Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Alternatives to Surrender

As pet lovers, we hope that our animals will be with us for their whole lives. All going well, that’s what usually happens. But there may come a time when you are faced with a difficult situation – perhaps the loss of a job or stable living situation, a family breakup, or illness. This can lead to many difficult decisions as you try to work out the best outcome for yourself, your family, and your pets.

What do you do in this situation? You don’t want to surrender your pets unless it’s absolutely the last resort. Sometimes, it’s the only option – see our previous blog post on surrendering animals. But there are steps you can take to ensure that your furry friends can stay with you, and it’s a great idea to think about these before anything happens.

Our main tip - plan ahead! We constantly see adverts telling us to plan for the future. We are urged to consider car and house insurance, life insurance, funeral insurance, and income protection insurance. We write wills to ensure that our families are taken care of. We appoint guardians for our children so that they will be looked after if the worst happens.

But some events can be more difficult to plan for. What would happen if your family broke down and you had to find somewhere else to live at short notice, with your pets in tow? It really can happen to anyone at any time, no matter how unlikely it may seem right now. Unfortunately, this is not something we can take out insurance for!

At Moving Paws Inc we recommend that you speak to family and friends to see who would be willing to step up and care for your animals in an emergency. Most of us know some fellow animal lovers who may be able to help short or long term. It’s a great idea to discuss this possibility with anyone who may be willing to help. Social media can be a great platform to reach out to like-minded friends.

Family breakdowns can be very problematic for pet owners. The stress of trying to find accommodation at short notice is hard enough, and pet-friendly rentals are uncommon in Australia. This situation will also put a stress on finances – and this can force some difficult decisions.
What would happen if you became unwell or were admitted to hospital? You may need someone to feed your pets for a day or two, or to provide full time care for weeks or months. This means that a trusted person will need to know who they can contact to get to your pets. It is helpful if they also know what your pets eat and when, along with any special needs.

Moving Paws Inc has a holiday care program that can assist with short term care at a reasonable cost (and the proceeds go towards the care of our rescue pets). Our network of carers can host your dogs in a loving home environment if you know you will be spending time in hospital. More information is available on our website.

Sometimes, when pet owners pass away, their families are unable or unwilling to look after the animals left behind. In our experience, this is a very
common reason for pets to be surrendered to pounds and rescue groups. Please don’t assume that someone will take on your pets – again, it’s a great idea to discuss this with your family and have an emergency carer lined up just in case. In the event that your family or friends are unable to care for your pets, please ask them to contact Moving Paws Inc for advice and rehoming options. You can even include our details in your will to ensure that your furry friends are taken care of.

Some organisations encourage pet owners to carry a card in their wallets with details of any pets at home, and contact information for someone who can take care of them. This is a great idea. There is no guarantee that this card will be found or followed, but it may help to ensure your animals are looked after.

Behavioural issues are another common cause for surrenders. This can be difficult to handle, especially if your dog’s behaviour changes and he or she picks up bad habits or becomes stressed. Help is available in many forms – veterinarians can offer guidance, and there are numerous books and websites available with dog training tips. If the behaviour is very challenging, a professional trainer may be able to restore the balance.

Moving Paws Inc is a responsible pet rescue organisation, and we ask potential adopters to answer questions to confirm what arrangements they have made for the care of their pets if their circumstances change. Some responders answer this question with a response that “nothing will happen”, and this shows that they do not have any backup plan in place. We believe that this is a vitally important question to ask adopters, for all the reasons outlined above. If you are adopting a dog from us (or anyone else), please think about how you would answer.

We encourage you to discuss these contingencies with your loved ones. It makes so much sense to have a back-up plan for your pets. Perhaps you have a close friend or relative who is a cat or dog lover (or both!), who may be willing to take over care if you are unable to.

Thank you for reading! Please share our blog, browse our website, and check out Moving Paws Inc on Facebook and Instagram.

Regards, Debbie - Founder - Moving Paws Inc.

