Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A little happy, a lot sad

I've got "mystery project" updates, doggy urban adventure photos and lots of interesting pitbull info to share. But after some bad news in the middle of the night yesterday I'm struggling to remind myself to concentrate on the positive. It's times like this that I feel very far from home and wonder just how on earth I managed to end up living 4,000 miles from my family and friends.

Nevertheless, first a little happy: I got a very special little guy settled in a foster-to-adopt home yesterday evening and am keeping my fingers crossed that it works out. The potential adopter is very keen to make it work, we just have to wait and see whether his kitty feels the same once the pup comes out of his shell a little bit.

Bogart is as sweet as can be but he's been through some tough times so he's feeling a little timid. One of the lovely things about him is that however unsure he is he so clearly welcomes human affection. I bet he's going to be a real snugglebug!

I have high hopes for this little guy and look forward to seeing his character develop.

Unfortunately, this heart-wrenching update from Sue of Trio Animal Foundation hits my mood more exactly this evening. If you can face it, "like" their facebook page to see a video of this wiggly little guy with volunteer, Kelly.

The Trio Animal Foundation would like to pay tribute to an amazing puppy that came into our lives.... Lil Man.
On April 17, 2011, I came across this frightened little puppy in cage #90. He had no name.... only the number on his collar. As I tried to get him out of his cage to take him outside, he spread all 4 legs and went to his belly. After pushing, pulling, baby talk, treats and then eventually picking him up, we finally made it outside.
Once this timid little guy made it outside he blossomed. He turned into a wiggly, excited little thing and more importantly he became my buddy. As I knelt down and tried to take photos of the other volunteers with their dogs, the puppy from cage 90 sat on the back of my legs and wouldn't move. It was as though he claimed me and said as long as I pin her down she cannot put me back into my cage.
After almost dying of cuteness, I was able to get this little punkin' off of my legs. I didn't have it in me to put him back into his cage and asked a wonderful volunteer, Kelly, if she wouldn't mind sitting in the lobby of the Animal Welfare League's Intake facility with him. I really wanted his confidence to build and for him to get the much needed affection that he deserved.
Kelly was visiting from Seattle and what she did for the next 3 hours was truly amazing. In the hours that followed, Kelly bathed him, sat with him, fed him meatballs/hotdogs and held him on her lap as he slept. This puppy from cage 90 had probably just received more love and affection than he had his whole life. 
It was at this time that I asked Kelly what she would like his name to be. Kelly had already decided to call him Lil Man. The name fit him perfectly.
I made a promise to Kelly that nothing would happen to him and that TAF would cover all of his costs, etc. A special puppy like this one deserved the best.
At the end of the day when all of the volunteers had left and we were wrapping things up, I went to Lil Man's cage and gave him a big kiss on his face. I told him that I would be back for him and that we were going to find him a new forever home.
A few days later, I received a call from the AWL's Intake facility saying that they had a scare with a parvo puppy and that the puppy had to be immediately humanely euthanized to ensure the health of the other dogs.
After a pause, that seemed to last forever, I said, "Can you tell me the cage number of that puppy"? Ugh... It was our Lil Man. It felt like, at that moment, somebody had just kicked me in the chest. I made a promise to Lil Man that I couldn't keep. I cannot adequately put into words the loss that I felt. It was one of those moments that make you consider throwing in the towel and calling it a day.
The AWL's Intake facility is an open access shelter, which means that they take in every animal that comes through their doors. They do not have the space, funding or enough volunteers/staff to handle all of the emergency medical cases that come through their doors. They do not have the luxury of taking in only the healthy animals and so inevitably many of the animals do not make it out of there.
It is the plight of the Trio Animal Foundation to raise enough money to help AWL's Intake facility out with all of their needy animals' medical bills. TAF also wants to build a quarantine area, in the building, that can keep sick dogs separate from one another until proper medical care can be arranged. 
As it was, there was no shelter with the space to take him in and no foster homes that could take him in. Parvo is highly contagious and we would never ask anybody to put their own dogs' lives in jeopardy. 
I find comfort in knowing that Lil Man's last days were filled with so much love and affection. He was surrounded by people that loved him and this special puppy finally had a name of his own. 
Our volunteer Kelly changed Lil Man's life in just a few hours. She taught him that it was ok to trust people again but most importantly... she made him happy.
Thank you to all of our volunteers that continue to make a difference in these animals lives.

I'll be at the next volunteer day on June 5th and started stockpiling hotdogs and collecting blankets last week to make up some dog beds. If I needed a reminder of why we do this, I think I have it.


  1. thanks for all you do. thats all we can say, we appreciate everything.

  2. Wow what a tragic story. I second Two Grad's, thank you for all you do! Good luck to Bogart, he is precious!

  3. The real heros are people like Sue and Jill of Trio who use up all of their free time to organize all the ways we volunteers can help out, or facility manager Diane who lives this reality every day.

  4. I saw that on Trio's sad. I think I mentioned before that Sue was actually the person who originally found Maisie as a stray. she and Jill do great work. great news about Bogart though, fingers crossed it works out!

  5. Oh, what a sad story. I do admire everyone who works everyday with these dogs; I can't imagine how tough this must be.


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