Well spring is right around the corner! I must admit, I'm looking forward to everything turning green and blooming with all the beautiful colors that come spring. It's a time of regeneration for all things living. Unfortunately, that includes many unwanted puppies and kittens.
Just this last week we have had 4 newborn puppies come in, maybe a week old. They were discovered under a shed when one of them came wobbling out, the mother was no where to be found. The ones that called thought she had probably been killed. The pups were dehydrated, hungry and already getting cold from their tiny bodies shutting down. I'm sure they would not have survived one or two more days, at the most.
In this same week, a little puppy came in. Adult dogs had attacked this little, helpless stray. No one knew where she even came from. Her jaw was broken, and she was very scared. Once taken to the vet her jaw is now set and taped. We are hoping for a full recovery but she has to eat only 'puppy soup' for the next three weeks and then we can see if she is healing once we remove the wrapping from her tiny mouth. She's a real little trooper though, no whining or fussing and laps up her 'soup' with great enthusiasm!
We also have an adult cat that came in expecting. We couldn't have her spayed, so we are expecting kittens any day now. In that same week, two female cats came in after being found in a dumpster along with a kitten. One had an injured back leg, all were hungry and scared.
My point to all this is, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have your pet spayed or neutered. The cost is no more than what you might spend on a trip to the mall, going to a movie and eating out one weekend. Please consider the results of not doing this; just go back to the above. This constant cycle of unwanted puppies and kittens needs to be stopped. I can't tell you how defenseless, helpless and lost these babies are when they come to AGC. It would tear your heart out if you saw the look in their eyes and their tiny, skinny, trembling little bodies! And all is completely preventable if we just made the spaying/neutering of our pets our top priority.
So for now, we'll bottle feed, nurse and love these little cast-offs until they are strong and healthy and ready to go to a loving home that will care for them for the rest of their lives.
Spring is a wonderful time to celebrate new life, I just pray that it is life that will be loved and cared for and not one that will be thrown out, ignored or simply not wanted.
Easter will be here before we know it! With that come Easter egg hunts, baskets full of candy, baby chicks and little bunnies. Those little chicks and bunnies are SOOO cute and fuzzy. I know because I fall victim to the ahhhh every time I see them!
Having just had an abandoned rabbit come into AGC a few weeks ago, I realized that there will be lots of baby bunnies being given at Easter, as well as, chicks and baby ducks. Now comes the dilemma; they all grow up and become a real responsibility. The novelty wears off and now they are a major chore to take care of.
Some will just be turned loose to try to survive on their own. After some research on domestic rabbits, I have learned that they do not have the same instincts that their wild cousins have. These bunnies are really dependent on their human to care for them. As for the little chicks and baby ducks, once grown, and if put out on their own, they will more than likely become prey for larger animals. We had a call last spring from someone that had given baby ducks to their children for Easter. She said they wanted them because they looked so cute in the family photos with the children. Guess what, they are now very large, making major messes that no one wants to see or clean up and they were looking for a farm or rescue group that would take them. It just didn't seem fair to the ducks or the groups that were being asked to take one someone else's seemingly selfish decision.
If you choose to give any of these small creatures as Easter gifts, please make sure you are prepared to care of them for a long time. Rabbits can live many years. All can be messy if not in the right environment. The chickens and ducks truly need to be in their proper setting to live the life that was intended for them.
As of this writing, Niles, the rabbit, is living at my home. Whether he was the product of a bad choice, I don't know. What I do know is that he was left on someone's porch, someone that did not make the decision to have him but took on the responsibility to find somewhere safe for him. By the way, Niles is a great little guy and doesn't mind sharing the yard, when he's out for his daily romp, with Conner and Radar (my dogs).
All can be wonderful, loving pets if they are acquired with the acceptance of all that comes with them.
Until next time though, I need to go get some carrots!
Grant and I went to Indiana for Christmas this year to visit family. This is the first time that I've made this trip without at least one of my dogs. Since we were going to stay in a hotel this year, we decided that it would be easier without having to worry about snowy footprints (mixed, of course, with good, black Indiana dirt!) getting on my mother's white carpet, not to mention a brother-in-law that will not allow pets in their home. I know, itís pretty hard to believe that I would actually have someone in my family like that. I'm still not sure how it happened!
