Archive for April, 2013

Sweet Dahlia

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Dahlia T

Dahlia T

Dahlia was an owner surrender to the City of Los Angeles South Central Shelter, but we don’t know why.  She is reported to be 12 years old, but looks younger.  She is a love, lovable girl who just wants to snuggle.

Dahlia drying off

Dahlia drying off

Karen Barnes pulled her from the shelter and brought her to her home in preparation for a trip north to the home of the Thulani Program.  During the few minutes Karen was busy with another Thulani dog, Dahlia decided to go for a swim—in the deep end.  Esther Williams or Susan Preston she ain’t.  In obvious distress and not able to swim over to Karen, Karen dove into the pool to help her out.  One problem, Karen forgot to leave her cell phone behind.  One thing I will say about Karen, she is dedicated to the dogs—speechless but dedicated.

Dahlia is a sweet, gentle soul, wanting people attention, snuggles, loving, and hugs.  She does great with other dogs, rides well in the car, loves to go for walks, and is generally a laid-back companion.

Dahlia has a couple of wounds on her face, and has kennel cough.  We are treating both and she should be a healthy senior in no time at all.

Karen, Georgia, Dahlia T.

Karen, Georgia, Dahlia T.

Dahlia T. is a Thulani Program dog (see thulanidogs.org) and is looking for a forever foster home.  Being a Thulani Program dog, the program will cover all costs for the rest of her life.  If you are interested in providing Dahlia T. her final home, please contact Bob at  thulanidogs@gsrnc.org

 

Betsy T. The Beautiful Little Girl

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Betsy T. came into the City of Los Angeles East Valley Shelter as a stray, and was described as an ugly but lovely dog.  I DISAGREE STRENUOUSLY WITH THE UGLY comment, but she is a lovely dog.  I think she is very cute!!

Beautiful Betsy T.

Beautiful Betsy T.

Betsy had mammary tumors when she came into the shelter, one the size of a medium orange. The shelter vet removed the tumors and X-Rayed her lungs, which are clear.  So Betsy may be one of the lucky ones, but because we do not know whether the cancer metastasized to other places, we took her into the Thulani Program.

The shelter guessed her age at 4 yeas 6 months, but we believe she is a few years older.

Betsy is a petite German Shepherd mix, weighing about 50 lbs, and is energetic.  She is a bit shy on first meeting, but that evaporates in a few minutes.  Then she wants to crawl into your lap.

Karen and Betsy

Karen and Betsy

Betsy get along very well with other dogs, having run freely with a couple of big GSDs, loves to ride in the car, loves to go for walks, and loves her people.  She will make the perfect watch dog in that she alarm barks when strangers approach her house, but then greets them in a friendly fashion when assured that they ‘are OK’.

Betsy T.

Betsy T.

Other than the possibility of metastatic cancer, Betsy is healthy and energetic.  She will provide lots of love and entertainment to her family.

Betsy T. is a Thulani Program dog (see thulanidogs.org) and is looking for a forever foster home.  Being a Thulani Program dog, the program will cover all costs for the rest of her life.  If you are interested in providing Betsy T. her final home, please contact Bob at  thulanidogs@gsrnc.org

Georgia (T.) On Our Minds

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Georgia T. relaxing

Georgia T. relaxing

Georgia T came to us from the City of Los Angeles North Central Shelter where she had been taken (very reluctantly) by her foster mom, after the foster mom’s landlord demanded that she get rid of Georgia.  Georgia had been found lying next to her deceased owner in their apartment.  While alive, her owner regularly took her to coffee shops and out in public, where she was the hit of the neighborhood. The people who found her tried desperately to find her a home but failed, surrendering her to the shelter, but not giving up the search.

They found Karen, our Thulani representative in LA and after an evaluation, we took Georgia into the Thulani Program

Karen, Georgia T., and Dahlia T.

Karen, Georgia T., and Dahlia T.

Georgia is about 10 years old, although that is very much a guess, well trained, loves people, and is great with dogs, male and female (see one of the pictures with Karen, Georgia, and Dahlia).  She walks well on lead and rides well in the car.

Georgia T. has a severe ear infection but otherwise seems healthy.  We will find out more after she has been to our vet.

