Rescue Journal

i thought i had told tally's story on the blog somewhere

Carol  ·  Mar. 9, 2008

but i can't find it, so i am going to tell it again. some course language not suitable for younger audiences.

and here is how i cauterize the loss.

tally was my one and only failed foster 101

tally and bally were seized from some prick in pemberton who thought the way to keep and breed sweet and sensitive hound dogs was to keep them hungry in a tiny, fithy kennel and scare the shit out of them by tossing beer cans at the fences.

they both ended up at a rescue i was volunteering with, tally was just under two and that was 10 years ago. tally came home with me to foster briefly when ben, who was also with the same rescue (yes, he is now our ben and out in permanent foster care with saints and still a jerk) jumped tally and opened up his entire side requiring many staples to put him back together again. tally came home with me until his staples came out and tally did in fact leave...back to the shelter for 3 whole days...until he became constipated and started screaming whenever he had to poop. then he came back to me for the very last time and he never left again. bally was eventually adopted by one of my nursing co-workers. she has her own stories to tell.
tally was an emotional mess. he had never been in a house, every single thing in the world paralysed him with terror. i spent months carrying that hound around. where ever he was, was safe. so... he just did not move. if i wanted him to have a drink, i carried him to the water bowl. if i wanted him to go outside, i carried him out the door. if i wanted him to go to bed with me, i carried him up the stairs. and tally stayed where ever i put him til i carried him somewhere else.

one day i came home from work and my very ugly couch and chair and love seat were literally torn into tiny one inch pieces. the entire family room was covered in a thick pile of electric blue and green flowered fabric and tiny shreds of foam. tally sat in the middle of the disaster and his tail was wagging, rapidly, back and forth, showering the shreds everywhere. he was so happy, he had fun.

ok, so he wasn't so happy when the next day, his love seat headed out the door. he moaned, he ran back and forth. he sat on that wrecked love seat and stared in the family room glass doors for 3 solid days, refusing to come in and sit on the new stuff. (thank god it was summertime.) tally never did like me moving furniture around, he liked things to stay the same.

that was tally's healing, wrecking that familiar furniture and learning to feel safe on the new ones. tally always hit the couch whenever he was unsure. even at the vets, he would climb up onto the wooden park benches that were in the waiting room and sit there and moan, but at least he felt safer up there than on the floor. he still had his moments, pop open a pop can or a beer can and tally would dive under the backyard bushes and it would take hours to convince him to come out. set up an xpen and if the current occupent rattled the sides, the sound of rattling fencing would send him flying to the nearest and safest couch and he would stay there til he decided that fencing had nothing to do with him.

tally once, post-surgery, laid on the couch for so long, his foot fell asleep. when i finally made him get up and walk, he fell screaming to the floor. i rushed him back to the vets thinking they had somehow broken his leg and they filled him up with morphine (really, he was acting and screaming like he was in excuriating agony) and then his foot woke up and he got up and walked again and was fine.

tally was a very sensitive dog. his name was tally ho braveheart because he had a perfectly shaped black heart stamped on his side (these past few years, it had faded out to grey), but really he was a coward, we just pretended that he was brave.

tally did like chairs best. when we moved to the new saints site, i bought these little black vinyl tub chairs for the dog room. tally didn't really fit in them very well, but he still got in them anyway. kathy has some wonderful pictures of him squeezed into those too small chairs. he liked being surrounded on all sides by furniture arms and backs, small was better than nothing and that dog was made of plastercine and could bend in almost any direction anyway.

for christmas 2006, i found 2 great large leather chairs at a second hand store and brought them home for the dog room. they were tally's...if one was taken, then the other one would be free for him. one of the pictures that nicole posted is of tally in finally a chair that actually fit him.

tally grew to trust the world. tally learned that everyone he met, adored him. he made everyone feel soft and protective of him inside. tally became a dog who mostly felt safe especially if there was lots of furniture or food around. he loved to roll in 40 pounds of dead and rotting salmon when we used to go walking along the dykes, but he hated the car rides to get there...they just completely stressed him out. he loved pizza nights, and i am so sorry that we haven't had one in awhile. he had the very best voice, whenever he started to bay and carry on, he always made everyone smile. he was terrified of edith and made sure she never got anywhere near him and after winston, that jerky donkey, kicked him in the head, he never went anywhere near any of the bigger farm guys again. he would stand on the hill, overlooking the pond and bay in protest if we were too far ahead. and how he loved to lay in the fresh dry dirt and bake himself in the sun.
it is his face and his voice that i miss the most. there was just something so innocent and questioning in his song..."is it ok?, is it good?, is this a wonderful thing happening now? and can you please, please come for me because i am over here and you are not." and his face held the softness of his gentle sweet heart (plus his loose lips and big ears were fun to play with). i miss the sound of whap, whap, whap, as his lips flew sideways when he shook his head (and giant strings of drool would fly thru the air and hit a wall, or an unsuspecting human.)
he was one dog in a hundred, million, billion, trillion. he was just one dog, but he was tally ho braveheart and i was so very, very blessed, that he belonged in this life with me.



I am very sorry to hear about Tally...what a sweet dog who ended up having a good life. I bet she is watching over you!

I think I knew Bally too - did Shelley Smillie take her?


thank you, carol. reading this really did show me how far tally had come with you, emotionally and in trust. when i met him, i met a happy, easy-going, HUGE boy with an amazing howl when 'roused. :-)

Susan from Chicago

Beautiful Carol, thanks for sharing him with us, take care of yourself.



I am so very sorry for your loss. I smiled and cried while reading your Tally tales. He truly was a very special boy and I have no doubt that Heaven played a part in the two of you ending up together.

There are those animals who come into our lives and leave a big hole in our hearts when they are gone. They are not animals in the typical sense but rather our soul mates. As my daughter said one day: "I hate cats." What do you mean you hate cats - we have 3 - and you love Puddy. "Puddy is not a cat, she is a person." You know, she was right. Puddy was in our lives for only 2 years and we will all never be the same because of her. Perhaps that is how Tally Ho Braveheart is for you. God Bless You and Tally! May He heal your pain with joy.

Eva Stock

My God, I would give anything to hug Tally one more time. You are the best Tally. Thanks for rescuing Him for us to have a chance to love him Carol. Eva

Angela from NY

I keep looking at his pictures, I particularly love the 3rd one - what a face, it must be hard not to see that anymore. I remember him from the modern dog mag too - so lovely.


Thanks for this personal glimpse into Tally's life Carol. I smiled alot reading it.

I can't express in words how I feel for your loss. You know anyway.

And to the volunteers that were there loving on Tally, and loving him,I'm sorry also for the huge loss you must feel.


I am so sorry for your loss Carol. He sounds like he was a very special dog in your life and I am so glad you were able to rescue him from the horrible situation he came from and gave him a loving home for such a long time. You will have lots of puppy kisses and drool to collect when you see them all once again. Take care, Diane