Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday – Rescued: A Dog Named Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day to this boy…
What a story!
On Sunday, February 9th, Larry and I were driving to dinner during a snowstorm and saw a pit bull running down Ladue Road. In the 16 years I’ve known Larry and have driven around Ladue, I have never seen a stray dog there, let alone a pit bull!
We tried to coax him into the car, but he was terrified. Turning onto Lindbergh Blvd., we followed him as he ran along the middle concrete barrier. With our flashers on, we drove slowly alongside him with

the door open.  I even stopped and got out, but he took off.  A few cars behind us could see the dog and what we were trying to do. By this time it was snowing hard and the streets were covered.  He stopped in a parking lot to eat scraps he’d found, so we pulled in. A nice guy in his early 20s saw us and pulled over to offer crackers. The dog’s ribs were showing, and he was obviously starving. He lowered his head and eyed me as a I got out of the car and moved towards him, not sure whether he should continue eating the scraps and risk being captured, or skip the meal and run.

Fear won, and he ran.
He ran down a side street, so I followed him, but my car was sliding in the snow. Larry had had enough of Lynne’s Rescue Rover mission and wanted to eat. I’m sure he regretted letting me drive to dinner. But we lost sight of the dog anyway, so…
Mission aborted.
Back at home, I posted on Facebook the video I took of him running, hoping someone would see it and  catch him.  I couldn’t get him out of my head. It was freezing outside. How would he survive? What if he got hit by a car? 
Four days later, that’s what happened.
On February 13th, a girl named Tracy, whom I didn’t know, messaged me on Facebook that she saw a picture of a dog who’d been hit by a car that night that looked like the one I had posted.  We found through Facebook messages that he was taken to Animal Control. The town where he was hit, St. Charles, was 12 miles away. I didn’t see how it could possibly be the same dog. 
But it was.
Unbelievably, we found through witnesses (via Facebook) that the dog had first been hit on the morning of February 13th, somehow ran another mile, and was hit again at 6:00 at night, this time severely. A police officer stopped traffic and several people helped secure the dog. He was taken to Animal Control, where Tracy knew the supervisor, and we were told he’d be taken to a vet the next morning.  On the morning of February 14th, I drove 35 minutes in the snow and sleet to see the dog whom the vet had named Valentine.  After finding out he had a dislocated and severely fractured femur and abrasions everywhere, and knowing that normally in this case Animal Control would have him euthanized because they don’t have the funds to save a severely injured stray dog with no microchip or tags, Tracy and I decided to save him.  So many people – especially ME! – had put too much time, energy and emotion into him to let him die.
We got a rescue, CAPA, to back him, but we agreed to be financially responsible, as they, like so many small rescues, are extremely short on funds.  With Animal Control’s permission, I drove him to VSS, a specialty veterinary hospital.  His options were amputation of the severely broken leg or a femoral head and neck excision to try to save it. I opted to save it. He had surgery that night, February 14th.  I left VSS at 4:00 in the afternoon and hurried home to my human valentine…just in time for dinner  🙂
Valentine will need follow up visits and physical therapy but otherwise is doing very well. The police officer who was on the scene is interested in adopting him, so we’ve kept him in the loop.
In the meantime, if anyone could please donate to his surgery and care, I would really, really, REALLY appreciate it! Thank you so much 🙂 Even five or 10 dollars…it all adds up!
You can also see updates on his Facebook page at Valentine’s Journey 
If you’re unable to donate, please go to his page, “like” it and share or share this blog post. Thank you all!! 

Picture I took as he was running down Lindbergh on February 9th. Heavy snow started falling (you can see it a little bit in the light near the top of the picture) and within ten minutes the streets were covered.
He had a loose collar on

The picture posted on February 13th after he had been hit by at least two cars…once in the morning and this time, which was at 6:00 at night. You can see his dislocated back left leg.

