July 12th 2008 5:42 am
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I got this in email, I don't know Tom but I wish I did. The world needs more people like him.
Hi, my name is Duke and I am an eleven year old white German Shepherd. This is my story.
My first master was a young man who convinced his mother that he could properly care for me. As long as he was with me, my life was OK; perhaps not the best, as my owner like most young folk, spent a lot of time away from home and away from me. Still, when we were together, I knew I was loved and cared for.
My young master saw to it that I had good food, fresh water from time to time and a dog house of my own. True, the toweling that he put in for my bed wasn’t changed often and in the winter, it was often wet and cold but he tried. He didn’t brush me much, but did brush and bathe me enough that I had some self-respect. He also made sure that my injections and vet visits were relatively up to date.
My only real problem was my fear of thunderstorms and not being with him when they came. His mother would yell at me to be quiet if I barked or howled from fear. If my master was at home, he would let me come inside the home and we would cuddle in his room until the storm was over. Sometimes, if the storm was really bad and I was really afraid, my master would let me lie next to him on his bed…OH, that was Heavenly! The bed was soft and warm and I could lie right next to him, cuddling up as close as I could get and he would calm my fears with loving hands!
Then, when I was 3 years old, my master moved out of the home, leaving me for his mother and sister to care for because his apartment manager wouldn’t allow pets. OH, how my life changed then! His mother went and got a chain and fastened me to my doghouse. I couldn’t run around in the yard like I used to do and she only fed and watered me when she thought about it. I wasn’t brushed or bathed and vet visits were few and far between.
When I was 6 years old, some youngsters came down the alley behind the garage and I barked at them, they came in the yard and hit me in the head with a baseball bat, then they ran off, laughing that they had “taught that damn dog a lesson.” For the next three days I hurt and no one came to look at me until my master happened to come home. When he saw me, he took me to the vet immediately but it was too late and I had lost my sight in my left eye.
The last time his mother took me to the vet was during the summer of my eighth year and the flies had bitten my ears so severely that they were a bloody mess. My bedding was never changed, I was never allowed in the home and I was yelled and cursed at when I barked and howled my fears during thunderstorms. I didn’t understand what I had done to be treated like this and became afraid of her and most humans. I tried to show that I was a good dog by tucking my tail, cringing, rolling over on my back and wetting on myself when a human came near. Every time I did this, I got yelled at and cursed, but how else could I show that I wanted and needed desperately to be with humans who might love and care about me?
The day came when my master’s mother came out in the yard, unhooked me from the doghouse and chained me in the back of her truck. She had had “enough of my mess” and was going to take me to the dog pound to be “destroyed.” I really didn’t care, I had lost a lot of weight, my left eye hurt, the flies had been at my ears again and they were sore, my coat was filthy and matted and smelled horribly. Death was preferable to a life like this. As we went to “the pound,” a thunderstorm hit with hail and driving rain, I had no shelter and was almost instantly soaked to the bone as well as being pelted by the hail. There was no way I could get away. She stopped at a building and ran in, leaving me in the midst of the storm. I was so miserable! I howled my grief and misery to the heavens; what difference would it make?
The next thing I saw was a man who came out of the building; Lord he was angry! I could feel and smell his rage and was afraid, very afraid. He came to the truck, speaking gently to me even though he was being soaked and pelted just like I was. The next thing he did was snap a leash to my collar and take the chain off of me; then he picked me up and took me out of the truck.
He carried my to his van and put me inside on the back seat; then went around and opened the back and got some towels, came back to me and dried me off as well as he could, all the time talking gently to me. I couldn’t believe it! All I could do was cringe and whimper. His van was warm and dry and smelled like maybe he had another dog. Next he threw the wet towels in the back and opened a bag of dog food, pouring out a bowlful that he placed on the floor of the van. He poured water in another bowl and put it down also…Did he really mean for me to have it? He rubbed my head and scratched me gently under the chin and said he’d be back.
When he went back in the building the storm winds caught the door and held it open and I heard what he said; “Lady, I work with the Police K-9 Unit and the new Animal Cruelty Squad. You have two choices; you can give me that dog right now or you can go to jail. I’ll be delighted to file animal cruelty charges against you! If I do, I’ll make damn sure you spend the weekend in jail before you ever see the judge.”
Later he came back out of the building, looked to see if I had eaten anything and drunk a little water, I had and Lord it was GOOD! He poured out the rest of the water, got in the van and said; “OK big guy, let’s go home.” I whimpered and crawled between the seats, lying next to him as he drove. He dropped a hand down on me and kept it there all the way to his home, rubbing gently and talking to me as he drove.
