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 – Farewell to Funnybone / Romeo Turns 2

My friend Donna’s dog Funnybone passed away last week. Funnybone had knee surgery not too long ago but was doing great and running around like a crazy woman.  After her morning potty break, she got back in bed and at some point passed away cuddled right up to her momma.

Blue and Donna comforting each other…

Scout misses her sidekick sister desperately, and finds comfort in sleeping in Funnybone’s bed

 Funnybone was rescued from the streets by Stray Rescue. After some time she was able to be paired with another dog. It’s exciting when dogs are paired because it means they can get along with other dogs.
Here is Funnybone just after meeting her new Stray Rescue roommate…
Donna started taking Funnybone on hikes with Four Directions Hiking, and she may have taken her home a time or two…more than likely for a bath. 
But that’s it. Donna had too many dogs already, and she certainly didn’t want a dog as bad as Funnybone.
In this picture on her Facebook page, Donna’s comment says “I ordered her not to get into my heart!”
Funnybone’s typical rebellious reaction was to do just that.
And Donna brought her home. 
For good.
And that’s when she became kind of famous. 
Donna posted pictures of her on Facebook.
She was a riot.  
 Because of People Donna’s postings, people who had never met Funnybone felt they knew 
her and were saddened by her death.
She was an absolute character. And it wouldn’t surprise me if her mom wrote a book making Funnybone the star. 
She would love that. 
Being the center of attention was her mission in life.
That and taking a piece of our hearts.
She always did get what she wanted.
I love you, sweet Bone.

  A 6-year-old boy said this:  “People are born so they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice.  Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

The very next day after Funnybone passed away, Donna wanted to proceed with plans she’d had to host a birthday party for Romeo, the dog she rescued that lived outside his entire life. Donna decided Romeo’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day, so she wanted to celebrate his turning 2.  It’s not easy to muster up a smile when you’ve just lost your best friend, but I suspect seeing this cute face made it a little easier.
Is this not the face of a dog happy to finally live inside? We all cringe to think he would be in his wooden doghouse in these snowy, below zero conditions we’ve had.
He has got to be one of the happiest, friendliest dogs I know.
Emilee and Sandy

Nancy, Romeo’s grandma, and Kelly

Donna and her baby Scout

Romeo did great with our friend Kathleen’s baby Emily

Kelly and Romeo

Romeo opened a few birthday presents

Yep, crazy dog people and proud of it

Donna, Romeo, and Kathleen’s little boy Max

Alyson, Emily, Romeo’s grandma, and Kelly. I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of Romeo’s mom, Becca!

Max fell asleep sitting up

Bittersweet week, to say the least. 
Life is that way.
Love while you can.

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 🙂

Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday

How do animals in cities with temps below zero survive without someone like Randy Grim and Stray Rescue?
On Saturday night and into Sunday, St. Louis got 10+ inches of snow.  Teaming up with the Mayor, Randy made a plea on the news to bring pets inside.  Any pets found outside, even in backyards, would be confiscated and the owners fined. I think only a few people were given citations, but Randy and his staff were busier than ever rescuing stray dogs. On Monday morning the temperature was -8 with a windchill of -20.

(You know you’re an animal person when in extreme weather all you can think about are stray and missing dogs and cats. It breaks my heart.)
Thank you, Randy, for what you do.
Here are pictures from some of his rescues:
Larry can’t believe that entire packs of stray dogs are running around and living in abandoned houses, but in some areas (especially East St. Louis), believe me, they are.
This poor guy, Francis, was not rescued in time; he passed away soon after.

One grateful pup
This poor guy had to be sedated and muzzled. He got into the car easily when rescued, but at the shelter he refused to get out, growling and baring his teeth. Apparently he liked the warmth of the car and thought he was being forced back out into the cold.  No worries, little dude, you’re safe! 
This boy, named Zero, was picked up off the streets by a police officer, who has since decided to adopt him for his little boy.
These babies, and their momma who was tied up, were all rescued.
And then there’s this….





I wish all dogs had such a choice.

Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday

The Stray Rescue staff started a wonderful system to track enrichment time spent with the shelter dogs to ensure each gets equal time. It’s not a perfect system, since some dogs are more popular with volunteers and hence they have more “fans,” but this way the love is spread more evenly as the staff fills in the gaps where needed.
There’s a key for us to follow. W = extra walk / E = enrichment outside of the shelter (park, home, etc.) / CR = car ride / A = time in apartment / Y = play time in yard / R = run
The red colored marker is for volunteers and the black marker is for staff, but the red pen got lost and the volunteers started writing “vol” next to the letter.
Some dogs are not allowed extra enrichment for various temporary reasons.

I love that Paul, an enrichment staff member, encourages staff to spend time with red collar (staff only) dogs by offering lottery tickets. These dogs don’t get a lot of enrichment time because volunteers aren’t allowed to take them out. The goal is for the dogs to become purple collar so anyone can enrich them.

