Rescue Dogs Know They’ve Been Saved

Just last week we were down in Fort Lauderdale, FL for a vacation. We stayed at an Airbnb at a pretty darn nice apartment complex. Every morning before hitting the music festival we were there for, we would go to the pool. It was here we met Rex, and Rex’s parents.

Rex was a rescue dog.

And every day around lunch time they would come down to the pool and he would lay in the chair, or on the ground, whatever felt right that day. Just like he and his owner do every other day of the week. And he would just watch the commotion around him and take in the sounds of the dripping water.

Rex, they assume, used to be a bait dog. Although they can’t be sure. His ears were chipped and clipped, a trait seen on bait dogs. He also had scars on his body.

Yet, he was always smiling. He would lick everyone’s face with the most aggressive and loving kisses as if he was licking spoonfuls of peanut butter off your face. He was so freaking happy, and so freaking grateful.

Rescue dogs know they’ve been saved. You can see it in their eyes, in their demeanor, in everything they do. Even the ones who are skiddish because of the internal scars from their previous lives, you can still tell how grateful they are to be where they are now and not where they used to be.

Rescue dogs are a breed all of their own. And I think everyone needs to experience it.

 

Me? I’ll admit, my two Goldens I got from a breeder, which I am not regretful of, nor am I ashamed. That’s a blog post all of it’s own (and coming soon!) However, I work, or I should say, volunteer, in animal rescue. Since November of 2017 I have dedicated over 200 hours of my personal time to helping dogs who are less fortunate. But boy, they turn out to be the most fortunate dogs you could come across once they find their forever home.

There’s something about seeing a rescue dog realize that their life has forever changed. It could happen the moment the kennel door opens at the shelter, or when they settle into their foster home, or when they meet their forever family. Something, somewhere along their timeline, it sparks. And they beam from the inside out.

(My rescue cat – we LOVE him, he’s a character, clearly- and my not-so-rescued dogs)

 

I wanted to prove my point to you even further, so I took to Instagram to ask people to share with me their stories, feelings, and thoughts on their own personal rescue dogs. Here’s what they said:

What has been the best, and more rewarding part of rescuing?

  • Watching her bloom from a terrified of everything dog, to a full, bouncy, loving dog- it’s beautiful.
  • Seeing a once scared pup blossom into a goofy, loving dog. the change in personality over time is the best
  • Knowing that I got them out of whatever hell the were living in before. Knowing that I gave them a much better life and love them better than anyone else ever could.
  • Knowing that he has a safe home- with me!

What has rescue taught you?

  • Rescuing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
  •  That people suck sometimes BUT there are also a lot of really awesome people out there that dedicate their lives to helping animals. See the good in the world
  • So many dogs lose their life each day because not enough people rescue (and I will add because people also suck, and put these dogs in the unfortunate situations, that is also why so many lose their lives).

What would you say to someone thinking about rescuing an animal?

  • It is literally that, you’re rescuing them. To watch my girl grow and become a loving carefree dog, that’s my favorite part. To see her settle in to bed or next to me knowing she’s now safe. She’s HOME. More animals deserve that feeling.
  • If you are ready to put in some work DO IT, its life changing (for you and the dog).
  • You will always know you saved a precious life.

And my most favorite, full of heart, full of passion and love, message that I got:

“It was the most rewarding and love-filled experience we (as a family) had together. The best part of rescuing is knowing that your dog’s life could have looked so different if not for you. You’re able to provide a home, endless love, and a sense of security and community for this beautiful animal who is totally dependent on the actions of others for her quality of life. Rescue taught me to be humble, it taught me about myself and the capacity I had to be a mom, and it reminded me of the absolute most joyful purity that dogs bring to the world. If I had the chance to adopt 100 more dogs, I would rescue 100 times out of 100. For someone considering rescue, they should think about the potential they have to change a dog’s life. You will not regret that extra family member. I miss mine daily.”

 


(Photo courtesy of Mikaela Hammes and her rescue pup Cooper)

And with that…

April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.

If you’re ready to add a 4 legged love ball to your family, then consider taking action on this day!

But do your due diligence first. Research now what it takes to raise a dog- the costs involved- monetary, physical, emotional, etc cost. Know how much time and patience it takes. Most importantly, be familiar with the fact that different types of breeds have different behavioral traits.