When we got to his home we went to the back yard and he let me off the leash, I could hear other dogs in the house and after a few minutes he went in and let them out. He came back out with a brush and comb in his hands and introduced me to the other dogs. There were no dog houses in his yard, where was I going to sleep? Did I dare believe that he might, just might let me sleep in the house?!
We spent the rest of the day until sundown in the yard, I got a good brushing and combing as did the other dogs. There was no anger, no yelling or cursing, much petting and talking quietly; an occasional command which the other dogs obeyed immediately. I felt cared about for the first time in a long time. I was still scared but he never got upset when I crouched down or wetted as I approached him. I felt warmth and affection in his voice and in his hands…How did I get this lucky? What did I finally do right?!
When we went in the house, I didn’t know what the dog door was for and he had to come back out and hold the door open for me. The other dogs knew and went right through it but I was afraid. That was OK, it didn’t upset him. When I finally got inside, I crouched down in the utility room, afraid to go in the kitchen. The other dogs were all eating from a huge pan of dog food next to a big bucket of fresh water. He let them eat all they wanted and then refilled the pan. Then he came and brought me into the kitchen and sat on a stool talking to me while I ate.
When he left the kitchen he went into another room and sat down in a big chair. After a while I got the courage to go look, two of the other dogs were asleep on the couch and the other was asleep in a love seat, I crawled up next to his chair and huddled there. He put his book aside and rubbed my head, “You’re safe now, nothing to be afraid of. This is and will be your home too.” I couldn’t believe it, but I sure hoped he was right! “We need a name for you, one that will give you your pride back. How about ‘Duke’? Sound good to you?” For the first time I dared to wag my tail and lick his hand. “Eh, Duker, think you’ll be a lover do you?” The warmth and love in his voice made me want to wiggle all over!
That night and for the next several nights I slept by his bed, as close as I could get. If I dreamed, he would reach over and pet me, reassuring me that everything was OK. One night I dared to put my front legs up on the bed. To my surprise, he reached out and put his hand on the back of my neck and helped me up in the bed next to him! I crawled up next to him and cuddled as close as I could get. That night we slept with my back against his side and his hand resting on me…I was in Heaven! Loved at last!
I learned that his name was “Tom,” he worked two (2) jobs, but I had company in the other dogs. We were a family and very happy together. We lived together, traveled together and enjoyed being together. Never was I chained outside. I learned not to be afraid. I learned to be proud again.
I’d been with the “family’ for about 3 years when I began to not feel so good. My belly hurt and I really wasn’t hungry like I usually was, there was also a base-ball sized lump on my right side, right behind my ribs. When Tom was brushing me and pressed on the lump, it HURT! I knew better, but had to turn my head towards his hand. He examined the lump gently and then in a quiet, sorrowful voice said; “Well, Old Son, looks like we need to go see Doc.”
We got in the van and drove, by ourselves (That’s unusual!) to Doc’s. Tom told Doc about the lump and they picked me up and put me on a table so Doc could examine me. He told Tom, “We need some x-rays and a biopsy” (whatever those were). The next thing I knew, Doc gave me a shot and I got very sleepy and dozed off. I could still hear what was going on, but was so sleepy I couldn’t care less. Tom was still there, I didn’t hurt and wasn’t afraid.
I heard Doc tell Tom, “You’re right, it’s a well developed cancer that has spread through-out his abdomen.” Tom said “Ok, put him in my lap and let him go while he’s still asleep.” I was lifted off the table and put in Tom’s lap and that’s the last thing I remember.
When I woke up, Tom wasn’t with me; I wasn’t in his lap any more. What’s going on? Hey, my belly is OK, I don’t hurt any more. I can see with BOTH eyes now! Where am I?
A very gentle and kind voice told me: ‘Duke, you’re at the Rainbow Bridge. Tom sent you on to us, we’ve fixed your belly and your eye. You’ll live here with us and our friends until Tom comes to join us.’
© Thomas Johnston
June 3rd 2008 3:55 am
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I was spotted on Old Newark Valley Road yesterday morning, around 7 a.m.
The lady that saw me tried to coax me to her, but I ran back into the woods.
And here's his dogster page - Regal - lost!
PLEASE CROSS POST
esp to Southern Tier of New York or across the border in Pennsylvania
New York – Broome County
Australian Cattle dog, Blue Merle
52 lbs neutered male
Regal slipped his collar Friday 5/30 due to fireworks
Last seen on Hill Road (between Newark Valley and Town of Maine)
If found, please call Brenda (607)775-1377 or Gina (607)372-7313
see pictures at
April 19th 2008 2:02 pm
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American Animal Hospital Association
Helps those in need access quality veterinary care for their sick or injured pets. We raise funds and award grants supporting veterinary care for pets that have been abandoned or whose owners are experiencing financial hardship.