I have to admit that after just a couple of days I was starting to miss my "children" and all that comes with them. I even missed the messes and sometime squabbles between all of them. You know how it is; they always want what the other has!
The weather was typical Indiana December weather. .... COLD and WINDY! We were stopping by our hotel to check on something so while Grant braved the weather, my sister and I stayed in the truck. We were talking and laughing as usual and my sister said, "What was that? It sounded like a dog or something." I heard it as well so I turned around to look out the window. I saw a black and white young cat trying her best to get into the hotel lobby. She was crying out and bumping into the glass as if she were trying to get someone to open the door. Well that was it, I told my sister as I was bundling up to get out of the truck, that if the cat came to me then I would take her home. I stepped out, slipped on some ice, got my balance, and started toward the crying kitten. She saw me and came to me without hesitation. I picked her up and got back in the truck. She was shivering, hungry and dehydrated but strong and very appreciative. Grant came back to the vehicle, stepped in and looked at the cat. For some unknown reason, he wasn't surprised at all to see a cat sitting in my lap. It was like business as usual. Indiana, South Carolina, location didn't mean anything when it comes to bringing in whatever I might find that may need help.
Now, it was getting late, and did I mention, it was also Christmas night? Ever try finding a store at 6 pm on Christmas night that might possibly sell a litter box, cat chow and some litter to put in that box? Well, it's not easy. We went to different stores and finally found one that was open and had some cat food and litter. We had to improvise on the litter box but a gift box was the perfect size and once lined with some bright Christmas wrapping paper, it actually was quite festive considering its use!
Our new friend was all set, now she had to make her debut at my mother's house. Once the surprise wore off (my mother has never really been a fan of cats) our 'Christmas rescue' made herself right at home. And, of course, the only lap she wanted to sit on was my mother's. I did have to get a picture due to the rarity of the occasion!
Ella, short for Cinderella, settled in nicely at the hotel as well. She rode in the car with no problem, sleeping in whichever lap suited her. She is now here at All God's Creatures and is awaiting a new, permanent home. She has gone from hunting for food and shelter to lounging on my desk, having a nice, warm bed and all the food she cares for.
My family joked about my usual behavior saying, 'some things never change' when it comes to animals! As usual, my mom, sister and Grant were very accepting of the rescue and the inconvenience that came with it but also enjoyed being part of Ellaís new beginning. Seeing her eat and drink and be warm for the first time in probably quite some time, made all of us feel a sense of gratefulness for all that we have.
It was a wonderful Christmas. Itís nice to know that no matter what my age or location, I can still be me, accepted for who I am and my calling for caring for the animals in need. My prayer for all of you in this New Year is that you will discover your true self, if you havenít already and find your mission in life.
We can all make a difference for one another and for the animals, even if itís just one pet at a time.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Denise
Lola arrived in the nest one cold January day. She was so tiny, no bigger than a mouse. She had no hair, couldnít see or hear & her skin so new & thin that you could see right into her little body. Lola lived with her family for only a few days maybe a week when a hunter shot at her nest. He was a good shot & Lola fell through the limbs, scratching her tiny, bare body & hit the ground.
The hunter realized what he had done & quickly scooped Lola up in his hands trying to keep her warm. He needed help for Lola so he called his wife. The hunterís wife then called All Godís Creatures to see if we could help the tiny newborn squirrel.
Lolaís chances werenít good but AGC said they would try to keep her alive, at least for a while.
Lola slept in a warm, fuzzy blanket on a heating pad. She learned how to eat from a syringe that was gently put in her mouth. Every day she got a little stronger, started to grow and pretty soon Lola actually grew some hair!
That little squirrel was bound & determined to grow up & be somebody! She teethed on Cheerios & eventually started to eat some solid food like pecans, sunflower seeds & raisins. Pretty soon Lola was a beautiful, sweet young thing, smart too. She learned her name & the sound of my voice whenever I came into the room.
Itís now been 7 months & Lola is my constant companion along her best friend, Conner, my dog. Use see, Conner would gently lick her & keep her clean just like her squirrel momma would have done. He protects her & plays with her too. It seems Lola has a strange family but we love her & she loves us.
