, the average family just can’t handle them. Crystal has all the looks and intelligence, all the upside of the breed, without all the “What can I do? What can I do? What can I do?” compulsion that can drive the unprepared person nuts. She even ignores cats! Wow! Fully trained and fully loved, this dog is wonderful! More photos of her can be viewed on Facebook.

Foster Update:

Crystal wants to be with her “person” and strives to please. She isn’t that keen on other dogs being in her space (her crate) but she is not dog aggressive. She wanders the house with my other guys, no problem. Thunderstorms distress her and she needs to be watched and cared for during them. I wonder if she has the potential to be an escape artist: she scopes out the parameters of her world and examines possible exits ~ typical Border Collie! Crystal is highly intelligent, understands commands, watching her person’s face and trying to read what is going on with them. She loves to play in the water, biting and barking at a squirting water hose. lol. She loves watching the other Border Collies playing tug of war with toys and will bark at them, but is not necessarily interested in playing with toys one-on-one.

Adoption October 21, 2010 Update:

We changed Crystal’s name to Zoe. She is already recognizing it. She was perfect on the 3 hour trip home with a stop at PetSmart. When we finally got home she didn’t want to go for a walk and was kind of fighting the leash. So, I brought her in to meet Bobby and show her the house. My bedroom is off limits for her until I see how I manage with my allergies. She will come to the door of my bedroom but I’ll gently say “no” and point and she turns around. We have only heard her bark once and that was when someone rang a door bell on a TV show…lol. I got up this morning at 6:30 and made coffee. She just raised her head up and waited for me to open her crate. I got the leash and took her for a walk in which she was perfect; stayed right beside me, even when I started jogging. Now she lays in my studio while I work or on the tile in the dining room. She loves her crate too. She really is a couch potato! I have to make her play but within minutes she rolls over on her back. I tell her she needs to get up and exercise and she’ll put her paws over her ears like she doesn’t want to hear. She just like my husband! Here are a few photos in her new home…

Adoption October 31st, 2010 Update:

I took her to the beach yesterday and she seemed excited and was OK except she avoided the water as it came in. It was low tide and the waves were calm. She didn’t mind walking in the wet or dry sand. She’s walking a mile every morning and evening and sometimes during the day. If we just say the word “walk” she gets excited and starts for the door. Squirrels are the only thing we have to watch for. She wants to chase them…lol.

2013 Rainbow Bridge

Maggie May

Maggie May

Remembering all of the friends that we have lost.

Parvo Puppy

Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace

Early this week, our Jen rescued a pup from Alabama.  Unfortunately, the pup tested positive for Parvo.  Because the dog was not showing signs of lethargy yet, I really hoped she would make it.  Jen started the chicken stew and kept her hydrated, but for some reason, I woke up from a sound sleep at 4:30 AM, and a few moments later, I received a text from Jen that the pup had labored breathing.  A few minutes later, I received the dreaded phone call… the pup had passed.  Jen was crying hysterically.  Parvo is hard… it’s very hard.

We had high hopes for this little one.  We received a lot of great name ideas on Facebook.  I’m just sorry it wasn’t meant to be.

Scout-Free at Last~RIP

It is with a heavy heart that I share a message from Scout’s Mom, Susan, “I have really bad news about Scout. He jumped out of my daughters bedroom window, 2nd floor, yesterday and passed away this morning. We are so sad, we can’t believe this even happened. Just wanted to let you guys know. We love him so much. It’s completely shocking. ~Susan

I hope to talk to Susan over the phone to get more details, but our sadness  is felt and support is offered for Susan and her family through this tragic loss.

I have spoken to Susan and have learned that her 9 year-old daughter tried to grab Scout to prevent him from jumping out.  Scout has always been an escape artist, much like my Ozzie.  I have seen dogs break though screens and windows to get out.  This is so sad.

Scout, Chillin

History:  The rescue community is networked far beyond what most people realize. Scout had been living the last few years in a garage in Wisconsin. So how did we find him? Madison, a wonderful animal advocate and rescuer from Habersham Co. Shelter goes out of her way to drive dogs out of state to adopters and rescue’s. She has a friend in Wisconsin. The friend had been telling Madison of a dog she knew of that they had tried and tried to get to rescue. There aren’t many herding breed rescues up there because where Scout was there wasn’t much call for herd dogs.

Every time a rescue would try and get him they would be turned away. Why? Why would they keep him in a garage? Here’s the story:

Their son wanted a dog. The parents weren’t keen on it, but told the son that if they got a dog for him it was his responsibility, not theirs. Sound familiar?

