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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GOODBYE SWEET DOG

GOODBYE SWEET DOG

She went the way she came, knowing so much more than I. She had long ago learned that the world, and people in it, could be cruel so all her senses were heightened. Lady Rose trusted only herself and spent her years with us, hoping we wouldn’t let her down. I know she loved me, with every part of her being, but in a way that only a dog who had lived by her wits could. This dog had run wild for years. Life had given her every reason to hate, but her soft heart and sweet spirit wouldn’t let her. She possessed just enough hope to stay near and watch from a distance. She did give me a chance to show her the way, but it took a year.

Lady Rose began in Attawapiskat where she was fed by a few teachers and allowed to sleep on their porch when nights were too cold to be brave. They called her Rose and managed to have her flown out of the community after a night of horrors that involved gun shots and death to other dogs. Rose had escaped the worst of fates but had watched as her friend, a little black dog, took her last breath.

The fear she must have felt when she was caught, forced into a crate and loaded onto a plane. She would not have understood that it had been done with love. Rose didn’t know what that was yet. Terror would have mounted when the engines roared and the plane vibrated with the force of flight. Rose was about to be free but she didn’t understand what that was yet. So, when she landed and the crate door was opened, she bolted into the bush behind our rescue worker’s house in Matheson and lived there for two years.

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A NEW DAY & BRILLIANT TOMORROWS

A NEW DAY & BRILLIANT TOMORROWS

The first post of the new year must begin with my great gratitude in being able to write it. There were moments of 2017 when there was doubt as to whether I would be able to continue in rescue work or contribute to the cause through the  written word or power of deed. Doubt lingered into the very early days of 2018 but was recently banished. The threat of a second brain surgey looms further into the distance now that my optic surgeon supports my decision to delay. All facts were considered and the possible outcome of losing my sight in one eye was measured against the time I have now and suffering I can certainly endure. The remaining tumour will be monitored but others can worry about that and I will move foreward with a sense of abandon. There is much to do, much to change and much we will celebrate in time.

Any encouragement, support or motivation I needed to forge ahead came in the form of ten pups born on Christmas day. Maisie, their mom, warmed my heart and brought me hope but her wriggling little beings offered me ten reasons to believe in a better day and a brilliant tomorrow.  

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