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It was with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to our Sophie yesterday. It was very unexpected-she was a brave girl and never let us know how sick she was until she had no choice. Sophie had been slowing down a little lately and wasn't eating with the same gusto that she usually did. Yesterday she would not take her favorite treat so we took her in to see the vet. They did some xrays and saw a very large mass in her abdomen that was already causing her some respiratory problems. The decision was made to let her join her friends at the Rainbow Bridge. She went peacefully with Rich at her side holding her and talking to her until she took her last breath.

This is the last picture we have of Sophie taken in November of last year. She's with her favorite person, Rich. Sophie came to us in 2001 at about 18 months old-making her between 12 and 13 years old. When she arrived here Sophie had already been in three homes. Once in Redding she decided she did not want to leave and made herself unadoptable by growling and barking at all our visitors. She was never an aggressive girl-she just took herself out of the running to go to a new home. Knowing Sophie as we did, maybe she just wanted the others to have a better chance at getting a forever home or maybe she just liked it here. Sophie was never a demanding dog in terms of almost anything. She let all others go before her. She lived with a couple of different "men" while she was here with us, but her perfect mate was Magoo. They truly loved each other and are now together again-never to be separated.

It is a difficult time again for us-this loss coming so close to the loss of Cassie. Sophie was the last of our "posse". They were four good friends-to each other and to us. Magoo was the first to leave us about two years ago. Rufus, Cassie, and Sophie all passed within six months of each other. All four of these fast friends were at least ten years old when they made their final journey to join each other. While here they were allowed to run the property while we were out working with the rest of the "kids". They always made sure there were no unwanted critters coming under their fence to invade their territory, and they did their job well! We miss each and every one of them, but we know that they are together again-healthy and whole-running and playing to their hearts' content.

Magoo, Rufus, Cassie, and Sophie-may you all rest in peace. You are all so very missed and have left a huge hole in our hearts.

Anna and Rich

It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are. ~Unknown

Please E-mail request for Adoption to rpayne@shasta.com

We are aware that our online application is not currently working. We would hate for one of our "kids" to lose the opportunity to find their forever home because of this problem. If you are interested in adopting one of our homeless Pei, please email us directly at: rpayne@shasta.com, and we will email you the application.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and please know that we are working on resolving this problem.

Anna and Rich

Update on Gypsy

Just a quick update on one of our "kids", Gypsy. It was determined today that she must have her front leg amputated-the surgery will be tomorrow. Gypsy came to us after being hit by a car in southern CA. Her back leg was broken. Dr. Larry inserted a pin, and that leg is as good as new. She has nerve damage in her front leg, and we knew at some point amputation might become necessary. At this point Gypsy cannot use the leg at all-she has no feeling in it. She has started to chew on her own toes because she cannot feel them, and this situation will only get worse.

This is always a great time of year for a last minute tax deductible donation, but helping with Gypsy's surgery would make it even more meaningful. Even if you are not able to help her with a financial donation, please keep her in your thoughts tomorrow as she goes through this very major surgery. She's a strong girl with a fantastic surgeon-we will let you know how she does.

Unfortunately, we are aware that our online application is not functioning. If you have filled out an application recently and have not heard back from us, it could be because we did not receive your application. We are including a pdf file for the time being that can be emailed directly back to us at: rpayne@shasta.com. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and are working to correct the problem.

We wish you all a very happy and healthy 2012.

Anna and Rich

Good-Bye to our beloved friend - Cassie

This morning we said goodbye to our beloved Cassie-she had been with us since 1998 and was almost 16 years old.

Cassie could have been a cat in terms of having multiple lives. She came from Newark, NJ, where she was picked up as a stray. For those of you familiar with Newark, you know it's amazing she lived through that experience. She ended up in a shelter in Newark which was one of the worst we had ever been to, and she was described as a "stray aggressive dog". We were going to the shelter to pick up two other Pei, and when we got there they told us if we took the two we came for they would throw Cassie in. She had nowhere else to go. They had no idea what a gift they gave us that day, and that was the beginning of our relationship with Cassie.

At first she was part of our rescue back East, and we had hoped we could place her, but that didn't happen so she made the trip to CA with us and seven other dogs. Four of our "kids" flew with me, and the other four went on a road trip with Rich. Cassie rode shotgun on a platform that Rich built for her. She always was our protector, and when a toll taker in Oklahoma reached towards the car Cassie tried to take his arm off! We all made it safely to CA, and Cassie was allowed to roam the six acres when we were out with her. She could run like the wind and loved chasing any kind of critter. She could almost climb a tree after a squirrel, and it was a joy to watch her enjoying her life and having so much fun.