This blog post sponsored by Bluehound Content and Copywriting

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Social Media

Social media can be a wonderful thing. It is fantastic as a platform to promote pet adoptions, rescue organisations, and lost and found animals. Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram bring together many netizens with common interests, and many thousands of rescue pets have found new homes through pet rescue pages.

Many not-for-profit organisations, such as Moving Paws Inc, have embraced this relatively new media format to do a lot of good for animals. Our Facebook page has helped us to promote adoptions and find homes for many needy dogs. Where else could we advertise an unlimited number of adoptable pets at no cost? This means that we can use our limited financial resources for the good of the dogs. We also use social media to get the word out that we can save lives by taking on pets that have nowhere else to go.

Rescue organisations also use social media as an important educational tool. We can share information about pet health, diet, and behavioural issues, and how to improve these. Vast amounts of information can be found in seconds, which is a big advantage over traditional media such as books and magazines. We hope that we have helped pet owners to keep their dogs happy and healthy.

But social media can have a negative side. We love the fact that many users are passionate about animal welfare; but well-meaning supporters sometimes post detrimental comments without a full understanding of the situation. Whether it’s someone asking for takers to rehome a pet, or adopters reaching the conclusion that things aren’t working out and returning a pet to us – these scenarios can attract some negative responses. It’s important to remember that there are often many complex reasons behind this decision. For more on this topic, see our previous blog on surrendering pets http://mphqdiary.blogspot.com.au/p/surrende.html.

It’s often not possible for us to go into the full reasons behind a particular situation, and we ask our supporters to understand this.

We realise that not every home is suitable for every pet. This is why we (and other responsible organisations) offer a trial period, during which the dog can be returned. It’s important to remember that this is 100% for the benefit of the dog. We do offer full support to all of our adopters during and after the trial period to ensure that they are set up for success wherever possible. With love and dedication (and work), many problems can be overcome. But, occasionally - despite everyone’s best efforts - it would be detrimental for the dog to remain in an unsuitable home and he or she is far better off returning to foster care so that a more appropriate home can be found. When this happens, the rescue agency has the benefit of more information about the pet’s behaviour and individual needs that will help ensure that the perfect home can be found.

It is far preferable for a pet to be returned to the same rescue organisation than it is for him or her to end up at a pound, or having to start from scratch with a different rescue group. We ask our online supporters to understand this and avoid making negative statements about adopters or surrendering owners. The last thing that we want is to put people off approaching us to either adopt or surrender a pet. We prefer to operate in a judgement-free environment where the pets’ wellbeing is the primary focus.

We really do appreciate all of our online friends - and with your help, we can make the world a better place for animals. We at Moving Paws are ordinary people doing our best to make the world a better place, and so are all of our adopters. Healthy discussion is welcome – ill-informed criticism is not. It can hurt, and it forces us to spend more of our limited time moderating comments instead of helping dogs.

People who ‘adopt – don’t shop’ are always helping animals, even if some adoptions don’t work out the first time. Returning a dog during the trial period may be the only mature solution, and the best outcome for the dog – and that is what’s important! Judgemental comments are usually based on limited information. Please understand that one day, you may find yourself in a difficult unforeseen situation, and ask how you would feel if you read these comments made about you?

We love our supporters, and we know that you share our love and dedication for the dogs we rehome. But please – think before you comment!

Thank you for reading! Please share our blog, browse our website, and check out Moving Paws Inc on Facebook and Instagram.

Regards, Debbie - Founder - Moving Paws Inc.

This blog post sponsored by Bluehound Content and Copywriting

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Surrendering Your Pets

Let’s talk about a ‘taboo’ subject – surrendering your pets.

We believe that dogs are for life; and if you’re reading this website, you probably do too. The idea of surrendering your beloved pet to a shelter horrifies you!

In an ideal world, this would always be a black and white issue. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes dogs are surrendered to shelters or rescue organisations to be re homed. 