Lolaís first trip was to Indiana in May. She stayed busy in the car shredding newspaper in her travel cage (actually itís a bird cage!). She has a ferret hammock that hangs from the top & Lola loves to tear up paper & take it to her Ďbedí then she will knock it all out & start over. She also has some oak tree limbs to climb on & get her exercise.
Lola really liked it in Indiana. She made everyone smile & they all laughed at her antics. She would run around the living room, jump on someoneís arm & then up around their neck, back down the arm & then run to someone else to tickle them. A couple of times she thought it would be fun to run up my brother-in-lawís pant leg. He didnít feel the same way! What fun she had up there. She had lots of pictures taken with her new friends & family too. She even helped her Ďdadí with some of his work on the computer. Actually, Lola just likes to run over the keyboard. One day I was working on the computer, as fast as I could type I saw the words disappearing. What in the world? I looked down to see Lola standing on the backspace button! She thought that was a really cool trick!!
Lola went to the mountains with her Ďpeopleí family in June. She is becoming quite the traveler! Once again she was the life of the party. Having the run of the dining room table was so much fun, all the while Conner kept a good watch over her. When she got lost in one of the bedrooms, it was Conner that sniffed her out & showed us where she was. Boy was she glad to get back on the table after that! I think that was the first time she had ever known what being scared was like. She was shaking & very glad to be safe in her own Ďroomí! Lola didnít want to venture too far after that.
So for now, Lola is out on the screened porch getting some exercise & weíll go home in a little while but Iíll keep you posted on her adventures.
FROM PRINCE TO PAUPER
He had been a horse accustomed to being somewhat pampered, at least for a horse. You see, heís a Thoroughbred, one of the most athletic, elegant, money earning breeds & owned by kings even today.
He came to be owned by a polo player & was good at the game until a small injury to a back hoof took him out of play for a short while. Once this beautiful athlete couldnít work, even though it would be for just a short time, he was sold.
He came to a place that was to be called home. Unfortunately, out of no malice or intentional cruelty, the horse was slowly starving to death. The owners just had no idea what was required to care for this big guy.
His stomach growled for food all day and night. He stood in the hot sun, bleaching out his dark gleaming coat. His once flowing mane and tail became brittle, sweating out what little body fat he had and every day he became thinner and thinner. But his luck was about to change. A nice lady was at the place where he lived and she noticed his plight. After speaking with the owners, explaining all that this horse needed to live, they decided they would let her find somewhere to take him. Thatís when AGC was called and I told her we would take the horse. We picked him up on July 22, 2010.
This once strong, beautiful animal has a long way to go to get healthy but this Ďpauperí is well on his way to being the Ďprinceí that he was meant to be.
UPDATE: Keldar has been adopted and is enjoying the good life with his new family in Aiken. The picture of Keldar above is after his rehabilitation.
Recently All Godís Creatures has received calls concerning horses in our area so here are some things you will want to consider when owning a horse, after all, they can live well into their 30ís when properly cared for.
First you need approximately 1 acre per horse if you are going to use grazing as your main source of feed. If you have a smaller area then you will need to supply the feed that will give your horse what he needs nutritionally to maintain good body condition & weight.
A horse needs good, fresh, clean hay. This is the roughage that they require therefore you must make sure that the hay they eat is light green in color & smells fresh. There should never be any mold or stale odor to it. A good way to see if your hay is free of molds is to pat it or shake it, if you see dust or powder coming out of it, please donít feed.
Along with your hay, a horse needs other nutrition. That will be the reason why you will supplement your hay with some sort of pellet feed or grain that is specifically made for equines. This will ensure that your horse will maintain good body weight, healthy coat & bright eyes.
Your horse will always need fresh, clean water as well as a mineral salt block. This is vital to his health. He requires some shelter & shade as well.
Deworming is also very important; this should be done about every 8 weeks. This will also be a good time for your blacksmith to come out & keep your horseís hooves in good condition. If a horse has over-grown hooves & should become lame, you will be sentencing him to a life of pain. A horse just canít survive without good, sound feet & legs. This is another reason for good feed.