All was well until 2003. One day while we were all outside, Cassie just went down. Dr. Larry came out and told us she could not even feel pain-she was paralyzed, but there was no diagnosis as to why. She spent a few days at our vet's office with no improvement. We knew we were going to be faced with making a decision as to how to proceed with her care. During this entire time, Cassie did not give up so we could not give up on her. It was not her "time", and it was as though she were saying "you've got to help me-I can't find my legs". Her only chance was to go to UC Davis for an evaluation. On the way to Davis we did not know what the outcome would be. Once there, it was determined Cassie had blown a disc, and even her surgeons there did not know if she would ever walk again. We elected to do the surgery. Cassie spent three weeks at Davis after the surgery with her own physical therapist learning to walk again. She came home with us and we had nine more wonderful years with her.

In the past year, Cassie's ability to get around and her health was declining. She was having trouble with our three steps to the house so we had them rebuilt to make four more shallow steps which made it easier for her to get up. Actually at our age it made it easier for us too! More and more she was stumbling and slowly losing her appetite. Last night it became apparent that she no longer had a good quality of life, and we made the very painful decision to have her put to sleep. Dr. Larry came out at 6:30am this morning to allow her to go peacefully and with us at her side.

Cassie was truly a miracle, and as much as we feel her loss today we also want to celebrate her life. She came to us at two years old and gave us 14 years that made our lives better for having her. She was truly a gift that kept on giving until she could give no more. She was a fighter and never gave up the battle until the battle could just no longer be won. We have 14 years of wonderful memories to reflect back on and those memories will remain in our hearts forever.

RIP Cassie

Happy Holiday Season to Everyone!

It's been awhile since our last update, so here goes:

Happy Holiday Season to everyone! It has been a while since our last update so we will try to catch you all up on what's going on in Redding. It's been another tough year for us in terms of losing our four legged friends. We are doing our best to get through each loss, but it never gets easier. Each of our "kids" seems to take a piece of our heart with them when it is their time to go to the Rainbow Bridge. I know someday we will have quite the welcoming committee!

I'm sure if you were judging from the photos on our website, it would appear that there are not that many dogs in our care. We are going to try and add the sanctuary dogs to the site although most will never leave Redding. We have quite a few Pei who are not of sound temperament or have serious ongoing health concerns which will make an adoption for them almost impossible although if the "right" person came along and wanted to give one of our special kids a second chance, we would certainly work to make that happen. In spite of their "problems" we love and care for all of our kids equally and believe they deserve a good quality of life for however long they are with us.

All of the Pei here deserve and receive excellent vet care as well as a good quality food. There was a time our food was donated, and we only paid for the shipping, but there are no more food donations-one more added cost. Ongoing vet care is expensive but another cost we must incur. Maintaining this rescue at the level we feel it must be maintained is becoming more and more costly. Donations are definitely down, and as stated, costs are up. We are asking for your help with a donation in any amount. They truly do all add up! All of your donations are tax deductible and can be used as a year end tax write off. Each year we take in as many homeless Pei as our space and resources allow. We want to continue to help as many as we can, but we really do need your help.

Also, look for some new faces and updated photos of some of our long term residents.  Our friend and adopter, Lynn Bowers, came out to the rescue and took new photos of all of our Pei so they all have new pictures for the new year!

We are all wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season.

Anna and Rich and all the "kids".

Thanksgiving for having known our friend - Amos

It's another sad day here in Redding. Amos, our faithful friend for the last 8 1/2 years, lost his brave battle with cancer. Amos came to us from a high kill shelter in Southern CA in March of 2003. He had been picked up on a freeway by the CHP and taken to the shelter. When we got him, he immediately needed surgery on both hips. After that he was placed in a home, but the adopter claimed he tried to bite so rather than setting anyone up to fail, we erred on the side of caution and made him one of our own. Amos was a very happy and bouncy boy and loved life. He always made us smile with his happy go lucky ways.

About a month ago Amos refused to take a treat that he always loved so much so off to the vet we went. Dr. Larry diagnosed him with cancer in his jaw and our only option was to make him comfortable until it was time for him to join the rest of our kids who have already passed. We only had about two more weeks with him, and today we knew it was "time". Amos went peacefully with Rich by his side. He was so much a part of our lives for almost 12 years and will be deeply missed-not only by us but by "Cookie" his longtime kennelmate and girlfriend.

We know by the emails we receive that many of your have also lost your "kids", and our hearts go out to you. We know only too well how difficult it is to lose a good friend. We hope for you and for us that in time the feeling of loss will be replaced by the memories of the good times we shared.

We've had our share of loss in the last year, and unfortunately, there will be more for us. We have some very old Pei here and each day with have with them is a gift for us to enjoy. If your emails and inquiries are not answered in a timely manner or as quickly as you would like, we just need a little bit of time to deal with our feelings and spend some time with our other "kids". Please have patience, and we will do the best we can.

Anna and Rich

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California Chinese Shar Pei Rescue - P.O. Box 492404 - Redding, CA 96049-2404 | Contact us