Outside of the Box

This week seems to be all about thinking and being outside of the box. First, Cay decided one night that she wanted to sleep spread out on the dog bed, not curled up in the back of her crate. So I left the crate door open and she slept all stretched out on the dog bed all night, taking up plenty of space. This was quite an accomplishment for a girl who used to plaster herself to the back of her crate whenever she was scared or tired. She is learning to TAKE UP SPACE, and that is a big step, especially if she decides to pursue a career as a herding dog! I get excited when she wants to run up to someone and jump on them to greet them. I don’t let her jump up, but I love her enthusiasm because she used to be afraid of everyone. Now she is happy to be “outside of the box”!

Last Saturday I received an e-mail message about dogs that were rapidly running out of time at the kill pound in Washington Courthouse, Ohio. Merlin was listed as “XX Urgent” and was described as a “2 year old male (intact) Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler about 35 lbs. Very friendly and good with everything. Would make a wonderful pet. No shot record.” Nixon was described as a “10 month old intact male Red Heeler mix, he is a very sweet boy who loves attention and loves to play. He gets along well with other dogs and cats and loves kids. He is about 40 lbs.”

I decided to try to help these guys, and Kevin from the Minnesota Valley Humane Society responded that he could take them in. The rest of the picture was fuzzy until Josie offered to coordinate transport, Sjoukje in Ohio found friends Jeff to pull the dogs from the pound, get them vetted and drive them partway to Sabrina and Sabrina to pick them up from Jeff and foster them for a few days. Then Jim in Minnesota offered that his wife was driving from Ohio to Minnesota on the 18th and could transport the dogs all the way from Sabrina’s to the Minnesota Valley Humane Society near Minneapolis! Sometimes it’s amazing how these things work out, when six or more people who haven’t even met come together to help.

Once I started this thread, I learned that my taxes were due on June 15th, not June 30th as I had thought. So I knew that I wouldn’t have much time to organize rescue for these dogs. I’m ecstatic and grateful for everyone who came through to help. Today Jeff reported that, “The dogs are doing well, very good personalities, heartworm negative on both, no complications with any procedures.” He promised to send photos after he does the transport to Sabrina this afternoon.

Funny thing, I first came in contact with Kevin of the MVHS, Jim, and now Jeff through Kate’s book. It’s wonderful to realize how Kate’s story has often brought people together. On March 2nd, Jim wrote to me:

I bought your book last Sunday at the Pet Expo, and just finished reading it tonight…All I can say is, Wow! Anything more would detract. Your writing brings to light so many things, what you saw in Louisiana, and what you did for Kate and what you have done in her memory. I was not aware the depth of the animal rescue cause and what all is involved. I have signed up with the Midwest Transport yahoo group. I know that I can do that much right now. I am from Ohio originally and have travelled extensively the states in between. I love to drive and am willing to go extra distances if needed. I noticed that most transports are on weekends which doesn’t work well with my work schedule. If you hear of any transports that are needed during the week (my days off), I may be able to help.

I have 5 dogs of my own, all rescues of one form or another. I do herding with one, agility with another and our latest addition is trying both. Our senior two like to chase balls and swim.

Thank you for writing your book. It was a tremendous learning experience for me.

Since then, I had the good fortune to meet Jim, his wife, and some of their dogs at a cattle herding clinic.

Today Jeff wrote to me:

We are blessed to have the opportunity and ability to come together to make things happen for those who can’t do for themselves, in this case Merlin and Nixon. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to have helped out in my small part of this effort, and I am sure others feel the same. My wife and I loved reading your book and feel somewhat connected to your experience by our own experience with rescue, in particular a wonderful female red healer that we fostered through 3 cancer surgeries and a year in rescue waiting for a forever home. She is a cancer survivor. Sheila finally found the perfect family in a farmer and his 14 yr old son who lost their wife and mother to cancer last year. She is looking better than we had ever seen her in her new home. Thank you for the great inspiration that you have given so many, and keep up the great work you are doing.

What a great story! This week I received many e-mails about animals in trouble that I wasn’t able to help. But I was grateful to be able to help Merlin and Nixon by connecting with these wonderful people. I also received updates on Jewel and Maverick. Jewel is the three-legged blue heeler girl with a wonderful spirit who was rescued in Louisiana and is now being treated for heartworm and fostered by Sheryl in Baton Rouge. Sheryl is Kenna’s mom (Kenna’s story is told in the book and at this link). I first became connected with Sheryl via Kate’s book and more of her story is told at this link (scroll down to the third story). When I asked Sheryl for help with transporting Jewel, she not only offered to help, she offered to foster Jewel through her heartworm treatment!

Maverick is the Australian Cattle Dog who was found as a stray here in Minnesota in November. His story was told in a series of posts in this blog and is summarized beginning on page 30 of the January 2009 edition of the ACD Spotlight. Josie updated me this week that Maverick may have found his forever home, with the family that adopted Josie’s first foster ACD. Stay tuned for more info! J

Things that seemed impossible just a week ago became possible by thinking and being outside of the box. Thanks to everyone who stepped up to help! You have created magic in the lives of these dogs. And my taxes went in on time too. ;-)

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