My own dogs fight over enrichment time with me. Here’s how it goes:  Stella comes and sits on my lap first. KC immediately comes over, plops herself right on Stella and squeezes her out as if she’s not even there. “What? Stella? Where? I don’t see a dog.”
Poor Stella. And she’s so submissive. She quietly backs out and walks to the other end of the couch. 
And waits for her daddy to get home.

Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday

This is Stassi. I picked her up from a lady who saved her from Animal Control in Perryville, a rural Missouri town about an hour and a half away. Apparently the shelter only feeds the dogs every few

days because 1) They can’t afford to feed them more often, and 2) The dogs will be gassed anyway, so the shelter doesn’t want to waste food.  This baby looked only a few months old, but the vet said she

was somewhere between 6 and 9 months.  She is an absolute doll and wants nothing more than to be held.

When I picked her up from the lady transporting her from Perryville, I tried to set her in the passenger seat, but she crawled right back into my lap.

I took her to Kelly’s, who is fostering her, and when I gave her some food she ate it so fast I thought she would choke. Poor thing. She was STARVING.  Kelly, by the way, named her Stassi after a girl in the reality show Vanderpump Rules.

Kelly has already taught her to “wait” before she eats!! Not an easy task for a starving dog!
Good girl, Stassi.
I’ve taken quite a few fosters to the vet for Kelly, since she works full time, and they’ve all been very cute, but I’ve never wanted to keep one as much as I did this one. She is the biggest love bug.  And look at those ears!! 
As mentioned in my previous post about our annual Santa Paws Fundraiser party,
Stassi has been adopted by our friend Sandy.
I’m jealous, but so happy because now I’ll get to see her.
Sandy and Stassi


 On Sunday, we (Four Directions Hiking) took the shelter dogs for a hike.  My hiking partner, Heparin, was the most affectionate dog I’ve ever met. She wouldn’t stop kissing me.
On the hike…

And in the car…

We looked pretty cute in our matching pink jackets 🙂

“Enough with the selfies…all I want to do is KISS you!!”

“Okay, one more.”

We hiked four miles. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be, and the dogs loved getting out for a few hours.

Somebody was sleepy on the way home…

Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday

This past weekend we hosted our 2nd annual Santa Paws Party.
Here was the Facebook invite so you can see what it’s about:
Welcome all to the 2nd Annual Santa Paws Party!! 

My awesome co-hosts and I first want to thank all that attended/donated last year, we were able to raise over $650 cash for CIC as well as a TON of goodies to help them through the winter! We are hoping this year will be an even bigger success!!

As many of you already know, winter is quickly approaching and many of our four legged friends will be out wandering the streets trying to find shelter. We would like to help ease the burden for one lucky rescue and provide them with some cash donations and/or new and gently used items. We will place several small independent rescues into a Santa hat and at the end of the night one lucky rescue will be drawn. That rescue will receive all the donations gathered that night.

We ask that you bring an item or two or three or MORE from the list below, and in lieu, the Food, drink and fun will be provided! (scheduled to reappear are the Apple Pie Shots!! YUMMMM) 

Rescues that will be placed in the hat are: 4 Paws 4 Rescue, Gateway Pet Guardians, St. Animals Pet Adoptions (SAPA), Act Now!, DCAWS, St. Louis Senior Dog Project, Partners for Pets, & 5 Acres.

 (A list of suggested items for dogs and cats was provided in the invite)

So, guess how much we raised this year? A total of $1,250 plus all of this…

For a large rescue like Stray Rescue, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but for the smaller rescues this really helps. The amount of money they spend on vet bills when rescuing, say, a heartworm positive dog or a cat hit by a car is astronomical. So I know the winning rescue this year – Gateway Pet Guardians – appreciates our efforts.  And I say “our” because Kelly lists a few of us as co-hosts, but the party is at her house and she really does all the work. I’m honored to be her friend.  She’s shown time and again that people are capable of doing a great deal more than they think they have time for. 
I can just picture her face if someone says they don’t have time for something.  She’d be like…
Three of Kelly’s four dogs and one of her five fosters (yes, nine total, not counting the boarding clients she had that night)
“Santa, is that YOU?”

Kelly’s fiancee John giving Heidi some love before the party starts

Kelly’s own pup Zeus (left) and Wilson, one of two boarding clients 

Sally and Titus, two of Kelly’s fosters

Twelve-week-old Titus struttin’ his stuff for the guests

Old man Lee, a boarder

My friend Sandy holding Stassi, one of Kelly’s newest fosters 

Kelly and Stassi
Some of the gang
Gateway Pet Guardian’s Jane Posen demonstrating her gratitude for winning this year’s “haul”

It was a great night, with many wonderful rescue people coming together, enjoying good food and drinks, and supporting each other in their efforts to save animals. May next year’s Santa Paws Party be an even bigger success!
Another positive outcome from the night? It looks like Titus and Stassi, two of Kelly’s fosters, are going to be adopted by party attendees! LOL