Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bear's Birthday

Happy Birthday Bear Buddy, or as I like to refer to him - BOOBEAR!

I know I keep saying this over and over again, but I am beyond amazed. I guess I built up this long rehabilitation process in my head and I can't seem to wrap my head around how quickly Bear has adjusted to life off of the chain!

Bear has been at the hospital since Saturday. We needed to make sure he was healthy and heartworm negative before we could neuter him. Our first bit of good news came Saturday morning when we discovered that he was heartworm negative. We had prepared ourselves for the worst and relief across the rescue could be heard throughout the state! Next, his blood work... came back perfect. For a dog that has been starved, he was remarkably healthy. That meant that Bear lost his, um, well, he got neutered on Monday. He was a little upset at first, but has completely forgiven us! 

Yesterday, I visited him in the hospital. Apparently our young man is feeling better and wants human or canine company ALL OF THE TIME. When he was alone in his kennel, he made his displeasure known. He was a real pain in the toosh yesterday and I LOVE IT! I feel bad for the vet and the vet techs, but a healthy and excited dog is exactly what I want! They discovered if they put a canine friend in the room with him, he calmed down and was quiet. This boy is going to be someone's SHADOW!!

I think I can stop with my words and let Bear tell you how he feels! This was our playtime yesterday. Notice that tail! NOT the same dog from 2 weeks ago! Tomorrow Bear comes home with me to meet Cooper, Asher and Miss "I am a Monster" Maggie. All GSRA Alums! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bear's Release from the Chain

In the days leading up to the release date we were all getting nervous. We had visited Bear a couple of times and he growled at us and seemed so afraid. The night before the Release, Bear seemed to sense something else was going on. In this video we see some glimmer of hope. Notice, however, how tucked his little tail still is.
All night we worried. Would the people who signed the release for Bear actually let us take him? They did not want him, but it was made very clear that they did not care that he was going to a better place. They did not like Bear and to them he was a thing that they could just ignore and starve. Everyone involved in the rescue worried that evening.

Ready to muzzle Bear, wear protective clothing in case he wanted to bite us, bright and early Saturday morning we loaded up the SUV and headed out.  We planned for this to be difficult. But, we got the GREATEST surprise of lives. The moment Bear's chain came off, his tail came up and began wagging so fast I was afraid he would take off! He actually RAN towards us. He was grateful, he was ready and he TRUSTED us to take care of him. I cannot describe in words the honor I felt by his trust. He had no reason to believe in us, but he did. This is a dog's greatest strength and their biggest weakness - trusting humans. See the video of his release.

Bear's Birthday from cris on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for the next blog about his medical checkup, but I MUST share this little teaser... to our absolute amazement, this boy is Heartworm Negative! Just like his unexpected joy in seeing us, this was another unexpected miracle.

Friday, November 6, 2015

It Started with an Email

It all started with an email from a concerned neighbor to our rescue email. The email was forwarded to me with the comment, "OH MY GOD, isn't this in your area?'  Indeed it was and this is how the journey to save Bear began.

I reached out to the good Samaritan who contacted us about Bear and discovered that the situation was even more dire than we at first thought. At the moment of writing this and posting, we do not have possession of Bear so I will keep my details light, in hopes of filling everyone in at a later date. But, the long story short is, Bear was left to starve to death.

The good samaritans watched this poor dog on the chain everyday. Calls to animal control were not met with many options. Then they began noticing that Bear was getting thinner. Were their eyes playing tricks on them? Upon investigation, not only did they find that Bear was getting thinner, he was actually starving to death. The good samaritans began sneaking him food and reached out to German Shepherd Rescue.

I went to assess this boy. Well... assess isn't the right word since I could not get near him. He growled and told me to stay away. Looking at that frail body, with his tail tucked so tightly I knew in my heart he wanted to be a good dog, he just had not been given the opportunity.

GSRA houses all of our dogs in foster homes. We need to know the temperament of the dog before we place them in someone's home. Is the dog good with other dog? Cats? Children? Men? These things are imperative for us to know in order to ensure the best possible foster home match. Unfortunately, I left the assessment with no answers. I could not tell our Intake or Foster Coordinators anything about this dog other than he was 1). Starving 2). Scared 3). a Sheppie/Hound mix (that I am VERY found of).   The smart answer would be to say no; Bear is not a candidate for our rescue. Well, no one ever said animal rescuers always make the SMARTEST decisions. So, it was decided.... BEAR IS A GSRA DOG.

Over the coming days and weeks I will share Bear's Rescue story. It is just beginning to unfold. Tomorrow Bear leaves his chain for the last time. Because of his fear, we will need to sedate him to get him to the vet, but we are confident that once that chain is removed, Bear will begin to heal.

The video below was shot over the course of several days. Bear has begun to trust the good samaritan who is feeding him and by my second visit, he took food from my hands. All of this is VERY VERY promising. Please think about us tomorrow morning. This will be the MOST difficult part of this change for Bear. Even though he received no love, very little food, and had minimal protection from the elements, Bear is leaving the only home he has ever known. We can't tell him what is happening or reassure him other than by gentle voices.