In games of chance, one occasionally will encounter long, uninterrupted strings of good or bad luck. It is even rarer to encounter a long string of bad luck, followed by a long string of good luck. But with Thulani dog Chance T., we may just have such a case.
We don’t know for sure what Chance’s earlier life was like, but we are sure he went for a long time under very difficult circumstances. He was found on the streets of LA, living next to a taco truck, sleeping on a plastic garbage bag, and scrabbling for whatever food he could find to keep himself alive. He was underweight, had an open abscess on his cheek, and had a severe ear infection that likely was directly connected to the abscess. When found, he was so frightened that he refused to walk and had to be carried. He was in bad shape and miserable.
But his string of bad luck came to an end when he was brought to the West LA City Shelter. There the staff and volunteers went to extraordinary lengths to compensate for his physical neglect and mental trauma. They started a quality and intensive medical intervention, while lavishing him with warmth and TLC. They continued this for nearly a month, gradually restoring his faith in people and making progress on his ear infection and abscess. And he put on weight.
The publicity about Chance caught Karen Barnes’ attention and we checked him out as a possible candidate for our Thulani Program (www.thulanidogs.org). And he was!! So Karen pulled him from the shelter and housed him in LA. Which then brought us to the next task—how to get him up to the San Francisco Bay region where we could continue his rehabilitation, and begin the search for his forever home.
Chance’s winning streak continued when Bill Sutherland offered to help us transport GSDs in his private plane. When approached, Bill was excited about being able to transport Chance and so the plans were set. But at the last moment, Bill’s wife who was going to fly with Bill and entertain Chance on the flight, came down with a bug.
Had Chance’s string of good luck ended? Not so. Volunteer Maureen O’Neil stepped forward to be the flight attendant, and the doggie charter flight from Van Nuys to San Jose went off on schedule without a hitch. In fact, Chance took the flight completely in stride and he and the crew were met in San Jose by an adoring welcoming committee.
Chance is now safely in the Bay area, getting the last of his medical issues taken care of, putting on weight, and enjoying the snuggling of his new but temporary family. But that will not last long—he already has two serious suitors that are anxious to provide him his forever home.
So Chance’s good luck streak is uninterrupted, and the Thulani Program will make sure that it continues for the rest of his life. Chance T. is a BIG winner, but so are all the people who helped him along the way. Definitely a winning team in a game of Chance.
Chance was not doing well—living on the street, scrambling for enough food to stay alive. People and cars streamed by not even acknowledging his pitiful existence. This was at the end of 2013, and little did Chance know that it was about to become a truly Happy New Year. Life started to get better when Chance was picked up and brought to the West LA Shelter, so scared that he had to be carried.
The shelter staff and volunteers immediately began to tend to his needs—ear infection, abscess, malnutrition, fear. His personality made him a shelter favorite, and everyone began to work to insure a wonderful future for him.
The publicity effort caught the attention of Karen, the Thulani Program volunteer in the LA basin, and Chance was welcomed into our program. He will be coming north shortly, and we will find him a forever home in which he can live out his natural life in warmth and comfort, never again having worry about what to eat or where to sleep. All because of a rock (ing) group—Chance and the Vols.
Rosie Lynn T. (AKA Dr Ruth) joined us just a few days ago, and already she is happily ensconced in her new home in San Francisco. This little girl from rural roots is learning about the Big City from a great teacher–Kathleen G. From day one, Rosie Lynn T. was a focused dog, but now she is not only focussing on her new home, but on a very specific part of her new home–THE KITCHEN.
Enjoy the ‘settling in’ pictures from her new mom, along with the very focussed captions.
Thanks to the Sac-Yolo Team that leaped into instantaneous action when Rosie was in danger, but pulled her in the nick of time, fostered her so we got to know who she is, and then passed her on to her new and forever life.
Old age and treachery will trump youth and exuberance every time. Check out 15 year old Thulani dog Sherman T. and his young whipper-snapper brother Woody.
