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Update Summer 2010

It's long overdue so here is an update for the homepage:

It's welcome to summer here in Redding with the temperatures finally hitting the triple digits. Our "kids" are comfortable since their kennel is cooled. It was cooler out there this morning than in our house. We are hoping things will cool down a bit, but it is, after all, summer in Redding!

First, we want to thank everyone who helped with a donation to help get the dog food in Southern CA to Redding. All of your help is much appreciated and for now we are ok in terms of food for our "kids". We do need your help again (still). This year we have taken in dogs with very serious health concerns which result in very high vet bills. It started with Mitchell, then there was Newman who had a broken leg, and we have Alphie (who is not on the website yet) who needed soft palate surgery to be able to breath better and also has a severe case of mange which requires daily treatment and weekly medicated baths. We have taken in eight Pei who needed eye surgery as well as needing to be altered. We also have a five week old Pei boy we just took in who is blind. He will be seeing a vet this week to determine what is the best course of action for him. His "breeder" took him to a vet hospital and wondered if they would take care of him if she took him to a shelter. They would have "taken care of him" before she was out of the parking lot, and we couldn't let that happen. She wouldn't even pay for the ointment he needed for his eyes to make him comfortable. Yesterday we took in a four month old Pei from his third owner during his short life. He was vomiting and wouldn't eat. It turns out he has Parvo and as I write this he is fighting for his life. As long as he is willing to fight, we are willing to fight for him.

All of this comes at a huge expense. Our vet bills for the rescue so far this year are approaching $25,000, and we are only half way through the year. We realize that times are tough and are very appreciative of any amount you might be able to help with. It all adds up and helps us to continue to help those Pei who have nowhere else to go. Up until now we have never turned down a dog because we could not take care of its medical needs. We would like to continue to be able to do that for the poor dogs who need us.

I recently talked to someone who wanted to know if we are "all about the money" and if we make a living from these dogs. I was somewhat offended and hurt that anyone would think that. Please know that 100% of your donation goes towards helping our "kids"-no one associated with this rescue is paid. Rich and I are passionate about what we do here and are happy that we are able to donate our time 24/7 to caring for these dogs. What we get in return is not payment in money but in knowing that there are hundreds of Pei out there who we helped to get out of bad situations and into loving homes. Rescue dogs are very grateful for what they receive once they get here-they let us know by sharing their love with us everyday, and that is something money can't buy. It is payment enough for us.

Please help our "kids" if you can, and have a great summer.

Anna and Rich

Spring Update

It’s been a while again since our last update. As far as Mitchell goes, his bloodwork is now normal and so is he. He is a happy, healthy boy, running around the house and tormenting us with the constant enjoyment of his “squeaky” toys. Rich believes he was sent to us to help us get through the loss of Kaiya and Magoo and to help make us whole again. Mitchell is making every effort to do that, and is a great source of laughter for us.

Yesterday we again had to say goodbye to another one of our “kids”. When I went out to the kennel at 4am yesterday I noticed that Carson had not eaten his dinner. I talked to him and offered him his favorite treat, chicken jerky, but he wouldn’t eat that either. Even that was not cause for alarm, because occasionally in the past he would skip a meal. He did, however, seem to be a little out of sorts, and he also had a very “distant” look in his eyes. I remember thinking that we would probably lose him soon. I finished my kennel chores and came back into the house. About 15 minutes later Rich came in and told me Carson had put his head down and gone to sleep for the last time.

Carson had been with us for five years. It became evident soon after getting him that he was a “difficult” dog. He would not allow anyone but us to handle him, and at that even we couldn’t push him to do anything he did not want to do. He was a big boy-around 80 pounds-so we respected his wishes! Carson was happiest when he was “sucking” on his blanket eventually making it look like Swiss cheese-and he went through a lot of blankets in the time he was with us! We wanted for Carson what we want for all of our “kids”, and that is become part of a family of their own. When we realized that was not going to happen for Carson, he became a member of our family. We made the same commitment to him that we make to every Pei who comes into our program. If we are not able-for whatever reason-to help them find their very own family-they have a home here with us. So, even though Carson was not a Pei we could really get close to, he was a friend to us. We loved him and will miss our “big boy” who now joins Kaiya, Wendy, and Magoo who have all passed in the last four months and the many others who have gone before them.