Then, when your due diligence is done. Take a trip to your local shelter. Be a dog’s hero today (or on April 30th 😉 ). And share this with a friend– allow them to be a dog’s hero too.

(Pictures courtesy of Jessica Stricker and her rescue pup Bella)

 

Follow me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_

Notable animal rescue Instagram profiles, follow them too!

@theasherhouse

@primaldomain

@bestfriendsanimalsociety

And the picture that hit me in the gut so hard this week while scrolling Pinterest.

Bless the rescuers, curse the abandoners

In health, love, and wet doggie kisses,
❤ Carly

Triad Golden Retriever Rescue – Join our efforts!

Shameless plug for my favorite non-profit organization, Triad Golden Retriever Rescue out of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Yes, this is a different blog post from what I normally post, but C’MON PEOPLE WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Coming up on Saturday, April 27, we are participating in our largest fundraising event of the year- The Human Race 5k FUN RUN!

Did I mention it is also the Human Race’s 25th anniversary this year?! So big & fun things will be happening.

Our fundraising goal has just been increased to $2,000- can you help us pass that?!

How can you help?

It’s simple:

Join our team of fundraisers by creating 
your own fundraising page CLICK here

Donate to our team fundraising page 
(no need to join as a fundraiser yourself) CLICK here

Share this blog, the link to our team page, or both!

Come join us on 'race day'! And tell your friends too. 
The more publicity the better!

(TGRR at the Human Race 2018)

Did we mention your dogs are welcome to walk the 5k with you?!

Where does your donation go?

Vet check ups and procedure (a large portion). Every dog we get in goes through a vet check up to make sure they are up to date on vaccines, etc. If they aren’t microchipped or fixed, they get that done. And in the unfortunate case of a more serious medical issue (heartworm, broken bones, mange, etc), we still cover the cost to get that done! We try to put the best possible effort into our dogs. And yes, I said our dogs because every dog that comes through our organization steals all of our hearts!

Misc fees such as participating at events, or booths, transportation costs, items that the foster homes might need, etc.

And if you’re encourage to do more with us, well dear friend, we are ALWAYS accepting new volunteers! Especially foster homes. The amount of work you put into your volunteer time is UP TO YOU! I’ve been with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue since November of 2017, and although I’ve taken on more responsibilities over time, I didn’t have to I wanted to! Because the outpouring of love and dedication throughout this organization is inspiring!

 

If you’re on the edge of signing up to become a volunteer with animal rescue, let me plug a few more things in here to sway you 🙂

Does that picture not speak to you?! How about this link? 

 

TGRR, my dogs, and ME, thank you for even considering helping us out with our Human Race fundraising goal this year!

Why Puppies and Kittens Should Not Be Christmas Gifts

Kerst-hond

Look at that face! You want it for Christmas soooo badly right?!

Please. Stop there. Think again. Read on and you’ll find out why.

But first, let me introduce myself

Hey, my name’s Carly

For the past 12 months I’ve been volunteering with the Triad Golden Retriever Rescue (TGRR) out of Greensboro, NC. Over time, I’ve taken on more and more responsibilities.

In 2017, TGRR took in 39 dogs throughout the whole entire year (all Golden’s or Golden mixes only). So far into 2018 we’ve taken in 57, and counting. It’s the Chinese Year of the Dog (literally!) and we feel it.

I’ve also done some volunteering with SPCA and Humane Societies.

I’ve gotten attached to 3 dogs who I would walk weekly, as much as I could, who were couped up in a shelter because we couldn’t find a foster home for them. All 3 of which had to be euthanized, 2 of which because of behavioral issues that grew to be too harmful because they were kennel crazy.

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My work in animal rescue has opened my eyes to a lot of things. And I know that proper pet ownership education is one of the most important things that needs to be addressed. More chat on that later. 

As I opened an email this morning to an adoption announcement of a 9 year old dog, I was flipping through the pictures seeing it interact with the children and thought “Now THAT is a true Christmas present”. A family, a loving family, for that dog in old age. And we know that family is a good family because we’ve done research on it. They reached out to us, they didn’t go to the nearest back yard breeder for a cheap, cute puppy. They did it right.

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So let me say this, for the general population. For you “act on impulse”, “I want to be the hero of the family” type people….

ANIMALS ARE NOT CHRISTMAS GIFTS.