So they went to the Pet Shop and decided that if they were going to get a dog, they wanted an expensive, good looking dog, you know, it was a “status” thing. So they brought home this adorable fluffy puppy which the son loved…..for a minute….then he was on to the next thing. The parents told him it was his puppy and he had to take care of it. They refused to do it. So out to the garage he went, so he wouldn’t mess up the house, heaven knows training would have been too much to ask! They would toss food in to him and go about their day.

Why didn’t they find him another home? They had paid a lot of money for him and they expected to get it back. He was “for sale”! They weren’t going to just give him away! The cold wisconsin winters he spent trying to keep warm in their garage while they sat by the fire. All he wanted was to be a part of the family….the cute puppy had grown into a beautiful dog, who was smart and had so much to give…so he sat waiting patiently for them to come….

These “adults” who bought a puppy for their son to teach him responsibility were going to show him that they meant it! Hmmm. who was being irresponsible now? What has this boy learned and what will he grow up to be? …..another person who thinks dogs are disposable items they’ve purchased…not living, breathing, feeling, beings with souls.

If you know Aussies at all, you know how loyal and loving they are to their families. All they want in life is to be with you. It doesn’t matter if that means 8 hours in the car, as long as they are with you, a part of your life. They are also highly intelligent and know when things are not right and they worry… I can not imagine what poor Scout went through waiting to be loved by his family….Wondering what he had done wrong…

So, a friend of a friend who knew Maddie began working on the father through the aussie rescue up there. I don’t know all the details, but evidently they threw all the punches, not limited to “bribery” to convince him to let Scout come south to Georgia and Maddie!

I had rescued from Habersham Shelter before, “Little Jack Black” was my first from there! Maddie told them she knew of a rescue called “The Dog Liberator” that could find him a home! So transport was set in motion and while he was on the way, Maddie started sending me pics of him! My heart went out to this sweet boy! She said they potty trained him in 2 days!

Despite his captivity he has shown himself a quick learner and is totally enjoying the love and attention being lavished on him. He loves the couch! I promised we would find him a home where he would never be in the garage, never be left in the cold, but instead would lounge by the warmth of the fire with his family.

I know his perfect family is out there in Dog Liberator world. All the way to Wisconsin they had faith in us, Scout has faith in us…..let’s get him “home!”-vicki

Farewell Maggie May~Adopted~RIP

A Perfect Border Collie

A Perfect Border Collie

Last Friday, Laura picked up Maggie May from transport via Becky Harshman, kept her overnight, and brought her to my home.  I spent the weekend with Maggie, and I was impressed with her overall condition.  She was clean, no matted hair, her teeth were white, her coat shiny and she was fully trained; crate trained, sits, speaks, shakes, you name it.  This was the perfect dog.

on Transport

on Transport

I noticed on her paperwork that she growled and snapped at a kennel worker, and Laura mentioned that she growled at her daughter as well.  I gave Maggie her space, and didn’t push her into doing anything she didn’t want to do.  Maggie warmed up to me quickly, giving me kisses and wanting hugs.  She showed no food aggression, and was comfortable with other dogs.

Yesterday, I invited Debbie and her husband John to meet Maggie.  I thought they were a perfect fit.  Debbie has been wanting a Border Collie for years, and she wanted an older female.  Normally, I don’t allow adopters to meet their dog until after spay/neuter, but in this case I really wanted Debbie and John to meet Maggie before her surgery, so they can see for themselves how this seven year-old dog didn’t look or act a day over four!

Debbie fell in love with Maggie immediately, and the feeling was mutual.  Maggie was perfect, she showed Debbie that she can sit, shake, speak, and roll over.  She was a very calm dog, and it was a go for the adoption contract.  Debbie had already bought a crate, leashes, bowls, etc.  We completed the adoption contract, Debbie wrote the check for her adoption fee, and we were set for her to pick up Maggie Wednesday.

Debbie & Maggie

Debbie & Maggie

This morning Debbie sent me a text, “Give Maggie a hug for us this morning.  We’ll be thinking about her.”

I took my daughter, Sarah to school, and had to return for her awards ceremony.  Sarah got a ribbon for Reading and Honor Roll.  After, we went home, put Maggie in the van and took her to the vet so she can have all of her shots, be spayed and microchipped.  I checked in on our Parvo Puppy, Meredith, and left without any concern whatsoever.

On the way home around 12:30 pm, Newman Veterinary Center called me about Maggie.  Kerri explained that there was a large amount of unexplained fluid in her abdomen, and Dr. Kim wanted to know why.  It was not normal, and suggested an exploratory surgery to see what they could find.  I don’t know why, but I still wasn’t concerned, the people at Newman are the best.  Twenty minutes later, however, they called me with the news.  Maggie had tumors, many tumors.  One had ruptured, and they were located on her liver, and other places.  Of course, I didn’t really know what that meant.  Can’t we remove them? But it’s not that simple.  The cancer had spread and they recommended euthanasia.