If It Should Be

If It Should Be If it should be that I grow weak And pain should keep me from my sleep; then you must do what must be done; for this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad, I understand; But don't let grief then stay your hand. For this day more than all the rest, Your love for me must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years; What is to come can hold no fears. You don't want me to suffer so The time has come, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend, but please stay with me 'til the end To hold me close and speak to me Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree, It was kindness done for me. Although my tail its last has waved, From pain and suffering I'm saved.

Please do not grieve that it was you Who had this painful thing to do. We've been so close, we two, through the years; Don't let your heart hold any tears.


Spring Update

We hope everyone is enjoying the springtime and are sorry for the long delay between updates on what is happening here in Redding. Mitchell is doing well but not completely out of the woods yet. His bloodwork is still not normal-he is still anemic and his white count is up. He is still on antibiotics for this, and we’re hoping the next time his blood his tested it will be normal. Other than that, he is doing very well and is outgoing and playful. He has been spending most of his time in the house with us and our other four legged friends, and he probably won’t be leaving us. We’ve been through so much with him, and with the loss of Kaiya about the same time he came to us, it would be very difficult for us to give him up now. We usually try to take in a hard luck case at Christmas time, and this year it was Mitchell-very lucky for all of us! As Rich said, “he came into our lives when we needed him and he needed us”.

It is a very sad today for us. Today Magoo will lose his battle with cancer. Magoo has fought a good fight since last year when it was diagnosed, but this morning both Rich and I can tell he is ready to go be with Kaiya. It is always such a difficult decision to make but looking at Magoo this morning we know it is the right decision for him. He has been a great friend to Rich and a great “husband” to Sophie, his long time companion. I wish we could explain to her that he won’t be coming home today from his last ride in the truck that he loves so much. We will all be going through the grieving process again-made even more difficult by the loss of Kaiya only three months ago. We’ve lost two very good friends recently and miss them beyond words.

That being said, we still have many Pei here who depend on us daily, and in the memory Kaiya and Magoo and of all we have lost before them we will continue to help the ones who need us the most. I know if they could talk that is what they would want us to do and there is no better way to honor their memories.

Anna and Rich

Welcome Home, Mitchell!

Good news! After two weeks at our vet’s hospital, Mitchell is finally home with us. As you can see, his stomach is distended and shaved from the multiple surgeries. He is still sporting a pain patch, but it is well deserved. He has gone through two emergency surgeries as well as the first scheduled surgery. It turns out his intestines had twisted after the first surgery so a section was removed, but then other complications developed. Mitchell never gave up so we didn’t either. I am cooking special food for him, and he has to eat small portions four times a day for the next week. Until two days ago he was being fed through an IV, so the fact that he wants to eat is a huge step for him. He has tried and continues to try so hard and is so grateful for anything he gets. His attitude remains loving to all, and we will continue to try and make the rest of his life the best that it can be for him.

Two weeks at vet’s hospital with 24/7 care and three surgeries comes at a high price-please help Mitchell if you can. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting him you will understand like we do why he is so special.

Thank you.


More News From Redding

Update from Redding:

I only wish Kaiya’s passing was the extent of our loss last week. We had taken in two Pei from a shelter in San Francisco on the Weds. before Christmas. One was a 10-12 week old puppy and the other a two year old male who was going to be put down if we didn’t take him. The little puppy, Wendy, had two cherry eyes that needed to be repaired, and she needed to be spayed. She had her surgery on Tues. and came home on Weds. She seemed a little lethargic, and she wouldn’t eat. We noticed that her breathing seemed irregular so we took her back to the vet. They immediately put her on oxygen in an incubator where she spent the next three days fighting for her life before she lost her battle. She died on New Year’s Day. Our vet thinks it was possible canine influenza that she had before she came to us, but the results of the tests are not back yet. She was showing no symptoms. She was a very sweet puppy, and although we didn’t know her very long, she is missed, and she was loved.

The male, Mitchell, was neutered on Tues. He came home and was doing fine until Thurs. when he would not eat and was vomiting. We took him back to the vet on New Year’s where he has been ever since. He has been getting fluids through an IV, and he still would not eat. Through all this he has been a very sweet boy for everyone who needs to handle him. They did xrays and could not determine what was wrong. Last night they did emergency surgery to find that his intestine had twisted. They removed a five inch section and today he is up and about-now he just has to start eating again.

