Rescue Journal

a few things out of the way before we continue the bonded stuff

Carol  ·  Jan. 27, 2010

our two strays were reclaimed by their family today..i not sure if this is good or bad news but the girls will remain together, they are mother and daughter dogs.

max really is unwell, cardiac or or the other is probably toast. in august his heart disease was 5/5, even with treatment, so it could be either one. eventually all of the other organs fail with the failing heart (end stage cardiac disease can lead to a multi-systems failure).

i am yet again bumping murph out of his appointment tomorrow to take max in instead (i am on afternoon shifts so i can only do one vet apointment a day)..i have rebooked murph and little big bud on monday..lets hope i can finally get him in there.

the pound has another lab with a giant tumour for us...she was a frequent flyer, like... multi-digit impoundments...this time her family paid her fine and walked out without her....sigh..i will look at her early next week.

remember zues..the dobie we sponsored but didn't come here? he went off to his adoptive home today..fingers crossed that all goes well for him and he doesn't eat any more pot scubbers!

so.... more to say on the strongly bonded.
firstly let me define strongly.....have you ever had a "heart dog?" you remember what that relationship meant to you? you felt about that dog and what amazing light and warmth, he or she brought into your life?

how would you feel if someone came in and pulled you apart "for your own good" you would focus more on your friends or more on your job or more on your family who maybe wasn't quite as important to you?

if we accept that animals are emotional creatures, capable of unique and special and deep and lasting relationships with us...why do we devalue the life long and special relationships that they SOMETIMES develop with each other as less important, less treasured by them than what they would form with a human?

true love is a gift...are we saying that animals cannot feel abiding love for each other, that they can only feel it with us? or do we really think that they don't really feel true love but we are too afraid to actually say this?

it makes no sense to me that an emotional creature cannot feel love or anger or hate or fear or happiness. so if i believe they do feel emotions, like love..who am i to say who they can love and who they should not because it doesn't happen to be convenient.

i have absolutely no doubt in my mind that buddy and sissy not only loved, but needed each other. i have absolutely no doubt in my mind that chica and suzie deeply love and need each other.

i have no doubt in my mind that jesse and lucas and also reggie and 4lane absolutely HATE the other...they despise the other to all exclusion of anyone else in the world.

do you know that the fruitloop trio who once were totally only one is still true feral and that is sunny. and sunny only comes to me for loving when tango and mango are having a love fest with me. he cannot resist their loving is a magnet to him. the only reason i can ever touch him is because the other two bring him to me. and this doesn't always work either...dixie is feral and she doesn't give a shit who is loving me..she thinks i am a monster and she doesn't care if the ones that she loves, actually love me too.

i had ogidie for almost a year before he ever came to me. and he did not come to me because he wanted me...he came to me because he was driven to be near the orphan kittens i was feeding. his absolute complusive need for them created a lasting friendship bridge between him and me.

squirt learned to love me from watching the other dogs. all of the fearful ones learn that i am their friend because the other dogs all want me so much. they don't intially trust me....they trust if everyone else likes me..what the heck, it must be safe to like me too and soon i am their also trusted friend. even andy now comes with everyone else to put his feet up on me to say hello. it has taken 5 years to get that dog to acknowledge me when i am not holding food.

so two things come to mind here...first a sketchy animal's trust in an animal who happens to love humans can easily be used as a tool to foster a healthy relationship with that sketchy animal if you have the time and patience to do this. (and the understanding that there is no crystal ball to see how far any relationship will go)

and secondly...we will never as a society truly respect the animals that we vow to protect UNLESS we acknowledge that sometimes their relationships with each other are as heartfelt and lasting and true as the relationships that they can and do sometimes forge with us.

i believe animals who live in emotional want, in emotional pain, in a vacuum of a loveless world will form a deep love and need for a kindred spirit animal who shares that barren life with them (ie buddy and sissy.) i believe animals who have spent their entire lives together in friendship and trust can consider another animal, their true life partner and care for them as much as us (ie chica and suzie.) i believe that animals who have never met before can develop and grow a love story that lasts the rest of their lives. and yes they can, when one life ends, love another as much (scrappy and lotus, ogidie and dixie, dixie and now sunny, percy and jeanette, percy and spot, percy and joy....maybe sissy one day with someone else.) and i do believe they remember that lost love forever...and thank god death stole it away from them and not me.

and i also believe that once you really and truly love...loving others comes more naturally and it never takes love away for grows not shrinks.

i just want folks to think of the possibilities of the depth of emotions the animals can invest in the ones that they choose....not all of them find that true and forever love...but some of them do.

for the ones that found we have a right for any reason to arbitrarily take it away?

i don't think that we do.

i think we should support it, protect it, to treasure it as something special and help them to keep very safe.

