Stowe

Stowe

June 16th was a day when people, who are grateful to share their lives with dogs, came together. They gathered in a large room, with their dogs, to breathe deeply, smile, laugh out loud and be reminded how easily a stranger can become a friend when introduced by his or her dog. Then, they moved a mountain of need through their generous goodwill.

Many came eager to meet Tom, the dog from Attawapiskat that had been hit by a car and needed six weeks of crate rest in order to save his broken back leg. He was there in all his youthful glory. All dogs were celebrated and some were honoured. We had a parade of rescue dogs that included Taz, a chihuahua mix with a heart murmur who once lived in a teepee in Moose Factory. He is now a thriving city dog. There was Liza, a pup who could easily have died in the barrenness of an Attawapiskat winter but was rescued with her mom and siblings instead. She became a St. John’s Ambulance Therapy dog who comforted the people of North York after the brutal van attack on Yonge St. street just months ago. Sally joined the parade to represent all the northern dogs who delivered litter after litter for years before being rescued. Pirate Jack was in attendance and meant to participate as the one-eyed-pup who braved his way into a wonderful life but sadly a technical glitch in the presentation caused him to be overlooked. He more than deserved to be included and would have shown how the loss of one part simply makes room for more grace and dignity. My apologies Pirate. All dogs have a story, and these rescues told theirs well.

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THIS MOMENT

THIS MOMENT

I am made to wonder what could possibly be wrong in the world when I am able to feel both the warmth of the sun and the softness of a summer’s breeze as I stand outside with the dogs. In this moment all is well.  If I think about the next moment or so though I will be reminded that the worry has returned, so I won’t.

The doctors can worry for now. The results from the new tests, examining the new symptoms, will be known soon enough so until then, I’ll take deep breaths.

It isn’t denial that causes me to distract myself but choices. I know surgery is imminent, and not just for the brain tumour. Knee surgery has already been scheduled for July. I distract myself because I need to and because I can. There is much to do, and I have a purpose.

June 16th is our fundraiser in Toronto and the thought of seeing so many of you there with your dogs keeps me looking forward. It may be the last time I get to share my thoughts on dogs and speak about

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And So Said the Dogs . . . A Collection of Wisdom

And So Said the Dogs . . . A Collection of Wisdom

I have long admired the brilliant spirit of rescue dogs and how they are able to live in the moment regardless of what has come before and what may follow. I have witnessed dogs raise their heads after severe abuse or injury and marveled at their ability to still believe in goodness. I have held dogs in my arms and promised they will never be harmed again. Each one of these dogs found it in themselves to begin again. I doubted I possessed the same grace and courage.

After being diagnosed with a brain tumour, I began my own journey of fear, hope and acceptance. My resolve was shattered a few times and I was shaken more than once but whenever I doubted myself, I thought of the dogs. They do not allow the possibility of future fears to defeat them, they simply cope.

And so said the dogs . . .is a collection that shares the lessons the dogs taught me when I needed them the most. Mission showed me how to endure. She had belonged to a man in Moosonee whom she had loved and trusted. When he left town without her she waited at the train station for over a week but he never returned. She was pregnant and left on the streets to fend for herself. The scars on her face showed how hard

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TOM

TOM

Tom is five months old and never belonged to anyone, ever. Despite being loving, sweet and affectionate this little boy was not claimed by anyone in Attawapiskat after being hit by a car. He had been following three teenage boys when he was hit but they just kept walking. According to a witness, Tom just lay still and didn’t look their way when they left him. He had come to expect as much I guess. Our rescue worker Floyd had been nearby and heard the accident. When he got to Tom he was on his side in the road but conscious. He asked the witness to call the police so they could see for themselves where the dog lay. Because he works with Moosonee Puppy Rescue he too has been accused of stealing dogs. He now takes every precaution so as not to slow down the rescue of a dog in need. The police directed him to put up posters and post on Facebook to find the owners of this starving dog whose coat was filled with grit and grime. The pup was in pain, but no longer alone. We have learned to be grateful for each step in the rescue journey.

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MORE THAN JUST A SAD ENDING

MORE THAN JUST A SAD ENDING

I found it difficult to write this post. Not because it is sad, and it is, but because I am angry.

When I first looked in Delaney’s eyes I saw resigned wisdom. He had a story to tell, but not the will to do so. The light of his spirit was dim but impactful. The way he held his head told me he had once been a proud and might northern dog, but no longer. Tumours now consumed his body and the patches of mange on his skin spoke to his severely weakened immune system. We had known, when we agreed to take him, that there wasn’t much hope for this boy. Still, every dog deserves a chance.

Delaney was from Attawapiskat and his people loved him. They tried to help him but without vet care little could be done. They had conferred with our rescue worker Floyd, and he with us, but it wasn’t enough. They spoke to vets over the phone and were sent meds for the mange but without a physical examination, nothing could be sent for the tumours or pain. The family asked if we would take him and Delaney was flown out of Attawapiskat.

A volunteer drove from Bracebridge to Timmins to meet Delaney’s plane then brought him straight back to us. A long drive and many miles but we all knew how this dog was suffering. He arrived after midnight and as I settled him in I felt especially glad we had been able to help. Some would have seen Delaney as a lost cause.

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SPRING

SPRING

Tulips. I love tulips. They make me happy so I keep a vase filled with them whenever possible. Dogs. I love dogs. They make me joyous so I surround myself with them always. Dogs with tulips give me hope.

One happening can cause a lifetime to shift and new thoughts and beliefs must replace many held dear and thought to last forever. Seems forever is what we make it though so, while traditions may change, new joy can still be found. Easter once meant hidden eggs, woven baskets filled with treats and a lavish table set for family but I no longer host those occasions. My days are simpler now and my pace much slower. I have come to understand and accept disappointing limitations while learning a new way to be. It took time, but rewards have been found.

The dogs remain a constant though, for their needs have not changed. They may respect our aging and my health concerns but their survival is of greater import. Each time we think we can’t, we do. Every time we are full, we make more room and when we need to sit, we stand instead. Other parts of life may have been chipped away or altered but the dogs continue.

Over the last few months alone we have placed nineteen puppies and five adult dogs. Many found homes without ever being posted. Over sixteen years of rescue work our dogs have become known, respected and appreciated so people are willing to wait for the one meant for them. Some are looking for their second or third dog from us because, sadly, generations have had time to pass.   

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