By LuAnn McLain
There are many people involved in the rescue, care, and placing of animals. Some people, like local groups PAWS and Kitty Keepers, and many animal shelters, rescue all the animals they can. No one can do it all.
There are also folks who help rescue certain breeds of animals. People involved in this work have a fondness for a particular breed or breeds. It is hoped that rescue of these animals provides a little relief for the overburdened shelters.
Many other people help with the rescue by giving support in a variety of ways. In recent months, I had a lot of help with several dogs from Tari Mord of Eastside Animal Hospital in Havre, and Rick Scherr of Big Sky Animal Medical Center in Great Falls. Another great help was Shannon Kickbusch of Doggy Daycare, who provided temporary housing as well as special care and attention to some dogs that needed a place to stay while waiting to go to their new homes.
A Scottish terrier was among the most recent rescues. A woman who has started to work with Scottish Terrier Rescue helped me with placing him. She lives in Coeur dAlene and heard about me and the little Scottie through the wonders of the Internet. She first contacted me through e-mail.
Susan and I have not met personally. We had several lengthy conversations over the phone and some e-mail communications. It was clear we were both trying to accomplish the same thing. She has a particular love for Scotties and I have a particular love for Westies (West Highland White Terriers) so we have made an effort to focus on those dogs when they are in need. One difference though, is that I also try to help out with any other type of dog (or cat) that happens along my way, too!
It is very satisfying to see an animal that may have had a bad ending find a good home where he or she can flourish.
Our Scottie was apparently born into puppy mill living and spent most of his first four years in the company of other dogs used for breeding. He did get some exposure to indoor life and proved to be a pretty nice little companion when allowed to be. He reportedly loved walks.
When he came into my possession, there were many questions about whether he could be around little children and what kind of home could take him. He seemed to dislike strangers and be very fearful in any new situations. Perhaps he just had not had enough exposure to life outside his kennel and grounds. He was terribly matted and had never been really groomed.
After some needed veterinary attention he got about 10 days of TLC at Doggy Daycare. Shannon trimmed him up, with some difficulty, but he looked darling when she was done. My husband then drove the wee lad to meet his next caretakers at a prearranged spot in Shelby.
Susan had just come from a dog show in Calgary, and had some friends and some Scotties with her. Susan was concerned about the possiblity of his biting but one of her friends quickly took charge of the dog and they headed for home in Idaho.
The first report confirmed that the dog had some limitation of movement in his neck for some yet unknown reason and he was terrified of cars. The next report was very satisfying and some of what Susan reported in her updates is shared here for those of you who love dogs.
(He) is doing just great. He is getting to be more of one of the crowd each day. (She has several Scotties of her own). You wouldnt believe this is the same dog I picked up 9 days ago. He is wagging his tail now, thumping it on the couch when I talk to him! What a milestone, he didnt wag the first week.
He loves my dogs, they run in and out together, just as if hed been with them for years! He lets me pick him up and hug him now, though it embarrasses him. He still loves the back of the couch. Now his thing is to turn over on his back so you can scratch his tummy.
Youd have thought the spark had gone a week ago, but its coming back. I am so proud of him, he has a wonderful Scottie spirit. He is a dear little dog. He has given no sign of nipping.
He is gaining his self-confidence back. It has been very rewarding to work with him. He is doing very good at house manners. I havent had a potty accident yet, though I watch him like a hawk and dont give him an opportunity to wet.
For a couple of days he was on a mission to find a way out of our fence. I had to stay right there when he went outside, following him around, worried hed dig out. Yesterday he seemed to just give up. He quit pacing and settled down on the porch with the other dogs.
At first he would go crazy if I confined him in one room. Hes spin in circles and whine, like he was scared of being trapped or something. Now when he has to be in the dog room he relaxes, sprawling out with his little hind feet behind him.
I have two applicants that want him very much. Ill let you know where he goes to live, I am so fussy, Its got to be perfect for this boy!!!!
The latest message reported that he met his family and it seems to be perfect for him and them. They fell in love at first sight. I am truly grateful for those who do this kind of work and for the opportunity to share in the stories of their new lives.
Have a great week with your companion critters. If you want to write to Pawsitively Pets, please send your letter to PO Box 1731, Havre, MT 59501.