Who would do that?
Why do people give away their pets?

The answers are many and varied.

Firstly, situations do change. While some pet owners may be guilty of a lack of foresight and/or poor planning, many people are affected by unforeseen and sudden changes. As rescuers, we need to empathise with and understand the people as well as the dogs.

At Moving Paws Inc, many of the dogs that we rehome come from elderly owners who are no longer able to care for them. Their humans may have become unwell or moved into a retirement home where they are unable to take their much-loved pets. This can be a very sad situation for pets and people. Worse still, the owners may have passed away; and family members are unable or unwilling to take on their animals.

Another common reason for surrender is separation and divorce. One or both partners can suddenly go from living in a secure household to looking for accommodation at very short notice - with children and pets in tow. Landlords are not often known for being pet-friendly. Large dogs and multiple pets can pose a particular problem for house hunters. Sometimes, there’s a happy ending for all; but sometimes it’s just not possible to work things out in the available time frame. It’s a brave decision to put your pet’s welfare ahead of your own attachment.

Housing issues are another frequent cause of pets being given up. A secure lease can become insecure after a change in landlord or the loss of a job. Anyone who has rented will know that pet-friendly rentals are increasingly rare. Of course, we would love to see more flexible options for pet accommodation, including rental properties and at shelters for the homeless and victims of domestic violence.

Children and babies can lead to pets being rehomed. While many dogs are great with children, and can be perfectly safe with supervised play time, one snap can be enough to create doubts. Not everyone has the resources to consult a behavioural expert to resolve the situation. Even with help, the family and dog may have lost confidence in one another.

Lastly, there can be situations where a pet is just not suited to its family and vice versa. This can be the case with newly adopted dogs. All dogs are individuals and they may have fears or quirks that need to be dealt with. Despite everyone’s best efforts, the pet may need to be taken out of the situation and rehomed in a more suitable environment for his or her needs. Factors can include incompatibility between the dog and family’s energy levels, work commitments, or housing arrangements. Together, these can lead to the dog and family both being unhappy.

Rehabilitation can be a complex issue. A dog can behave differently in the foster care environment compared to the adoptive family’s home. The challenges can sometimes turn out to be much greater than first thought. Responsible rescuers offer ongoing support to their adopters and strive to overcome challenges. It takes courage (from all sides) to admit that a placement is not working out and that a dog may be better placed with another family.

Dogs are adaptable to new situations. Naturally, there may be some distress early on as they adjust to their new environment. With the right family, and love and support, they will flourish.
Very few people give up their pets on a whim. The decision is reached after serious soul-searching and it is sometimes the only mature option. It is often a very distressing time for the owners who may feel that they have let their much-loved pets down.

The bottom line is that, sometimes, the decision to surrender a pet to a responsible organisation can be the most selfless and compassionate one.

As the saying goes – it’s impossible to judge others unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. One day, you may find yourself faced with a very difficult decision too.

It is best to approach this situation in a cooperative and understanding way. For example, it is extremely useful for a rescue organisation to be able to obtain a full and honest history of the pet they are rehoming, in order to set them up for success in their new home. This includes medical history and any behavioural issues that may need to be addressed. This knowledge gives the dog the best chance of being rehomed with the right family for their needs.

Dogs do adjust, they don’t hold grudges, they don’t judge, and they don’t look back. Pet rescuers are most effective when we have the same attitude.

Thank you for reading! Please share our blog, browse our website and check out Moving Paws Inc on Facebook and instagram

Regards, Debbie - Founder - Moving Paws Inc.

This blog post sponsored by Bluehound Content and Copywriting

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Read between the lines....

There is one question on the Moving Paws adoption application form that gets more answers than any other - most sarcastic, some nasty and some rude.

If your circumstances were to change, where and whom would the dog go with/live with?

Most answers are we have been happily married for "x" years and don't intend for anything to change.