Frances T. epitomized all the good things and all the bittersweet things that characterize the Thulani Program. Frances came into the program following mammary surgery, although the cancer had already spread. She came in determined to make the most of the extra time Thulani was giving her. She came in with energy, attitude, and ready to live life on her terms. Her personality was a beautiful match for her foster mom, Kathleen. This dynamic duo made history all over San Francisco.
Inevitably, Frances T. lost her fight with mammary cancer this week. But she took advantage of every minute of quality life Kathleen offered her. This is what the Thulani Program exists for.
Please read below about some of the adventures of Kathleen and Frances T. (Doggie Dawg).
Doggie Dawg, AKA Frances T., agenda was “Let’s go.” The consummate escape artist, she never would leave my side except for sighting of CAT. She knew how to open doors, drive cars, fly planes, take buses to find CAT.
Smart dog. She did look super cute when I pulled up– Her front paws on the bay window with the now busted wooden blinds behind her a backdrop . The jagged edges added soupcon of dangerous excitement to the scene. Clearly not her first time at the Rodeo.
Tatum T. is one very lucky girl. Although having a serious heart condition is no fun, she has found the most fantastic hospice home with Marla and Dave in Washoe Valley, Nevada.
Tatum is learning new things and exploring exciting places.
Tatum has learned that her new family did not believe that she is a counter surfer.
Tatum is getting some schooling.
Tatum is learning to live with other species.
And over all, Tatum is living the best life imaginable. She is ONE VERY LUCKY DOG.
Mom and Dad took me to the beach today–what a blast. Lots of room to run, we had a rousing game of fetch, and my face hurts from smiling so much. I can’t believe how good life is.
Dad took some pictures so we all can continue to enjoy the trip even after we go home.
The following is a moving tribute to a German Shepherd, written by her owner. The author sent us the following eplanation
K9 Commando wrote: “Hello, Thulani Program Thank You for sharing the Roxy-story. But I have to tell You, she was not a sheltered dog. She was my own dog, who inspired me writing books, and I had dedicated to her my books. When she passed, I decided to base the German Shepherd rescue in this country, this is the only connection point between her and the GSD Rescue. The source of my writing You shared is in my book “Wonderful dog world” , it’s a copyrighted text, please in Your homepage mark the copyright as K9 Commando book FB site or Violetta Kovacs “Wonderful Dog World” Thank you so much: Violetta Kovacs”
“The misery of keeping a dog is his dying so soon. But, to be sure, if he lived for fifty years and then died, what would become of me?” We don’t celebrate Halloween in Hungary. At this time of the year we remember our dead….
Story about an everlasting love…
According to an old legend once a dog passes away, they go to a place called the Rainbow Bridge.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals that had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
Especially now I would very much like to believe that this legend is true. I would very much like to believe that we shall meet again. Because I had a dog and her name was Roxy. Because of her I simply became a better person. Because I had a dog I shall never forget. Because I had a dog to whom I owe so much.
Interesting, I would have never thought that a whiny little ball of fur smelling of puppy breath would turn our lives upside down. After the first night filled with puppy complaints coming from the lap of my son’s huge stuffed teddy bear the newcomer permanently took her place in our family, a place no other will ever be able to fill again. Our story is not the usual dog-owner story, rather it is about profound, unconditional love only a dog is able to express. It is impossible to put down on paper all that we have experienced during our 15 years together. It is because of Roxy that I was able to discover the magic we humans simply call “dog”.
We were blessed with ten carefree, wonderful years filled with laughter and happiness. During these years my pet almost seamlessly transformed me into a different person. I became a journalist because of her for I had to share all the wonders we’ve experienced. Roxy’s calm demeanor and her intelligence helped me reach a depth of tolerance I never knew existed. It is because of her I know now how to love selflessly. Our unforgettable memories of walks, hikes, swims, and of course the relentless dual with the garden hose. Roxy’s offended glance toward me when my luggage appeared from the bottom of the closet, she knew that we’ll not spend time together in the next few days. Upon my return when I’ve spent the whole day with her, trying to earn her forgiveness. She was the only “person” who always, under any circumstances could talk me into anything. Unforgettable, wonderful memories of her.
