Friday, August 10, 2012

Piper's Story

As a puppy, Piper probably looked something like this:



Like many dogs, Piper at one point found herself without a home. She may have been given away free to a good home on CraigsList, or perhaps she was just let loose in the country to fend for herself. Whatever happened, she ended up at the home of an animal hoarder. Yesterday, when the animals were rescued, authorities found between 100-150 animals on the property, including dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, goats, and several other animals including several doves and a skunk living INSIDE the house! Many different shelters and rescue groups stepped up to save these animals and get them the care they needed. TASTC, a wonderful shelter in the area, worked hard to find temporary foster homes for these animals.

When All Paws Rescue, the group I volunteer with, stepped forward and offered to foster up to ten of the dogs, I was very proud to be part of such an amazing group of people. We were told the dogs were mostly under two years old and were small breeds which should be easily adoptable once they were released by the courts for adoption. We made arrangements for the dogs (I offered to take only one because I have several other foster dogs currently), and we waited for the call to come get them. As the hour approached, I prepared to leave work and head to the pre-appointed meeting place to pick up the dogs. Several other rescue groups were also meeting there to take in the dogs that they had offered to help. Then I got a phone call. It was my friend who was coordinating the rescue for All Paws and had offered to take four of them herself. She told me that among the many young small-breed dogs, they found a 16 year old pit bull. My heart fell – who would take this dog? All the groups helping out were anticipating dogs such as Maltese and Chihuahuas and Italian Greyhounds – the chances of someone taking an elderly pit bull were very slim. It’s not that the rescuers didn’t want to help her – but a commitment to foster a highly adoptable dog for thirty days is quite a bit different than a commitment to foster a 16-year-old pit bull who will have a really tough time finding a home. Still, this dog deserved to get into a foster home more than any of them. So I called the nice people at Wonder Weims who were coordinating all of the rescuers, and asked about the 16-year-old pit bull. That’s when I found out the dog was blind, and had a growth on her, and was very sweet. I asked what would happen to her, and at the time they had not found anyone to take her. That’s when I heard the words coming out of my mouth – “I’ll take her, at least temporarily.” I knew that my house was not the best situation for her – she’s mostly blind and very frail, and I have several energetic large dogs who would easily bowl her over. But at least she could stay with me until a longer-term foster home was found.

So a few hours later, the transport van pulled up in the parking lot, and they began to hand out dogs to the various groups for fostering. I helped load up the All Paws dogs, and quickly fell in love with a scruffy little Chihuahua pup. The dogs, although skinny and extremely smelly, were all adorable. Then as most of the other dogs were led away, they brought out Piper.


This frail, malnourished dog was missing an eye and looked overwhelmed by the noise and the people. As I walked her around the parking lot, she sniffed everyone she passed and even wagged her tail. She was not a small, fluffy little dog that everyone would want. She could barely walk, and stumbled several times. Her skin was awful, and she had several growths that would need checked out. But as I looked in her one good eye, and promised her that I would take care of her, she looked at me with trust and licked my face in thanks.


Piper
Last night Piper got to spend the night in a clean kennel, on a soft bed, with good food and water – all things she hasn’t known in too long. Although it’s obvious that she is confused by her new location and change in circumstances, she continues to be loving and affectionate. I may have given up the adorable Chihuahua pup in order to take Piper (although I’m still trying to figure out how to take them both!) but I know I made the right decision in taking Piper. And while I hope to find her a foster home where she can get more of the attention and care that she deserves, she will have a home here with me for as long as she needs.




There were many heroes in this situation - the people from TASTC and Act Now and WonderWeims who coordinated and made this rescue happen, as well as the many other rescue groups who worked together to save these animals. All of the foster homes and shelter workers have their own rescue stories (one friend has spent the entire day bathing, trimming nails, and deworming eight of these dogs!) This is just Piper’s story, one of over a hundred in this case alone.  And as with all the other rescued animals, Piper's story is really just beginning.

20 comments:

Diane said...

well you started my weekend out with a big ugly cry and although sad for what Piper has been through most of the tears are of joy that this little girl in the final chapters of her life is going to get to find out how good life can be. Thank you for not taking the easier and "funnier" route and choosing instead to help this little girl. I have a REAL soft spot for senior so had I been in your shoes I would have done the exact same thing. Good job!!!