Georgia T., smiling

Georgia T., smiling

Georgia T. is a Thulani Program dog (see thulanidogs.org) and is looking for a forever home.  Being a Thulani Program dog, the program will cover all costs for the rest of her life.  If you are interested in providing Georgia T. her final home, please contact Bob at  thulanidogs@gsrnc.org

Pancho T. Came With A Big Smile

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Pancho T., with Bob for scale

Pancho T., with Bob for scale

And everything else about him is big too.  Pancho was an owner surrender to the Downey Shelter in southern California, turned in by a distraught family who could no longer care for him.  They probably thought he did not have a chance becquse he is 11 years old, but the relentless Karen Barnes was there  to snatch him up before anything bad could happen.  And he is safely in the Bay area, waiting to find his forever home.

In the inimitable words of John Madden, Pancho tips the Toledos at 117 lbs.  And he wants to be very close to you.  Ever have 117 lbs of dog circling you tightly, to the point where you can’t walk.  Well, Pancho will show you.  And when he steps on your foot, and then leans against you, just yell ‘timber”.

What is that thing?

What is that thing?

When I first took Pancho out of his run to let him run free in the backyard, I was very careful to leash him so he did not get away.  No worries, after a couple of minutes I took him off the leash and he stayed so close that I could not even get far enough away from him to get a decent picture.

Pancho T

Pancho T

Pancho has a bit of a problem with one hip, and we will be learning more about that shortly.  Other than that, he is in fine shape, and very handsome.  But the hip issue will dictate that his forever home have at most one or possibly two stairs in the area in which he will spend his time.  He is not a boy you will want to carry up the stairs, trust me.

So welcome Pancho T.  The Thulani Program will take care of you.

5/13/13–Update on Pancho T.

Pancho had his medical exam and we learned some very important things about him.  First, he does not have a hip problem, but rather a knee problem which is repairable.  He has now undergone successful knee surgery at Adobe Animal Hospital, and he is rehabing nicely in Aromas.  He will be ready to go to his forever home shortly

Perhaps even more importantly, we learned what a terrific temperament he has.  In order to X-Ray him, two people picked up his 120 lbs and wrestled him onto the X-Ray table.  I had told them that I thought he was a terrific dog, but I did not know him well enough yet, and asked them to put a muzzle on him to ensure everyone’s safety.  Well, they ignored me and they held him down while he struggled mightily as they twisted and turned him to get the right shots.  Through it all, he made absolutely no aggressive moves, even though at one point I could see the Vet’s nose no more that a couple of inches from Pancho’s mouth.  What a super dog with a super temperament.

Our Girl Misty–Thank You

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Misty and Ziggy

Misty and Ziggy

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Mike and Misty

We got Misty in July of 2011, along with Ziggy. They came to us while still in Hollister from Visalia. The owner of both could no longer keep them as he was facing medical issues that would make it physically impossible for him to care for the dogs. They were at the time almost 12 (Misty) and 11 (Ziggy).

Even though the two dogs came in together it was quite apparent that Misty was the stronger of the two, and Ziggy was quite dependent on her. It took several months for both dogs to come out of their shells from being displaced. Misty took on the role of “Grandma Misty” to many of the dogs we fostered, some client dogs, and even some of our personal dogs. She was quick to teach them manners and what was or was not acceptable. She was very social with dogs, cats and all people.

When Ziggy died, we worried that Misty might become depressed. This was not at all the case…she actually seemed to be relieved from caring for Ziggy, and was very active. She loved spending her days in Hollister running in the back yard, laying in the shade of the palm trees, and dipping herself in the shallow end of the pool. It was definitely the “retirement home” that she loved. Her favorite game was to run after the dogs playing fetch and bark at them, keeping the “youngsters” in line as a good grandma will do. She had no interest in the ball itself, just running with the pack and making herself heard. Her best friend at that time became “Lexa” who she would torment daily while Lexa paced around with the ball and Misty would follow the entire time.

When we moved to Gilroy, Misty did not seem displaced at all during this move. We knew then that we had become her family and that she felt safe and secure with us. She loved Gracie (our GSD female who is 18 months old now) and would howl when they were separated. Misty received lots of love and attention between the kids, Gracie and the other dogs, and of course Jancy and myself. There were several times that we thought the end was nearing for Misty and I called Bob J. to discuss her physical condition. Each time this happened the following day she was the opposite of whatever I had described. That was Misty…she would go on her terms, and her terms only. She enjoyed riding in the car, going to the park, and had now found a new patch of grass to hang out on (even though there was no pool).

Misty

Misty

Over the past few weeks Misty began to have more and more physical difficulty and discomfort doing basic things like walking around, standing up and getting up off her bed. It became clear that even though she was eating well, had energy, and was clear eyed and minded….. her body was at its limit. After all, she was now around 14 years old.