Especially the “oh look I surprised you bull shit” 

Choosing to get an animal is a HUGE decision. You don’t do it because your 4 year old begs you, or because your girlfriend of 3 months talks about how bad she wants one. You don’t do it on impulse and you don’t do it if you work long hours, every single day.

Because animals are hard work:

  • They outgrow the puppy stage
  • They require annual vaccinations, which alone can cost you $100+ per animal. Not to mention check ups or emergency visits
  • Do you even know how much dog food costs?
  • How about potty training. That puppy will pee and poop in your house and you will get frustrated and return that thing quicker than you got it.
  • Animals, dogs moreso than cats, require quality attention. You can’t just leave your animal alone all freaking day while you’re at work. Not only is it terrible for their need for socialization, they will eventually get bored and get into things. And you’ll get mad, and you’ll return it.
  • And then someday that animal will grow old. And it will move slower than you’d like or require extra medical attention, which yes- costs more. And you’ll be frustrated and you’ll send it off to the shelter because like it never was a part of your family.

And if you’re thinking that your impulse decision to want to get a puppy now doesn’t put you in that category. That you’re ‘aware’ and ‘a good person’. Well, look at these statistics, I will bet ya that many of these pet owners thought that they knew what they were doing. But like many facets of life, convenience overrules every aspect of pet ownership. And when that pet is no longer convenient or no longer a puppy, they got fed up:

In the state of North Carolina, among 89 reporting shelters, during the year of 2017:

  • 57,561 cats were euthanized
  • 24,907 dogs were euthanized
  • 82,902 euthanasia’s were performed as a whole (this includes, bats, pigs, misc. animals)

Think about that puppy or kitten you’ve been considering getting as a Christmas gift for your 5 year old because they won’t shut up about it. They’re so cute and precious and everyone loves a puppy. How much work is it really?

Now think about those numbers. The amount of dogs and cats who were waiting, with loving eyes and a hopeful, yet scared soul to find their forever home. They were confined to a kennel, going more stir crazy with each passing day. The only hope be any volunteer that could let them out for a walk. If the shelter had enough volunteers that is.

Moreso, the number of animals surrendered to animal shelters rises dramatically about 3-6 months after Christmas. Why? Yeah, you remember that cute puppy you got. Not so cute now that it’s peeing in the house, escaping the kennel, and not responded well to training (oh wait, you’re not trying to train it).

Shelter’s have a max capacity. And when influxes of Christmas gifts come in, it puts the shelter into an overwhelming, over capacity place. Some dogs, as a response to that, have to go. The first ones on the chopping block? Old dogs.

old-dog.jpg

Many dogs in shelters are older in age, which is sad because that means they likely lived the first part of their life with a family. And not all cases are the story of a dog tied up in the backyard being neglected to the point that someone else saved them and called the shelter. No, some of those dogs were part of the family. Until something came along that made the family just throw their hands up, and say forget it. A new child, a new job, a move, a divorce etc. All invalid reasons in my opinion, try to change my mind.

Out of our 57 dogs so far this year with TGRR, 25 of them have been in the later half of their years. Yes, some are in our care because their owners died, others are in our care for previously mentioned “excuses”.

People neglect getting older dogs because they don’t want the heartache that comes with losing it. You people, are the real MVP’s, because that shows that you care about your dogs. However, think about the life the dog potentially has had, why not be their hero and give them an amazing end of life? Not to mention, they generally are pretty decent with commands at that point!

Okay, so you really want a puppy. Out of our 57 dogs at TGRR, 15 of them have been 2 years old or less. A large percentage of dogs (and cats!) in animal shelters are in the puppy or kitten stage too. So look beyond that PetSmart window, or the “ad for puppy” on the side of the road. News flash, those are all backyard breeding cases. Another rant for another time.

So let’s round back to my point. Choosing to get a puppy or a kitten as a Christmas gift is NOT the way to go. Walk into an animal shelter, connect with one of those hopeful souls, give them a second chance at life.

And to those of you who are incredible pet owners out there, I salute you, and I want to be friends with you. I do believe there are more good people in the world, so cheers to you!

vonunteer-with-dog-at-an-animal-shelter

I also encourage you to volunteer at your local animal shelter because they ALL NEED IT! And while you can, spread the word of proper pet ownership. If your neighbor is planning to get a dog, but you know their gone most of the day, talk some sense into them. If you see a dog chained up on a short leash 24/7, no matter the season, call for help. THAT is when it’s okay to be a hero.