Well, most people don't marry to get divorced, I certainly didn't, but guess what I did! and guess what we had a beloved doggy and yes we did discuss what was going to happen with our baby girl.

I wonder if Mrs. C/S/N had any idea she would pass away when she did and that her devoted husband of "x" amount of years would take her beloved dogs and cat to the vet to be euthanised because he couldn't afford their upkeep?  I BET NOT.

Mrs. F and B hadn't put plans into place and when she unfortunately departed her human sons surrendered her beautiful, much loved dogs to separate organisations after they had spent their whole lives together.  Lucky MP found out and bought them back together.

These are the scenarios as to why this question is on our application form.  People do not think anything will happen to the "perfect" lives, but it can, it might and it does.

Why wouldn't you discuss your family members and what might happen should the unexpected happen??

It's not point their to pry into your private lives, its to make people think. It's part of our duty as rescuers to make sure our doggies don't end up in the same scenario that saw them in rescue in the first place and to make sure we keep as many out of rescue as possible.

So, I guess I'm saying please read between the lines.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The week that was....

The past 10 days at HQ

2 of our Moving Paws family lost their beloved pets 1 day apart - always emotional as you know and you feel their grief, one being a MP rescue doggy, both cherished and adored by their families.  I felt their pain even though you know there is nothing you can say or do to really help their hearts, just let them know you are thinking of them.

Dogs are part of our families, they are not objects - they truly have a huge impact on your life.  I am proud to say that I am a far richer person for having animals in my life.  Even the gut wrenching feeling of loosing one of them, it simply rips you apart but I wouldn't change it for the world, I would never change loving them like I do.

I don't think I truly realised how different living in the country is to the city.  Yes, I have twice as many dogs as I did on the flat, but the extra dust, the extra traffic and the extra rodents create so much work.  It takes me all weekend to get the house in order, and then by Monday its back to normal again....its like a revolving door.  Sweeping, mopping, poo scooping, watering, dog bowls, feeding birds, horses, cats, dogs, washing, washing, washing and more washing - my poor machine!   Every hour counts on the weekend - meet and greets are always a priority and this Saturday I personally farewelled 2 of foster bubbas, Will and Grace - Mother and Son - gorgeous little munchkins, so glad we got to help them and keep them together.   Then a meet and greet with Reggie and then Jessie was farewelled too.  Moving Paws had a huge weekend re-homing 5 dogs in total - pretty impressive for a little rescue group.

I was so busy on Saturday afternoon after the MP dates, the day got away with  me, I walked into the kitchen at 9pm Saturday night to Charlie (my maltese) with both his paws on the doggy biscuit tin, barking straight at me - I realised it was way past their dinner time - what a bad Mumma!!!  Feedtime it was, then on with the chores, by the time I finished I gathered 10.30pm was too late for my own dinner, so a packet of crackers did the trick!

Sunday was more work around the house, but a joy because I have my pack all around me and we get to play and have fun even if it is chore time - we love being together, sometimes I wish they could help! I did some painting and most of the dogs have white ears, noses and tails - its hilarious that I did a remarkably good job even with the addition of fur!

My adorable Tim Tam
Beau got a new tennis ball and is in love!  He follows me everywhere with either a ball or a kong - he is such a delightful boy.  I gave my little munchkin Timmy a pamper session this afternoon, he is aging and suffering from cushings disease, every moment with that boy is a honor.  God knows his past, I don't want to know, I just want him to have everything he needs now.  He and Oliver are very special needs boys with dementia and ailing health, they have a special diet to keep their weight on, I cook up potatoes, broccoli and beans to add to their vet "recovery" food and they love sardines and biccies.  Timmy sleeps next to me in bed, anywhere else he just doesn't settle, he is so tiny now and is suffering from muscle wastage, but the way he eats and potters around  - he still has life and love to give - he's not ready to leave just yet.