(and i will over the next few weeks post MANY heartfelt pleas on saving my hair because my hair is almost as important to me (but not quite) as their happiness!)



I appreciate the time I have spent up at Saints lately. When my old dog, Kayla (16 yrs.) recently passed, I felt her loss so intensely. I knew that I had to go through the natural process of grief, but I needed something to help move me through it. Saints has helped alot. I gravitated to Doris the first time I saw her- she was laying so quiet on her little bed, she reminded me of Kayla. My walks with her have been special. She has more get up and go than I'd thought. I've walked her several times to the end of Kirkpatrick and back. That's quite a trek for Doris and it was her choice to go that far. Whenever I'd tug her a bit to head back, she'd face the opposite way and sit down. Stubborn. Has her own mind, just like Kayla.
Robert, too is enjoying these dogs/cats/bunnies.Well, he's just a typical animal lover.
My Kayla was lucky- she was loved and doted on for 16 yrs. It feels nice to see others give to the animals at Saints, some that have never experienced a loving home and are now on their last stretch.


well...maybe by the weekend but maybe not. she only came to me for a cuddle today cuz the staff had stacked up the beds to wash the floors.


I am thinking of Sissy all the time and want very badly to see her & touch her, I want her smiling eyes & happy dance to greet me when I come in, I want her to get the Zoomies & whip around the living room, I want to slip her a special treat on the sly & laugh as she rushes back to her bed to comsume it slowly enjoying each nibble... I know it is not all about me, but that is what I want


and sheila..good points...remember cuddles..who was so totally bonded to me? he bonded equally to kathy k. what was interesting about him is...the first time she brought him back for a visit...he never thought twice..he velcro'd on to me and followed all around until it was time to go home...being bonded to me here was his god given job.

the second time she brought him...he was conflicted. he did his job again, like he was supposed to and jumped to stay with me where ever i went but the whole time he was worried about where kathy was and what she was doing in the back of his head.

this supports my theory (in my mind at least) that yes they can bond deeply with another but that original bond is never gone.

the other thing to understand is the difference in bonding...many dogs bond to human or animal deeply out of necessity more than actual choice. those ones wil;l bond easily again with another...look at percy and joy. percy HAS to be bonded to another, when one goes, we find him another....and he bonds deeply with them.

it is the choice ones that i am talking is about sissy who is still laying in an empty bed and feeling the emptiness inside her. she is literally trying to sleep thru this loss because part of her is now dead.

dogs can feel that another one is the other half of them...those are the bonds that we don't break because they lose half of themselves....i highly doubt that sissy will ever bond with another, like she did with buddy..that was a once in a lifetime relationship, not a dime a dozen.

the trick is to know that these kinds of life long, soul to soul bonds between animals do occur and to not in our innocent ignorance...mess them up.


that is another interesting thing cathy...many people in rescue living with multiple dogs will tell you that they have more problems with female vs female instead of male vs male or female.

i usually live with about an even mix of males to females (15f vs 18m currently) and i find little gender influence at all in the relationships...phoebe is a hag to everyone and so is jerry...the dogs who are utter enemies with one particular dog only, this time around, are all males...dusty sucks with big dogs but is ok with small is size that makes her jump them she never gets around to finding out sex (big dogs are a threat to her because of her blindness)

but i think the female vs female gender thing is a big myth...i think it is more about individual personalities, the gender thing is just a coincidence.
and if you look at the pack mentality and the genetic roots our dogs came from...healthy, productive packs always have significantly more females than males living cooperatively together, it is a promote the reproduction of the species genetic survival male and many females can produce many more offspring....than one female vs many males. the multiple roaming males in the north, raping the lone female is a natural abhorration..too many males to females is an imbalance that nature never intended.

this is a totally unsupported opinion on my part for those who believe in the female vs female aggression no point in taking me too seriously, it is just my personal experience.


