About Our Rescue Group...
From day one, I have always been an animal lover (I had cats, dogs, guinea pigs, turtles, fish and a parakeet). Loving them as much as I did, I don't think anything prepared me for what was about to become of my life.
In October I started volunteering at the Burlington County Animal Shelter in Westampton with my friend Andrea. When she first started talking to me about it, I was nervous. I wasn't sure if I would like what I might see. See, I get attached pretty easy so, to hear of one getting put down would crush my heart. After talking to Andrea she explained it in a very different way. Andrea told me to look at as we were making their lives happier even if they were only there for a short time. So, I thought about it and she was right. I thought to myself I could do this. I am going to make their stay at the shelter as happy as it could be. So, we went in took our dog and cat classes and we were off. Now again mind you, when I do something I don't do it half way, I have to go full throttle in everything I set my mind too. As we filled out our volunteer applications, not only did I sign up for helping but I decided to put fostering down. I thought I can do this, why not. Before I signed up for that, I had to go talk to my husband and tell him what I've done (ha). Now this was not a good subject for me since I was told by my husband I was not allowed to go to pet stores again. Reason being, I thought I could just bring anything home with me. We already have a household of two dogs, three cats and a rabbit. Basically a zoo in the making. I got home that night and figured ah, no need to say anything until it happens, right? Right! That was my way of thinking (ha). Oh also in this process I filled out an application for Burlington County Animal Alliance for fostering. I told you I have to "go full speed" when I do things.
After all the classes were done, we were off and running. Going in the kennels and playing with the dogs who were too scared to come out. Walking the dogs and playing with the cats. All was good and I felt good. I just knew this is where I was supposed to be.
In October, I saw a dog named Pudge. Cute Labrador mix that had no hair on her butt with a winding tail. I kid you not this cute little dog looked like a pig from the back. I went to take Pudge for a walk and loved her. So, I emailed Penny (one of the volunteers at BCAS) and talked about it. I then get an email from Lorraine at BCAA asking if I wanted to foster this dog named Jericho (German Shepherd mix). I explained that I was looking at another dog but told her I would go to the shelter and get a look at him. Now Jericho was an 85 pound dog that was heart worm positive. Which kind of scared me. Not only was he a big dog but I have never dealt with a dog with heart worm before. I went to the shelter and asked to see him. This dog put his head on my shoulder and that was it, it was love at first sight. I knew I had to do this. This poor guy wanted out and needed so much TLC. I decided "YES". I went home talked to my husband and my daughters and I had full support. What more can you say, it was meant to be.
October 26th, I went and picked up Jericho put him in the car and took him home. Poor guy was breathing heavy, head hung low awful sight to see. The next day I had to take him to the vet to get him checked out before we started treatment. They noticed that something was wrong with his neck but wasn't sure what it was. I even took him to a chiropractor and it seemed everything was fine. Thumbs up for the heartworm treatment. We went and got his treatment done (he had stage 1 heart worm) my heart went out to him. I let him out of his crate and just lay there with him. I realized during that time, I had met my soul mate. A couple weeks after treatment he was laying in the middle of the hallway upstairs and would not come down to eat. I knew something was so wrong. I called the vet, they came out and she thought it might be a slipped disc. Still, we weren't sure. He was put on a dose of steroids and painkillers. Things were looking up, he was holding his head high and even playing with a toy now and then. About a week later, he fell down my kitchen steps. After that happened, I had tears in my eyes. Something just didn't feel right. Again the vet was called (by this time, I think they knew everything about me as much as I called them) and the meds were changed and he had strict cage rest besides going outside on a leash for potty break. They though he tore a ligament in his leg (he was limping). Every day got worse (he started falling a lot). New Years Eve, I had to call the vet (he went lame)and I had to rush him there to get a huge dose of steroids by IV. To get him into the office from my car they had to put him on a stretcher. God, he was so scared. I could never forget his eyes bulging out in fear. My heart was breaking. I couldn't stop thinking this is not the way things were supposed to be. I am here to "save" this dog and it wasn't working (he couldn't walk at all). He was in there for two days. I went to pick him up on January 2nd. They told me he was doing great. I was excited. I went there and he "walked" to me. I was so happy, I cried on the way home. My husband met me at the car and he wouldn't come out so, we carried him. Once he was put on the ground he walked a few steps and his back legs went lame. The disappointment was so overwhelming. I was so worried so stressed, he was my every thought every second of the day. I called the vet and they stated basically besides surgery ($5000.00 that nobody had) there was nothing they could do. All hope was lost. Then the vet told me to try acupuncture (it couldn't hurt right). Our first appointment seemed good. He seemed like he felt better, tried a little harder. He even scooted for me on the kitchen floor to get to the food dish and barked. Again, there was hope. He started becoming himself. I made a little bed on the kitchen floor and lay with him. Reassuring him everything was going to be okay. Our second appointment came and things took a turn for the worse. He was no longer trying to move his back legs and he was frustrated that he could not get up. We started taking him outside with a sling. I would lay with him. It was so bad, I couldn't leave him so, I would call out of work. Thank God, I have a very supportive boss. I knew it was time when he could no longer lift his head up. God, the pain my heart was feeling. I emailed the vet because, I couldn't even speak the words of putting him down. I emailed BCAA and stated it was time. I also asked them if I could pay for it and keep his ashes, they wrote back saying yes. On 1/11/13 the day (one of the worse days I've ever had) came. This was the day I would no longer have my soul mate. The vet came to my house and couldn't believe he didn't even try to get up. The hardest part was Jericho's mental state was there. His back legs just would not work. I looked up everything from surgery to wheelchairs for dogs before this day had came. After talking to BCAA's vet and my own vet, I understood it was the right thing to do. I fed him hot dogs and gave him everything he wanted that morning. That afternoon Jericho had passed. I couldn't stop crying to where I cried myself to sleep. A week later, I received Jericho's ashes. One way or another he was getting his forever home and that home was with me. I lost my best friend that day and I know I will be reunited with him again one day. Days later, I thought I was going to stop everything. I hated the world. I couldn't understand why God would put me in this position. Why???? Why bring Jericho into my life if only to fail him. I did not understand until I talked to my cousin and my aunt. They both said the same thing. Maybe it was so he could pass in a loving home with family. God knew that you would do everything you could and love him so much. To be there for him in his time of need. After that, I thought about it and I knew I had to keep doing this for him....for Jericho. So, I vowed to him that I would do as much as I could for other dogs like him. To save more, to help the shelters and rescues.
This is how my page began. I will fight to the end to try and help as many as I can. Since then I have fostered three more dogs. One is still with me today. Two of them found their forever homes. I can do this! We can change the world, it just starts with one person, then another and another.