This week is preparing for Paws in the Park next Sunday afternoon.  Its a great day for our team to get together, I look at it as the MP xmas show - I get to thank the MP team for their awesome work and get to meet our supporters - our supporters mean a great deal to me. I was humbled today when Moving Paws was mentioned as a "charity of choice" in a competition, a lovely lady nominated our rescue to receive a donation if she were to win the prize - I thought WOW, who would ever have thought. A small dream has become a big reality.

Wonderful "new" home updates
Yes, Moving Paws consumes a hell of a lot of my life, more than most people will ever know, more than I every knew it would, there is so many "little" things I do that most of the time I don't even know I'm doing them.  There is so much more to rescue that just saving dogs - It's a business. It's my passion - my passion is to speak for those that cannot speak for themselves.

To see and hear updates today from them new parents of the 5 dogs we re-homed yesterday is the reason we keep going - 5 dogs that had a crap start - will have an awesome ending - it doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Always learning, Always growing....

The weekend before last saw the awesome MP team came together to organise, bake and help at our first Masters BBQ - what a hugely successful day it was.  What was the best part of the day was that MP has a dedicated team - truly dedicated.  Totally warmed my heart.  So many members did so many things to bring this day together - we are doing it for the doggies!!!

Last week was a "challenging" week - challenging in a new way, we took a new boy in last Friday from Tailem Bend name Beau, his Mumma had broken her hip and was no longer in a position to care for him.  He arrived at HQ and went straight in for de-sexing.  He is an active boy even though he is 9 years old - loves to play fetch and has a very loving soul.

I had tradesman at my house on Monday doing some odd jobs so Beau spent the day in the front yard away from the crew just so he could re-coup.  Monday night William had to go the vet after work as he had a seriously red and swollen eye, so on my return home I noticed Beau was not there!

PANIC! I have never lost a foster dog before, he had obviously jumped the fence - he could have been gone for 11 hours - how far could he have gone.  HELP!!!  I walked the block, calling and calling, my lovely friends Chris and Ray came over and we drove the main roads praying he had not been hit by a car.  He was no where to be found

A very sleepless night and a full day at work feeling like HELL, I prayed that when I got home he would be there waiting.  It wasn't to be!  I walked again the entire block, the main road - calling, calling and calling until it was dark, praying to the heavens above he was safe.

We are trusted with these doggies and I felt like I was a complete failure.

Wednesday morning I am up early getting the breakfasts ready and I hear a lot of barking and carry on, I ignore it for a short while and then I go and investigate - I had to take 2 - Beau was at the back door bailed up by the crew!!! The relief was priceless.  He was home, he was safe.

My prayers had been answered and I was every so grateful. Now a new dilemma has surfaced, I really need higher fencing at the front of the house so I can keep these precious pooches away from harm - the next goal - to get it!

HQ needs another area where dogs can be separated - this is on the wish list too - together with a day care hut - a space where the dogs can play during the day instead of in the house - their own abode - I have vision - I am sure that's what keeps me pushing ahead.  I have contacted a large number of fencing companies in Adelaide to see if they have any seconds, off cuts etc that they could donate - in the meantime, we just make do.

Tara was here for a 3 weeks with us, she was getting to be a little dominant and I noticed big changes in one of my crew - he was just scared stiff of her.  I knew something had to change, Tara wasn't going to get the training she needed here with me - so today she went off to a new carer - she will love the life by the seaside and will grow so much faster getting one on one time.

Tara and her sister, Lizzie are really good dogs, in the right home they will be such devoted companions - but for the first time MP finds itself re-homing black dogs.  I have also heard there is a stigma towards black dogs, but had never felt it first hand.  I have to say - we have received 1 enquiry on these girls - is it because they are black? because they are so hard to photograph? you cannot see their true personalities in their images? who knows, but I am disappointed and will focus more time on getting them good exposure.

I am getting wonderful updates on Barley and Leo and I am so proud - 2 sweet boys that will furever be in my heart. It makes me happy.  Happy to know we had a special part in their second chances.

