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Archive for March 25th, 2010

Better Off Dead?

Sometimes, as seen in the case of Karen the minpin, this is true. But not so for the girls you’re about to meet. If you’re a fan of John Cusack movies then you’ll get my reference, “Now that’s a real shame when folks be throwin’ away a perfectly good dog like that!” This is how we first met Dixie and Jewel, in a photo from a neighboring county shelter. You can see the fear and the question, “why are we here?”

These two adult, possibly senior dogs, were found when shelter workers began their day. They were left together in what’s known as a night drop cage. It’s set up so people can leave dogs, cats or whatever animal, under the cover of darkness but without facing the scrutiny of others. God takes care of selfish cowards. The note left with them simply said their names, estimated ages of eight years and “they’re good girls”. I suppose many will say, at least they did this much for them.

As it often does, word got out on the internet. It didn’t take long for Dixie and Jewel to start amassing a fan base because, after all, they’re perfectly good dogs. Word travels quickly from rescue group to rescue group and these weren’t just your run-of-the-mill-generic-mutt-dogs. These two are purebred Australian Cattledogs, also known as Blue or Red Heelers. One of the most awesome breeds in all of Dogdom! The shelter staff noticed the bond between the two, are they sisters? Mother and daughter? They also noticed everyone passing them by as they saw their skin problems and the obvious age in their bodies. Who wants an old dog, even if it is a perfectly good dog? So Dixie and Jewel sat and waited. They tried to comfort one another. Both also tried to show people how good they were, but Dixie’s mouth hurt really bad and made her look as if she was snarling. Jewel couldn’t stop chewing her own itching fur long enough to tell people how much she loves giving kisses. So, they kept waiting, for nearly twenty days. Were they waiting for the owner that let them down? I’m sure of it.

Scottie and I took our two Cattledogs, Eva and Barby to our county shelters Adopt-A-Thon last weekend. It was to be a fun outing, not a work event. Barby got to see all the shelter staff from her time of incarceration and everyone was amazed at her progress. It was a challenge for Eva, who tends to be a bit on the aggressive side towards dogs outside her own pack but she behaved perfectly. We couldn’t walk two feet without someone stopping to ask us about our gorgeous girls. More than one rescue group mentioned to us that there were two perfectly good Cattledogs at another shelter. (Told you the word had gotten around.) When we got home I looked them up and saw the above photos. My heart broke for them but Scottie’s heart broke even more. I forced myself to get them out of my mind, as we didn’t need or want another dog – much less two! He, however, couldn’t do it. A few days went by and I saw a posting for them on Craig’s List. Their fans were really trying hard to get them out. The shelter was full and Dixie and Jewel now had an expiration date. They’d already been there longer than the norm.  I “accidentally” left the posting up for Scottie to see and he put things in motion to get these girls out before they were euthanized.

And that’s exactly what we did.

Many fans of Dixie and Jewel came together to make it possible. They would like to thank Cheryl Lynn, Kim, Jynni, Flavia, Tracey and Second Chance Rescue. Without them caring these two would not have had a chance at a comeback. And what a comeback they’re already making. They know their names so we’ve kept them as such, but with a twist. In keeping with our nod to the eighties and being fans of metal bands we now introduce to you Dixxy Blü and Red Jöölz! (yes, complete with umlauts over the “u” and “o”)

Dixxy has some major health issues we’re addressing. Her mouth is atrocious. The entire side of her face is swollen with infection from all the broken and abscessed teeth.  She has knees and elbows riddled with arthritis. Doesn’t stop her from sprinting across the yard or chewing on a bone, though. If one were to define her in human terms it would be as one tough broad! We probably need to buy her a Harley shirt.

Jöölz probably has permanent damage to her skin from years of infections running rampant. The likely cause is a simple flea allergy which is not so unusual. She also has some crunchy hips but will do a pirouette straight up in the air to give you a kiss. She’s the free-spirited, butterfly chaser of the two.

The acclimation into the pack went surprisingly smooth. We took advice from watching many episodes of The Dog Whisperer and made the four cowgirls walk together as a pack immediately. Barby is a bit miffed there are now more dogs to take her Scottie’s attention but she’s being good. She won’t start anything but will defend herself if someone gets too far into her space. Heck, she growls at us if we get too close. (front to back: Barby, Jöölz, Eva, Dixxy)

Eva is showing respect to the elder cowgirls. Being the youngest, she may get reprimanded but so far I’ve been able to remind all of them, I’m the alpha around here! I have no doubt Dixxy is just the biker chick to put her in her place when she needs it. (Eva front, Dixxy back)

The comeback of these two, thrown away dogs has now begun. It’s crazy that someone would toss out two perfectly good dogs that are housebroken, obedient, good with cats, calm, quiet, sweet, funny and wise but it happens on a daily basis in this country. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get them feeling better but we’re definitely on the right path.

We’re hoping Dixxy’s bloodwork will come back today showing she’s strong enough to have Dr. Rick take care of the years of neglect in her mouth. She’s gonna feel like a different dog once all that pain’s gone. He has yet to meet these two in person and I’m looking forward to it. He’s quite the Cattledog fan, as well. How could you not be?

(excuse me for a moment, we have to pose for our 80s metal album cover)

If any of Dixxy Blü’s and Red Jöölz’s fans would like to contribute to their comeback it’d be much appreciated. They’ll do their best to get back into shape and be the rocking duo they once were. They love getting out and about so look for them soon at a venue near you!

Keep in mind, any donation is not tax deductible – we’re just a couple of dog devotees who do the best we can by them. You can call Longwood Vet Clinic at 407-834-2526 to help with the bills. Just tell them you’re calling to help Dixxy and Jöölz under “Kathleen Rescue”. They can take your credit card over the phone.  Or you can donate through Paypal by clicking the button below:

Thank you so much and please keep these lovely gals in your prayers.

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