Skinny baby 😦 at Animal Conrol

This is at the first vet’s office before I took him to VSS

It was February 14th when he was taken from Animal Control in the morning to the vet, where they named him Valentine

I spent four hours at the first vet as we tried to figure out what to do and to find a rescue to back him. This vet office kitty snuggled up to me as I waited 🙂

At the first vet’s office, they gave him pain medicine, so he was pretty loopy when I saw him

Transferring him from the first vet’s office to my car for the ride to VSS

The day after surgery

A pain patch on his shoulder 

The poor boy was a mess…His underside was black and blue

And everything was swollen 😦
But he felt better every day and was released on Monday, four days after surgery.
Tracy took him to the doggie daycare she owns, which is where he is now.
The first night out of the hospital…
He has a heart-shaped freckle on the tip of his nose
I made a valentine for my Valentine

Below are short video clips….
I took this of him running down Lindbergh on February 9th.

The day I took him from Animal Control to VSS for his surgery. He had been slightly sedated here in preparation for surgery:
Leaving the hospital:
His first night out of the hospital he was crying because he didn’t want to be alone. He was used to the bright hospital lights and people everywhere:
He knows “shake”!
He was very quiet and aloof the first few days. We weren’t sure if he was friendly, but look at that tail wag…finally! 
Thank you to all the people involved….those who went out in the snowstorm to look for him the first night I sent out a plea; Tracy who helped me find him, is giving him tender loving care, made him a Facebook page, and is helping to raise funds; the police officer who stopped traffic and was with him when he was hurt; everyone who has donated; and everyone who has visited him. 
For all who have cared…thank you.


Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday – Where Are They Now?

Pretend it says “Raise the Woof Thursday
A while back I posted on Stray Rescue’s Facebook page this collage I made of my friend Sandy’s dog, Normm.  It got over 1,000 “likes.” It may just be coincidence, but  recently Stray Rescue began a feature called Where are They Now?, before and after stories of severely injured dogs at the time of rescue and today in their new homes. I think it’s wonderful!

And guess what? The most recent Where are They Now?  featured Normm!

Look how happy he is with Sandy and her husband Steve:   Normm today

Read this!! The original Stray Rescue story of Normm’s rescue still makes his mom cry.

He celebrated his 3rd birthday at doggie daycare a few days ago. Love you, Normm!

The Watering Bowl does pictures like this for birthdays 🙂

Outside Dog Goes to the Vet

I visited our friend a few days ago. He was as lovable…


and playful as ever
He’s two years old and has never been to a vet. We asked his family a while back if we could take him. They said okay. We made an appointment, but when the time came we weren’t sure if they’d actually let us. Would you let some strangers take your dog and hope they brought him back? But we should have known they would. Anyone who keeps their dog in the yard day in and day out obviously doesn’t care about him.

His appointment was yesterday. Two of us went because we weren’t sure how he’d react to the car ride.  We knocked on the door and asked if we could take him to the vet. The girl who answered said she’d ask her brother since it’s his dog. She left, came back a few seconds later and said okay.  Getting him in the SUV was quite a feat. He wouldn’t jump in.  I was scared to pick him up, thinking he’d bite out of fear. Sandy lured him with salami through the other door, I picked up his rear end, and in he went.

But he was terrified. 

We planned to take him to a self-service dog wash for a bath before his appointment. But the car ride changed our minds. It was obvious he’d never been in a car. His eyes got HUGE. He huddled in the corner and panted like crazy.  We decided a bath and vet appointment would be too much for one day, so we went to the park instead. Watching him there was like seeing a hearing-impaired child get cochlear implants and hear his mother’s voice for the first time.  It was like he had a big thought bubble over his head…”So THIS is what I’ve been missing!”” He was so excited, barking at the ducks and trying to get in the lake for a swim.  Can you imagine? He’s about 2 years old and all he’s seen is his backyard.

He really wanted to get in

We got in the car again (he jumped in on his own this time) and drove to the vet’s office.  We had some time, so we all sat on the grass. He loved having all of his favorite ladies doting on him.

Gah!! His smile, I love it.

When he walked into the office he was afraid of the tile floor. He flattened his body to the ground and army crawled. He trusted us so much, though, that he went wherever we led him. 

