Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Meet Nelly, one of our sanctuary residents. Nelly doesn't know what sanctuary means but if that is the name for a warm bed, lots of pets and kisses, regular meals and safety, then it is more than o.k. with her.
Nelly entered rescue at an age some would call old. Her heart is weak and she gets stressed easily so BTRNC decided to place her in what we call The Sanctuary. She bonded so well with her foster family, fur and human variety, that she has remained in the same home which is wonderful for all concerned! Sanctuary means that she will not be posted as available for adoption, but she will remain in foster status, with her basic and medical needs covered by donations to BTRNC for what we hope will be a very long time. Don't tell Nelly or her foster family that she is in foster status though. To them, Nelly is as much a part of their family as if she had always been with them or if she had been officially adopted. Sanctuary care allows our volunteers to care for these babies without shouldering their expenses on their own. As seniors age, their medical expenses often increase. Nelly doesn't care about any of this money stuff, she just loves her family.

Nelly spends a great deal of her time outside searching for just the perfect spot to do her doggie business. Once she has finally selected just the perfect spot, she comes to find her foster Mom to let her know she did what she had to do, she's proud of it and now she is done with it!

Nelly and her family recently lost Tootsie (see blog archives and the Memorial page) to the Rainbow Bridge. Nelly and Diego help each other and their Mom through this difficult loss. Tootsie would woo woo Mom when she came home. Nelly makes sure she barks enough to remind Mom that there is still someone waiting at home and who is so glad to see her.

Nelly loves her fur brother Diego, but she can still muster the energy to chase him if he annoys her too much. Her heart makes the chase short and Mom has to calm her down but she gets her point across! She becomes very upset however if Mom raises her voice at Diego. She runs to Mom first and foremost to make sure she is not the one in trouble and second to make sure that Diego is not in too much trouble.

Nelly is a little love and an absolute joy to foster. Her favorite things are squeaky toys and dirt piles...Oh, and sleeping next to your shoulder in the "big bed! Not bad for a sanctuary ah?

You can see all of our sanctuary babies at the bottom of our Available Dogs page. Should you want to donate to their ongoing care, they and their human care givers say thank you. In any case though, BTRNC is very thankful that we are able to offer these cherished seniors a place to live out their remaining years!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


There are as many answers to that question as there are rescue groups. Some rescue groups are large, some just have one or two members. Some have shelter space to house the rescued pets and some like BTRNC have members who open their homes to rescued dogs. Many groups, including BTRNC, take in the young and healthy, the young and chronically ill, the young and handicapped, the old and healthy, the old with chronic health problems and the old with terminal conditions. Our goal of course is to adopt them all out to forever homes. We accept however that some older and unhealthy dogs would not be best served by moving them from home to home and that their chances of adoption are slim. We believe it is better in these cases to offer them sanctuary in a permanent foster situation. More on sanctuary residents in an upcoming blog.

Today's focus is on Adam, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on March 12, 2009. Adam has been featured in this blog before. You can find Adam's original blogs in our archives. Adam could be the poster baby for a very important aspect of rescue which is not often in the spot light - that for a dog who deserves love and dignity to pass on.
There in a shelter, alone in a cage was Adam in November of 2007. Weak, and very underweight, with no light in his eyes. We can only assume that since he was well into his teen age years, that he once had a loving home and family. We will never know his past, part of the frustration of rescue. It would have been a simple thing to walk by Adam's cage, say a silent prayer for his quick passing and move on. A rescuer however is not programmed to accomplish this. Instead, our volunteer looked at Adam and knew immediately she would take him home to die in warmth, blankets, good food, canine companion and love. She was actually at the shelter for another dog and the workers just happened to mention this pitiful senior. He was named Adam with a nod to Adam and Eve - the original! The life expectancy was about two weeks but it would be two weeks not in a cage on a cold shelter floor. Sometimes that has to be enough.

The spirit of a living being is often rejuvenated when basic needs are met. Adam relished in the comfort and safety of his new home. No one told Adam that he was only supposed to live for two weeks. Arms to hold him, hands to pat him, fresh water and food, treats, blankets, beds to choose. Adam decided that life was worth one more try. For a year and 1/2 Adam lived, not existed, but lived his life. He choose which fur fosters and siblings to play with, which bed to sleep in and steadfastly refused to enter his crate unless it was clean and smelled of Lysol. His caretaker, his Mom, happily complied.
In March, it was not Adam's spirit that failed him, it was the physical body in which that spirit resided that had given all it had. Adam had difficulty standing, staying erect, and walking. He accepted each new day as a gift, but he was also confused as to why he could not stand and enjoy his water. It was the same love and care that caused our volunteer to take Adam home from the shelter that gave her the strength to guide Adam over the bridge.

Yes, she could have just walked by that November day but that is not one of the answers to the question, What is Rescue?