This morning she arrived over the bridge and was no doubt met by Ziggy, Lexa, and others she met while with us. She is now pain free and able to show off that energy that she had until the end.

Michael Walker

We Lost Our Sunburst Today, But Not Her Impact

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We lost our perpetual ray of sunshine today.  Athena T. passed to the Rainbow Bridge where she now is healthy, happy, running with her friends, and waiting for us.

Athena

Athena 

Athena came to us about a month ago from southern California, where she had been dumped at a shelter in terrible physical condition.  She was rescued by Karen Barnes and brought into the Thulani Program, giving us the chance to pamper her.  We did our best for her, but it was very little compared to what she gave us in return.

If there ever was a dog that could be excused for carrying a grudge, Athena was that dog.  Yet she literally greeted every situation with soft eyes, soft ears, a smile, and a wagging tail.  Every morning she would come up to my bed as I was waking, and help me welcome the morning with tail wags, soft vocalizations, and lots of snuggles.   As I watched her struggle with her medical issues, yet interact with everyone, two-legged and four, with love and affection, I was profoundly struck by her attitude, one that many of us could beneficially emulate .  She provided lessons to me about attitude and behavior that I will carry forever.  Thank you Athena, you will be sorely missed.

Below are remembrances from a few people who had the honor of knowing her.

Karen with Athena

Karen with Athena

Having recently lost our Elke T. to mammary cancer, Athena T.’s succumbing to the same horrible disease is especially difficult. It’s also heartbreaking knowing that if her irresponsible owners had simply spayed her, her chances of getting mammary cancer would have been slim. A beautiful life was cut short too soon and could have been avoided.

As soon as I laid eyes on her at the shelter, I knew we had to help her. Her happy personality, gentle nature, and those big, brown, soulful eyes were irresistible. What sealed the deal was a look she gave me that said, “well, what more do I have to do to get you to take me?”, so out the door we went with all the shelter staff cheering.

Well, what are you waiting for?  Get me outta here.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get me outta here.

We met a young mother and her little boy who was afraid of her scary physical appearance. After a quick lesson that some mean person had done this to her, the little boy went up to her, gave her a pat on the head and a Doritos chip.

Athena touched lives wherever she went. This was her destiny. A beautiful life was cut short much too soon but I’m grateful to have known and loved her. I’ll miss her gentle ways. Farewell, my beautiful girl.

Karen Barnes, Rescue Volunteer

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A few months ago I was introduced to Athena T.  She was exceptionally sweet, fairly old, quite crippled, with huge mammary tumors.  She also had a back that looked like she had had a severe flea allergy and now had lots of infections and scabs.  This doggie looked like hell.  But she was so nice and she had no idea that she had all these problems.  That is the most important lesson we can all only try to learn from our dog companions.  No story about either fortune or misfortune.  Life in the moment.

Athena_T_00271I took out her mammary tumors and started antibiotics for her sad old back.  Her tumor incisions healed well and quickly but her back didn’t.  We theorized a resistant staph and started new antibiotics.  When she came in for a recheck on the new antibiotics, her back was improving but she was holding up a back leg.  She had bone cancer.  The Jachens, the leads of the Thulani Program, made the right and only decision.  Let her go.

I don’t believe in the rainbow bridge but I love the story of our pets coming to greet us when we too kick off.  I know Athena was not my pet but maybe just maybe I am wrong about one more thing and she will be there to meet me also.  The human animal bond is a lovely thing.

Dave R., DVM,

I wanted to call this “Requiem for an Angel.”  Bob wanted something about Sunshine.  Both work, I think.  Athena had the cheeriest, brightest temperament you could ever wish for.  During the month or more that she lived in my house, she was never cross; not with Bob or me, and not with any of our 4 dogs.  She loved everyone and was always ready with her bright smile and wagging tail.  And this wonderful cheeriness was in spite of being in a level of discomfort that it pains me to think about.

At home, she integrated herself into our pack of 4 easily and peacefully.  When our young male dogs, Kobuk and Wyatt, were roughhousing in the yard, being unable to romp and play, she would stand out of harm’s way barking joyfully and wagging her tail a mile a minute.  When she and our female golden were having a quiet moment, they would indulge in mutual muzzle licking and relax together, almost spooning with each other as they enjoyed a quiet time together.  When our big shepherd would make his trips outside, or line up in the kitchen for his anti-convulsants, she was right there to take her meds, too, and to keep him company outside.  Whatever was happening, she was right there to join in.  Bob working in the yard with Kobuk and Wyatt roaming around had a constant companion in Athena.  In the house, she followed me from room to room, and settled down quietly nearby when I was engaged in some activity.  She was the perfect companion.

