Spring and summer are always busy for those involved with animal rescue, and this summer has not been any diffferent. First it is kitten season, everywhere you turn there is someone there with a litter of kittens they found in a yard, a garage, or under their deck. This year is even more difficult, with the economy in Michigan being what it is. People are losing their jobs, their homes, and giving up their pets to rescues and shelters, and in some cases, just letting them loose or leaving them behind. So we volunteers are busy giving shots and medicating sick animals, taking pictures for petfinder, taking animals to events, hoping that an animal will not just find a home, but a good home that will love them, and take care of them. We also clean cages, socialize feral cats, and walk dogs. But all this work is worth it for that feeling you get when you leave the pound and all the animals are fed, their kennels are clean, and they are snuggled in content and happy, or when you leave an event knowing that a cat or a dog has found their perfect match.
Sometimes you lose your heart, and alot of times your heart breaks. Sometimes you take them home. I found my dog in the pound, an underweight English Setter, who was starved for love as well as food, a stinky faced girl who would look out at me from the bars every day with her big brown eyes, and get mad at me when I would put her back in the kennel after her walk. One day as I sat in the field across from the pound where I was walking her, she crawled into my lap, all 30 pounds and long legs of her, and I knew she was mine, and I had to keep her. Luckily for me, my husband is an animal lover, and fellow animal rescuer, and fell in love with her as well.
Penny has been a challenge, but one we are happy to undertake. We got her out of the pound a week after our much loved 15 year old American Eskimo Chevis passed away from lung cancer, and named her Penny. I believe that Chevis sent her to us to care for and love, she is our "Penny from heaven," as corny as that is. In the 5 weeks we have had her, she has escaped from our yard, gotten terrible diarrhea as we learned that she has a sensitive stomach, and then eaten christmas garland and had to have emergency surgery to remove the wires. This makes us sound like terrible owners, but really, truly we are not. She is a silly, sweet girl, who just has a nose for mischief. We are quickly learning her personality, as she begins to trust us. (she is also gaining her healthy weight)
The day Penny ran out of our yard, we had had her about a week. My mom and stepdad came over and opened the gate to our backyard, where Billy and I and Penny were gardening. Well, Billy and I were gardening, and Penny was patrolling for rabbits and squirrels. As soon as they opened the gate and came in, Penny ran up to them to say hi, and then noticed, hey she could get out of the yard and really investigate! She took off at the fastest run I have ever seen, and Billy and I lost sight of her within 40 seconds. I was panicking, scared to death the worst was going to happen to her, and I ran off behind her, Billy and my stepdad not far behind me. My mom was the smart one of the group, and ran for her car. She saved the day, and the dog, by spotting Penny in a parking lot. Not thinking about anything other than, I have to get her! my mother jumped from her moving car. Good thing mom was only going like 3 mph. As soon as mom called to Penny, Penny jumped in the car like nothing ever happened.
We are now taking Penny to dog training, where we hope she will learn some better habits. We also need to learn how to communicate with her too, so we have high hopes for this class. So far so good!