Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Life of a Gypsy

In Spring of 2005, BTRNC was notified of a Boston in Georgia that was part of a criminal neglect case. The dog had been removed from the owner's custody but was in such poor physical shape, the local rescues were unable to adopt her out and worried that it may be too late for the veterinary care that this dog so desperately needed. BTRNC was contacted and agreed to take the dog into foster care. Gypsy arrived with the worst case of demodex mange we had ever seen. Not a strand of fur on her body remained and her skin was sore and inflamed from her relentless itching.

Gypsy was taken to a vet immediately. The vet took a good look at the skinny, bald dog and recommended that Gypsy be euthanized; her immune system was so weak, he was afraid the demodex would never be cured. But how could we look into those sweet brown eyes and not give her a chance? We couldn't. Gypsy began a regime of immune boosters interspersed with treatments for her mange. Soon, Gypsy stopped itching. Not long after, Gypsy's hair began to grow. Bald patches became few and far between while the true Boston Terrier markings began to appear.

In a matter of months, Gypsy was well enough to be adopted. Adoption day was bittersweet for her loving foster mom who had nursed Gypsy back from the brink. Gypsy moved to her new home where she remained for nearly a year. When her demodex flared up and her treatment regime had to be resumed, the family decided Gypsy's health problems were more than they could handle. Gypsy headed back to her first foster home where she was welcomed with open arms. Her treatments resumed and Gypsy again began the search for a new family.

A couple in Myrtle Beach who had recently lost their elderly Boston Terrier saw Gypsy's face on the website and knew she was the dog they were looking for. Gypsy traveled to her new home last week to meet 2 very excited parents and 1 anxious Chihuahua brother. Just one day in her new home, we receive a note from Gypsy's family:

"Although it has only been a day, she has captured our hearts and is a bonified member of the family. She is so good and so loving and sweet, she is our little angel from heaven and we are so happy we found each other.

When one looses a pet, it is like loosing a family member and no matter what, no one or nothing can ever replace them. But, we firmly believe Gypsy will come as close as doggy possible."

No one knows what Gypsy's future health holds. Will she be plagued with bouts of demodex mange for the rest of her life or will she never itch again? We do know she will be loved.

We are so fortunate to have foster homes willing to take on dogs with troublesome health issues. We are as fortunate to have adoptive families willing to love them.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Gentle Giant

Bartley isn't a dog you forget. He captured the hearts of volunteers almost 3 years ago when he made his first appearance on the foster roster. Bartley had been rescued from a shelter where his owners had taken him when they could not afford proper veterinary care. Bartley had been attacked by a larger dog and needed stitches to repair several wounds and gashes. A heavyweight himself at 40lbs, Bartley has an underbite reminiscent of the bulldog ancestry of the Boston Terrier.

Bartley has grown with BTRNC through the years- stronger, more confident, wiser. Yes, life has had its ups and downs but we've surfaced with a zest for life grown uniquely from adversity.

Bartley was adopted by a family in late 2003 where he spent 18 months. He was well loved and cherished until the family mistook symptoms of Cushing's Disease as serious and unforgivable behavioral problems. Bartley was returned to BTRNC for "re-homing." Although confused why he'd been separated from his family, Bartley arrived as sweet and genial as ever. There just isn't a mean bone in his body.

Despite an unusually bulky frame, a senior status at the age of 8, and a diagnosis of Cushing's Disease, finding Bartley a new adoptive family did not prove as difficult as expected. Bartley's sweet heart, gentle nature and adorable underbite didn't go unnoticed. In late 2005, a couple recognized the treasure that lay beneath those graying hairs and brought Bartley home.

And never have we been more pleased to say, they lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

...And he is christened "Oliver O'Neal"

Our big boy Ollie has been through a lot in the past two months. He arrived into BTRNC foster care and was quickly adopted into a new family. Days later, the family decided that Ollie and his bad boy ways wasn't in their best interests. Ollie hit the road again to his 2nd foster home with our volunteer, Laurie.

Foster mom Laurie and foster dad Rusty made serious headway teaching Ollie what behavior is expected from a proper canine citizen.

Laurie proudly announced that Ollie will be a permanent member of her family. "I think Rusty and I knew this was going to happen when we first laid eyes on that big 38 lb lug!!! He [Ollie] has made tremendous strides especially where women are concerned and he no longer bites when you touch his front feet. I would love to know his past but he has learned he is safe, loved and unharmed here and his eyes no longer look quite as lonely. He enjoys his afternoon siesta's with me and Miss Harley while Mulligan and Fenway play outdoors. He is somewhat spoiled already, none of my doing of course!"

