Unfortunately Toes had a seizure in the shelter lobby last week, which led to the discovery of a tumor on her pancreas - dammit. It's bad. It's causing her to wobble a bit and it threatens to shake her like a SF quake again if her blood sugar dips close to empty. If you're a crowded shelter, heartbreak decisions about very sick dogs are relatively cut and dry. And if you're a rescue, you weigh out all the other dogs that need medical care and you make the tough but necessary decision to let go. Toe's prognosis is bad, so we've got to get ready to say good bye. But not so fast -- first we have to give this girl an extended party.
We're giving Toes a compassion hold, meaning, she gets a few days or hopefully weeks living just like a spoiled princess. She's in a home now and is sleeping on soft blankies, playing with new dog friends, eating the best table scraps and getting opps to smell the air and lie in the grass. Readers may know that we do a number of these kinds of cases throughout the year, and while they aren't as sexy or headline worthy as bust dog cases, we believe they're just as important.
Because compassion cases as well as dog fighting and other cruelty cases tend to show up without much warning, it's not unusual for our living rooms to get crowded with last minute crates. After the Vick dogs arrived, we had thirteen dogs spread around in our living/dining room before they finally left to waiting foster homes. Crazy, man (don't tell the neighbors!) We grin and bear it, but there are clearly better ways to do this work.
So what took us so long? After slapping our foreheads and realizing that we need to create a more appropriate setting, we kept our eyes open and finally found the perfect half acre setting to build a barn - or, 'guest house' with exercise grounds for incoming dogs. No more pushing the sofa aside for new dogs, and no more long hours in a crate. New dogs deserve roomier kennels to unwind in.
I had no idea what a pole barn was until we started pouring over internet sites that sell kit houses and kit barns. What a fascinating shopping mission! We settled on a modest but attractive design that will allow us to house compassion holds like Toes in roomy comfort as well as provide decompression relief for fight bust dogs that land here en route to their next way stations. It's very exciting, and sorta scary.
To make the barn a reality, we'll be doing our first ever capital campaign. But before we launch the fundraiser, we're looking for a few matching gift challenges to boost the project. Can you help?
What's a matching gift? --> INFO
If your employer has a matching gift program, or if you're willing to arrange one as an individual, please send a note to Tim so we can 1) remind ourselves that we're not altogether crazy for fundraising during an economic downturn and 2) so we can have your challenge ready and waiting to be met when we launch the campaign. Tim will help you get your paperwork in order.
For all the dogs who will benefit, a million thanks!