Angels 4 Animals
Angels 4 Animals, a guardian angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult financial situations. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets in need.
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
Feline Veterinary Assistance Program (FVEAP)
Seniors, People with disabilities, People who have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten - any of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion.
Telephone: (630) 986-9504, Fax: (630) 986-9141
Established in 1999, HELP-A-PET is a nonprofit organization with a single purpose: to provide financial assistance nationwide for the medical care of pets whose owners are unable to afford the expense.
In Memory of Magic (IMOM), Inc
Phone (866) 230-2164, Fax (301) 599-1852
Helping people help pets. To better the lives of sick, injured and abused companion animals. We are dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.
The Pet Fund
The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. The purpose of the Pet Fund is to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical care need never be made on the basis of cost.
A nonprofit organization designed to assist families in need seek specialty level care for their pets. The foundation will accept applications from individuals or families that require financial assistance to provide advanced medical and/or surgical veterinary care that will extend both quantity and quality of life for their pets that would otherwise not be available to them.
Shakespeare Animal Fund
Shakespeare Animal Fund was founded after the loss of a beloved Cocker Spaniel "Shakespeare". He died after a very costly illness, and in his memory this fund was founded to help others who might face financial problems while trying to save their pet.
United Animal Nations
Telephone: (916) 429 2457, Fax: (916) 429 2456
The mission of LifeLine Rescue and LifeLine Individual Grants is to help homeless or recently rescued animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve Good Samaritans who take in sick or injured animals.
Int’l Assoc of Assistance Dog Partners VCP Program
IAADP has established an emergency veterinary fund to provide financial aid to United States IAADP Partner Members whose assistance dogs require high cost veterinary intervention beyond their ability to pay.
Ortho Dogs Silver Lining for service dogs with orthopedic issues.
If you have a specific breed of dog, contact the national club for that breed. In some cases, these clubs offer a veterinary financial assistance fund. Here are a few websites for groups that provide financial assistance for specific breeds:
Bernese Mountain Dog
Boxer through Toby’s Gift
Boxer American Boxer Rescue Assoc
Dachshund Disabled Dachshund Society
Doberman (special needs)
Golden Retrievers (rescued dogs)
Labrador Retriever - LabMed
Labrador Retriever – Labrador LifeLine
Pit Bull/Staffordshire Terrier
Scotties and Westies
Westies/West Highland White Terrier
Blind Dog Info
Canine Cancer awareness
Help your dog fight Cancer
The Magic Bullet Fund
Muffin Diabetic Pets Assoc
Handicapped Pets.com Help Fund
From time to time, HandicappedPets.com recognizes a caretaker of handicapped pets that need some special attention, and a little extra help. There are those who are so selflessly dedicated to their animal families that they give up a little more than they can afford. This special fund is used to provide support to those people.
Cats in Crisis/Chronic Disease
Cats in Crisis Mesa Fund/Kidney Disease
Cats in Crisis Stripes Fund/Heart and Thyroid Disease
Cats in Crisis Gillie Fund, Neurological condition-Mobility impairment
Cats in Crisis Nine Lives Emergency Fund
FVEAP/Vaccine Associated Sarcoma
STATE AND COUNTRY ORGANIZATIONS
The Southern Arizona Veterinary Medical Association may be able to help with vet bills. Call 325-0311 to request an application or to get more information.
Labrador Harbor is committed to providing assistance to Labrador Retrievers of all ages, in permanent homes or within a California based non-profit rescue organization.
Actors and Others for Animals Assists with emergency medical treatment and crisis aid (Hollywood, CA)
Pets are Loving Support Assists people with HIV/AIDS to care for their companion animals (Atlanta, GA)
Save-A-Life, Inc. Assistance with emergency medical care of rescued and fostered animals (Savannah, GA)
The Travis Fund at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine for pets being treated at their facility.
God’s Creatures Ministry (Wayne, NJ)
NY S.A.V.E, Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to the aid and assistance of low-income pet owners residing in one of the five boroughs of New York City, whose pet is in need of emergency veterinary care.
Good Sam Fund The MedVet Good SAM (Special Assistance and Memorial Fund) was established to create financial aid for sick or injured animals who either are stray or client-owned animals in special circumstances. (Worthington, OH)
Animal Care and Welfare (Pittsburgh, PA)
Canyon Lake Animal Shelter C.L.A.S.S. Program for low income residents (Startzville, TX)
PETS-DC is dedicated to improving the health and well being of people living with HIV/AIDS or other disabling conditions and their companion pets at no cost to individuals in the Metropolitan Washington area.
Animal Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society (Alberta)
The Farley Foundation (Ontario)
UK Assistance with Veterinary Bills