Changing microchips, adoption certificates, vet records, accounts, emails, last week has been exceptionally busy - we have a larger than normal number of doggies for adoption which means the work load increases and I have to say I found myself more exhausted at the beginning of this week than I have felt for a very long time.  I guess work life, home life, rescue life, charity life all tends to add up and after all I forget I am human and humans do need a break every now and then.

One email that took the cake this week was from a mature gentleman that wanted to apply for a MP doggy - he emailed to say there was no option for those living in a motor home and no fixed address - fair point, something we hadn't thought about.  Sharon got on to it and the form was changed.  I notified the gentleman...the response...blew me out of the water!

Apparently the stress of having to fill out one of our application forms and the fact he didn't have a home with a fence took his anxiety to a whole new level and he went and got himself a puppy! apparently getting a rescue dog was too hard.  Mmmmmm I say - it took a lot of my energy not to write back exactly what I thought - but in reality this puppy will probably be a pooch we re-home in a few years when the gentleman is too old to care for it anymore!!  and further more MP is not the only rescue group in SA.  There truly are some mindless people in the world.

Last weekend I conducted 2 meet and greets with our pooches  - meeting loving, doggy people is wonderful! There are people who genuinely care and want to adopt rescue animals - I think of all the negative I see every single day in day to day life and how horrible humans can be and then on the weekends I get to meet lovely people - the heart pumps once again.

We have also had the worry of one of our rescue dogs, Roxie having a lump removed that they feel may be cancer - we have to wait 10 days for the results.  I know people think they are just one of our rescue dogs, but to me they are my family, whether they are fostered in my home or not - they are my/MP responsibility and I worry about them like they are my children.  We pray for a positive outcome for dear Roxie and I am so thankful she is in the dedicated hands of Michelle who truly looks after this special needs girl.  It is a relief to know she is enjoying life after a not so good one previously.

Our biggest issue in rescue at present is money.  MP has always been very fortunate in the last couple of years to have a healthy balance, but I guess as we grow we get to care for more doggies and with more doggies there is more vet bills - so atm we are just paying for one vet visit/one dog at a time and the bank balance is the lowest it is has been for an exceptionally long time.  We have some wonderful supporters and that is truly humbling.  Our mission is to get on board corporate/business sponsors - passive income where we can promote them for assisting rescue.  Sharon has done an awesome job in the marketing of this and now we just need to push, push, push!

So that's a week in a wrap.....I look forward to some renewed energy this week and some happy stories and we are working hard on our next fundraiser/get together - Paws in the Park and I truly hope we have a great turn out.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Past Few Months

Having made the move to the "country lifestyle" and being a "city chic" all my life had messed a little with my head and my emotions over the winter season. I have always disliked winter, the cold, the dark and coming home to black skies.  Well that had nothing on being on a farm -  add mud, cows, horses, poo and more poo!  A very cold 1800's cottage and a house full of dogs because no wanted to be outside, unless it was of course to roll in cow dung!

To say the least, I hated it - the outside of my house looked like squaller and the inside smelt like it! My daily calls to vent to my Mum couldn't be anymore, she always found a way to "put my chin up" my Friday night drive home use to be a 30 minute chat to Mum about what the weekend held, what the week was and just general mum/daughter stuff - I now hated driving home on Friday nights - I cried all the way home, they were such long drives - my mentor was not there anymore.

During these dark months I fostered and cared for some amazing souls - doggies that truly left pawprints on my heart;

"Leo the Lion"
Leo - "Leo the Lion" a rescue boy from Mildura, just 1 year old had been run over.  He arrived timid, shy, skinny and wanting love.  He reminded me so much of one of my darling boys that has crossed to the bridge, Buddy.  His characteristics were uncanny, in the 4 months he was here - he grew and developed into on of the finest rescue boys I have had the pleasure of helping.  He began to play with toys, play tug of war and love and snuggle me just like Buddy did.  He came to MPHQ to help me grieve the loss of dear Buddy - a loss I had truly been struggling with - Buddy died through vet error at only 5 years of age - and it breaks my heart every day.  Leo was a way of telling me Buddy is alive in spirit, I formed a bond so close that I wondered if I could ever bring myself to re-home him.  He and I got each other!  Deep down I knew my job was to find him the best home for the rest of his life. I made a wish list of the home I wanted for Leo.  We received more applications for Leo than any other dog at MP.  I vetted them with the help of a friend and fellow foster carer just to make sure I wasn't being biased.  But Leo told me who he liked and who he didn't.