If you can see his ribs or back bone, hip bones or over-grown hooves then you have a horse that is not getting what he needs to be healthy. They cannot fix these things by themselves. As a responsible animal owner you are the one that this animal is trusting to take care of him in the best way possible. There are several reasons why your horse may be looking poor; even teeth can be a source of problem for him, especially as he ages.
A horse can be your best friend, I know mine was growing up & still is today along with my dogs. They are intelligent, graceful & loving animals. Help them to be all of those things if you choose to include a horse in your life.
Until next time, happy trails! Denise
Since I told you all about Derek & "The Blind Side," he has been adopted by someone that read his story. Derek is now living happily ever after in a wonderful, loving home!
A few days ago I received a phone call from a gentleman stating that there had been a small white dog out in one of his fields just running in circles for the past several hours. Obviously, there was something wrong with the animal but he wasnít sure what to do. He couldnít get close enough to see what the matter was because the dog would just run in a bigger circle and move away. I must admit I was a little skeptical but I loaded up a crate and slip lead and headed out. When I got there, sure enough a little white dog was out in this huge field just running like there was no tomorrow! I have to say I had never seen such a strange site. I walked out in the field and could not get in catching distance of him. It was obvious that the little dog was blind and very frightened as well as exhausted. On my way back to the truck, the gentleman asked me how I thought I was going to catch him. My response was that hopefully I can get in front of him and he will run into me! Well, putting away any thought of what this might look like from someone passing by, hobbling, since I had sprained my foot two weeks earlier getting up in the middle of the night to feed a baby squirrel someone had brought to AGC, I went back out to the field to see if I could somehow get the little dog to run to me and then I could just slip the leash over his head as he passed by. Fortunately, the good Lord was looking down on me and on the first try was able to get the leash over his head at which point, the dog just collapsed! He never made a sound, just laid there panting, covered with dirt, wet and scared. I picked him up and went to the vet.
Derrick is now sporting a new hair cut and is adapting amazingly well. We have started him on some eye drops twice a day and it looks like he might be able to have some limited vision. For now though, Derrick is staying with me and comes to the shelter every day with Conner and myself.
For this little guy to be put out on the side of the road (there was no other way he could have gotten to where he was alone) is one of the cruelest things that could have been done to Derrick. Imagine how he must have felt being somewhere not being able to see or was even remotely familiar, just running, running, trying to get home but couldnít. We should all try to put ourselves in this position and by doing so, know that this not the way another living thing should be treated. After all, we are all Godís creatures.
I lost my best friend recently due to cancer. He came into my life just two weeks before I lost another best friend. Jasper was an exceptional friend. He always put my needs first; his patience would make Job blush! His love and loyalty was without question.
Jasper came into All Godís Creatures one August day, found on Old Stage Coach Road, chasing horses and waiting for his people to pick him up again. When my phone rang and my friend said, "I have a Jack Russell Terrier that showed up. Can I bring him to you?" What could I say?
Once he was with me, we went to see Dr. Rauton. Jasper needed to be neutered and one back leg had been broken along with his tail. Those injuries could have been easily fixed but ... Jasper lived with a crooked back leg and tail. But, he didnít hold a grudge.
I tried to place him once, a few weeks after he came to AGC. The person brought Jasper back the very next day saying he had stood at the window and cried all night (and she did too)! When I met her to retrieve Jasper, she said, "Do not try to place him again, heís yours!" As they say, the rest is history.
Jasper was my constant companion. He went from elementary schools to do pet care classes to Loweís, festivals, meetings and every where in between. He truly was the best friend I have ever had. Jasperís love was completely unconditional and for five years was the most perfect ambassador All Godís Creatures could have ever asked for.
The hardest decision I have ever had to make came on August 3 of this year. Jasper now rests with my other dear, dear friends in our special place at home. A friend like this is very special so I wait for God to send another one to me. It is difficult and lonely at times but Iím trying to be patient.
For those of you that say "I donít want to go through the pain again of losing a pet," I say having your heart broken is the price you gladly pay for the privilege of loving a pet. For now, I have a huge hole in my heart and life that Jasper left, but my heart is open, waiting for my next dear friend and what he/she will bring to my life.
Please, if you have lost your
'best friend," donít cheat yourself or the animal that needs to be loved and is just waiting to be that friend. Open your heart and I promise you wonít be sorry.
Sincerely, Denise Holcomb