Sandy and I didn’t want to go in the treatment room because we didn’t want him to associate us with shots and what-not. Instead, (lucky us) we got to witness a girl — who 20 minutes earlier we’d seen carrying a dog into the office, with his little head poking out of a blanket and very much alive — rush from a treatment room sobbing hysterically. Without her dog. I couldn’t bear that she didn’t have anyone to hold her after obviously having her dog put to sleep. I wanted to hug her, but she rushed out the door and into her car, where we could see her crying for 10 minutes before she finally drove off. And of course by then I was crying. Oh my gosh, I could NOT work in a vet’s office if I had to see that every day.  
“Well, hello there handsome!”

Sandy and I listened through the door, smiling like proud parents when Donna and the vet repeatedly said, “GOOD BOY!!!” every time he tolerated a shot or blood draw or poke in the rear. He did sooooo well… 

…even when held down by two people for a nail trim!

When the worst of it was over, Sandy and I came in to check on our boy.

The good news? Heartworm negative. Fecal testnegative. Ears looked dirty but otherwise normal. He does have fleas, so we got flea meds and heartworm preventative. 

This is the cutest picture of him. He was in love with the vet.

We stopped to say hi to the kitties to see how he’d react. One kitten hissed at him (still hissing in this picture) and he jumped back. He’s a big baby. I think he’d be cat friendly.

“Will you be my friend?”

He was so proud when we left. I swear he trotted out of there, like, “Oh yeah, piece of cake.” 

The car ride was still a little iffy.  He lost his balance during turns and didn’t like that.  It was awful taking him back after being with him for a few hours and seeing more of his cute personality. We put him in the yard, and he tried so hard to get back out the gate to go with us. We filled his water bowl and kissed him goodbye. “We’ll be back, we promise.” 

Next step? Neuter. Not sure how we’re going to pull this off…

Before (Abuse and Neglect) and After (TLC): Dog Rescue Transformations

Over the years I’ve collected Facebook pictures of rescued dogs and turned them into before and after collages.

Before  abused, neglected or tortured by evil subhumans

After – cared for by loving angels
I know some of these are hard to look at, but bear with me, because


And don’t miss the pictures of my friends’ dogs and their amazing stories at the end.

Someone called Stray Rescue to report a dead dog (below). Randy and his team arrived to find he was actually alive, but barely. His story was shown on the media, and Former St. Louis Blues President John Davidson and his family adopted him!  Read Pearson’s Stray Rescue story
The following dogs were either fostered or adopted by my friends:
Randy, from Stray Rescue, found Normm in an area known for dog fighting.  Normm’s leg, swarming with maggots, was so infected and neglected for so long that it ate through the bone.  His leg had to be amputated, but he recovered…
…and now goes to the doggie daycare where I work.  He doesn’t even look like the same dog. I love this picture of him. He looks so happy. To really get a grasp of Normm’s transformation, you need to read Normm’s rescue story. It’s incredible.
Run, Normm, Run!

I made this collage:

My friend Sandy (right) adopted Normm. (By the way, can you believe Sandy is 67?)
My friend Lynn adopted Olivia, whom Randy had named Our Little Girl. Read Olivia’s rescue story
but be forewarned that Randy titled it “One of the Worst Days I can Remember.” A group of us planned to attend Olivia’s abuser’s court hearing a few weeks ago, but it was postponed. Olivia even has her own Facebook page called Friends of Olivia.
Olivia is now thriving and gorgeous. She goes to the doggie daycare where I work, and I absolutely ADORE her…she is the biggest goofball! Here she is with her brother Cabbage, also from Stray Rescue.
Photo by Lynn
Photo by Lynn
My friend Kelly’s foster, Dakari, had mange so bad that her skin bled when touched…

…Now named Gabby (left), she’s living the good life with her brother Dink
Gamble (below) was in bad shape when Randy found him. My friend Nancy took him home as a foster and fattened him up to become a beautiful boy! Sadly, after being with her for a few months he was found to have prostate cancer. He became a permanent member of their family, and was spoiled and loved until the day he died.  (Love you, Gam Gam!)
After Gamble died, Nancy fostered this puppy named Destin. I don’t remember his story, but obviously he was neglected and starved…
…and here he is after only a few weeks with her.  He’s since been adopted by a family.
Nancy’s newest foster, Handsome Harry (sweetest thing ever)…
Another one of Kelly’s mange fosters, Cool Hand Luke (Luke)…
…and after, with his adoptive family
Peeps (below), found on Easter, had been stabbed in the side and her neck sliced open. (Yes, people really do this.) She was fostered by my friend Sally and is on a trial visit with a potential family. You can see one of her scars in the picture below, but she’s healing beautifully, and is so friendly.
My friend Kathleen’s dog, Aylen, was found by Randy barely able to sit up.
Kathleen adopted her and spoils her rotten. Here she is with her brother Charlie, also a Stray Rescue dog.