When the right application came through I knew this was the one.  After the meet and greet I got the nod in my head that this is where Leo needed to be - on a farm - 5 acres with a young, happy little fur sister and a work from home Mum.  Leo loved to run and this home had space for him to enjoy.
The following week was handover day - I prepared myself each and everyday, I told Leo what my job was and that I was not giving him up, he will be with me always and forever in my heart.  Some dogs are no problems on handover day - but Leo - he was different.  He wondered why I was leaving him, after all we were the best of mates - we loved each other?  His new Mum watched him that day and night why he pined for me.  When I text to see how he was - she said OK - she lied - she lied to help me, but I knew - I knew because I cried for 5 hours non stop - I missed him, I missed his presence, his love and our bond and I knew he would be too. I just wanted him to know I did this for him.

2 weeks on - he is loving life - his Mum adores him, his fursister adores him and he runs all day - what more can a foster carer/rescuer want?  He will have a long, happy life with undivided attention in a secure, loving home - and I will always be a text away.  And I hope one day I will get to babysit him and keep in touch.

Bella - she is a beautiful poodle that was given up because she suffers from seizures, given up in
"Beautiful Bella"
Taree a place with little options, except euthanasia.  When I got a message from another rescue group asking if we could help - I always help when and where we can - I knew Bella had to come to MP.  The day she arrived she was overgrown and matted, but a simply loving soul.  She fitted in straight away.  She would sit on my lap at night and snuggle with me in bed, she was a gentle, loving girl.  Once her vet work was complete and I had a full understanding of her seizures I prayed that a loving home would want her with her special condition.  And they did.  Saying goodbye to this girl tore my heart strings (like they all do), she was special.  Her new Mum and Dad took her for a walk on handover day as we drove out the driveway, I will always remember this sweet girl turning around to say "where are you going" - I said onwards and upwards darling girl.  My job is done....and cried the way home.  The tears are of joy, fulfillment and love.  How do some people walk away so easily from the life of a precious doggy and some other like me fight so god damn hard for them?  Do I see something others don't? who knows - I am just so grateful that there are loving people like Bellas new home that will make sure she has the bestest life going forward.

"Barley Boo"
Barley - OMD - little tiny, pomeranian.  Anyone who knows me - knows my love for the pom!  The logo of MP is my 2 precious poms, Ruby and Toby - my first 2 doggies - the 2 that gave me the love for dogs I never knew I had.  Barley's story made me cry big time.  He was adopted from one family to another when their dog was stolen to be a companion for their disabled daughter - then a few months later the stolen dog was found.  He and Barley did not get along and Barley suffered from small seizures so the family decided to put Barley to sleep.  Luckily the vet discussed the option of surrender.

When this sweet boy arrived in care I thought to myself how does such a good dog end up in this situation - why do people not want them forever? Barley was adorable, polite, toilet trained, loving and just a "munchkin".  My team never thought I would re-home him - but I had to do what is right for dog - its always about the dog - he needed a quiet, loving home.  Would someone love Barley like I do? Will they look after his seizures, will they make sure he eats the right food as he suffers from hypothyroidism? will he never move again?  You got it - he found the perfect home! OMG - I could not have asked for anything better for this little one and most of all a loving Mum who will always remain in contact.

When your foster bubbas move on - you always miss them, you miss the routine you do for them, the little conversations you have with them and I think about them all the time.  They never leave me.  But as soon as one bag is packed another one is arriving....