Cupcake said...

Oh Laurie, I cried when I saw Piper's picture and video. I'm so glad you took her. Getting to know you through your blog, I'm not a bit surprised she is with you. You have a heart of gold and you make great decisions. Please give this wonderful baby a hug from me.

Eileen and Cupcake

Stacey Rasmussen said...

Thank you so much for your compassion and understanding. Just seeing Piper walk on grass is wonderful. Knowing she has a soft clean bed and good food to eat makes my weekend.

Stacey Rasmussen
TASTC Board Member

JackDaddy said...

What a wonderful thing you have done!!! For all the lost animals, I thank you!

LP said...

Poor baby.It's heartbreaking to even begin to imagine what her life was like so I won't go there.I'll just hold on to the thought that she will now know good food, clean bedding and gentle hands and words in the last stage of her life.
Thanks for everything you do!
Piper, we send you all our love sweet girl.

LP and the critters in the cottage xo

Ashton Keenan said...

You... my friend, are quite the amazing woman. Thank you for helping Piper, she is beautiful. And If I could adopt her... no doubt I would in a heartbeat<3. Thank you, again.

Sam said...

I cried when I saw Piper too - she is so lucky that you have a big enough heart to help her.

Sam

Two Pitties in the City said...

Oh...what a sad but amazing story. I too have a soft spot for the Elderbulls, and I know she is in a really good place with you.
PS. Stubbydog's Elderbull week is coming up, you should submit Piper's story!

Two Pitties in the City said...

Oh...what a sad but amazing story. I too have a soft spot for the Elderbulls, and I know she is in a really good place with you.
PS. Stubbydog's Elderbull week is coming up, you should submit Piper's story!

Blueberry's human said...

Thank you for taking Piper when no one else would. Thanks to you, she will know love and kindness. I have a soft spot for older dogs - especially those that are left behind or dumped at shelters. So just thank you for doing this!

Doc Sinister said...

Thank you for taking her. She deserves to know some sweetness - and I think she's beautiful.

mayziegal said...

Well, Mom's all leaky but not me! I'm just wiggling and waggling all over that Piper is in a safe, soft place where she can rest her weary head and bones. I'm just so sorry that her life has been so hard but I'm so very glad that there are wonderful people like YOU in the world to gives her some moments of joy and safety in her life.

Grateful wiggles & wags,
mayzei

acd6pack said...

What a wonderful, yet heartbreaking story (glad I had Kleenex handy) You are a fantastic person for accepting Piper into your home! I too am a fan of the less adoptable and as a result have rescues that include blind (3) and deaf (1). Give Piper a hug from the Australian Cattle Dogs!

Nick@Wild Bird Food said...

I feel so sorry for piper, the video made me :( . I'm glad that all the animals were rescued and Piper found a perfect caring home.

Just imagine how many more animals are waiting to be rescued.

Purrfect Haven said...

I too cried when I saw dear Piper, and she would have been the one I would have taken if I could too. All my family send her hugs. The less adoptable are the best and most special. We haven't been visiting because we have been away and then encumbered with extra work that going on holiday entails. Lovely to be back. Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xxx

Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie said...

You are awesome for taking her! I know this might not have been the easy pick for a foster, but you saw she needed you and said yes. That is so awesome! Please keep us posted as to Piper's needs in the coming days/weeks/months/etc.

Courtney said...

Bless you for taking that girl in.

thattouchofpit.com said...

Bravo! You have done what so many people consciously avoid doing, with great bravery, compassion and generosity of spirit! You are inspiration to all of us foster families, blogger and dog lovers! Keep up the great work and let us know how Piper's doing!

Corbin said...

We love that Piper's journey has lead her to you. What a wonderful place for her to rest her head, eat some yummy food and be loved on. You're a wonderful person for stepping up for her!
-Corbin

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

This has just reduced me to tears. I love cute little dogs, but like you, if I had set eyes on Piper, I would've taken her too. Even though she is old and frail, she is a sweet soul that deserves a chance at love and a good life. God Bless you.