I want to highly recommend to anyone that visits this website or has purchased a puppy from me to consider donating to the Aussie Rescue or adopting a wonderful dog that deserves a second chance for happiness and love that Aussies so badly need and give in return. The people that are involved and run these rescues are expressing the highest standards of love, selflessness, and compassion. They experience so many heartbreaking cases with these dogs, yet they continue to give love, medical attention, food, attention, time, and themselves to these rescued animals each and everyday. Many times the money needed for meds or veterinary bills, food, etc. comes directly from their own pockets without reimbursement.
The rescue organizations need our help, whenever we can give it and in whatever form we can give it. Our support of rescue saves Aussie lives and builds rewarding relationships with the dogs of our breed. The individuals involved in rescue lovingly make huge sacrifices but they need our help to do what they have devoted themselves to -- taking care of injured, sick, abandoned dogs, dogs that owners suddenly decide they no longer want them and turn them into shelters.
Some Aussies come to them because they've been hit by a car or had some other kind of accident from which animal control or the attending veterinarians think they can be saved. But, because no owner came forward to claim the animal, it can only be saved if the Aussie rescue has finances and a foster home is available to house and take care of them until the animal can be adopted.
I have dealt with Aussie rescue myself a few times, and am forever grateful for the help and support I received from them, in cases where I was totally stifled.
Story #1 – Patches, the Guardian Angel
I had an Aussie girl come to me a couple of years ago, that was just walking up our street. It was a rainy day and as I rounded the last curve before our place, here she was crossing the road. As I stopped, she also stopped to look at my truck. I thought here we go again, another abandoned dog. I opened my door and asked if she'd like a ride. She hopped right in and made herself at home. Ah, nothing like the smell of a wet, dirty dog in an enclosed vehicle on a cold damp day.
Patches, as we came to call her, was a black-tri’ pinto’, meaning she had big black patches over a mostly white body. She was just as sweet as any Aussie girl could be. I put up signs that I'd found a dog and asked the owner to call to identify her. After 4 days, I got the call. The young gal lived just over the hill and had kept the dog chained up in their yard but she kept escaping and running off. Her father had bought them the dog to raise and sell puppies. Oh yeah, I groaned, someone else that thinks puppies will make them rich! The gal was glad to see the dog; but she called her ‘Pig’ (that alone would be a good excuse to runaway, in my book). Pig, went up and said ‘hi’ but was not overly glad to see the ‘owner’.
We discussed the dog’s condition and why she escaped frequently. When I found they had gotten her to breed, I asked if she had papers. I explained that because of her coloring, she was what a reputable breeder would call a pet-quality dog. She wouldn’t have been a good candidate for breeding, even if her home situation was ideal, which it was not. I told the ‘owner’ other things about the breed that she obviously didn't know. She didn’t seem to know anything about Aussies, other than the rumor that their pups sell easily and that she expected to make a few bucks by breeding her ‘Pig’ on a chain. I informed her that her dog should not be used for breeding. I gave her some advice on the expenses and duties one should commit to if breeding properly. She decided right then, without any hesitation, that she didn't want the dog and asked if I could get her a new home.
People like that, who feel pets are disposable should (in a perfect world) be banned from having pets. They fit right in with people who buy a cute puppy and when the newness wears off (the puppy grows and needs boundaries and a suitable lifestyle), they are no longer interested in having the dog. Regrettably, it happens far too often.
I had ‘Patches’ adopted out fairly quickly, as she was such a nice dog. Patches joined our family just before I had surgery so I had not had the time to have her examined by our vet. They adopting family agreed to have their vet do a routine health exam on Patches. Her vet found several tumors on Patches breast. Because of her age, she was well over 5 years old; he felt she was a cancer candidate. Because this family had just gotten over the loss of their beloved dog to cancer, they brought her back. They felt they could not go through the emotional or financial ordeal again that occurs when dealing with a cancer patient although they were broken hearted because they had fallen in love with Patches. I felt very bad for this family and ‘rescued’ Patches again.
I took Patches to see Dr. Hicks, the senior veterinarian at the Perris Animal Clinic. He said she was probably a lot older than we thought as she had the beginnings of senior cataracts, and gave me the estimate for removing 6 tumors and spaying her. It was much more than I could afford at that time. I knew we could not adopt her in that condition, but I also had the practical side of me saying, I should probably euthanize her, she'd just suffer later on when the cancer got bad. It was such an emotional dilemma. This Aussie girl had all the love in the world to give some very lucky person. I just had to find a way to help her achieve what I feel the Good Lord put her on this earth for.