We were asked to holiday care a sweet old gent while his owner was in hospital - this day will stay with me until the day I die.  Sharon and I arrived at a home (after spending an afternoon at a MP function) that was housing a hoarder and there lay a dying dog surrounded by his own faeces and urine.  My heart sunk.  Sunday afternoon our vet opens for us as we rush this dear boy to help.  We were told not to hold much hope this dog was in a bad way, I was shaking, my heart pounding and my head spinning - do what you can I ask....please, I do not wish for any animal to pass away in this condition.  I said to Sharon - Shaz, even if we get one day with this boy, he will pass away on the grass, in the sun with loving arms around him.
That night I came home exhausted.  I prayed to my dearest Mum in the sky to see this boy through the night.  I had a shower and I simply cried my eyes out - another view of our world and animal cruelty I had never witnessed.  Life can be very hard for those with mental illness but do we really think of the furry friends that suffer too?

8am the next morning Sharon and I are at the vet our dearest Raphael is sitting up - oh lord - is this for real? 6pm that night he is home!  His blood tests were perfect - Raph was dying from depression.  We made it to his rescue just in time.

Marlee - a 9 month old Poodle - obviously interbred - he is deaf with neurological disorder, rescued from a breeder because his testicles didn't drop? thank the lord - or no doubt they would have kept breeding from him.  The dear family that adopted him made the hard decision to surrender him as they could not put the care into Marlee that he required.

Will and Grace - 3 years and 6 months - Mother and Son found as strays wondering the streets of Mannum.  Our local vet asked if we could take them in - of course we can I say!!!

My house went from a retirement village to a kindy yard over night!!!!  OMG - young dogs are such hard work.  Marlee and Will run amok!  Marlee is so challenging, his deafness creates new trials, but with his neuro disorder and being a puppy I am learning and researching daily on how to help this boy to have a happy, long life.  He doesn't understand a lot and gets very frustrated with the pack and there are lots of scraps (but no injuries) and I am becoming very good at sign language, his bark is a high pitched squeal and goes on forever!

Tara - arrived with her sister Lizzie - but together they form a "pack" and guard - guard badly.  Their history is another sad story.  Having lived in a bedroom their lives together in their own urine and faeces looking out for each other.  Why have a pet I ask?
Tara is an adorable girl, all she wants is to be loved, loved by her human.  Have a human all to herself. But she is a challenge, she likes me to herself and tells my pack that with authority - we have had a few scraps and when I am here I can take control but when I am at work I wonder what she is doing to be the "boss".  She doesn't like being separated and will find her way over or under fences to be part of the family.  I truly hope that I can find her the best home where she will be an only dog and be truly adored - she craves it and she deserves it.  Stay tuned....

Then I was asked to help a dear boy who's human Mumma is in a shelter due to domestic violence.  This dear boy - Mr. P. was so utterly scared at the vet clinic no one could touch him.  Sharon and I arrive to collect him after work - he slipped the collar and got off - oh hell! what a nightmare.  20 minutes later we grabbed him after 2 nasty bites on my arm and plenty of bruising!  4 days at HQ he was left separate as he was scared as hell, he would show his teeth and growl if I was to go near him, he took shelter under my garden setting and I let him be.  On the 5th day he ran to the fence for cuddles and pats - my heart sang!  He had turned the corner, he knew he was not going to be hurt here.  2 weeks in this boy is part of the family already - even sleeping in bed with me!!!  He is here for a 6 month stay and I hope he gets to see some real happiness.

  I think back 5 years or so and wonder where did all this patience come, because trust me patience is not something I have every been big on?  I think it is just because if everyone gives up on these guys who will be left to truly help them - we cannot all put our head in the sand so to speak - and if I give up - what would I do with my time?  to be honest - this is my passion, this is my heart and my soul - it is bloody tiring, it hurts my head and my heart but once you know something - you can never un-know it!