Another one of our own dogs, Cassie, had a growth removed from her shoulder. It was a type of cancer, but our vet thinks he got it all, and if it comes back it will be in the same place. We would have to have it removed again, but she will be ok. Some of you might remember that Cassie was paralyzed about five years ago. We rushed her to UC Davis where it was determined she had blown a disk. Even her surgeons there did not know if she would ever walk again, but she truly is a miracle dog and defeated the odds. Now at 13 she is still a fighter and recovering well from her most recent surgery. When we moved back to CA from Pa 11 years ago, we brought eight dogs with us. She is the only one we are lucky enough to still have, and we are grateful every day that she is still with us.

And last but certainly not least is Magoo. For those of you who have visited the rescue in Redding, you most certainly met Magoo. Like Kaiya was to me, Magoo is to Rich. Magoo went for his fourth round of chemo last week, and is doing very well. Please keep him in your thoughts that he continues to respond to the treatment.

So that was the ending to our 2009 and the beginning of 2010. We are hoping as the year progresses that things will get better. We want to thank all of you who helped with donations at the holidays. Because of you we are able to do whatever needs to be done for the dogs who come into our program. No dog has ever been turned away for health concerns that are treatable.

Just a little more about Kaiya. She was my heart and soul and I miss her so much. It’s hard to think about another dog right now, but I know that another will come along when the time is right and will touch my heart like she did. And I will love the next one equally and with all my heart again because that dog will deserve no less and will love me unconditionally. I believe that it is our job to give our dogs the best life we can while they are with us because no matter how long they live, it will never be long enough for us.

The following piece has helped me to get though the loss of Kaiya, and I hope it will help some of you as well who have faced a similar loss and are thinking of possibly getting another dog.

''Best Dog in the World By T'Mara Goodsell

One's first love is always perfect until one meets one's second love. ~Elizabeth Aston

Years ago, I owned the very best dog in the world.

I was a child when we got her. She was a graceful brown hound, a foundling who taught me that our pets are not purchased, but ordained.

She romped when I did and knew how to smile in that funny way that only some dogs have. She grew up with me, always there when I needed her. My grown hand still remembers the sleek bump on the top of her head and that gentle divot just past her nose that fit my index finger just perfectly.

She passed away during one of my college vacations. My heart broke then, and I knew that there would never be another dog like her, and there hasn't been. I was sure that I could never love another dog as much as I'd loved her.

Fortunately, I was wrong about that part.

My next dog came into my life when I was married. My husband traveled for a living, and I was often lonely. This dog grew into a lumbering Wolfhound and Sheepdog mix who taught me patience. He was a large, grizzled sentry, that dog. He rarely left my side until the children were born, and then he became their guardian, too. I can still feel that swirl of fur along his back and the weight of his chin when it rested in my lap.

When he passed away, my heart broke. As much as I had loved that childhood dog, I had been wrong. This was the very best dog in the world. There would never be another dog like him, and there hasn't been. I was sure I would never love another dog as much as I'd loved him.

I was wrong again.

We got the next one, a loping black Lab-and-Terrier mix, when the children were little. He taught me the importance of adapting. He was everyone's dog from the beginning, and that was just as it should be. When he played tug of war with the children, he dragged them across the kitchen floor as they shrieked with laughter. He always seemed to sleep in the room of the child who needed his company the most.

These days his face is expressively gray, and he spends more time with me since the almost-grown children aren't around so much. The other day my oldest, home from college, played tug of war. We all laughed--just a little--as the dog was gently pulled across the kitchen floor.

He is, of course, the very best dog in the world. I will never forget that exquisitely soft tuft of fur behind his ears or the tickly feel when he nuzzles. There won't be another dog like him.

And that's okay, because we will never be at this point in our lives again.

Sometimes I've wondered why two species that get along so well should have such different life spans. It just doesn't seem right. And then I wonder if that's part of the lesson: To teach us that love itself has a spirit that returns again and again and never really dies.

It's amazing, in a way, how they bring to our ever-changing lives exactly what it is that we need at the moment. They make room for one another, this family of dogs who has never even met. And they fit--into our families, into our lives, into our memories, and into our hearts--because they always have been and always will be the best dogs in the world.

To the world you are a rescue person
To a rescued dog you are the world ''

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