John & Debbie Adopting Maggie

John & Debbie Adopting Maggie

I pictured the warm and loving exchange between Debbie and Maggie, and my heart sank.  I called Debbie, and gave her the bad news.  In tears, she said she didn’t want Maggie to suffer.  She had seen another dog go through the aftermath of cancer surgery, and she didn’t want Maggie to go through it.  I altered my course and drove straight to Newman Veterinary, where Kerri was waiting for me.  I signed the necessary paperwork, and the staff let me go back in to the surgery room, where I said goodbye to Maggie.  Most of the Veterinary staff was in the room while I said goodbye.  I don’t cry very often, but this time I bawled.  I thanked everyone, and hugged Dr. Kim.  She said this was the best thing to do for Maggie.

I’m so confused, because Maggie was so well cared for, so trained, so smart, and she looked incredibly healthy.  My daughter Sarah, of course was hysterical.  “It’s not fair,” she said the entire drive home.  As I write this, Sarah has sneaked into my bed with all three of our dogs, and Squeeze.  I don’t sugar coat or hide much from my kids.

In the story about the Rainbow Bridge, if a dog is not owned… Maggie was owned.  Debbie had in fact adopted her, so if you believe the Rainbow Bridge exists, Maggie has crossed over, and is playing with many of our gorgeous dogs that we have had to say goodbye to.


Maggie, a Proud Adopted TDL Dog!

Maggie, a Proud Adopted TDL Dog!

Goodbye Sweet Maggie, I wish you could've stayed with us longer.

Goodbye Sweet Maggie, I wish you could’ve stayed with us longer.

So the last experience that Maggie had was enjoying her meet with Debbie and John, enjoying our company, and her stay with Laura, her temporary foster.  I’m sure she had long forgotten the shelter where she was abandoned.

Even though Maggie was asleep from surgery, I gave her many kisses, cuddled her face, gave her a hug, and rubbed her pretty feet.  Maggie was perfect.

In closing I just received this email from Debbie:  Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be Maggie’s Mom. I only met her once but immediately fell in live with her. She certainly didn’t deserve the hand she was dealt but now God will give her perfect peace. My heart is heavy and my tears are many because I know from our brief meeting that she was an awesome girl. ~ Debbie

You can see more photos of Maggie on Facebook

06/05/13 Update: A few days have passed, and we have gathered our composure about having to say goodbye to Maggie, but her collar hangs on my rear view mirror. I see it every time I get in my van to remind me of her. I need to be reminded that you never know what you’ll find during spay/neuter. Maybe I shouldn’t show a dog before surgery. Maybe I shouldn’t take for granted that a dog looks and acts healthy. I need to be reminded that anything can happen and to cherish each moment. I’m very proud about the time we spent with her, how much attention and love she received from us. How many kisses she stole and hugs she received, especially from Sarah, gives me some peace that she knew, proof positive, that we loved her.

Saying Farewell to Skye

Gorgeous inside and out

I just received an email from Marjie, just a few minutes ago…

The beautiful Skye Wolfe, family border collie, service dog, frizbee long throw and catch winner, & all round favorite dog of the Wolfe Pack went to play frisbee with the Creator today around 12:30. She will always be in our hearts. Her vet and I think she might have had a brain cancer in the end she went downhill really fast.

I will be dogless for while while I and family recover from this sadness… then we will see who claims our heart… Someone on the smaller side…
Hugs, ~ Marjie Wolfe

It’s hard work being a good dog!

I met Skye when she was very young, I can’t even remember what year it was, maybe 2007. I adored her at first sight. She took care of her family, she was intuitive, gentle, and gorgeous. She was like my Reckless, a true heart dog. So sad to hear the news just now from Marjie. What a loss. She will always be remembered.

Although Skye was not my dog, this hurts. Marjie and I would brag about our heart dogs, our girls… our perfect girls, I hope Skye and Reckless are taking turns with the frizbee! They both had such good manners!

Good night sweet Skye  ~ gisele

Farewell Sydney

As I posted on Facebook this morning, it is very sad that I share the loss of Sydney Wilson, Jen & Bill’s red Aussie girl passed away suddenly this morning. We are all so sorry for their loss. Anderson Cooper took to Sydney, following her around, and learning from her while he was being fostered by the Wilsons. Her death is a tremendous loss. RIP little girl, you will never be forgotten.


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