Monday, August 17, 2009

Why rescues need to exist

Those of us who are volunteers see reason after reason, all in the forms of 4 legged gentle giants, why rescues like our need to exist. I often wonder if the general public, who aren't as involved in the day to day animal world, are aware of how critical our work is.
Here is just one example of how organization like ours make life changing decisions in the lives of these animals:

Last week, our CEO Lindsay, along with a few other mastiff rescues, received an email from a shelter in KS about a 2 year old Mastiff who was an owner surrender. It was explained that Bodie the Mastiff was terrified. He did not want to be touched, he did not want to walk on the leash and would submissively urinate in fear. The shelter explained they did not have the ability to screen families for such a special needs dog and if one of the rescues could not take him, he would be euthanized. Along with this email were the saddest pictures we had seen in a long time- Bodie was huddled in the corner, with such a sad look on his face.
None of the other rescues had the resources to take a dog with fear issues, so they all passed. Undeterred by Bodie's issues, Lindsay quickly agreed to accept this dog into our rescue. She than passed along his pictures to the me, knowing that unsocial, terrified dogs are my specialty...the ones that really pull at my heartstring.

My husband and I were anxious for Bodie to arrive, and had our game plan all ready for what steps we needed to go through to prepare Bodie for a new life with a new family. When Bodie arrived on Saturday night, Brian quietly sat by his crate until Bodie was ready to come out. We than spent the next hour with Bodie in the backyard, while he would not let us pet him, he was very curious about us.

And than, the strangest thing happened...this terrified dog came up to me, sat down, gave me his paw and a huge kiss. Than he made his way to Brian and did the same. We were shocked and certainly not expecting such friendly and trusting behavior. As bedtime rolled around, Bodie followed us to bed and promptly jumped in with us. We laughed and laughed.

When we woke up on Sunday we were met with friendly, happy boy. Lots of kisses, lots of paws, lots of pets, and lots of snuggling. Bodie followed Brian everywhere, and sat beneath our dining room table as Brian worked. Everytime Brian moved his foot, Bodie would inch over so he could continue to lay his head on Brian's foot. He is a wonderful dog who is so deserving of a wonderful home.

While sudden noises are a bit scary and he takes an hour or two to warm up to strangers, Bodie is certainly not the dog the shelter warned us about. He certainly did not deserve to be hours away from euthanasia.

Stories like Bodie's are occuring all over the United States. Shelters are overcrowded, dogs are terrified being there and life ending decisions are being made. We understand shelters are doing their very best, and we are so appreciative that they recognized that Bodie shouldn't go to just "any" home and reached out to us. I can't imagine the heartache of being a shelter employee when decisions like these need to be made.

Bodie's story is the perfect example of our motto" Every BIG dogs deserves a chance". Bodie's story is just one example of why we exist and why we do what we do.
We hope people in the community continue to support our cause and their local shelters too.
Bodie says " Thank you!"

Bodie and his new BFF, his foster dad Brian


  1. Kirsten and I transported this big guy to Hays. He was scared but he would come up and get petted. He has a lot of potential. I also have a special place for these scared and undersocialized dogs. That's why we adopted Ginny, and she's just an awesome dog.

  2. Wow! I stumbled unto this blog quite a while ago when i was dreaming of having a great dane or a newfie. Only dreams can happen right now, because we're still in school and living in a studio apartment where our 3 lbs. chihuahuas find it a tight fit! rest assured, when we settle into something bigger with a big yard, i'm coming to big dogs huge paws. I'm so in love with this organization! I've always wanted to run a wildlife refuge, and that's what i went to school for. but now i'm leaning more toward a doggie rescue. you guys are inspiring! keep sharing these wonderful stories.

  3. This made me cry. It makes me think of Ellis back when she was terrified but given a chance. And now she's doing so well. I'm sure Bodie will do just as well given how quickly he seems to be coming around.