Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

2012 was quite the rollercoaster - absolutely the toughest in our short history, as well as some amazing saves.
The year started off when I was just 2.5 weeks out of brain surgery, but I could not turn away tiny puppies that needed me.
By Valentine's Day, these babies all had their own furrever homes. While I always say I am going to take a break after the hard work that goes into caring for puppies, it never lasts long. Within a week, I felt the need to go help Joplin Humane Society. Crazy dog lady kicked in and I came home with a car full including the precious Feisty (now named Piper) and incredible boy named George (Saint Bernard/Basset hound mix - Oh I loved him).

We had a season where one to three young puppies came in at a time, which made it a wonderful opportunity for our amazing foster homes to help start house training and socializing. Unfortunately, this also introduced us to the awful, yet treatable, tummy bugs including coccidia and giardia. Sanitizing absolutely anything and everything the puppies touched became even more of a priority.

We took a huge leap of faith in March on a precious dog with the absolute worst case of demodex mange that our incredible vet had ever seen.  Yes, I mean Nani (means "beautiful" in Hawaiian").
95% covered in mange. Every crack in her skin infected. Her eyes and paws horribly infected, yet she seemed to know that I was there to help get her feeling better. She started on ProMeris (topical that kills the demodex mites), antibiotics, extremely high quality food, and vitamins for wellness and skin and coat. Within just a couple weeks, she looked like a different dog.
During this time we were also trying to help a small litter of puppies, our dear Stormin' Norman that was a challenging case to adopt due to his medical needs, owner relinquish Maddie (absolutely gorgeous amazing girl) and dear Georgia who also was taking many months to find a good home. While my KS State license allowed me to care for this many dogs, the city does not. So we had to move dogs around. Thanks to an amazing rescue community, a couple fosters, and Maddie being adopted, all dogs were safe. We just had to refocus on only having puppies in my home and adult dogs had to have foster commitments if we pulled them.  

Stormin' Norman was adopted through another rescue to be spoiled and medical needs cared for.  
Georgia was adopted by a sweet, older couple, and I am not sure I have ever seen anyone more excited as her new dad. 

Max, Jackson, Teddy, and Digby were all single pups that came through our rescue in the spring and found amazing furrever homes.  We had the Scooby Doo pups that I only fostered until they were transferred to the Wisconsin Rottie Rescue - they completely stole hearts. 
Early April we were called about 10 day old puppies whose mom had been shot by police as she tried to protect them. We took half the litter and another person took half the litter since they would need bottle fed for at least a couple weeks. Precious little pit bull mix babies.
Late April we took in a litter of puppies to help find homes for them. These babies will remain forever in my heart as the biggest scare and learning opportunity. While we are always so careful to keep their area clean, sanitized, and watch carefully for any symptoms the puppies may have, these puppies broke with parvo the weekend they were supposed to be going to their furrever homes. Two puppies had already left. I made sure to get the adopters their fees back to go towards their care and focused on making sure to get the puppies still here back to optimal health.  I was incredibly emotional and know that I could not have learned more in such a short amount of time as I did with these puppies. Bleach and I became the best of friends.

The sweet girl climbing out of the pen is now an AKC Canine Good Citizen! Take THAT for starting out ornery!

These gorgeous pittie mix puppies all found amazing furrever homes!

Now we come to the most difficult part of our year... Millie and the Miracles.  We pulled this sweet girl from a small Arkansas shelter with her ELEVEN babies. Millie was so skinny and we just knew we had to help. Trish drove all the way to Springfield, MO to meet transport and get the brood.

It wasn't long before we knew something wasn't right with Momma Millie. She had a runny nose and an awkward head tilt. We reviewed her vet paperwork and health certificate - nothing noted except antibiotic at the shelter for possible uterine infection, but it was not continued at the vet. HUH? Of course we got her to the vet and started her on meds and high quality food, homecooked rice and boiled meats, Dyne, and anything we could think of to get her healthy for her and the puppies.
Then the puppies started having runny noses. We rushed them to the vet and started them on meds. Needless to say, symptoms just kept getting worse. Spots appeared on some of their faces, coughs started, mucus got thicker and a couple could barely breathe. Vet visit after vet visit and we finally had some tests run.  The news was absolutely devastating. The sickest puppy tested positive for Mycoplasma (worse than pneumonia), Distemper (life long issues), and Canine Herpes (a certain death sentence). All with similar symptoms and all extremely serious.

 Ultimately, we lost all of them and let Millie go as well. 12 lives that could have been saved with a simple vaccination to Momma Millie, and unfortunately we got her too late. They will forever be in our hearts.
In honor of Millie and the Miracles, we had to push on and rescue others.  I had to go see Nani. She spent some time in a wonderful foster home and was even adopted for a short period, however we came to learn just what a challenging case Nani was being a street dog prior to our rescue.  She is happy and healthy and in the hands of some wonderful rescuers. Happy, goofy girl!
We pulled some more puppies - Logan & Kindall, the pure bred American Eskimo puppies. Then we had two chihuahuas and a min pin (Sunny, Summer, and Vegas). All are in wonderful homes.
We also snagged a gorgeous lab mix boy just before an animal control agency was going to have him put down. Thank Goodness! Jet is now a spoiled boy with an amazing mom!

Then came the next scare of the year. I agreed to pull a litter of healthy puppies from a shelter that were ready to be adopted. They had two puppy vaccinations and just needed homes.

 Within 24 hours of being here, I noticed symptoms in one of the pups - loose stools, mostly. Praying it was worms or easily treatable stomach bug, but unfortunately it was again the dreaded Parvo. We fought aggressively and even hospitalized Rita and Rollie. Rita came home quickly while Rollie gave us quite the scare. However, after 6 days of IV fluids and professional love and care, Rollie came home to be adopted by an amazing woman that had already fallen in love with him. Yet another litter of puppies that have an extra special place in my heart, especially Rollie (now Samson). Rae (now Cordy) is impressively well trained already and I received a beautiful Christmas card from Rita. It brings tears to my eyes to know these babies are now such treasured family members - prayers answered!

October brought the adorable and precious blue pit puppies. Oh how so many of us wanted one. They too are all now in amazing homes!

End of October was a time when some beautiful, wonderful dogs were on death row at various shelters simply due to being extremely full!  We had some wonderful fosters step up for FIVE amazing dogs. Alfie quickly found a home to be spoiled in and Baby instantly foster failed (foster mom kept her). Shockingly, three of these dogs are STILL waiting for their furrever homes. First there is the adorable Presley, a 4-5 year old pug/beagle mix. Who can deny that face?

Then we have the gorgeous Lily - 1-2 year old bully breed mix of some sort. Her hugs are absolutely priceless - such a snuggle girl.

The incredible Jambi - 1-2 year old boxer/bully boy. Yet another snuggler, tires easily and so well trained.

End of November we also took in a litter of abandoned puppies that a shelter wanted rescue for quickly so they wouldn't get sick. These little shepherd mix babies have been wonderful. All the girls have found homes and now we are hoping the last 3 boys find their homes quickly in 2013.

While we unfortunately lost 15 precious lives this year, we were able to save 73 lives. Over 2700 miles driven to get dogs to safety, 9 temp fosters, and just an amazing year of loving on furrbabies. We could not have done it without our wonderful foster homes, volunteers, and incredible supporters. Thank you for an incredible 2012 and we wish everyone the VERY BEST in the new year with lots of slobbers and furrhugs.