Ollie joins a home bursting with Boston Love. In addition to his 2 doting parents, Ollie has 3 sisters and brothers to keep him entertained. He joins the ranks of Miss Harley Bandit 7 yrs, Mulligan Callaway 3 yrs, and Fenway 4-Sox 2 yrs.

Dear Ollie, we wish you all the love and happiness our hearts contain as you step into your new life. We applaud your new family who looked deep into your eyes to the tender soul looking for his place in the world.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gracie's Photo Shoot

Greetings BTRNC. This is Gracie. I have overthrown that snooty Bashful Boston from her Blogging Throne. I wasn't too happy about my picture be taken off the Available Dogs webpage so I convinced my new mom that a stunning lady like myself deserved more exposure. We had a photo shoot and I must say, my new mom is an accomplished photographer. I look GOOD.

In this picture, I was going for "pensive." What do you think, is it believeable? That red ball is just a prop. It matched my harness.

Now, this is a candid shot. I got a little carried away with the prop. I couldn't help myself, that ball was asking for it. While clenching the ball, I caught sight of 2 more of my precious toys. They looked like they needed guarding so here I am keeping a watchful eye on all 3.

Okay, this one had great potential. Mom suggested an action shot of "fetch" but this toy smelled funny. I couldn't get over the stench to put this one in my mouth.

And last but not least, Mom looking down adoringly at me. Oh, don't worry, it's mutual. I know I'm a lucky girl.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Almost Home

Holden almost wasn't my foster at all. My first foster was a boston baby who after 30 minutes in my car was claimed by his owner. After 3 weeks missing, the owner heard about our rescue and contacted our then administrator. Had that dog not been claimed, Holden would have gone to another volunteer to foster.

Holden almost didn't stay at my house past the first 2 weeks. Although he arrived completely house trained, crate trained acclimated to warm beds and furniture, and a perfect gentlemen with my cat, he was less than used to taking a passive role to another dog. Unfortunately, my senior boston female was very used to taking the dominant role. The first time she snapped at him and he did not walk away as she was accustomed, she lost 3 front teeth in the battle. This happened the morning that Holden was on his way to the vet for surgery. When I got him to the vet, I really didn't expect that it would be me who would be picking him up. I was guilt ridden that I had brought the source of Kelsey's injury into her home and quite sure she would never recover or forgive me. In the 2 days he was gone however, she recovered quickly and did not seem to carry any grudges against me or the situation. I relented, realizing that Holden had been abandoned enough lately and retrieved him. Holden has the sweetest face is absolutely the best snuggler under the covers and I realized that I had forgiven him for his previous manners with my baby and was falling in love. Holden didn't give kisses like every other boston I knew, but boy can he wiggle that cute little tail. So when he bestowed on my cheek his first kiss, I was smitten.

Holden almost did not become anyone's forever baby. The vet called with the results of the surgery. Holden has mast cell cancer and had several tumors removed but several more were present. It was feared that the cancer had already entered his blood stream and his life would be cut short. When we ordered the detailed blood work, the consensus was that we would probably be sending Holden to the Bridge very soon. The blood work however came back looking clean as a whistle and fabulous. The mast cells had not yet shown any signs of active cancer.

Holden almost was adopted by a family with a small child. I was notified shortly after the blood results that a family was interested in adopting Holden. Holden is absolutely wonderful with children, making it pretty evident he had been raised with them. When my cousin and her 4 young children visited for the weekend, Holden had the time of his life following behind them and playing. So, if it was time for Holden to go, then I would have room for another. I put him in the car and drove half way to meet a volunteer to take him to his forever home. It was a long ride that day and I'll never forget the last look he gave me when I placed him in Betsy's car. Kelsey was however joyous at his absence. My house was empty and oh how I missed his head on my shoulder at night. I went about my daily life, with somewhat less enthusiasm, but I was waiting for the next foster.

Two weeks later, I got the call from the adoption coordinator. Holden wasn't working out with the family. Would I consider fostering him again? No, I said, No, I won't foster him again, but please bring him home for good. So 2.5 years ago Holden became my forever baby. No more almosts. Just all the love and snuggling anyone could ask for. Kelsey, well, she has learned to pretend he is invisible. Now when he jumps in my lap and lays his head wherever on me he can, I hug him close and am thankful for the almosts that led him to me.