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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

The Heartbreak of Santuary Dogs

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Rufus-he died here at home last night. For any of you who have visited us since 2002, you probably met Rufus, and Rich probably told you that Rufus was the only dog Rich had ever been afraid of. Rufus came to us from Las Vegas in December of 2001. He had been given as a birthday gift to a 17 year old boy who's interests quickly changed to other things-what a surprise! Rufus had to live in the backyard with very little attention and was not neutered. He became very territorial, and the owners realized their mistake but really didn't want to correct it which would mean taking some time and working with Rufus. By then he was 18 months old, and we agreed to take him.

When Rufus arrived in Redding, he was a very angry young man and wanted nothing to do with either one of us. He would stand in the back corner of his kennel and hang his head and growl. It wasn't his fault-life had not been kind to him nor had his humans who were supposed to take good care of him. It took months before he would come to the front of the kennel and even longer before Rich could put a collar and leash on Rufus. However, once Rufus turned that corner, he blossomed into the dog we knew he could be. He became part of our "posse" and was allowed to roam the property when we were outside working with our other "kids". He was fine with other dogs and even good with strangers now. Rich so enjoyed working with Rufus and bringing him around that Rufus became part of our Pei family.

For the last couple of weeks Rufus's appetite had been diminishing, and he was dropping some weight. Earlier this week he refused to take his favorite treat so we took him into Dr. Larry to determine the reason. He was diagnosed with liver cancer and given a very short time to live. He was not in any pain so we brought him back to the only place he knew as home and where he would be most comfortable. Last night he went for one more walk around the property, but Rich noticed he was laying down on one of our small bridges. Rich went to see if he was ok, and Rufus and Rich walked back towards the kennel together. Again, Rufus got tired so Rich picked him up to carry him the rest of the way. At the door to the kennel Rufus wanted to get down. It was as though he knew it would be his last walk back to his "house", and he was going to do it on his own. Even at the end Rufus lived life on his terms.

Rufus started out as such a challenge, but became such a good friend to us and brought us so much happiness. We will surely miss him. It's a sad day in Redding today...

Anna and Rich

We have a new wave of rescues - -Meet Marley!

Well as you can see, I am not in the best of shape at the moment. My name is Marley, and I came from a shelter in Selma, CA. It was a very small shelter, so they didn't have the room to hang on to me for very long especially considering my condition or should I say my conditions. I needed entropion surgery, and I am being treated for a form of mange, but I am not contagious to anyone-I suffer alone. I have had my neuter and eye surgery and been given a couple of medicated baths as well as being given a topical treatment for mange. I know I don't look like much now, and I have a long road ahead of me before I am "perfect", but my personality is already there! I am outgoing and friendly, and although most people don't want to get too close to me right now, I still want to share all my love and affection. I will be here in Redding for a few months during the continuing treatment of this awful mange, but I'm always up for a visit should you feel so inclined-I love meeting new people! I am a young boy with a long life ahead of me-this is just a bump in the road for me, and until I am "whole" again I have a place here in Redding where I know I am loved. To my foster parents I am special and deserving of the best care possible.

July 2011 - Update

Hi Folks,

Sorry it's been so long since our last update. We have had some personal matters that needed to be taken care of that put us behind. We will be adding quite a few new "kids" in the next few days. We are now at a point that we cannot take in any new dogs until we do some adoptions. The tough times are not getting better, and we are turning down dogs almost every day. There is just no more room. Rescuing can be challenging at the best of times, but it is almost an impossible "job" right now. We are still hoping things will turn around, but in the meantime trying to keep this rescue going is becoming more and more difficult for us. If you are not in a position to adopt a Pei and don't know anyone else who might be ready for a new family member, please consider making a donation of any amount. Donations are at an all time low, and we need your help.

I wish we had better news, but that is the sad reality that we are faced with.

Anna and Rich

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