By Lisa Gabrielson
It was my worst nightmare- I had left my 20-lb mix breed dog, Blaze, at my aunt’s house when out running errands. In a panic, Blaze got out of the house and ran off looking for me. He was lost in an unfamiliar, rural area too far from our own home for him to return there, and he was still missing as the sun went down that evening. He was last spotted headed into a heavily wooded area known to have coyotes and fisher cats. As the first day of searching came to an end, we started to look elsewhere for ideas. That’s when we hired a tracker and her dog.
When Blaze initially went missing, we did everything we were supposed to do: we created flyers and posters, left our dirty clothing outside so he could find his way back by scent, we trekked through the woods and neighborhoods calling his name and shaking bags of treats, posted on facebook and craigslist. Advice poured in from other City Dogs Rescue alumni. But, because Blaze was lost in an area he wasn’t familiar with we were particularly concerned that he wouldn’t follow his own trail back to the house- after all, he had run away from there trying to find me, and knowing that I wasn’t at the house we thought he may not try to come back.
So, we hired a tracking dog to come look for him the next morning. Barbara and her black lab, Casey, specialize in tracking cats and dogs. Casey is able to track humans, too; as Barbara pointed out to me, dogs have the ability to track pretty much anything, you just have to train them how to do it and train yourself how to read them.
Within minutes of getting out of the car from Blaze’s last sighting, Casey had picked Blaze’s scent up off of his bed, which I had put into a garbage bag about 2 hours after he went missing in order to preserve the strength of his scent. She began tracking all around the neighborhood, under a porch where I believe Blaze might have spent the night and back into the woods behind a neighbor’s house. Based on the way Casey was pulling against her leash, we knew she had a strong and likely very fresh trail.
We were headed back in the direction of the house, Casey began to pull harder and harder and we jogged behind her through the woods as best we could. She was on his trail, and even the humans sensed that we were getting close.
About a quarter of a mile from the house, my aunt called to alert us that Blaze arrived on the porch just moments before. We were less than ten minutes behind him with the tracker, and clearly on the same trail that we had followed home. While the tracker didn’t find Blaze, we certainly succeeded in ‘herding’ him back towards the house, and certainly were on his trail. Had Blaze not been moving in the direction of the house, I have no doubt we would have caught up to him in very short order.
Thank you to Barbara, and her black lab Casey, for helping return my sweet Blaze!
If you’re in the New England area, I highly suggest you save the contact information for Barbara Costa (860-917-7367) and Marjorie Lineweber - (860) 460-2447. Marge, is a certified MAR Technician and owner of a dog training and daycare center. She referred us to Barbara who was able to come help us track Blaze the next day.
Carlyn Kuder, a volunteer who is amazing at helping us find CDR dogs when lost in DC, recommends Sam Connolly of Pet Gold Trackers if you lose your dog in the DC area.
"I am very proud of how supportive our team was [for Blaze]," Kuder said. "The time people spent posting on lost dog pages and making the poster for her - Patricia Kennedy, Kimberly Raue, and Carmen and I'm sure there are others.
"When the unfortunate happens," she added, "we do have a great team that mobilizes and even long distance can help in bringing a lost dog home."
Now, here is a great deal to help two charities at once! For EACH pie you buy from Food and Friends through the City Dogs Rescue Team "Pie Link", CDR will receive $20 in vet care credits at Friendship Hospital!
Food & Friends is a wonderful charity that provides meals to individuals with life-threatening illnesses.WhyThese pie sales are so important to us because many of our dogs have urgent medical needs that require the 24/7 vet coverage offered through Friendship Hospital.
You can order starting today, OCTOBER 1st!!!
Our goal this year is to sell 500 pies. Last year, CDR supporters sold 471 pies and raised $11,700 for CDR!
Order Delicious Pies Here
Pies can be picked up on Tuesday, Nov. 25th at any one of 35+ locations throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
BUT...I hate pies / I'm on a diet / I don't live in DC
There are 3 other ways you can help even if you do not want a pie for yourself. Through the button above or by clicking HERE, you can order a pie to send to one of Food & Friends' clients or make a donation directly to Food & Friends. You can also "Gift-a-Pie" to a friend (where your friend picks up the pie at the location of his/her choice) by clicking "Gift-a-Pie" under the "Buy Pies" tab and selecting "City Dogs Rescue" as your pie seller.
Regardless of the option you choose, CDR will still
receive $20 in vet credits for every $20 donated!