You don’t have to be your family’s hero on Christmas, buying that cute puppy.

But you can be a shelter animal’s hero on Christmas, adopting them- the right way. 

8 Things I Have Learned From Owning a Dog

Get a dog they said, it will be fun they said.

But Otto, getting you 8 months ago has been more than fun, it has been life-changing ❤

Growing up I had always been an animal lover, we always had at least one dog in the house and 2-4 cats at any given time. Animals have been and always will be my sweet spot. I can remember multiple times where people would look at me and go “Oh my gosh you are just like your mom, you are both animal lovers”, or “You are going to be my crazy cat lady friend who has 27 cats in the future.”
So yeah, animals are my life. Which is why when my boyfriend pitched the idea of getting a dog to me, my heart melting. So in November of 2014 we began the process of researching breeders (well he did), picking the litter, getting all the nitty-gritty figured out. In May of 2015 we made the 6 hour trip from Northern Iowa to Hayward Wisconsin to pick out our little fella, Otto. He was the first pup I held and the one that won our hearts. 2 weeks later in early June, he was home to Iowa, and life was changed for good.

You see having a dog is more than warm cuddles and unconditional love, it comes with trial and error, stress followed by happiness, followed by frustration, followed by laughs. It is an endless cycle of emotions at times. But having a dog also comes with lessons, realizations, and blessings. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Otto, and it is because he has taught me so much in these first 8 months with him, has brought me tears of joy and tears of sadness, has weakened my soft spot for animals, and has been the greatest joy. Since day one, Otto, here are the things that I have learned from you.

How to care for another being There are some things that you just can’t do for yourself, and it is humbling and rewarding to know that we are the people that you have to rely on in your life. I am proud to be a parent, but even more proud to be your parent.

 To stop and smell the roses or whatever is right in front of you on the ground, or whatever life throws at you. Smell it, grab it, go with it, don’t pass it up, and don’t miss any opportunity.

 When in doubt, laugh it out Sometimes there is nothing else to do but to just laugh. When you do something you’re not supposed to do, but you do it in the cutest way ever, it’s hard to be mad, so instead we just laugh.

like that one time we recorded you while we were gone to see what you really do while we are gone- like get on the forbidden couch, or when you got into one of your favorite toys- the toilet paper

How to be happy and sad at the same time On my weakest days when I feel sad and down, the ability of you to come up with that toy hanging from your mouth asking for some love and play can put a smile on my face. It is weird to feel so many emotions at once in one point of time: sadness, happiness, thankfulness, playfulness. It is weird but it is great.

A little curiosity never hurt any one I love the natural curiosity that comes out of puppies, and I hope it never leaves you. You are so curious about the world, like you are experience something new every time you experience it, even if you have done it a million times. If everyone were as curious as a puppy I believe there would be a lot more smiles in this world, a lot less judgement, and a lot more free spirits.

To appreciate the sun and the stars Waking up to your bathroom call at 5AM on a warm August morning, day after day, or bundling up to take you out at 9PM on a cold winter night has allowed me to appreciate the beauty of this earth. Sure I’d rather stay inside sometimes, especially in the dead of winter, but I have to thank you for dragging me out. Because when we go outside I get to be reminded of the beauty of this earth, and from where we are, we can see the greatest sunrise, or all of the stars. And as you do your thing, I’ll do mine and look up, appreciate the stars, and everything below them, including you.

The ability to be patient and still oh boy before I got you, I was one of the most impatient people on the planet. My life was fast paced, I had a million things running through my head, I just didn’t slow down and I didn’t understand how other people could. But when having a puppy you learn the art of patience. Patience in training you, in taking you out to go to the bathroom, while going on walks, while greeting new people, while trying to snuggle when you just want to play. Puppies are like babies, except we never get to snow what you are thinking, or what you want to say, so we have to learn to be patient and read you body language and your facial expressions, and through that we connect, and through that I became: patient.

To love unconditionally They say that dogs are a humans best friend, and the animal with the most loving nature. And I can honestly say that you will never know this to be true until you have a dog of your own. The ability to keep loving even after you have been scolded for eating a coaster is admirable. Just think if everyone in the world could love like dogs do, how much better a place it would be to live.

Much love to you Otto boy ❤