Unfortunately, the last five years were spent battling illnesses and pain. These years were filled with life and death struggles when the power of love would stand strong against the evil speed of time and its effects on the emaciating flesh. Roxy successfully beat three various diseases in the past spearing us immense sadness. She was also victorious when the doctors have given up on her. Anyone who thinks that dogs do not possess willpower are sadly mistaking. Roxy with her unprecedented will to live, her immeasurable tenacity and absolute discipline stood strong against the illness. There was no bitter medication, or foul tasting pill she wouldn’t take from us, while consoling her humans. At that time she was 12 and the doctors doomed her to paralysis, yet Roxy proved them wrong. Not only was she able to stand again, but she walked, ran and for the following two summers she enjoyed her favorite pass time; swimming. Health and then illness once again. Roxy won over disease again and again. Although her eyes never lost their shine, her coat turned gray and those wise, all-knowing eyes warned us to prepare for the final good-bye.
Humans are imperfect. We’ve begged faith for more time with her. And then a little more, and still just a bit more. Yet we knew that the end is near. Icy cold hands of fear clutched my heart when in the middle of the night I heard Roxy coughing and gasping for air. We were hoping that this was merely an allergy, but we would have even agreed to congestive heart disease caused by old age as well. However, the diagnosis was cruel: 3/4 of her lungs and part of her heart were covered by a large tumor. Roxy refused to give up even at age 15. She fought until her last breath. We knew she didn’t fight for herself, her old and tired body, but she fought to spend more time with us. As always she handled her illness with profound dignity. When she wasn’t feeling well she moved to another area of the house so we wouldn’t see her suffering. During this difficult period of my life I’ve found a lot of friends on the “Kutya.hu” web-site where we were chatting about our dogs. Virtual strangers gathered to help us with their advise, who had dogs with similar diseases, or just tried to help. They had hoped that this very wise, loveable, old dog would beat the odds again as she has done in the past. “Please stay with us, persevere – we are with you!” And Roxy stayed and persevered day after day. So it seemed like the miracle will happen again for the fourth time. That this incredible love that this dog felt for us and we felt for her will beat all disease…yet again. Glimmer of belief and then despair. Faith, once lost and suddenly a shred of hope. Roxy still had the fire inside her and the ever present will, determination that if her humans want her to live, she’ll do it. For us. This time was different. On the last day of her life she wanted be near us, she cuddled with us, her head in our hands. She knew the end was drawing near. There was only one thing I could do for my old friend. Roxy didn’t say her farewell to this world, refused to leave us, I had to make the most difficult decision of my life. I loved her much more than to see her suffer. She, who has given me so much magic and beauty. When the doctor arrived Roxy knew why he was there. She’d lay still in my arms and offered her leg to the doctor for her final injection. Her head turned she left this world with unspoken dignity.
Few hours later condolences started rolling via the internet. “Look up at the sky tonight and when you find the brightest star, you’ll know Roxy arrived”-wrote Junior 26. That night just like the night Roxy arrived 15 years ago, my son and I went for a walk on the banks of the Danube, hand in hand. And we knew that Roxyka arrived. “We found the brightest star.” -we wrote to our friends. Many gazed up at the sky that night and they could also see the message from heaven just a bit to the left of the Moon. On July 23, 2006 an abundance of dog owners, never before seen friends sympathized with us, looked up at that shining star and thought of a wonderful, old dog who was ready to beat cancer should it be her master’s wish. This time it wasn’t her decision.
According to an old legend once a dog passes away, the go to a place called the Rainbow Bridge. Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals that had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
Because I had a dog and her name was Roxy. Because of her I simply became a better person. Because I had a dog I shall never forget. Because I had a dog to whom I owe so much. Because I had a dog and for this dog I hope that the Rainbow Bridge is not only a legend and one day she’ll be there to greet me at the gates.