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!

Sunday, 11 October 2015


I have decided to start writing a blog - when I can, so not sure how often it will appear, but I have decided to do it for a number of reasons;

* To vent
* To explain
* To help process my daily life as a rescuer
* I also research quite a bit about every dog that comes into MP care that requires special treatment - remedies, medicines, ways of life etc and I want to share them
* To share what goes on behind the scenes without jamming facebook
* To be there for people that are interested
* And for something to look back on in years to come

Moving Paws was created in 2011 because I had personally helped re-homed cats and dogs and birds for people that could not take them to their new residences when they moved home (or had left them behind). I found these animals through my day job as a real estate associate.  It opened my eyes that there was a need for animals and a need for people to be helped.

4 years on I can personally say I never thought it would have got to this size, even though we are small - we certainly do our bit.  My eyes have been opened to so much - like they say - once you know - you can never un-know - how true it is.  There certainly have been days/weeks where I have seriously thought I could not go on.  The workload at times can overcome you, the responsibilities, the paperwork, the emails, the interactions etc all build up and you do feel like running away, but its always about the dogs - ALWAYS and that's what keeps me going.

I work full time, most weeks a 6 day week to earn a living - an average living - but money can't buy happiness they say.  I believe I am very lucky to be employed, in an environment where people appreciate just how much Moving Paws means to me.  Without the passion this organisation brings I am not sure what I would do.

This year has been one of my more challenging years with the loss of my biggest supporter and mentor, my dearest Mum.  The most loving, straight forward, honest women you will never meet. Always told me how it was, always gave me encouragement, was always my back up - she was only ever a phone call away.  I miss her beyond words, but I know she's still working MP from the skies - I feel it.

In this time my team have stepped up - two wonderful gals Shaz and Michelle have helped me immensely with running the MP show, they have taken on board the marketing, foster care co-ordination and fundraising without a hitch.  I have no words that will thank them enough for the help they have given me, for 3 months I pretty much lived in a bubble just breathing and getting through each day, then I am sure Mum gave me a slap from above and told me to "get on with it".

Only 6 weeks after the passing of Mum, we farewelled one of our first rescues Henry to the bridge, he was Nannas boy and I am sure he couldn't live without her.  This was such a hard time.

I hope in each posting I can bring some insight into rescue - from the rescuer.

Deb. x

(My dear Mum and Henry - Xmas Day 2013.)