Henry recently joined the City Dogs Rescue family from Pickens County, SC. Pickens County, SC is a shelter that doesn't do public adoptions so owner surrenders face almost certain euthanasia. CDR Shelter Volunteers Pamela Nalley and Tiffany Moore informed our Pickens Shelter to Rescue team that two Great Pyrenees dogs found themselves at risk in the shelter.
CDR Foster Henry and his sister Abby (recently adopted) lived in an outdoor pen for at least two years. Initial experiences like getting him into the car, into the kennel, leash walking, crating, and bathing were all a nightmare for Pam and Tiffany. After separation from his sister Abby, both of them gained independence right away and made significant progress in just a matter of days. After two days, he loved being inside. He learned to walk on the leash and enjoyed the exploration. After one week, he started doing much better in the crate. Pam learned quickly that he needs a second dog in his life because he needs leadership. A dog who has lived as a dog and not penned outside can teach Henry how to be a dog. It may sound strange but many of the dogs we get at CDR have been conditioned out of what it means to be a dog. They don't know what a family is or a regular meal or a toy. For dogs like Henry, the newness of being an indoor dog can cause anxiety. One of the most important things we've found with these cases is the significance of routine.
One thing that makes Henry's case a little tougher is his size. Pam said it wouldn't be as big a challenge if he was only 15 lbs. Luckily, Henry is a "big fluff love" who "loves other dogs, cats, and especially people." Abby has done well in her new home so our foster mom Leslie wanted to provide an update on Henry for those following along to their stories. Special thanks also to first foster mom Stacey Fischer.
Guest Blog by CDR Foster Leslie Forte
An update for those of you following along at home - the story of Henry, the gorgeous Pyrenees. Henry came to us several weeks ago when his loving foster, Stacey Kenah Fisher, was going out of town. "He's super easy and house-trained!" she said - my two favorite words when deciding to take in a new foster. He had done well at Stacey's house but was clearly an anxious dog. When we put him in my minivan to drive home, he quickly started looking for ways out of the car, hurling his 85 lb body against the windows while I was on the highway. THAT was fun!
When we got him home he was a bundle of nerves, panting and pacing back and forth. He proceeded to throw his body against every (first floor) window and glass door that we had, even trying to escape through our wall-mounted TV which probably seemed like a window to him. He pulled several set of curtains out of the wall while trying to escape. For 24 hours, he did not sit or lay down at all, just paced and whined and panted. I think with all the stress of leaving his farm, changing foster homes, riding in transport and being separated from his sister Abby (fostered by Christi Oakley) that something just snapped in him and he couldn't take it anymore.
He HATED the crate and had escaped it while on transport up to DC, so that wasn't an option for us. At one point I leashed him and tied it to my waist so I could try and get some sleep on the couch without him crashing out of the house through one of the windows. 5 min later he had chewed through the leash. I mean I know some boys don't like to be tied down, but seriously! If we left him alone for any period of time he would trash the place - rugs, kids toys that he took down from high shelves, clothing, purses, etc. He also would not eat a damn thing that we actually wanted him to eat. I didn't know what to do - we've had a lot of fosters, but never one like this boy.
The crew at CDR was AMAZING, Kate Viar, Janine Castorina, Meredith Raimondi and the extraordinary Pamela Nalley were all so helpful and responsive with everything and offered to get a trainer out right away to have him assessed. So we rearranged our schedules and made sure someone was always home with him.
After a full day he did finally lay down and rest some. And slowly things got better bit by bit every day. We started to see this beautiful soul blossom and come out of his shell. He stopped panting, stopped pacing and leaned in for our love and affection instead of trying to run from us. He started eating after I began cooking for him and eventually allowed us to transition him back to just dry dog food. He stopped trying to push open the front door and just hung out in the front yard the two times he figured out how to unlatch the front door and knock it down. He just finally felt safe I guess.
This week our nanny is out of town so we had been working on leaving him for extended periods of time. We hired a dogwalker to come in during the day but so far, he has been 100% A-OK alone finally, 5-6 hours at a time. No destruction or "presents"! He has become THE BEST dog - so sweet, so gentle and tolerant with the kids (even with a baby crawling on him and trying to eat his tail), gets along great with our other black labs, ignores other dogs on walks completely....I could go on and on. Just overall awesome!
I so wish I could keep him but I don't think we can do 3 very large dogs full time with 4 kids, too! Anyone who adopts this boy will be soooo lucky! Henry is our sweet sweet gentle giant! Anyway, wanted to share since a lot of folks have asked me for an update on Henry. Thanks for all the support we've received with him!