I contacted Karyl Heathman, Aussie Rescue So Cal. Karyl is also an Aussie breeder, and a wonderfully compassionate person. When I gave her the story and showed her pictures of Patches, she agreed to foot the bill for the surgery. The surgery was successful. Patches pulled through as only a little four-legged angel can do. Recovery was a cinch!
Several months later, a man called me inquiring about my dogs. He said they had a year-old child and wanted a dog that would be not only a loving companion but also one that he knew that would be protective of his family. He had heard Aussies fit that description. He came to meet a few dogs I had at the time, but kept being drawn to Patches. I told him, I had no children, especially young toddlers, to expose to her to see if she would be good with children. He brought out his daughter and it was love at first sight. Patches sidled up next to that baby and just radiated happiness and love. He took Patches home that very day. The other great thing is he gave us enough money to pay Aussie Rescue back for their expenses on her surgery plus some. How wonderful was that!
I spoke with him a few times after he had adopted Patches and was not surprised (although it was pure joy to hear) that this ‘unwanted’ dog had made his daughter her mission in life. She was a four-legged nanny, wanting to be with the little girl all the time. He knew she would protect his daughter with her life, if necessary. He was so grateful that she came to him healthy and loving. And, regardless of how much time she would have left in this world, she was worth her weight in gold and he felt blessed to share life with her. He is a true convert to the breed now.
Story #2 – Boomer’s Miracle
Recently, in another situation, my friend, Nicole, called me in dire need of the emergency vet’s number down there in our area of CA. The neighbor’s pit bull had gotten into her yard while she was at work and attacked her Aussie, Boomer. She came home to find a bloody pit bull laying in her yard, in a comatose like state. (This is common when a dog goes into a killing frenzy.) When she advanced towards him to see if he was injured, he came at her. She backed off, which took the pressure off the pit bull and he laid back down. Nicole realized Boomer had not met her at the gate when she came in as he usually does, so she started calling him to come to her, then started looking for him. She found him in the back yard, torn to shreds. Poor boy had been neutered 4 days earlier and still had his protective cone on. He was unable to move and just a bloody mess. The pit bull had nearly severed one hind leg and shredded the rest of him.
Nicole got Boomer to the emergency clinic in Murrieta. They said that even without all the testing they would need to do, x-rays, blood work, possible MRI's and such, that they felt the hind leg may have to come off, and they just could not give an accurate estimate for the work needed to save Boomer's life, if they even could save it. They guessed that $5,000.00 would get them started. Euthanasia was recommended as an alternative scenario, given the severity of the injuries and the risk that the Boomer might not survive. Nicole was utterly sick at heart. The receptionist suggested she call Karyl at Aussie Rescue to see if they would help. Karyl agreed that the rescue could help but policy is that the dog would have to be signed over to the rescue to be adopted out after he was well.
Since Nicole was a young, single woman and could not afford even the minimum estimate for the vet bill, she felt she had no choice to save Boomer, so she signed over her dog to Aussie Rescue. Boomer has had several surgeries, and it appears his leg will heal along with the other terrible injuries. Considering that a pit bull chomped and crushed the bone of his hind leg in three places, the vet said it was the worst he had ever seen, the fact that they managed to save the limb is a miracle. It’s sad that Nicole had to give up her dog, but she is just glad that he was given a chance to live. She is hoping to save up the money to pay Aussie Rescue back. The pit bull had been a rescue dog that was recently adopted by their neighbors. He was destroyed after that, luckily he hadn't turned on their 4 year old daughter.
These are only two of many sad dog stories that Aussie rescue has helped to re-write into happy endings. Unfortunately, there are some with not-so-happy endings, too, but every Aussie life is precious to the rescuers (as it should be to us who also love the breed).
Aussie rescue organizations do wonderful work for a wonderful breed of dogs. But they need our help, financially and physically. If you can afford to donate to the rescues, it would be a blessing for all of us. It is also tax deductible. If you can give of yourself, free time to clean, groom, work with the dogs, socialize, and even foster some until homes are found, they can use you, too.
If you have compassion for Nicole and Boomer, you can also donate for Boomer in his name. For more information on this rescue go to their website www.aussierescuesocal.com or contact Karyl@aussierescuesocal.com
There are many local Aussie rescue groups across the country and most are affiliated with one of the larger rescue organizations which can easily be found on the web. Please join me in supporting them and saving an Aussie’s life.
Thank You and Aussie Hugs!
Eileen and Tony Coronado
Coronado’s Australian Shepherds