I'm very thankful Saints treats each animal as an individual and not a 'one size fits all'. Each animal has different needs and Carol goes to great lengths to understand and then act i.e. Fodo's trailer...that's what makes Saints so special and I wouldn't want it any other way.
I see we are slowly losing our edge on the Shelter Vote..tell friends and family!


Having had several dogs in my house at any point in the last many years, I have found that sometimes it seems like some of the dogs can't stand another. However, when that one crosses the bridge, they still seem to pine for them and get depressed. Maybe more so with the females that I've had. It really amazes me sometimes the dynamics of it all.


I don't disagree with a lot of what you say here Carol. Having had many fosters - the one thind I do know is that many of the dogs don't bond with us first it is with Patrick. Butch was not really interested in me when he came home - He got all excited though when he saw Patrick. Butch lived on a farm with another dog that use to beat on him. When I saw Butch at the shelter being turned in and he and the other dog were curled together and the other dog had her head over Butch's. I went awww... and Leila had to tell me that it wasn't awww.... that the other dog was possessing Butch. So what does that mean that Butch at 2 years of age was bonded to a dog that was not so nice so much so that he liked Patrick more than me... Hey maybe dogs are like humans.

With Boomer the dog who was bonded to his brother ... what I observed was I think animals may do more than humans do... Animals are much more opportunistic in their relationships. So Boomer was very bonded with his brother because they were back yard dogs that were ignored and when they got out - the owners didn't come looking for them. Much like the two dogs that you met yesterday. He didn't have anyone else - when he came to our house he learned (granted it took a loooong while) that he could be bonded to us. In fact when Boomer went back to be reassessed the assessor said to Leila oh look how bonded he is to you. He is going to be difficult to rehome. Leila didn't say anything but was thinking that is why he can be rehomed because he does bond so deeply. And he did quickly bond with his guardians and this is a dog who for the first 3 weeks wouldn't let me touch him - I mean he lived in the back room and everytime I would go back there he would run around in a circle so he wouldn't have to look at me. At the point where he entered our home he only trusted Herbie and when he left our home he learned to trust us so he trusted Matt and Catherine so much that when he came to stay with us just over a year later - he wouldn't come near us for the first evening.

And also I don't think I am making it more about being convenient for the human element by wanting Herbie and Boomer going to seperate homes and I am not disrespecting their relationship.It is probably from being around public shelters I am more realistic. This is what I see when two dogs bonded go into a home and they listen more to each other than the owner - owner thinks the dogs like each other more than him/her - owner is disappointed or unable to get dogs to listen to them - dogs get returned and loose their home.
I have had people who have adopted our fosters who want to adopt a second dog and I really, really incourage them not to until a year has gone by - so that the relationship between human and dog is really strong and established. It is a lot of work to create that relationship. It is double work to get that relationship going when there are two to be worked on at the same time.


re:the lab...folks get tired of bailing their dogs out of the pound...i have no idea why or how she kept escaping but she obviously spent lots of time unattended and was able to get loose frequently to roam around town.

this is why i like increasing pound fines with each impound as a deterent,,either folks find a way to keep their dogs home and safe or eventually they refuse to pay increasing fines and maybe the dog will find a more appropriate home.

of course a senior with a big tumour, the hope of a new home is kind of low.


apparently they were away? and the person dog sitting said the dogs disappeared yesterday but the owner did not notice they were gone until today?..they were pretty hungry and thin for just being loose for a few hours...2 very large bowls of highly boring dry high fibre food each, vaccuumed up in a few seconds...? and a large bucket of water sucked back over night? the dogs were happy to be sprung from the pound, they are both unaltered females, mother and daughter and they live outside in the yard which is why the owner did not notice they were gone when she got home until this afternoon. the owner paid their impound fine and took them home without complaint.

it is what it is..not everyone cares for their dogs the same.

Lori Paul

Did the family that reclaimed the mother/daughter strays say how long they'd been gone? Did the dogs seem happy to see them when they arrived to take them home? Did you get the sense that the people were genuinely concerned?


how could the labs family walk out without him. till the day that i die i will never understand how you can abandon an animal, that is just heartless and cruel.