Kate Viar, CDR Shelter to Rescue Volunteer for Pickens, says of Leslie Forte, "I consider myself a very experienced foster, and I'm not sure I would have been able to weather what [Leslie] did with Henry...but I am so grateful that [she] did and came through the other end being able to appreciate Henry's finer qualities."
Kate Viar, CDR Shelter to Rescue Volunteer for Pickens, explains Henry's background:
This dog never lived indoors before he was in the shelter. He never saw a TV before, which explains his confusion and hope that it presented an escape route. He never knew love until he met Pamela Nalley, Tiffany Moore, Stacey Kenah Fisher and Leslie Forte. He needed patience and understanding, but I know it was not an easy road for any of [them]. And with each transition, his anxiety grew.... It was a lot for any dog to go through in the span of a few weeks, but especially for a dog as sensitive as Henry. Henry has received multiple applications, but we know it will take a very special family to help him through another transition and continue his progress. We don't want to set him or his adoptive family up to fail, so we need to make sure he is placed in the best home for his needs and personality. We are so thankful to [Leslie] for fostering him and making him a part of [her] family.
Here is Henry's adoption profile:
Dog Name: Henry
Suspected Breed(s): Great Pyrenees Mix
Age: 2 years old
Weight: 84 lbs
Observations with Dogs: Good. Foster home has 2 large labs.
Observations with Cats: Good.
Observations with Kids: Good. Foster home has children aged 10 months, 5, 8 and 10 plus nanny's 2 year old.
House Training Progress: Occasional accidents.
Crate Training Progress: Not a fan and is an escape artist, but he has not been destructive in his foster home once past the transition period.
Location: Foster home in the DC area.
Personality: Gentle, Quiet, Easygoing, Friendly, Loyal, Snuggler, Affectionate, Patient, Calm, Shy, Eager to please, Smart
Rescued From: Pickens County, SC
Additional Information: Henry is such a love bug. He is so calm and mellow. He is regal looking and has such a lovely temperament. He and his sister Abby (already adopted) were surrendered to a high-kill shelter for failing to herd goats and pigs. They lived outside and never knew love. Now Henry soaks up every ounce of love that is showered on him!
He is good with kids, not rambunctious, loves to snuggle and get attention, doesn't jump all over you and is just generally an easy dog to have around. He rarely barks.
Henry has difficulty dealing with transitions, so his new forever family will need to plan for an adjustment period of one to two weeks when he will be extremely anxious. Working with a trainer to help him through this transition will be a condition of his adoption. He also needs to go to a home with another dog, which can help ease his anxiety and build his confidence. He has settled into his foster home and is doing well, but change stresses him out.
He also needs a family who won't leave him for long periods of time initially, as he is anxious when his humans leave him. Again, a trainer can help with this.
Henry is a wonderful, affectionate dog who is well worth the investment!!!
If you are interested in meeting Henry, please fill out an application!
City Dogs Rescue would like to welcome Jake, a 4 year old, 25 pound Golden Retriever/ Poodle mix (or “mini goldendoodle” as many would call this type of mix breed dog). If you're not familiar with the history, "doodle" mixes were initially created as a hypoallergenic service dog in the '80s. However, this commendable original purpose quickly disintegrated as puppy mills and backyard breeders began creating these mixes in mass with disastrous health and behavioral consequences as the demand grew.
Sadly, Jake is an example of what has gone wrong with the "designer dog" craze. As a likely consequence of irresponsible breeding, Jake is a special needs pup. Recently, City Dogs Rescue saved him from a shelter in West Virginia.
From what we're told, Jake was purchased from a "breeder" four years ago and suffers from epilepsy and a valgus deformity in his front legs. The latter causes his legs to turn out in a "flipper-like" fashion. Fortunately, Jake gets around just fine despite this orthopedic deformity. The shelter disclosed these issues prior to his rescue, but the severity was not clear until he went to his DC foster home. Unfortunately, Jake's seizures are not under control and we are working with a veterinary neurologist to find the perfect combination of medications for him. He is having seizure "clusters", some of a very long duration.
We are optimistic that we will be able to control his epilepsy with medication adjustments. Despite all that Jake is going through, all who have met him will attest that he's the sweetest, most happy-go-lucky pup that there is! We’ll update on Jake as we do our best to get him healthy. Jake will need a very special adopter.
Jake and two other dogs from CDR are very sick and really need your help.
Please donate here:
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.