To all my friends who foster and to all the angels who rescue, THANK YOU from the bottom of MY heart…and THEIRS.

Dog Rescue Takes Teamwork!

Yesterday I got to help save a puppy. She had only a few days left at a rural Missouri shelter before being killed due to lack of space. With our little “crew” of rescuers, transporters, and fosters on Facebook we did it! We saved a life.

 Look at this face…

Isn’t she adorable? She’s a 12-week-old husky mix.

It felt good to be part of the reason she’s alive, but it’s crazy how much teamwork is involved…for ONE dog.

First, our Facebook friend Aimee saw that this puppy was in danger.  Aimee routinely checks this particular shelter’s website for dogs in danger of being killed.  She notified us on FB that time was up for this pup.

Another friend who operates a rescue agreed to be responsible for vet care and post the dog on its website…IF someone offered to foster.

My friend Kelly (of course) offered to foster.  Usually the foster gets to name the dog. Hence, Olivia.

Another friend, Becky, offered to drive the puppy from the shelter to an animal hospital closer to St. Louis, where the dog was treated and given vaccinations.

Kelly had to work, so I picked the puppy up from the vet, took her home for a bath and then to Kelly’s.

The foster (Kelly, in this case) gets the hard/fun job of potty training and snuggling a puppy or adult dog and watching it thrive.  She socializes it with other dogs and people, takes it for spay/neuter (or I take them since she works) and then finds it a good home through adoption events or the rescue’s website.

I love that everyone helps in whatever way they can:

Aimee has a toddler, so her role in rescue is limited but crucial. She is a crossposter and is the best plea-er / beggar around.  She is relentless and refuses to let a dog die on her “watch.” I’m sure her family and friends are maxed out on dogs.

No dogs would be saved, of course, if it weren’t for the rescues who agree to take on a dog and its baggage, which could include thousands of dollars in medical bills. SO PLEASE DONATE, especially to small rescues!

Without fosters, the rescues couldn’t save dogs from shelters. With only so much space in their own homes, where would they put them?

Transporters drive the dogs to their destinations. Sounds menial, but with dogs being saved from all over the country or in this case the state, transporters are essential.

I wish I could do more, because it’s the most gratifying feeling in the world knowing a life was saved because of something I did. I can’t imagine how fosters must feel.

Maybe some day…


"Leave It" Challenge and My Crazy Dog Friends

My Stray Rescue friends and I have a Facebook page with about 90 members where we share pictures, exchange advice and sometimes vent. The posts range from funny to downright bizarre (think dog poop). We get together for Happy Hour once a month with a turn out of 20-30 people. Several members are seriously involved in rescue, so just about every day someone on our page is saving a dog from death who is about to be euthanized due to lack of space in a shelter or rescuing a dog tied to a tree in a backyard without food, water or shelter. We all pitch in by contributing money, offering to transport, foster, or knock on someone’s door with an offer to pay for a neglected dog, with some made up story about a dog once loved who looks just like theirs.  We’ve driven around searching for each other’s lost dogs and cross posted for dogs found. We’ve done it all. I LOVE our group. 
I also love the Star Thrower story, which epitomizes what we do and the fact that we can’t save them all (See bold type):

Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Besides saving dogs, we also have a TON of fun on our page.  Here’s an example:  
One member posted a picture of her foster dog performing the “leave it” command with his absolute favorite treat in the whole world….
Huber – Pizza Leave It
Next thing you know, everyone started posting their dogs…
Scarlett – Lion’s Choice Hamburger Leave It

Banker – Popcorn Leave It

Hannah – Cheese Leave It

Canada – Cheeto Leave It

This is my favorite!!! Ellie – Double Paw Hot dog Leave It

Aries – Milkbone Leave It

Gamble – Turkey Leave It
Huber (again) – Cheeseburger Leave It
Wojo – Cheeseburger Leave It