Athena_coneI think her health issues have been dealt with already in detail.  In working with the Thulani Program dogs, we have become accustomed to seeing levels of neglect that make us angry and sad.  This sweet creature was surely the worst case I’ve ever seen.  No matter what was done with Athena, not matter how much pain or discomfort she was in, she always accepted any treatment with a calm and gentle spirit.  At times her pain made her whine in her sleep, or made her restless and unable to settle down to rest in one place for more than a few minutes.  Still, she presented us with her smile and her wags.  Visits to the vet were uncomfortable, but Athena held no grudges.  She would struggle and protest when it hurt, but as soon as she was released, she would again present us with smiles and wags.  Surely this sweet spirit deserved better than the lot she was dealt.

Athena_smileToday the decision was made that her quality of life demanded a release.  She wasn’t having fun anymore, and with the cancer in her bones, she wasn’t going to get any better.  The vet who had taken such good care of her helped her to the rainbow bridge as she was held in Bob’s lap. this vet who said that making this diagnosis made his stomach upset.  I was there, too, holding back my tears, but with a feeling of relief that this gentle, loving spirit had gone to where there was no pain or neglect, and I was thankful that she had come to us for this time to be loved and to be held in loving arms when the time came, grateful that this sweet creature had not died alone and afraid in a shelter.

Karen Jachens, Rescue Volunteer

Sigmund T.: Why Are You With Us?

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Sigmund T.

Sigmund T.

Sigmund T. just came into the Thulani Program, capping a remarkable first quarter of the year.  If present trends continue, it appears that the Thulani Program will expand by 30%-60% over last year in terms of the number of dogs helped.  We are sad that there are so many Thulani-type dogs in need, but we are glad that we are in a position to help them.

Sigmund T. is a bit of an anomaly compared to most Thulani dogs, for the following reasons:
1.  Although picked up as a stray, he has been well cared for
2.  He had been neutered
3.  He had obedience training
4.  He is a loving, gentle dog
5.  He had been microchipped

Yet when contacted, his owners did not come to reclaim him.  All I can say is that their loss is our gain.

Sigmund T. and Karen

Sigmund T. and Karen

Sigmund T. is a happy, loving guy who is at ease with people and dogs.  He may even be good with cats.

He is house trained, crate trained, loves to go for short walks, loves to ride in cars, and loves to be with his people.  And he is very handsome.

Sigmund T.

Sigmund T.

We already have people asking to be allowed to provide him with a forever foster home.

So although the reasons for Sigmund being with us may never be known, what we do know is that the rest of his life will be as good as we can make it.

Billie Jo T.: A “Fixer-Upper”, Thulani Style

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Billie Jo T.

Billie Jo T.

Pat Honneyman was called to the San Jose Animal Care Center to look at an adult female German Shepherd that was not being put up for adoption because of medical reasons.  What she found was a sweet little 2-3 year-old beauty that was skinny, anemic, and had a badly dislocated hip—likely the result of being hit by a car.  Despite her problems and obviously being in pain, Billie Jo (or JoJo) had a perfect temperament for Rescue.

2013.03 - RWC-5449While the cost to repair JoJo’s hip was going to be high, this was much too good a dog to not take.  So arrangements were made to have her spayed at the shelter, but as they were preparing her, they found a very loud heart murmur in addition to the other problems.  Although she was inadvertently spayed before we picked her up, the hip surgery was ruled too dangerous given the heart condition.

So Billie Jo became Billie Jo T., a new member of the Thulani Hospice Program, and we arranged for a Cardio-Ultrasound with a Veterinary Cardiologist, so we could best plan how to take care of her.

2013.03 - RWC-5422Much to our surprise and delight, the heart condition was confirmed, BUT IS COMPLETELY FIXABLE!!!  Apparently, we just need to find an unused wine cork and plug a shunt that did not close after she was born.  Well, it’s not quite that simple, but it can be repaired by a minimally-invasive procedure.

The cardiac procedure was a roaring success, as was the repair of her bad hip.

2013.03 - RWC-5424So the final step was to change her name from Billie Jo T. to just Billie Jo (basically kick her out of the Thulani Program) and put her up for adoption.  When we did that, her foster mom panicked and adopted her immediately.  A fairy tale ending!!

TALK ABOUT A FIXER-UPPER–Billie Jo is the icon.

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