Murphy – Marshmallow Leave It
Stella – PBJ sandwich crust Leave It
Vinnie – Double Paw Meatloaf Leave It
Sydney – Pretzel Leave It
Even Combo participated…

Combo – Beefy Treat Leave It
 And then it started getting a little ridiculous….
Lisa – Carb Leave It

Etta – Milkbone Leave It with a little help from Photoshop

(Apparently Etta hasn’t quite mastered “leave it,” but her dad didn’t want her to feel left out)

There you have it…my crazy dog friends.

I Could Never Do Animal Rescue…

My Stray Rescue friend, Donna, who is in charge of hikes with the shelter dogs, took me with her on a rescue.  This dog was reported on Facebook to be tied up to a lawn mower in a back yard for three days and nights with no food or water.  

We weren’t sure what our plan was once we got to the house.  Mostly we just wanted to size up the situation and see if it called for drastic measures, like stealing the dog accidentally cutting the rope and having him jump in our car.

Armed with my weapon camera and Donna with her cowboy boots and demeanor so friendly she could talk a bulldog off a meat truck, we found the neighborhood (near the airport) and the house, and from there we played dumb.  

As we walked to the door of the house next door, the little girls in this picture said to us, “Nobody lives there.”  Which was perfect because from this backyard we had a perfect view of the yard the dog was in. We wandered to the back, pretending to look for someone “we could have sworn lived at this address…”

And there he was.  No longer tied to the lawn mower but to a tree.

Curled up and sleeping because that’s all he could do…

He looked up when he saw Donna.
I thought he would bark…

But he’d probably been beat for doing that…

Instead he just wiggled his behind…

Happy for attention.

Trying to get closer to Donna, he whimpered and got tangled in the already too short rope.

The owner was in the back yard barbecuing! But he’d gone inside and didn’t see Donna. She came over to where I was hiding and said, “Now what?”  Before I could answer, she went around the front and there he was. She told him a story about a “wrong address” and mentioned how beautiful his dog was. When she asked him the dog’s name, he said, “I don’t know, we call him ‘Fatso'” and told her he’d been causing trouble and was in time out for pooping in the house.  He was an “accident”; his female dog gave birth to him about eight months ago, so he’s just a puppy.

Donna again told him what a beautiful dog he had and would he consider taking $100 for him.  The man, who we now refer to as Mr. Worthless BBQ Man or MWBBQM for short, perked up at the idea – “A hundred dollars, really?” – but then said he’d have to check with his wife’s family. Donna told him to think about and she’d get back to him.  

Donna came back and told me about their conversation. I also had a $100 bill stashed in my wallet and said, “Let’s offer him $200.  I bet he’ll take it.” I was excited because I knew if he entertained the idea of taking $100 for the dog, for sure he’d take $200, and this dog’s suffering would be over. We were so close!  I was feeling very impulsive…almost “high.” I just wanted to get him!

But then Donna ruined it…

“What do we do once we have him?”

To which we had no answer.  Donna has 6 dogs of her own (7 when she’ll have her son’s dog this summer).  And my husband doesn’t share in, nor does he have tolerance for, my dog rescue passion. He doesn’t even like dogs if they’re bigger than shih-tzus.

So we left.

And it absolutely killed me.

Donna reminded me that there are a lot of dogs worse off than this one.  That made me feel a little better.  But not much.  Especially the next morning when it was 39 degrees and I found out that MWBBQM tied the dog to the tree at 5:00 that morning and there he stayed all day with no water. It’s now been seven days that we know of. He takes the dog in at night, but the neighbor told us the “inhuman” puts “Fatso” and the female dog on top of each other in a crate big enough for only one dog. When the neighbor put water in a bucket for him, MWBBQM kicked it over.

That, my friends, is why I could never do rescue.  I want them all to have loving homes and be spoiled rotten and sleep on the couch and have yogurt parfaits every afternoon and go for walks in the park and tubing on the lake and swimming in the pool.

I want to save them all.  

And I can’t.

I have one question I hope you can answer.

Why have a dog if you’re going to neglect or abuse it?

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